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News/Reddit Terminates Community Points Program

Reddit Terminates Community Points Program

Van Thanh Le

Oct 18 2023

9 months ago3 minutes read
Robot urgently disconnecting Reddit Community Points control panel

Parsing Reddit’s Sudden Community Points Suspension

Reddit, the social media juggernaut, unveiled contentious plans to terminate its Community Points program, a decision slated to take effect on November 8, 2023. 

The community encountered this unanticipated news with significant disconcert, catapulted by Tim Rathschmidt's - Reddit's director of consumer and product communications - statement. Rathschmidt cited that despite seeing "some future opportunities for Community Points, the resourcing needed was unfortunately too high to justify." 

This was the first explicit sign Reddit was acknowledging the operational hurdles it faced, but not the last. Adding fuel to the fire, he further mentioned that the "regulatory environment has since added to that effort," acknowledging the role of legal complexities in the decision.

Dissecting the Impact on Token Prices: From Moons to Bricks

Although the discontinuation news sent ripples across the entire Reddit user base and beyond, no one felt the sudden tremors more than holders of the community tokens. The MOON tokens, traditionally exclusive to Reddit's r/CryptoCurrency group, bore the brunt of the impact. Consumption of this grim news coincided with an approximately 85% decline in MOON token value. 


Rendering a similarly harsh fate were BRICK tokens, tied to the r/Fortnite subreddit, and DONUT tokens, the representatives of the r/ethtrader community. They registered heavy losses, sealing a 48% and 56% drop, respectively.

chart (1).webp

Deep diving into the specific numbers, MOON's rollercoaster journey exemplifies the token's nightmare scenario amidst this debacle. Once a promising performer reaching as high as $0.65, the MOON token nosedived to a dreaded low of approximately $0.05. 

This precipitous drop accounted for an enormous 90% drop, leading to a surge in MOON trading volumes that painted a clear picture of a mass exodus or sell-off from disillusioned investors.

Decoding the Technical Stumbling Blocks and Scalability Concerns

The story of the Community Points program's demise would be incomplete without discussing the program's roots and the inherent challenges it faced. Born on the Ethereum blockchain, the program soon tangled with scalability dilemmas and towering transaction fees. 

Community Points, introduced back in 2020, were designed as a reward system for Reddit users. Certain activities on the platform, such as receiving significant upvotes on comments or posts, would earn users these points. These ERC-20 tokens were stored in Reddit’s crypto wallet - Reddit Vault, allowing users to spend them on perks like emojis or badges.

With an intention to dampen these fires, Reddit opted for technology migration in August 2022, relocating the Community Points service to Arbitrum Nova, a Layer 2 solution. 

Although a strategic move to address the teething issues, the initiative failed to bring the desired respite. Instead, Reddit declared that despite migration, the program was no longer set up to scale effectively.

Scrutinizing Community Backlash and Market Behavior

A man leading a crowd of protesting Reddit users.webp

The reverberations of Reddit's abrupt decision echoed far and wide, stirring unparalleled disappointment and frustration amongst its user base. The digital veil of the internet seethed with disgruntled voices questioning Reddit's sudden decision to pull the plug. 

The undercurrents of this chaos became visible with the surge of MOON trading volumes, which signaled a mass exodus or sell-off from disheartened investors.

Analyzing the crypto coin prices and cryptocurrency charts, a visual cue to the pandemonium was marked by long bearish candles in MOON's trading graphs. The collective trading frenzy was typified by high trading volumes, a clear indication of panic selling amidst the Reddit token holders.

Unearthing Industry Reactions and Criticisms: A Collective Outrage

The blowback from Reddit's contentious decision didn't stop at user-community borders; it reached industrial leaders who expressed their umbrage. Among the critics, Kraken's co-founder Jesse Powell stood out. 

He lambasted Reddit for "destroying the value of community tokens while offering nothing in return." Powell’s irritation wasn’t just a knee-jerk reaction but a pointed critique of Reddit's fall short in offering any alternatives or compensations for the token holders.

He recommended that Reddit could have introduced alternative redemption paths for token holders. Some potential options he laid out included offering Collectible Avatars purchasable with Community Points, or perhaps converting the Points into its on-platform currency - Karma.

Insider Movements: Reddit Moderators and the Token Sell-Off

Following the sudden announcement to terminate its Community Points program, Reddit finds itself amidst new intrigue. Unsettling on-chain evidence suggests that certain Reddit moderators, privy to the program's impending doom, sold off substantial quantities of MOON tokens - the native cryptocurrency of the Reddit platform.

Blockchain data throws light on a string of rapid transactions involving two moderators, known as Mcgillby and "rider_of_the_storm." They reportedly unloaded large volumes of MOON tokens mere minutes ahead of Reddit's public disclosure.

Mcgillby's blockchain footprint reveals the transfer of over 100,000 MOON tokens, worth over $23,000, seemingly anticipating the announcement. Adding to the mystery, all his previous Reddit posts were wiped out subsequent to this transfer.

The other implicated moderator, rider_of_the_storm, moved an astonishing 345,422 MOON tokens to an exchange address, capitalizing over $69,000 - a mere 17 minutes before the public declaration.

Cumulatively, the duo pocketed over $92,000 and were consequently removed from their moderating duties. However, further on-chain data scrutinizations point to at least three additional moderators partaking in similar hurried liquidations, all potentially armed with inside information, 20 to 30 minutes prior to the announcement.

Sinking ship losing MOON, BRICK, DONUT tokens.webp

The collective assurance of the involved moderators claimed that they came to know about the program's termination only an hour before its public revelation. But the frenzied transactions suggest a rushed effort to offload their MOON holdings before the inevitable depletion in its value.

In the wake of the unsettling revelations, Reddit maintains its stance that the Community Points were never intended to hold monetary value, and the buying, selling, and trading of these points violate the platform's terms. As this chain of events unravels, all eyes are glued to Reddit for the next chapter in this saga.

Cautionary Tale

The unexpected cessation of Reddit's Community Points program delivers a stark message. Token values writhed, investor confidence waned, and community trust faltered in the aftermath. Jesse Powell's criticism that Reddit has failed its community by not offering an alternative or compensation for the sudden devaluation of tokens echoes loudly. 

This incident casts a long shadow on other platforms contemplating the integration of blockchain-based rewards. It emphasizes the critical need for a well-thought-out strategy, transparent communication, and most importantly, coherent contingency plans. While blockchain holds great promise, this tale of caution will linger in its evolving story.


1. What is Reddit's Community Points program? 

Introduced in 2020, the program rewarded Reddit users for their activities such as upvotes on posts or comments. The points were Ethereum-compatible ERC-20 tokens stored in the Reddit Vault.

2. What were the reasons for discontinuing the Community Points program? 

Reddit pointed to scalability issues and an evolving regulatory environment as key reasons behind the decision, stating the high resource needs were difficult to justify.

3. How were community tokens affected by this decision? 

MOON, BRICK, and DONUT tokens suffered significant drops ranging from 66% to 85%.

4. What was the industry reaction to Reddit's announcement?

Industry leaders criticized Reddit for the move. Jesse Powell criticized Reddit for erasing token value without offering alternatives or compensation.

5. What contingency plan does Reddit offer for token holders? 

As of now, Reddit has not disclosed any alternative redemption or compensation paths for token holders.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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