The EthTrader Donut Experiment: Reddits Community Governance on Ethereum

Theres a fascinating experiment going on Reddit thats been kept largely out of the limelight. The experiment will stay relatively in the dark for quite some time until its fully implemented, but the result — if it works — will be of unprecedented importance both for blockchain communities and for all of the communities dwelling online today, and hence for the Internet as a whole. The EthTrader community on Reddit is carrying the torch.

Community Points

There are over one million communities living on Reddit today. You get a Reddit-wide score called Karma for your upvoted contributions to any of the communities. The Karma is, whats been called by Reddit users for ages and ages, Imaginary Internet Points. They dont mean much other than the general public image of your account.

Back in October 2018, however, Reddit started the Community Points experiment where the Karma points you get within a specific community — subreddit — would be your influence score in this particular community. The points can be used in community governance through a weighted poll system. The core idea is that the users that contribute the most should have a bigger say in how the community operates, bringing it one tiny step to being an autonomous community.

The experimental model is this: subreddit moderators enable the Community Points feature on their subreddit; the points are distributed to any account that contributed to the subreddit per their contribution Karma; any account with the community points can take part in the governance polls in the subreddit, and the governance polls results are weighted per points instead of the usual one user one vote model; its then up to the subreddit moderators to carry out and implement the weighted governance decision.

EthTrader Donuts

The EthTrader subreddit — tallying at over 200 thousand members — is one of the first communities to enable the Community Points system and pushing the experiment to the maximum possible decentralization, or DAOfying it.

One of the very first polls was to rename the community points into something less soulless; the word Donut won the poll, and the moderators were quick to implement the decision. Governance in action right from the start.

The initial print of Donuts was 100 million, of which 70% were distributed to everyone who contributed to the community ever per their Karma within the community, 15% went to the community fund, and another 15% to the moderators.

Two million Donuts are printed weekly and distributed to every EthTrader contributor based on their subreddit Karma.

Now, while this was an essential first milestone at DAOfying the community, the real experiment at DAOfication started after that.


What is DAOfication? Its a newly coined word — which shows how early all of this is — made after the DAO abbreviation, which in turn stands for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. The word Organization in this context means any group of people, a community, that collaborate for the common goal. Autonomous means that the organization should be able to go on its own once formed, independent of artificial top-down instituted provisions. And Decentralized makes the community able to function without a central authority that has the keys to the community and can force any decision on it.

DAOs have been around for quite some time, but watching the attempts to ...

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Tags: Community governance, Community, Ethereum, Governance, It, Reddit, Experiment, Ethereum, Internet, Community