With 3.8 billion pageviews in October alone, Reddit is still far from profitable, so it’s betting on a subscription model to keep the site free of traditional advertising. Last week, the site began ramping up its efforts to convince users to invest in Reddit Gold. For $3.99/month or $29.99/year, users can buy a Reddit Gold account that affords them extra features like the ability to turn off ads and view more comments and subreddits per page.
In order to entice as many users as possible to join the gold rush, Reddit is considering accepting alternative methods of payment, including Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency popular amongst the web’s more hardcore users. Bitcoin enthusiasts may have a kindred spirit in Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, who has long held an affinity for the digital currency. In a thread in the Bitcoin subreddit, Mr. Wong had this to say:
Yeah, I’ve been a longtime subscriber to /r/bitcoin and had done a lot of investigation into BTC quite a bit about a year ago before I took the reddit job (on my own, as a subject of interest).
So – no promises, but we’re looking into it.
If Reddit does choose to accept Bitcoin, it could help to greatly improve the currency’s reputation, as it has occasionally been pigeonholed as simply a way to purchase illegal goods on the web’s black market. Incorporating Bitcoin into the Reddit Gold family could go a long way in helping to legitimize it. As one Quora user put it, “Wow. This would be a game changer for Bitcoin awareness.”
For Reddit, the move would also make sense and help support the site’s bottom line, as Mr. Wong noted recently that Reddit is not profitable. In the wake of the Violentacrez scandal, it could also encourage Redditors who bank on their own anonymity to buy subscriptions while still remaining anonymous.
As for the Bitcoin subreddit, users are already devising schemes to convince Mr. Wong to make good on his word. “People with bitcoin sleeping in their wallet: pledge to buy reddit gold account with bitcoin today,” wrote one user. “This is the best thing you can do to personnally [sic] help bitcoin become more mainstream. Reddit is a faily [sic] large website and that would net us a lot of publicity.”