Nick Chong · 2 days ago · 2 min read
Earlier this year, Reddit became the latest prominent corporation/startup to put resources into building applications on Ethereum.
The efforts culminated in a concept called “Community Points,” which allow users to earn ERC-20 tokens to get special access to certain things in forums called “subreddits.”
Thus far, the project is in beta, with Reddit using an Ethereum sidechain called Rinkeby to handle the tokens presumably to iron out kinks in the system.
The social media giant is currently expecting to launch the tokens on the main blockchain by the end of the summer, assuming the beta goes well.
Yet with Ethereum transaction fees already relatively high without Reddit’s Community Points, the addition of hundreds of thousands of new users to the chain likely isn’t a good idea.
Reddit doesn’t think it is a good idea either… yet.
Reddit tries to spur Ethereum scalability solutions
The two variants of Community Points — r/Cryptocurrency’s “moons” and r/Fortnite’s “bricks” — have thus far seen limited adoption. A crypto commentator noted that on the Rinkeby testnet, there are only a few thousand adopters of moons and under 20,000 adopters of bricks.
Yet Reddit fears that once it continues to roll out Community Points, the Ethereum network will become strained and clogged.
On the r/Cryptocurrency forum alone, there are over one million subscribers. All of those subscribers using Ethereum each day would bring the blockchain to a standstill.
The solution should be able to ease the implementation of Community Points, which will be eventually activated for Reddit’s 430 million monthly active users.
Reddit is hosting an Ethereum scalability competition
"Our goal is to find a solution that will support hundreds of thousands of Community Points users on mainnet today, and can eventually scale to all of Reddit (430 million monthly users)."
Everything on ETH
— Ryan Sean Adams – rsa.eth 🏴 (@RyanSAdams) June 18, 2020
The optimal scaling solution, which should be shared by Jul. 31, will need to simulate 100,000 users leveraging Community Points via Ethereum. In Reddit’s words:
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
Such a system should migrate the brunt of the transactions off of Ethereum while allowing users to maintain sovereignty over their tokens. This will make them cheap, rapid, and easy-to-use for Reddit users.
Needed now more than ever before
Ethereum scaling solutions are now needed more than ever before also due to decentralized finance — “DeFi.”
Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital observed in a recent blog post that DeFi is not ready to go mainstream yet due to latency issues caused by Ethereum’s slow block times and relatively small transaction throughput potential.
In implementing scaling solutions, whether that may be Ethereum 2.0 or technologies such as “Optimistic Rollup” or “Plasma,” these issues and the bottleneck Reddit is facing can be eliminated or deterred.