Compared to other social networking sites, Reddit has taken a slow and limited approach to features that contain a taint of self-promotion or branding. Even a decision to add simple profile pages that users could populate with their own posts was criticized. As you browse the site, you’re more likely to see posters with variations of the site’s mascot, Snoo, in their profile picture than the selfies that dominate Twitter or Facebook. Now we will see how the community reacts to Reddit’s offering of “blockchain-backed Collectible Avatars.” In case you’re wondering, yes, these are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for sale in the Reddit Avatar Builder.

These limited edition avatars, which buyers can then customize in the Avatar Builder, were created by independent artists working with Reddit. The Collectible Avatars will have a “glow-like effect” in comment sections, adding a visual flourish similar to the hexagon Twitter uses to identify NFT avatars. The NFTs are numbered uniquely, with multiple avatars of each design for sale.

Preview images of Reddit’s new Collectible Avatars NFTs
Image: Reddit

Collectable avatars are stored and managed in the Safe, a blockchain-powered wallet on Reddit where Redditors currently store their community points. They can be traded on secondary markets such as OpenSea or SuperRare, but cannot be sold directly on Reddit itself at launch.

NFTs have already become more than controversial in many communities, with backlash over the idea of ​​additional DRM, how they tap into the greater folly theory described by Bill Gates, and what blockchain energy use means for the environment.

According to Reddit, the focus is on the ability to empower artists as this series features contributions from artists who post to subreddits like r/Comics, as well as other artists “from our networks bringing their work to Reddit for the first time.” Reddit spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt says: The edge that it was taking steps to prevent fraud — which was a problem in NFT marketplaces and a concern when Twitter rolled out its NFT photos — by partnering with a small group of artists, applying compliance checks for their participation, and “comprehensive, cross-functional assessment of all designs for authenticity.”

It also uses the Polygon blockchain, which keeps transaction costs energy efficient. However, as we learned after the WWF’s failed attempt to launch NFTs, calculating the actual power consumption of Polygon’s blockchain transactions is in itself “incomplete at best”, as it still relies on a more inefficient Ethereum. network for security.

On the financial side, Rathschmidt explains: The edge that Reddit’s discount is 5 percent, which covers coin and blockchain costs and supports the creator program, with the rest going to artists who have a way to make their work “live outside the virtual walls of Reddit (and be compensated for future sales) of their art). Reddit also keeps its hands off the cryptocurrency trades, with all purchases made with government-issued currency, just like buying Reddit coins or Premium.

Initially, they will be available to a “limited number” of Redditors who join the r/Collectible Avatars community, which will contain posts with information about the program and behind-the-scenes interactions with artists.

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