Reddit is expanding its role in the Ethereum ecosystem, with the goal of building out scaling tools for the blockchain network.
The social media platform announced Wednesday it was partnering with the Ethereum Foundation to increase its commitment to blockchain technology by providing development resources to scaling tools. In the announcement, posted to the Ethereum subreddit (a community focused on Ethereum), Reddit employee u/jarins said the move echoes its long-held decentralized ethos.
“In this new stage of our partnership, immediate efforts will be focused on bringing Ethereum to Reddit-scale production,” the announcement said. “Our intention is to help accelerate the progress being made on scaling and develop the technology needed to launch large-scale applications like Community Points on Ethereum.”
This partnership could result in Reddit working on layer 2 scaling tools or pushing projects from a prototype stage to production.
Reddit development resources, including a developer team, would be involved in this work. Ultimately, the idea is a project like Reddit’s Community Points feature could be capable of supporting the site’s millions of users (Reddit has over 50 million users as of press time, according to Wednesday’s announcement).
“Our blockchain efforts will be led by Reddit’s Crypto team,” the announcement said, adding that it currently has job openings for backend engineers.
In short, the idea is users can reward each other points for making “quality posts,” with these points being redeemable for badges or other custom features. These points are stored on Ethereum’s Rinkeby testnet as ERC-20 tokens, meaning that unlike Reddit’s in-house karma system, the company cannot control these points.
The company did not provide volume figures for how many points have been rewarded or redeemed to date, but the CryptoCurrency and FortNiteBR subreddits had 1.2 and 1.4 million users respectively as of press time.
It does not appear that Reddit plans to expand the system to additional communities, or move from Rinkeby to the Ethereum mainnet.
“The scaling technology developed through this partnership will be open-sourced and publicly available for anyone to use,” the announcement said.