How to improve the Reddit community points system through blockchain?

A few weeks ago, Reddit announced a new pilot project based on Ethereum. This is good news for blockchain applications, and we want to take a deeper look at the background…

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a collection of discussion boards (also called subreddits) on various topics, where members can vote (for or against) posts. It has a large (and loyal) user base (430 million monthly active users and 150 million page views per day). Reddit claims to be “The Front Page of the Internet”, which may make some sense. The videos and stories you see on Buzzfeed are very popular, or the joint reports you see on local news are often Both come from Reddit.

In addition to understanding Reddit’s high popularity and influence, it is also important to understand Reddit’s user reputation system (reputation system for users), which is called Karma. When you submit a post and the post gets a lot of approval votes, you will get more Karma points. And when your post gets many negative votes, you will get fewer Karma points. Karma is a very attractive indicator because it can increase the number of people who see your post, and it is also an indicator that can make users proud, because a larger Karma value means that you have been using Reddit for a long time , People will support your posts more accordingly.


What are community points?

Earlier this month, Reddit announced that they are launching a pilot project called “community points”. In Reddit’s words, users can earn community points as long as they contribute to the community through matters such as submitting quality posts or quality reviews.

This sounds like the current Karma reputation system, right? But the difference is that Reddit builds their community points on Ethereum. Community points exist in the form of tokens on the blockchain: that is, community points on Reddit and community points (tokens) on Ethereum form a mapping.

Why build community points on the blockchain?

Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams’s husband and CEO of Reddit, is a “believer” of Crypto currency and blockchain networks. His venture capital company was one of Coinbase’s first backers (Coinbase is now one of the most popular Crypto currency exchanges).

The interpreter of the community points program described that the current Internet landscape is far from the “free frontier” at the beginning, as shown in the following figures:



(In the beginning, the Internet was a free territory, a continent full of openness, creativity and infinite possibilities) 

It later explained that the Internet was later developed into a walled platform, which restricted users’ use of the Internet, which in turn limited the possibilities of the Internet. 


Walls and billboards

(Everyone first liked the “parks” of the Internet, but later some of them built walls and various billboards in the park to monitor, manipulate and peep at ordinary people) 

Finally, the next picture illustrates the possibility that users can reclaim “ownership of frontier”, which may happen through the blockchain network.


A better future

(They can use blockchain to take back ownership of the territory and rebuild a more robust and independent community)

For now, Reddit seems to want to promote the development of blockchain adoption by acting as a bridge between its huge audience and the Ethereum blockchain.

What is the release version of community points?

Since this is only a pilot project, Reddit only implements community credit schemes on two subreddits: r/Cryptocurrency (1 million users) and r/FortNiteBR (1.3 million users). Each subreddit has a different symbol that symbolizes community points. r/Cryptocurrency uses “Moons”, while r/FortNiteBR uses “Bricks”. 

The user’s community points are stored in the “Vault” and can only be viewed on the Reddit mobile app. Vault contains the public and private keys that users use to collect, trade, or consume tokens on the Ethereum network. The number of Moons and Bricks is allocated monthly based on the user’s participation on subreddits, and will be displayed in the Vault. Users can use Reddit’s Vault function or send tokens to an Ethereum wallet.

Moons and Bricks have their own different smart contracts on Ethereum. If the community point scheme is generally implemented in the future, each subreddit will have its own smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.

Why is it important?

At present, the blockchain has not developed into a mainstream platform, and the Reddit program has made more people have a deeper understanding of the blockchain. Not only does Reddit have a huge user base, but because of its unique position on the Internet, it also has a true “cultural cache”. The fact that they can use blockchain and Ethereum to launch community points is really exciting.

Reddit also creates a solid introductory experience for its users, that is, Reddit will first guide users to build a Vault, and then integrate the blockchain directly with two popular subreddits. They are using a process called “meta-transactions” to make submitting Ethereum transactions (sometimes tricky) easier.

Reddit does this for (at least in part) idealistic purposes (hope to help build a wider blockchain and Internet community). Using Ethereum to achieve this goal does add confidence to blockchain and Ethereum users.

What next?

The pilot project will continue into the summer of 2020. The community credit team is conducting a BUG reward for the entire community credit system, which is mainly aimed at the “Moon” and “Brick” smart contracts.

There have been some very interesting discoveries:

  • Fortress Night’s subreddit activity has been four times higher than the previous level (but the subreddit has only increased by 30% of its members!) At first, it may be a strange thing that the game-themed subreddit exceeds Crypto currency. However, subreddit games (with micro-transactions and in-game purchases) like Fortnite are considered to be adopted by Ethereum. You can check the community points through the data on the chain. (I personally think that Reddit hopes that Epic Games (that is, the production team of Fortnite) who is “looking for paid channel cooperation” is interested in blockchain cooperation.
  • Fuel Labs is a company focused on providing sustainable expansion services for Ethereum using optimistic rollup technology. It provides a very cool scalability mechanism for Reddit community points (called “Reddit cash”), whose purpose is to Reduce transaction fees for exchanging community points. This will be interesting for Reddit, because the company is currently paying gas fees for Ethereum transactions (but the community points program is still on the test network, so the relevant fees are essentially virtual.

Community points are a good development for public blockchains, especially Ethereum. This is an excellent use case from a company with a huge audience. They are using their technical knowledge to make onboarding to Ethereum easier. The interaction with Fortnite will be a very remarkable thing. The whole project is simply earth-shattering.

We can’t wait to see what happens next.

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