Reddit recently launched its native NFT platform — termed "Reddit Collectible Avatars." What exactly are they — and why has it amassed over $11M in trading volume?
A look at the sales volume (USD) of NFTs and one can see that it has been on a steady decline, falling over 80% since the start of the year. Unique buyers have also taken a hit — the only comfort being that the numbers have somewhat stabilized around the 30,000 - 50,000 range.
However, despite this lacklusterness, Reddit's NFT project — known as ‘Reddit Collectible Avatar’ — has found success amidst a bear market. So that begets the question: What is Reddit's NFT project, how does it work, and why has it attracted so much buzz?
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What Are Reddit Collectible Avatars?
Few networking platforms are as big as Reddit. Launched in 2005, the social network has established itself as a metaverse of a sort — before the term got hyped as it is today — as it consists of several sub-forums, also called subreddits, dedicated to thousands of niche communities.
CryptoSnoos (Source: Reddit)
Looking back now, it would seem that the 2021 launch was an attempt to test the water before going all out on NFTs. It is also safe to say that it gave Reddit enough data to determine how best to approach the volatile NFT space. A year after the launch of Cryptosnoos, Reddit has officially unveiled its more robust NFT project that will, in time, cements its place at the top of the NFT conversation.
How Do Reddit Collectible Avatars Work?
While Reddit has avoided the NFT label, the fact remains that its digital collectibles are indeed NFTs. In other words, they possess the attributes of an NFT in that they exist on the blockchain, are scarce and transferable. In addition, each Collectible Avatar comes with different traits and rarity levels. The combination of these two characteristics (rarity and traits) determines the value that each Collectible Avatar commands on marketplaces.
While this is a given, Reddit has implemented additional features that seem to have elevated the appeal of its NFTs. The first is that they are purchasable at a fixed price during launch. In other words, the NFTs are not auctioned off. Also, you do not need a ton of experience with cryptocurrency or blockchain technology to access, purchase or use these NFTs. You do not even have to leave the Reddit platform or own cryptocurrency to buy — Avatars can be purchased in local fiat currencies — or enjoy the benefits of owning an Avatar.
So where can you buy these NFTs?
How to Buy Reddit Collectible Avatars
First, you need to locate the Collectible Avatar Shop on Reddit by clicking on your profile dropdown menu on the top right.
A pop-up window will appear, click "Shop" to explore and buy these NFTs with credit or debit cards and other conventional payment methods.
For this article, MetaMask was used, more specifically the MetaMask and Reddit mobile app was used to purchase and transfer the Collectible Avatar.
Once purchased, click into the NFT you own on OpenSea, and you will see a link in the "Description" tab to connect it to your Reddit account.
Voila! Once you have your NFT transferred to your Vault on Reddit, you can use it as your profile picture. Interestingly, your avatar displays glowing effects whenever you post comments. According to Reddit, avatar owners get to enjoy other community perks. The social network says that users who own Collectible Avatars enjoy "special profile treatment and special comment treatment on posts."
It is also worth mentioning that Reddit allows users to customize their avatars by mixing and matching different gears available on the avatar builder page.
So that begs the question: Why has Reddit opted for Polygon?
Why Did Reddit Opt For Polygon?
There are two main factors Reddit considered before choosing Polygon.
Transaction Cost and Scalability
There are several factors why NFTs are finding it hard to penetrate the mainstream market. One of which centers around the scalability concerns associated with the Ethereum network, which houses the largest NFT market. While Ethereum offers the level of security and decentralization required by NFT enthusiasts, it is currently lacking in terms of speed.
At the time of writing, Ethereum base layer blockchain's maximum capacity is 15 transactions per second. As such, it comes as no surprise that Ethereum has historically been plagued with network congestion, which often causes transaction fees to skyrocket.
More importantly, Polygon can process up to 65,000 transactions per second, which is a massive improvement on the 15 TPS offered by Ethereum's base layer.
Therefore, it made sense for Reddit to opt for a blockchain infrastructure that can handle high transaction volumes without experiencing a significant spike in fees.
Another important factor stems from the need to ensure that blockchain adoption does not unnecessarily increase our carbon footprint.
Top Reddit NFT collections
Recall that Reddit Collectible Avatars are designed by independent artists. These artists create limited editions, unique collections of Collectible Avatars that possess different themes and artistic styles.
Spooky Season: poieeeyee x Reddit Collectible Avatars
The Senses x Reddit Collectible Avatars
Foustlings x Reddit Collectible Avatars
Are Reddit Collectible Avatars Worth Keeping An Eye On?
Although it is somewhat tricky to determine the long-term viability of NFTs, there are unique factors that suggest that Reddit NFTs are worth keeping an eye on.
One may argue that the vastness of the Reddit platform will, in the long run, rub off on the value of Reddit's NFTs. For what it is worth, a platform with over 430 million active monthly users can generate the hype required to induce mainstream adoption. Even if just a quarter of the monthly users were to buy and use these avatars, the Reddit collectibles avatar would firmly cement its place as one of the most successful NFT projects ever.
However, for this to happen, the avatars must be worth owning. In other words, the perks associated with owning these avatars in and outside the Reddit ecosystem has to appeal to mainstream users. At this junction, you may be wondering: are there use cases, potential benefits, or special scenarios that could induce the exponential growth of the value of Reddit NFTs?
Below are some of the factors that make Reddit's Collectible Avatars NFTs:
An Endless Array of Rarity
One of the perks of owning a Reddit NFT is that it provides users with the freedom to customize their avatars as they deem fit. You may decide to merge traits between two or more NFTs that you own. The ability to mix, match, and trade gears or traits opens up more possibilities and establishes new frontiers for rarity trading.
A Massive Target Market
As stated earlier, Reddit, in terms of sheer size, is a colossal platform. In other words, the Reddit NFT project already has what competitors are seeking to acquire — a large audience. It is even more impressive if we consider that Reddit does not have to worry too much about losing its market share to other NFTs. All Reddit needs to do is to keep people interested in using its social network and the utility of its avatars.
Conventional Marketing Strategy
Instead, Reddit has opted to name its offerings digital collectible avatars, thereby making potential buyers feel comfortable with the idea of owning one. In addition to this, the possibility of purchasing these NFTs with local currencies makes them more accessible to the everyday user.
Possibility of Becoming Vintage NFTs
As more Reddit avatars are released over the years, the genesis collection may become increasingly rare and expensive as long as the Reddit platform continues to exist. This is similar to how old gun skins are some of the most coveted in-game assets of CS:GO.
Depending on how successful Reddit Collectible Avatars become, there is an opportunity here that other enterprises can take advantage of. Instead of building their NFT solutions from scratch, they can partner with Reddit and capitalize on its existing market to test the viability of their products. For instance, a fashion brand can decide to launch NFT-based gear on Reddit to test its appeal to a mainstream audience.
Additional Blockchain Implementations
Things might get even more interesting if Reddit integrates additional blockchain implementations like on-chain governance and a fully-integrated marketplace. By doing so, users will have more reasons to own these avatars.