How Reddit’s Community Approach Boosted Web3 Adoption

Web3 technologies, such as decentralized applications (dApps) and blockchain networks, have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact and exchange value online. This is a really big deal for anyone in the community space.

But many people are still hesitant to make the switch from traditional web2 technologies, which has resulted in widespread adoption of Web3 moving at a slower pace.

In this case study, we’ll take a look at how Reddit, one of the largest “Web2” online communities in the world, was able to successfully drive millions of users towards web3 adoption through a community-focused approach.

REDDIT got millions of people into Web3...

Reddit is a popular online forum community site. There are tons of forums on a variety of topics.

Every day, 50 million people are active on Reddit. It has existed for a very long time and there is a very loyal fan base of Redditors.

Their plan to roll out Web3 was genius and resulted in millions of people creating their own Web3 wallets for the very first time. But it didn’t come without its challenges, and other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were relatively unsuccessful with their Web3 initiatives in comparison.

So let’s take a look at the challenges they were faced, how they were so unique in their approach for adoption and the outcomes from their strategies.

The challenge

Reddit is known for its tight-knit communities and strong sense of identity, with users frequently rallying around common interests and causes. However, when it came to promoting web3 adoption, the platform faced a number of challenges.

Web3 technologies are still relatively new and unfamiliar to many users. This can make them seem intimidating or confusing, especially for those who are not technically inclined. Even creating a new wallet will be a struggle for the majority of people who are new to crypto and how it works.

There are still many misconceptions about Web3 technologies, with some users believing them to be unreliable or prone to fraud. This created an additional barrier for Reddit to convince people to jump into Web3.

The solution

To overcome these challenges, Reddit decided to leverage the power of its own community to drive Web3 adoption. 

Early Adopter

Reddit was one of the first social media platforms to embrace NFTs, releasing its own collection based on its beloved mascot, the Reddit alien, in June 2021. 

In early 2022, the platform started testing a feature that allowed users to set their own Ethereum NFTs (the most popular cryptocurrency to purchase NFTs at that time) as their profile picture on the Reddit platform, introducing the concept of using NFTs in this way to the broader Reddit community.

Encouraging broader adoption by reducing barriers

In July 2022, Reddit released a 40,000 limited edition NFT collection of collectible avatar NFTs using the Polygon blockchain. 

Importantly, Reddit users who wanted to purchase these avatars did not need to use cryptocurrency, as they could pay using fiat currency (USD etc) at a fixed price. 

In order to store their avatars, users had to create a wallet, but Reddit provided extra incentives for doing so, such as the license to use the art on and off the platform.

Getting the community involved from the start

Reddit was smart to involve its community every step of the way with their web3 endeavours collection.

They partnered with some of its most passionate visual artists (there are plenty of subreddits around art and artists) so they could tap into that existing part of their community to create around 90 designs, with the artists being paid for each avatar sold and compensated for future sales of their art. Reddit worked closely with the artists to ensure that they were empowered. The artist pool were “recruited” from communities within the Reddit ecosystem including groups focused on Comics, Procreate, and Adobe Illustrator.

Provided a LOT of useful education, but make it fun

To provide further value to its users, Reddit created an “invite only” subreddit for the collectible avatars, which provided early access to the collection and tons of education on how to collect and store the avatars, as well as getting to know the artists behind the scenes through Ask Me Anything events. 

In August, the platform decided to airdrop the avatars to some of its top community members, with only those with a minimum amount of Karma points (i.e. the most active members) receiving the airdrops.

Solid rewards system that added value (rewards-value-loop)

Reddit implemented Web3-based reward systems based on their own current rewards system encouraging their community to contribute valuable content or participate in events in return for Karma.

Those most active members were rewarded with airdrops (i.e. they successfully took their web2 system and added the web3 element to it) – but still with the constant focus that everyone being rewarded were members that were positively contributing and making a difference to their broader community.

It wasn’t rewarded to people that had the “largest twitter followers” or other vanity metrics that didn’t mean that much.

The results

Thanks to these community-driven initiatives, Reddit was able to successfully onboard over 2.8 million users into Web3.

By providing educational resources and fostering a sense of community around these technologies, the platform was able to overcome many of the barriers to adoption and pave the way for wider adoption of web3.

$10.36 million


Many articles have published their success, like this one from Fortune.

This case study shows that community-driven approaches can be highly effective in driving adoption of new technologies. By involving its users and fostering a sense of community around Web3, Reddit was able to overcome many of the challenges it faced in promoting these technologies and drive millions of users towards adoption.

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