In May 2020, Reddit implemented a new Community Point system on three subreddits. The most popular of these points, called Moons, has skyrocketed in valuation and participation.
Officially, these so-called Moons can only be used on the r/CryptoCurrency subreddit to tip other contributors and purchase a Special Membership. This Special Membership gives access to styled usernames, the ability to use gifs in comment sections, and access to loyalty badges. Unofficially, Moons have a current worth of approximately $0.30USD and can be traded on the Ethereum blockchain.
Due to the size of the Cryptocurrency subreddit of 3.3 million people and growing, many think that Moons are the first Community Point system for Reddit. Even more, some think that Moons are the only Community Point system but that is far from the truth. Currently, there are three subreddits with their own version of Community Points. In addition to Moons, there are Donuts available on r/EthTrader and Bricks available on r/FortNiteBR.
Each community has its own uses of the points, but most revolve around tipping others and purchasing a subreddit-specific special membership. The points are also used to help guide decisions on subreddit governance through the use of weighted polls. The more points someone has then the larger weighting their vote has on these polls. The idea is that people who participate in the communities will guide the subreddit instead of being bombarded by people from outside of the community.
But even though these point systems have become incredibly popular, none of them are the original Community Points.
The original Reddit Community Points started in October 2018 on four subreddits. At the time, Community Points were a test by Reddit to see the viability of rewards for participation. These points were used to do little more than having weighted votes in polls and subreddit governance, similar to how they are partially used today. They could not be bought and sold like Moons, Bricks, and Donuts can today. After roughly 18 months, Reddit decided that they would move community points to the Ethereum network.
But what happened to the original 4 subreddits with community points?
r/ETHtrader was the original subreddit to gain Community Points in October 2018. After their initial announcement, a poll was created to determine the name of their points, where Donuts was decided upon. When the time came in May 2020 to move to the Ethereum network for the points, they chose to move forward and are one of the three subreddits today that give Ethereum based community points.
In November 2018, r/Libertarian was introduced to Community Points. They initially hated the concept and claimed it would have a negative impact on the subreddit. The sentiment of the subreddit decided that high-frequency posters and commenters would end up deciding the direction of the community. After a single weekend of debate, their community points were canceled.
r/mountainbiking introduced their points around the same time as r/Libertarian, but unlike the latter, r/mountainbiking used their community points for at least 6 months. The last distribution of their points was in June of 2019 but there is little information for why points stopped being distributed.
r/Stellar was initially interested in the concept of community points and named their points Photons to match their subreddits naming theme. Today, Photons are no longer used in the subreddit and there are a couple of reasons. There was only a single mod working on the distribution and tracking of Photons. Obviously, this was a ton of work. Secondly, Stellar is its own blockchain. When Reddit was looking to change how Community Points work and place them on a blockchain, they chose Ethereum. This makes sense as Ethereum is a bigger network and more well-known. However, there was little reason for a subreddit based around the Stellar blockchain to use a reward system based on a different blockchain. As a result, Photons stopped with the introduction of Reddit’s “new” community points.
Additionally, all the subreddits that adopted the points had a common issue between them: like r/Stellar, only 1 mod performed the work to track and distribute the points on their respective subreddits. It was a lot of work to do and offered no payment for the work involved. This also needed to be done on top of their regular mod duties.
In May of 2020, Reddit created the new community points on Ethereum. This expanded the points to r/FortniteBR and r/CryptoCurrency, called Bricks and Moons respectively.
What about the future of Moons?
With a current valuation of ~$0.33 per Moon and a maximum supply of 250 million, it seems the Community Point has plenty of room to grow. The Cryptocurrency subreddit firmly believes that Moons will gain further use cases on the subreddit and continue to grow in value. The general hope is that Reddit takes Moons and expands them across the entire website making Moons the Community Point for the website. This widespread adoption would drive the price up exponentially. However, before that happens Moons have to make their way to the Ethereum main net which is expected to occur in the next half a year.