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Last year, Reddit brought out its nascent cryptocurrency as an experiment within the r/Cryptocurrency subreddit. The coins, called Moons (MOON), exist on the testnet, which means—in theory—they have no value.
But the crypto community quickly got creative and made a way for anyone to buy and sell them in a decentralized fashion. And now, since the price of Moons has grown significantly, 10 Moons gets you around $1.15. Which, to my surprise, meant I could turn the 17,500 Moons I had accumulated by being an active Redditor into $2,000.
Only it wasn’t easy.
In July 2020, Reddit first introduced the Moon tokens to the cryptocurrency subreddit. They were designed to reward those who contributed to the community and an experiment with decentralized technology. Those with Moons can vote on what they are distributed for (upvoting, commenting etc) and they are handed out every month on a fixed schedule. They do have some utility value on Reddit and can be exchanged for coins, that let you buy badges, or used to pay for a 'special membership' that lets you do things like adding GIFs in comments.
When Moons first appeared, Decrypt reported on how to turn Moons into crypto. At that time, it was a three-step process using three tools. It’s still the same process but unfortunately some of those tools no longer work so some of it has to be done manually.
The process is also expensive. Due to rising Ethereum fees, these days you can expect to pay $40 or so to convert your Moons to DAI—plus $15 if you want to then move the DAI around, plus any fees involved with moving Ethereum if you don’t already have it in your wallet. But if you have a lot of Moons, it could be worth it.
One caveat: This whole process is experimental and risky. It’s easy to lose your money doing this. So I do not recommend it to the risk averse. Reddit also advises against it.
A brief overview
The main way to turn MOON into DAI is by swapping the MOON onto the xDai blockchain—a sidechain running next to Ethereum that’s faster and cheaper. Then, on the xDai chain, the xMOON tokens are swapped for xDAI tokens (also on the xDai chain). Lastly these xDAI tokens are turned into normal DAI on the Ethereum blockchain (the expensive bit).
What ingredients did I need? Well I needed enough mainnet ETH to pay for the big transaction fees at the end, a tiny amount of xDAI to pay for some fees and some testnet ETH to ‘pay’ for further fees. I’ll explain how I got each of these further down.
In order to do this, I had to use MetaMask for storing and interacting with the tokens at each stage. I also used MyEtherWallet to perform the contract calls for turning MOONs into xMOONs.
Step 1: Turning MOONS into XMOONS.
So the first thing I did was send my Reddit moons from my wallet within the app to my MetaMask wallet (alternatively you can import your Reddit account into MetaMask but then you will need to fund that wallet with ETH).
This is fairly straightforward. In the app, I made a transaction and sent the MOONs to my Ethereum wallet (copied and pasted from MetaMask). The MOONs transferred quickly since they are running on the Ethereum testnet.
On MetaMask, however, the MOONs didn’t immediately appear. I had to add them to MetaMask. First I selected the Rinkeby testnet, then I clicked “add tokens” and added the contract “0xDF82c9014F127243CE1305DFE54151647d74B27A.” (If this doesn’t show in full, see instructions here—but note that the rest of the guide is outdated). A weird quirk of MetaMask means I had to click “next,” then “back” then add the number of decimal places, which is 18.
The MOONs appeared in my account. Next, I needed to turn them into xMOONs on the xDai blockchain. That’s where the websites no longer work that used to do the job for you. So instead, I had to manually call the contracts.
To do that, I needed some testnet ETH. I used this facuet, which required me to make a Facebook post (although I recommend Twitter because it’s easier to get the link of a post). Shortly thereafter, 3 shiny, new testnet ETH arrived in my wallet.
I then used this guide to get my tokens onto the xDai blockchain. It took me through the specific steps I needed to use MyEtherWallet to turn MOONs into xMOONs. Though it looks complicated, it’s a fairly straightforward process. Just follow the recipe.
Be sure you’ve selected the Rinkeby testnet because that’s where this is all taking place. Another thing to bear in mind is that you need to add 18 decimal places when adding values in Wei. So to move 20 Moons, you would need to write 20000000000000000000 in the Value and Amount fields. Math is fun!
Now I had some xMOONs. To see them in MetaMask, I needed to add the xDai blockchain to MetaMask and add the XMOON tokens to it, too. There’s a simple guide for adding the xDai blockchain here; adding xMOON tokens was the same procedure as before (details can be found here).
Exchanging XMOON tokens for XDAI
Now we come to the easy part: we do a simple trade on the xDai blockchain from one token to another. The only tricky bit is that we need some xDAI to make the trade.
I first bought some DAI but then realized it was expensive to turn it into xDAI. Instead, I bummed some DAI by panhandling on Twitter. A kind stranger helped me out. He then told me that the best way to get xDAI was to either enter the 1Hive community and speak to people there, or use this faucet—$0.01 is fine, you don’t need much.
DAI in hand, I used the HoneySwap exchange to swap the tokens. This is a decentralized exchange that was cloned from Uniswap V1. Make sure you have the xDai blockchain selected in MetaMask and you’re good to go.
I entered how many tokens I needed to swap and selected xDAI as the token to receive. There was a small fee in xMOONs (around 50 tokens, worth $5, if I recall). When I tried doing all the tokens at once, the transaction failed so I swapped them in a few batches.
Soon, I had 2,100 xDAI in my MetaMask wallet.
Swapping XDAI for DAI
The third step was to turn the xDAI tokens on the xDai blockchain into DAI tokens on the Ethereum mainnet. This is not a necessary step (there are other ways to trade xDAI tokens for mainnet tokens) but it’s easier to trade DAI on many big exchanges.
I used the xDai bridge (which recommends using Chrome and enabling pop ups) for this job, which was pretty straightforward: I put in the amount of xDAI I wanted to swap on the xDai chain for mainnet DAI. Then I clicked “Request.”
A MetaMask pop up asked if I wanted to pay $40 in transaction fees. Begrudgingly, I accepted, and set the transaction in motion. This is a two-step process, so after a moment MetaMask popped up again and I had to confirm the second part.
Shortly after the DAI arrived in my wallet. I had converted Reddit MOONS for DAI.
From here, it was possible to trade the tokens for other coins (like ETH) within MetaMask (which is fairly expensive) or send the DAI tokens to a centralized exchange to swap for other coins. Since sending DAI requires a smart-contract transaction, it’s a bit more expensive than sending ETH (around $15-20 at the moment) but you can set the fees lower if you’re happy to wait longer.
Voila! Now I had $2,000 of DAI in my MetaMask wallet. Who said Reddit was a waste of time?