The world’s most reliable community platform for shitposting and genuinely interesting news has seen more than three million users create a ‘vault’ wallet to house their “digital collectible avatars” (which is just Reddit speak for an NFT).
Reddit’s chief product officer Phil Bhat revealed the news on a Tech Crunch Disrupt panel this week, where he pointed out that 2.5 million of the ‘vaults’ already hold an avatar. In the hours following Bhat’s comments, that number has now grown to reach much closer to 2.8 million.
Just so you can wrap your head around the relative size of this accomplishment, OpenSea, the largest NFT exchange by a large margin, only has around 2.3 million active users according to data from Dune.
In July, Reddit announced the launch of “blockchain-backed collectible avatars” as an extension of its Avatar Builder system. These avatars are digital collectibles made by artists that provide holders with unique benefits. The avatars are then sold through Reddit’s Avatar shop which runs on the Reddit Vaults, a Polygon-based digital wallet.
Then, in August, the platform started airdropping these avatars to 10 million users, beginning with the most engaged and karma-positive Redditors. In an interesting game of semantics, Reddit has avoided the typical crypto parlance opting to use the term ‘Vault’ instead of ‘wallet’.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman confirmed that the choice of words was a deliberate approach. “We try really hard not to use any crypto words — it just confuses people,” he said. This is a fair point, with the jargon-heavy landscape of Web3 drawing frequent criticism from onlookers.
Reddit NFT collections go ham on OpenSea
Now, what makes the Reddit avatar NFTs extra interesting is because they’re built on the Polygon network — they’re also fully interoperable with other blockchain-based platforms like OpenSea, where Reddit-based collections have been racking up some serious popularity.
As of today, the Foustlings collection is leading the rankings with a total trading volume 271 ETH (US$347,000) followed in a close second by the Senses project, which has now surpassed a total trading volume of 269 ETH (US$345,000).
To someone peering in from the outside, all of this might just look like millions of people trading funny pictures online, but the enormous and rapid uptake of Reddit’s digital avatars represents one of the first significant moves by a mainstream social media platform in tapping NFT technology to expand on the utility of identity and ownership online.