Despite announcing its new bitcoin rival less than six months ago, Reddit has quietly dropped plans for its so-called “Redditcoin” cryptocurrency–after firing lead engineer Ryan X. Charles.
The original concept for Redditcoin was that it would embrace the Reddit community at large—with 10% of shares distributed to users of the site in recognition of their part in Reddit’s success.
“I was won-over by the then-CEO Yishan [Wong], who had an awesome vision for the future of reddit, including cryptocurrency as the financial system of the internet city that is reddit,” Charles wrote online. “However, Yishan suddenly and unexpectedly resigned his position a month or two later, probably due to exhaustion.”
Yishan Wong’s departure late last year apparently scuppered the kind of forward drive needed to bring the project to fruition.
“I figured the worst thing that could happen at Reddit was that we could launch something and it would fail,” Charles notes. “What actually happened was that we launched nothing and I got fired. In only four months. This was worse than the worst outcome I thought was possible.”
While cryptocurrency may still be in Reddit’s long-term vision, for now it seems that those waiting for Redditcoin could be hanging on for a long, long time.
It’s not all bad news for cryptocurrency fans, however. While digital currencies have long been volatile commodities, last week the startup Coinbase announced the first-ever licensed U.S. bitcoin exchange—complete with insurance to protect traders. It may be small recompense for people excited about the potential of Redditcoin, but it still demonstrates how cryptocurrencies are slowly entering the mainstream–whether critics like them or not.
[via The Guardian]