Reddit, the sprawling internet forum and social platform, has stirred up quite the debate within its community by announcing the phasing out of its blockchain-based Community Points program. Launched in 2020, the program aimed to reward creators and developers with internet points backed by blockchain technology.
However, Reddit’s decision to prioritize more scalable rewards programs has left many wondering if this is the end of an era or a necessary evolution.
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Table of Contents,
The Genesis of Community Points
Community Points, often dubbed “internet points,” were introduced as Reddit’s answer to incentivizing positive engagement within select subreddits. These points were bestowed upon users who contributed constructively to discussions, fostering a healthier and more rewarding online environment. They were essentially Ethereum tokens stored in Reddit’s Vault, functioning as a cryptocurrency wallet.
Once earned, Reddit or its moderators couldn’t revoke Community Points. They could be spent on special features such as unlocking unique badges and animated emojis, enhancing the overall Reddit experience. Yet, the uniqueness of Community Points lay in their “burning” mechanism — once spent, they were permanently removed from circulation.
Additionally, these points represented a user’s reputation and contribution within their participating subreddits. Displayed alongside usernames, Community Points acknowledged and celebrated the platform’s most dedicated contributors.
Scaling Woes and Ethereum’s Hurdles
The scaling of Community Points was a colossal challenge for Reddit. Initially, the pilot program relied on the Ethereum blockchain, which had its set of constraints, including scalability, high transaction fees, and limited bandwidth. These limitations hindered Reddit’s ability to offer a seamless and scalable rewards system and sparked the need for a shift in approach.
Evolving Rewards Programs
Over the years, Reddit has introduced several community incentives, each catering to a specific aspect of its ecosystem. The moderator rewards program recognizes and rewards those who oversee subreddits, adding value to the community. The Contributor Program takes a more tangible approach by allowing eligible users to convert their Reddit gold and karma into real money.
The Contributor Program, in particular, provides Redditors who earn at least ten gold within 30 days with a monthly withdrawal option. Furthermore, Reddit users with over 5,000 karma (total upvotes) can earn $1 per gold, offering a direct and tangible reward for their contributions.
The Reddit Debate
Reddit’s decision to wind down the Community Points program has sparked an intense debate. While some argue that it was necessary to address scalability and usability issues, others see it as the end of a novel and innovative way of rewarding contributors and fostering a sense of community.
As of now, Reddit is actively exploring ways to enhance community governance and empower its users. They remain committed to finding new and effective methods for rewarding contributions and fostering a vibrant and engaged community.
The Road Ahead
In the ever-evolving world of online communities, the path forward for Reddit remains to be determined. The decision to sunset Community Points in favor of more scalable reward systems raises questions about the future of blockchain-based rewards in the digital landscape. Will Reddit’s gamble on scalability pay off, or will it come at the cost of losing a unique and groundbreaking rewards system? Only time will tell.
As the debate rages on, one thing is certain: Reddit’s commitment to community engagement and rewarding its contributors remains unwavering. The platform continues to be a dynamic space where users can connect, share, and contribute to diverse communities. Its future evolution will surely be closely watched by its users and the wider online world.