What is the blockchain?
Explained in the simplest way, the blockchain is a technology used to store information about, and process, transactions in a decentralized way. Because of this, individuals can transact with one another without the need for a central party, like Reddit. Today, we’re helping to process the initial Collectible Avatar sales, but due to how the blockchain works individuals can transact with one another off of Reddit without needing our participation.
How does the blockchain work?
The blockchain is a decentralized infrastructure layer that can store data and process transactions. What makes the blockchain unique is that it is not owned or controlled by any single entity. Instead, it is maintained by a network of participants who coordinate together.
Collectible Avatars are stored on the Polygon blockchain. It is a general-purpose, Ethereum-compatible blockchain with smart contracts and a vibrant NFT ecosystem. We chose Polygon for its low cost transactions and sustainability commitments.
Under the hood, individual's Collectible Avatars are stored in a digital wallet on Reddit called a Vault. Your Vault gives you a specific address that works across Ethereum-compatible blockchains. Only you can control your Vault and address (and everything it stores, including Collectible Avatars).
What are the benefits of the blockchain?
Think of the blockchain as a public database that anyone can see and use. This gives Collectible Avatars several key benefits:
- Ownership – Digital goods have historically been controlled by powerful centralized entities. But, digital goods on the blockchain are controlled by the person who holds them. Similarly, when you acquire a Collectible Avatar, you become the owner of it.
- Openness & Portability – The blockchain is always publicly available to anyone on the internet, and it can be integrated into any app or website. This means you can use your Collectible Avatars off of Reddit on apps that support them.
- Transparency – The blockchain maintains a public record of all balances and transactions. The data is available to anyone, not siloed within a single company's systems.
Note that Reddit's site-wide and community rules apply to your activity on Reddit. So while Reddit can't take your Collectible Avatars away, you may be unable to use them on our services if you break site rules or violate our Previews Terms.
What is an NFT?
NFT is an abbreviation for non-fungible token, which is a unique digital item (such as a Collectible Avatar or a ticket) that is stored on the blockchain in the form of a digital token. The non-fungible part means that it is unique and there is only one of them (e.g., even if the image is the same, your token is unique and limited).