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Reddit plans to give out $5 million to its community

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Styling itself as “the front page of the Internet,” Reddit is often the place where you’ll find tech news and online memes breaking first. It’s powered by an avid and active community of many millions of contributors, and the company wants to give something back: It’s announced a new plan to dish out 10 percent of Reddit’s equity to 950,000 users next year.

This is on the back of the $50m in funding that Reddit managed to raise back in October. At that time the investors announced that Redditors would be seeing 10 percent or $5 million of that money, but now we have more details about how it’s going to work. Reddit Notes are the ‘currency’ involved, and these Notes can be used to tip, donate or trade on the site.

If that sounds a little vague, it’s not just you — the Reddit executive team have yet to figure out the finer details of the scheme. “To celebrate all of you and your contributions, we plan to give away Reddit Notes in a random lottery,” says the company. “We’re still working out details on both the technological and legal aspects of the project, especially regarding how Reddit Notes will work within existing government regulations.”

We do know that around 950,000 Redditors will be picked from a community of six million or so, which means not everyone will get a piece of the Notes action. Although Reddit staff refer to a “random lottery” they do go on to say that eligibility will be determined by activities on the site up to October 2014, so presumably users who have contributed most to the Reddit community stand a better chance of getting a reward. The Reddit Notes will be sent out to accounts during fall 2015.

Reddit’s cryptocurrency engineer Ryan Charles has said it’s unlikely that the Notes will be able to be exchanged for actual shares in the company or Reddit Gold, but they will have some value — the finer points of the giveaway are still being worked out, so we’ll have to wait until next year to see what materializes. In the meantime, our Reddit 101 is a good place to start if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about.

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