In the coming weeks, Reddit will be launching a new Collectibles Avatar marketplace leveraging NFTs hosted on Polygon’s blockchain.
Home to countless forums and online communities, the website will partner with independent artists to create unique avatars. It’s these avatars that Reddit users will buy for a fixed price and customize with gear, yielding creators profit.
What Reddit Intends To Accomplish
In addition, the purchase of these avatars gives owners a license to use the artwork on and off of Reddit.
Profiles with Collectable Avatars set as their profile image will also have a “glow-like effect” in the comment section.
However, Collectable Avatars will only be available for purchase using local currencies, such as U.S. dollars. There isn’t a crypto option currently, nor can they be auctioned off either on a secondary market like OpenSea.
“In the future, we see blockchain as one way to bring more empowerment and independence to communities on Reddit,” the company said. “Blockchain-backed Collectible Avatars are one of the early steps we’re taking to test out the potential benefits of this concept on Reddit.”
The marketplace is built on Polygon’s blockchain due to its low-cost transactions and sustainability commitments. Alongside the Polygon marketplace, Reddit will also launch an Ethereum-compatible wallet called a Vault.
Meanwhile, the website launched a forum aimed at helping users get a grip of the services. This will enable them to set up their digital wallets early.
As of this writing, only an 80s-esque commercial is visible, marketing the avatars in the style of a retro toy commercial and stating there will initially be 87 different avatars to choose from.
Reddit, crypto and NFT avatars
The company launched an Avatar Builder two years ago that enabled users to create a custom Snoo. Snoo is the nickname of Reddit’s alien mascot, which could be set as the profile picture for online accounts.
In January this year, they then floated the idea of connecting these Snoos to different NFTs. A Reddit spokesman said at the time that it was “a small, internal test and no decisions have been made about expanding or rolling out the capability.“
Besides adding NFT features to avatars, Reddit also launched a trial run for a crypto-powered version of its Community Points back in December.
“Community Points are the first step towards a different future for online communities,” Reddit’s site reads. “These tokens live on the blockchain, which means they are truly owned by the community. Over time, your community will benefit from even greater control and independence—on and off of Reddit.”
Even amid a currently weakened NFT market, marketplace OpenSea has managed to stay afloat in the industry. But that first-mover advantage could come under threat from rivals that are both expanding in number and consolidating.
NFTs Market-Place Wars
According to a new industry report from blockchain analytics firm DappRadar, the number of NFT marketplaces and aggregators acquired in recent months are potentially setting up what it describes as “looming NFT marketplace wars.”
OpenSea itself made the first big acquisition in recent months, acquiring NFT marketplace aggregator Gem in April. Gem allows users to purchase NFTs in batch buys across multiple platforms, and OpenSea CEO and co-founder Devin Finzer described the move as part of “a need to better serve more experienced, ‘pro’ users.”