Brave, BAT and Reddit tokens
Those that are both into the cryptosphere and are reddit users no doubt have heard of the new reddit tokens. They are ERC-20 tokens that are going to be specific to individual subs that will serve as not only a way of rewarding content but also interaction with the subs. As of this writing I am aware of three different tokens, moons, bricks and donuts. Tokens also appear to be able to be adopted by multiple subs, so it's not necessarily a strict 1 sub = 1 token relationship.
I think this is a really interesting development. These are currently running on a testnet for ETH (Rinkeby) and so the gas cost is effectively free. Reddit has a plan for how to manage/cover these costs once the tokens go to main net. It brings a huge group of people into the crypto world and is another large step towards widespread adoption. I am all for it, as are many others.
This has sparked a debate on whether Brave and BAT focused subs should simply adopt BAT as their tokens. I am going to make my case against that as the plan. Now I have to admit I straddled the fence on this for a little bit and heard both sides of the argument. But another discussion I had in the forum currently testing the moons token helped me internally to solidify my position.
Myself and a couple others were discussing how moons where being used versus how bricks were being used. It came down to user base. Those users who were testing out moons where in a crypto focused sub. It is my belief that those already in crypto view those tokens as assets and assign potential future value to them. This leads to a tendency to protect or hoard the tokens. While the sub using bricks was a gaming centric sub and I believe tended to treat the bricks more freely, more similar to game credits. They certainly had value, but that value existed within their intended ecosystem, in this case the reddit sub. For this reason it appeared early on that the sub was having more adoption and use of the tokens. Now, I do not intend to say that there were not crypto enthusiasts in that sub, I firmly believe that there are a fair number, but not everybody.
We have observed a similar hoarding type mentality in the BAT ecosystem. Although there are some that tip their BAT after earning, or at least a portion, many people are just holding on tightly and looking to collect and earn as much as possible. This is done presumably to have a future opportunity to cash out and use the proceeds for either purchases, or other trading, or....who knows. I believe that this tendency will not only extend to the potential future reddit token, but potentially even exacerbate it. People will start looking to reddit and the associated subs as primarily an earning potential. It will also encourage people to avoid tipping in the subs as they already seem to do in Brave.
This will also, in my opinion, somewhat undermine the system that is being built by Brave and for BAT. You are creating a second ecosystem that operates totally outside the constraints of the browser. Some might argue that you are expanding the reach, but I don't know that you are really accomplishing that. You can tip on reddit already, as long as you are in the browser. There seems to be complications in how these two systems would attempt to work together. Transferring BAT earned in Brave, through either Uphold or eventually the Brave wallet, and into the reddit wallet, it all seems like a bit too much friction.
Speaking of friction, BAT is currently on the ETH mainnet. Reddit tokens are currently on the Rinkeby testnet, so they aren't even the same network. Brave has discussed possibilities of going to a second layer solution, or a side chain, or some other means of technology to be able to depart from the gas constraints of the current ETH mainnet. I have heard some people discuss whether or not reddit tokens might be looking at it's own solution to solve a similar micro transaction and scale-ability problem. Then of course while all that is going on ETH is working on a multi-year plan to migrate to ETH 2.0 and sharding. There is a lot of technology stirring around there by three different technical groups.
So, I propose that a reddit token be made that will work for the Brave and BAT subs that exists in reddit's world. As we see that world develop and mature maybe there will be a way to connect or exchange one for the other. But I am a fine of letting the two systems run in parallel and see how it all plays out.
Thanks for reading.