In February of 2013, Reddit began accepting bitcoin for Reddit Gold. The company then went on to hire Ryan X. Charles as a Cryptocurrency Engineer, tasked with a secret project revealed today as Reddit Notes.
The company recently raised $50 million, which could be the result of the company's inability to remain profitable long term, as the company closed the 2013 fiscal year in the red, resulting in the "daily reddit gold goal" meter. Now being valued at $500 million, the company stated its desire to give back 10% of its equity to its user base via cryptocurrency.
Legally, we originally announced we're issuing a "cryptocurrency" that will be "backed" by reddit shares. Issuing such a thing would be illegal since we are not a public company.
Although Reddit Notes represent exactly that: shares of equity in reddit.
Reddit Notes seem to have no real use or value whatsoever outside of redeeming them, somehow, for Bitcoin, or as one reddit user put it:
"so if i understand correctly, you guys raised a ton of money and decided to give some of it back as reddit bitcoins? not really sure why you would do that"