Content aggregation, ranking, and discussion website Reddit announced a new blockchain-backed avatar system on Thursday. Though no official date was revealed, the company suggested that the avatars will be available to the general public in the next few weeks. For now, Reddit is providing first-look early access to a limited number of people who join the r/CollectibleAvatars community.
Collectible Avatars are a set of limited-edition artwork created by independent artists who are also users of the Reddit website. The new avatars can be purchased with local currencies, however the announcement stated the artwork is stored on the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain. In addition, management of the Collectible Avatars is handled through Vault, Reddit’s blockchain-powered wallet that functions on Ethereum-compatible chains.
This latest move by Reddit aims to empower artists that use the website, as stated in Thursday’s announcement on their website:
“From the start, our goal has been to empower artists to create and sell their work. Artists will get paid for every Collectible Avatar that sells on Reddit, less any fees, and are also entitled to receive royalties from secondary sales of their Collectible Avatars on open marketplaces.”
The new collection will be available where Reddit users normally build their avatars on the website. Once a Collectible Avatar has been purchased, it can be used as an avatar on Reddit. Owners of the Collectible Avatars will be eligible to receive unique benefits and Collectible Avatar creators will receive a percentage of future secondary sales.
From Thursday’s announcement, “Collectible Avatars are currently stored on Polygon, a general-purpose, Ethereum-compatible blockchain. We chose Polygon for its low cost transactions and sustainability commitments.”
Reddit said that the avatars aren’t proper NFTs, and cryptocurrencies aren’t part of the process of buying or selling them for now, but indicated that, “Blockchain-backed Collectible Avatars are one of the early steps we’re taking to test out the potential benefits of this concept on Reddit.”
Reddit also mentioned future visions the company in regards to the concept’s related features:
“In the future, we see blockchain as one way to bring more empowerment and independence to communities on Reddit. Reddit has always been a model for what decentralization could look like online; our communities are self-built and run, and as part of our mission to better empower our communities, we are exploring tools to help them be even more self-sustaining and self-governed.”
This isn’t Reddit’s first foray into NFTs, the company released CryptoSnoos back in February of this year.
Amidst the crypto crash of 2022, some companies are choosing to build. Other recent NFT developments include a new DappRadar report showing that there could be NFT platform wars ahead, and the Lamborghini-backed GT racing team’s decision to authenticate car parts using NFTs. While art-based tokens have been very popular over the last few years, some have started looking at expiring copyrights as the next potential NFT gold rush.