Steemit is an online social media platform and social network, founded in January 2016 by Dan Larimer and Ned Scott, for the publication of quality articles, opinion pieces and how-to posts (5). Content creators develop articles on thousands of topics, which are then curated and voted on by the Steemit community, generating rewards for the authors. They rate the content by “upvoting” (the equivalent of a “Like”) good content and “downvoting” bad content (1). This creates a self-curating environment that produces highly trusted information and content. The respected reputation of the site causes excellent articles to become quickly recognized, which moves the content up the search engine ranks. This, in turn, attracts more users to the platform and creates a continuous cycle that seeks to make the Steemit website a trusted global source for high quality content.
- Large and vital community
- Supportive and friendly community
- Strong potential
- Easy to use
- Income for content creators
- Incentives/rewards for quality content
- Post any legal content
- Open source code
- Some level of centralization (voting power)
- Needs international exposure
- Can be confusing for new members
- UI/UX needs refining
- Unproven over the long-term
Because the Steemit founders shared a vision of utilizing the economies of the blockchain for purposes far beyond simply tracking Bitcoin transactions, Dan Larimer and Ned Scott created the Steem network. It aims to disrupt the existing social media network structure by providing users with a trusted source of quality information and online content, while rewarding the content providers monetarily (not just with “Likes”). Content creators will be attracted to the site to establish a strong reputation, influence the quality of the content, and share in the profits.
Dan (founder of EOS and the decentralized Bitcoin exchange, Bitshares), together with Ned, founded Steemit as a privately held company in January 2016 and launched it in early July of that year (5). Steemit is designed to become not only a leader in social media, but eventually a powerful open source publishing platform for entrepreneurs everywhere (2).
There are three token components that together power the Steemit platform and provide rewards and ownership incentives: Steem (STEEM) the base currency, Steem Dollars (SBD) the platform token, and Steem Power (SP) an individual ownership share in the Steem network (2).
Steem is the inflationary base currency unit and token of the Steem network from which all other tokens derive their value (2). It is based on the Smart Media Tokens (SMT) protocol (5). Steem can be bought and sold on exchanges and used as a form of payment on the platform (2). STEEM currently inflates at a rate of 9% per year, reducing by 0.5% per year until the rate reaches 95% (6). The Steem blockchain is creating new currency, with every block every 3 seconds, and distributing it with 10% to Witnesses (miners and feed producers), 75% to authors and curators, and 15% to Steem Power holders (2, 4). Steem holders have one vote for each STEEM held (2).
Steem Dollars (SBD)
Steem Dollars, or Steem Blockchain Dollars, are platform tokens that are pegged to the U.S. Dollar, so their value remains relatively stable. They provide an ownership interest, which means that anyone holding Steem Dollars receives the equivalent of 10% interest on their holdings, coming from newly created Steem (2).
Steem Power (SP)
Purchasers of Steem Power also have an ownership stake in the Steemit network. Because Steem Power holders receive the biggest returns in the form of 15% of all the new Steem created, they also hold the most weight in their voting on the network. Ownership of Steem Power is conditional, however. It cannot be sold for two years, and then only in equal payments over 13 weeks (6). This creates stability and promotes decisions that are in the network’s best long-term interest.
Steemit.com now has 1 million unique users daily and about 10 million unique users monthly and is continuing to grow (6, 8). The currencies mentioned above are used to incentivize all participants in the network and to encourage increasingly higher quality contributed content. Rewards for the creators and authors of the high-quality content are 50% in the form of Steem Dollars and 50% in the form of Steem Power (2).
Steem’s blockchain is based on a lesser known algorithm called DelegatedProof of Stake (DPoS), but only 10% of Steem block rewards are awarded to miners. The remaining 90% are distributed among two groups as described above: content creators, which include original authors, along with thread commentators receive 75% of all mined coins, while holders of Steem Power receive the other 15% (6).
STEEM currently trades on Binance, Bittrex, Huobi, Poloniex, Upbit, HitBTC, Liqui, and others. STEEM is stored on the Steem integrated wallet.
Key Terms in the Whitepaper include:
- New blockchain-based social media
- Economic incentives
- Contribution recognition
- Evaluating and rewarding content
- Sustainable ownership
- Stability and security
- Smart Media Tokens (SMT) (7)
Some key terms from the 2017 roadmap include:
- Scalable Infrastructure
- Developer friendliness
- Comment moderation
- Mobile applications
- Rebranding of Steemit.com
- Platform dashboard
- Free software
The best summary of the Steem platform is stated in the Steem roadmap (3):
“Our long-term goal remains the same: to provide the best platform for censorship-resistant publishing and store of value to the widest user base possible, in an effort to increase human freedom and accelerate the spread of access to basic rights for all people on Earth. In doing so, by growing the Steem Blockchain, we will have created a permissionless, censorship-resistant data layer for the entire Internet.”
STEEM on social media and communication:
Additional STEEM Sources:
If you would like to talk about STEEM, or any other cryptocurrencies, join us on our discord! https://discord.gg/Hr3EUH9
Contributed by Richard Houser.