Reddit, a popular discussion and link-sharing website, has discontinued the Bitcoin payment option and banned a forum dedicated to anonymous cryptocurrency trading, according to a report in Bitcoin.com.
This is significant because there is a large cryptocurrency community on the messaging platform, and conversations held there can have a real effect on market movements.
Reddit was founded in 2005, and as of June 2015 had 36 million accounts. Membership is free but users can support the platform by purchasing Reddit Gold, a membership programme which gives the users additional features on the website such as a breakdown of their upvotes (called ‘karma’), the ability to load more comments at once, and access to a secret subreddit. Reddit Gold can also be given to other users as a gift. It costs 4 USD a month, or 30 USD a year.
Reddit began accepting Bitcoin in February 2013 via a partnership with Coinbase. At the time, staff engineer Brian Simpson said: “We’ve gotten some requests for additional payment methods so hopefully this brings us closer to reaching everyone who wants to buy gold.”
The Bitcoin option no longer appears on the payment box. Reddit user emoney04 explained: “The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option. We’re going to take a look at demand and watch the progression of Coinbase Commerce before making a decision on whether to re-enable.”
He later added that the Bitcoin option might not necessarily be brought back.
Another change made by the website is the closing of a subreddit called r/Darknetmarkets, which hosted discussions about places where it is possible to trade anonymously. Subreddits are how discussions are organised on the platform.
The forum was flagged as violating Reddit’s policy against promoting transactions involving prohibited goods or services. These include, but are not limited to, firearms/explosives, drugs, sexual services, stolen goods, and falsified official documents or currency.