Reddit experiences shop outage as it launches third generation of NFTs
The platform seemingly experienced excess demand from bots.
Social media site Reddit saw its shop experience downtime during the launch of its third generation of collectibles, according to statements made on April 11.
High demand leads to shop outage
Reddit launched its GEN 3 series of Collectible Avatars — a limited run of non-fungible tokens on the Polygon blockchain — on April 11.
However, the platform’s NFT shop went offline due to high volumes and it appears that many items were purchased by bots rather than individual users. One project, Pastel Alpha, admitted to purchasing a “good amount” of items through the use of bots.
The outage resulted in backlash as community members chastised Reddit for neglecting to impose CAPTCHAs to limit purchases. Others suggested that Reddit should host future offers through established NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.
Reddit has not announced a full resolution to its shop outage, nor has it explicitly admitted that bot purchases led to overwhelming demand.
At 8:47 p.m. UTC, Reddit stated that it would restore shop functions for iOS and Android users. Items in the NFT shop can also be viewed in standard browsers, but any attempt to purchase or obtain an NFT in-browser produces an error message.
Reddit moves into cryptocurrency
Reddit initially launched Collectible Avatars in July 2022. Each series provides includes designs from commissioned artists, and according to recent announcements, the latest batch of items includes contributions from more than 100 artists.
Reddit also has made various other forays into crypto. The platform hosts community points on the Arbitrum Nova blockchain layer, and the /r/cryptocurrency and /r/fortnite subreddits each have their own dedicated cryptocurrency tokens.
Meanwhile, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian operates a venture capital firm called 776 Management, which has made significant investments into blockchain and web3.