Popular online discussion community Reddit is planning to build its own platform for users to buy and sell NFTs, according to a job listing posted by the company.
Reddit is looking to hire a “Senior Backend Engineer, NFT Platform,” and the job listing isn’t ambiguous about the firm’s plans. According to the posting, the ideal candidate will “design, build and ship backend services for millions of users to create, buy, sell and use NFT-backed digital goods.”
It's unclear when Reddit first listed the ad, though a capture of its job board from the Internet Archive suggests it was added earlier this month. Representatives for Reddit did not immediately respond to Decrypt's request for comment. The Street was first to report the news earlier today.
An NFT is essentially a token that functions as a receipt for a blockchain-verified digital item, such as a work of art, a music file, or video game items. Reddit's job ad highlights the explosive growth of the NFT market, which saw $2.5 billion worth of trading volume in the first half of 2021 before exploding to $10.67 billion worth in Q3 alone. It notes the potential for NFTs for artwork and in the future online metaverse. But it also describes how NFTs can be a key piece in unifying and rewarding communities.
“If there is one thing we’ve noticed with NFTs, they too have an incredible power to create a sense of participation and belonging,” it reads. “With every new NFT project, a vibrant community of owners pops up with it. Fans of today’s biggest creators and brands are now flocking to buy digital goods directly from them—to support them, to gain exclusive access, and to feel a greater sense of connection with them.”
Reddit writes that its NFT team is “new and exciting” and “rapidly growing,” per the listing. The firm is looking for someone who can “move fast while balancing quality,” suggesting plans to rapidly jump into the fast-moving space as heavyweights like FTX and Coinbase launch their own NFT marketplaces.
The firm previously launched its own Reddit-branded NFT collectibles in June, offering a total of four digital avatars inspired by the site’s “Snoo” alien mascot. Those Ethereum NFTs were sold via the OpenSea marketplace, and have generated about $1.85 million worth of trading volume to date.
NFTs aren’t Reddit’s first step into the wider crypto industry. The firm currently has a crypto token rewards program called Community Points, which has been deployed in just two of its more than 100,000 subreddits. The Ethereum-based tokens can be redeemed for additional perks and features within the communities, or potentially exchanged for real money.Coinbase Sees 1.4 Million Signups for New NFT Platform
Reddit, which was valued at $10 billion as of August, is working to scale that crypto token Community Rewards program to a much larger portion of its community, which counted some 52 million daily active users as of December 2020.
The firm held a “Scaling Bake-Off” competition, in which developers could propose potential solutions, and also partnered with The Ethereum Foundation on open-source scaling solutions. Ultimately, Reddit picked Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Arbitrum in July, but no timeline has been announced for expanding its crypto tokens to other communities.