Reddit’s decision to trial a new “community points” system could see the adoption of cryptocurrency Ethereum dramatically rise. Without much fanfare, the US-based social media giant’s recent test run was brought to light by a site user who discovered a new wallet with an Ethereum address added to his Reddit Android app.
A Reddit spokesperson was prompted to reveal it was trialling a new points-based system linked to the standard ERC-20 token to represent a user’s engagement within a community. They will be able to showcase far more than their credibility (previously achieved with “karma”) as contributors to the site.
Earned points can be, for example, used to spend on special memberships, exclusive features to highlight a user’s community reputation, and voting in polls. Managed via a personal Ethereum wallet, a user earns points based on their contribution to subreddits through engagement such as comments or posts. Next to their username, a “value” is displayed that’s linked to accumulated points providing easily identifiable repute amongst the community.
Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder, is a noted supporter of cryptocurrency so the company’s decision to use blockchain technology to guarantee a user’s ownership, rights and management of their community points, isn’t surprising. Reddit also has a large audience of users linked to the crypto space and blockchain technology so it’s a move that’s likely to be welcomed.
But with a variety of cryptocurrencies out there, why would Reddit choose Ethereum? So far, Reddit has not explicitly revealed those reasons but the currency’s adoption is already on the up and it’s a noted alternative to the well-established Bitcoin, with ether ranking second to BTC by market cap.
In addition, Reddit’s decision to work with the Ethereum network acknowledges one key differentiator between it and Bitcoin. With its digital token BTC, Bitcoin emerged as a radical alternative to conventional money, whereas Ethereum’s main ambitions see ether not as an alternative system for cash but to facilitate the use of the network’s dApp platform and coincidentally monetize its smart contract.
That’s not stopped it becoming Bitcoin’s main crypto rival though. The popularity of the highly liquid Ethereum – particularly because it’s so easily attainable through P2P crypto platforms, exchanges and even credit cards – has seen its value grow to around $16 billion.
That’s been driven by an increasing number of companies accepting Ethereum as a form of payment. You can spend ether via a digital wallet at ecommerce platform Overstock, book flights through TapJets, buy cloud hosting with FlokiNet, and purchase meat, vegetables and dairy via 1000 Eco Farms.
The gaming industry has also seen a big rise in the use of digital currency with GamesOnly.at and Skinbay allowing customers to buy popular console releases with ether. Similarly, there are an increasing number of Ethereum casinos in iGaming, where safe, secure and verifiable cash withdrawals and deposits are so crucial when playing video slots and table games like roulette and blackjack, also offer Ethereum as a form of payment.
Ethereum’s adoption on the rise
Reddit’s use of Ethereum could be massive for the cryptocurrency. Not only will it help popularize its value within the social media platform’s sphere, but it’ll also reconfirm its potential as a traditional cash alternative. Mythos Capital investor Ryan Sean Adams, who writes the crypto newsletter Bankless, suggested 10,000% growth could be seen as a result of Reddit’s move.
That’s entirely possible. The website’s active users number 430 million. What will be interesting to see is how the new community points system is rolled out to the full site and what impact this might have on the content of the site. But if Reddit pursues its rumored objectives, it could have a dramatic impact on Ethereum adoption.