Reddit Reveals Plans To Give $5 Million To Its Users, But There’s A Catch

Reddit’s celebrating the giving season with a nifty gift for its users: $5 million. Well, sort of.

The company announced yesterday that it plans to distribute $5 million worth of “Reddit Notes” to 950,000 lucky users who are active and in good standing. While at first glance it sounds like a hefty number and a nice gesture, it’s unclear just what exactly is a “Reddit Note” and how can it be used.

The Verge writes that it’s “sort of a digital currency that represents a piece of equity in the privately-held firm.” If that sounds a bit vague, don’t look to Reddit for clarification as it’s just as hazy on the details.

Reddit is incredibly vague about the program, though it notes that users will be able to “save it or use it to tip, donate, or trade.” But depending on how you define the word, Notes won’t actually have any value. Company executives have made clear that Notes are most definitely not a currency, even though it’ll be based on a Bitcoin-like blockchain for transactions. It won’t be redeemable for cash, and it won’t count as shares of Reddit, even though Notes will be “backed” by equity. Under the current plans, you won’t even be able to buy Reddit Gold with Notes, according to the company’s cryptocurrency engineer, Ryan Charles.

Despite all the ambiguity and question marks here, Charles later goes on to promise that “we are working on a legal strategy and I’m sure the cryptocurrency will be exchangeable for something of value.” I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the word “value” actually means in this context.

(Via The Verge)