Two months ago, Reddit made the announcement that they were implementing tokenization into their platform through the use of blockchain. By implementing tokenization, Reddit aims to create a Community Points system that rewards Redditors for the contributions they make via quality posts, comments, etc.
Community points are to be distributed on a weekly basis to each user, based on their total contributions. Earned points can then be redeemed for exclusive features such as using badges, custom emojis, and GIFs in comments. Points will also serve as a reputation system – similar to how the current ‘karma’ score system works – except users will have full ownership and control over their points.
The video below gives a quick overview of how the Community Points system will work.
Indeed, Reddit has now confirmed that they’re utilizing the Ethereum blockchain to implement this Community Points system. In conjunction with the Ethereum Foundation, they have reached out to the Ethereum community to provide a scaling solution capable of handling Reddit’s 430 million monthly users. In the post titled ‘The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off‘, they point out that the current scaling solutions they’ve received don’t take into consideration Ethereum’s costs for obtaining tokens or entering into the offered scaling system.
For the solution to be viable Reddit states it needs to meet the following requirements:
Scaling. This PoC should scale to the numbers below with minimal costs (both on & off-chain). There should also be a clear path to supporting hundreds of millions of users.
- Over a 5 day period, your scaling PoC should be able to handle:
- 100,000 point claims (minting & distributing points)
- 25,000 subscriptions
- 75,000 one-off points burning
- 100,000 transfers
Decentralization. Solutions should not depend on any single third-party provider.
- We prefer solutions that do not depend on specific entities such as Reddit or another provider, and solutions with no single point of control or failure in off-chain components, but recognize there are numerous trade-offs to consider
Usability. Scaling solutions should have a simple end user experience.
- Users shouldn’t have to maintain any extra state/proofs, regularly monitor activity, keep track of extra keys, or sign anything other than their normal transactions
- Transactions complete in a reasonable amount of time (seconds or minutes, not hours or days)
- Free to use for end users (no gas fees, or fixed/minimal fees that Reddit can pay on their behalf)
- Bonus points:
- Users should be able to view their balances & transactions via a blockchain explorer-style interface
- Exiting is fast & simple
Interoperability. Compatibility with third party apps (wallets/contracts/etc) is necessary.
- Scaling solutions should be extensible and allow third parties to build on top of it
- APIs should be well documented and stable
- Documentation should be clear and complete
- Third-party permissionless integrations should be possible & straightforward
- Simple is better. Learning an uncommon or proprietary language should not be necessary. Advanced knowledge of mathematics, cryptography, or L2 scaling should not be required. Compatibility with common utilities & toolchains is expected.
- Bonus Points: Show us how it works. Do you have an idea for a cool new use case for Community Points? Build it!
Security. Users have full ownership & control of their points.
- Balances and transactions cannot be forged, manipulated, or blocked by Reddit or anyone else
- Users should own their points and be able to get on-chain ERC20 tokens without permission from anyone else
- Points should be recoverable to on-chain ERC20 tokens even if all third-parties involved go offline
- A public, third-party review attesting to the soundness of the design should be available
- Bonus points:
- Public, third-party implementation review available or in progress
- Compatibility with HSMs & hardware wallets
- Minting/distributing tokens is not performed by Reddit directly 
- One-off point burning, as well as recurring, non-interactive point burning (for subreddit memberships ) should be possible and scalable
- Fully open-source solutions are strongly preferred
While developers are looking for possible solutions and building proof of concept models, I’d like to take this time to point out that there’s already a solution that can easily help them meet Reddit’s requirements for scaling, decentralization, usability, interoperability, and security.
- Scaling – The solution can help them handle up to 10,000 transactions per second, with plans to further scale, and it is already handling millions of transactions each day and tens more millions of operations carried out every day.
- Decentralization – The solution isn’t dependent on a single third-party provider and has no single point of failure or control; therefore, it is decentralized.
- Usability – The solution doesn’t burden the end-user with fees, however, a small caveat is that Reddit, or another provider, might need to have a stake in order to secure smooth network functionality for all its users. They would have complete control of this stake, and exiting is fast and simple. The best part is that users carry no additional burden as they won’t notice any of the technicalities.
- Interoperability – The solution is compatible with all kinds of third-party apps, allowing them to be built on top of it. It is also easy to implement and developers won’t need to learn new coding languages.
- Security – The solution facilitates for a user’s full ownership and control over their own assets. Users’ balances and transactions can’t be forged, manipulated, or blocked by Reddit or anyone else.
You’re probably wondering what this solution is. It’s called EOSIO, and it is a fully open-source blockchain protocol. And now you might be thinking to yourself this all sounds great, but Reddit called for a solution built on Ethereum. Well, luckily for developers even that obstacle has been addressed and solved.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a developer who recently won $200k building a scaling solution that can run Ethereum’s entire chain transactions inside EOSIO, without the costs/fees associated with Ethereum transactions. In other words, developers can build out their proof of concept models for Reddit’s Community Point system and then just plug that into ‘eosio.evm’ to solve the scaling issue.
If you’d like to learn more about this Ethereum scaling solution, again, you can check out the interview I recently did with the man behind it all – here, and/or from his Devpost submission – here. Reddit’s invitation to help them with a scalable solution can be found at – The Great Reddit Scaling Bake-Off.
Thank you for reading!
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