Reddit Announces Web 3.0 and Crypto Push

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  • Reddit is planning a big push into a Web 3.0 model
  • The platform will apparently be completely decentralized, with subreddits managing themselves
  • Reddit will also replace karma points with a cryptocurrency, allowing users to monetize their content

A newly hired Reddit engineer has opened up on the platform’s extensive cryptocurrency and Web 3.0 plans. Rahul Kothari published a tweet thread where he outlined the plans for the social media platform, which has some 500 million users which would focus on decentralizing the platform, allowing subreddits to manage themselves, and launching a system where karma points resulted in cryptocurrency rewards.

Subreddits Could Work Like DAOs

Kothari outlined Reddit’s plans to move to a decentralized model, with subreddits operating like DAOs and allowed to be in charge of managing themselves rather than Reddit arbitrators stepping in to issue bans etc. He added that subreddits where disagreements spring up could result in those subreddits being forked in the same way that cryptocurrencies often are, and that ‘karma’ points that are issued to those who create interesting or amusing posts will come in the from of coins.

The process of moving its 500 million users from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 was for Kothari a major achievement, with the engineer saying that there was “no going back” after what will essentially be the onboarding of 500 million people into the world of cryptocurrency. Reddit has patterned with Arbitrum, a rollup of Ethereum’s Optimism platform, to roll out its new foundation, nine months after some subreddits began testing Ethereum for rewards.

Reddit Decentralization Credentials Questioned

Kothari’s promise that “everything will be permissionless, open-source and decentralised” was quickly questioned by users who have not let it go unnoticed that Chinese giant Tencent invested $150 million into Reddit in 2019, a move that resulted in a large backlash from Reddit users who were worried about potential censorship:

How Reddit’s plans to move to a decentralized model will play out given that the platform is still plagued by accusations of Chinese influence remains to be seen, especially as China has banned all cryptocurrency transactions.