Contrary to many opinions, Bitcoin is not the sole cryptocurrency in circulation (even though it is the most famous apart from Ethereum). It is easy to get confused in the wave of cryptocurrency, but various currencies are increasing in popularity in the scene, such as Steem (STEEM), which utilizes the power of social media networks.
What is Steem?
Steem is not simply a cryptocurrency token; it represents a harmony of ideas as well as different cryptocurrencies to make new platforms. In fact, it encourages user participation, since anyone can vote, share and create on the Streem networks and earn cryptocurrency tokens while doing so.
Why is Steem different?
The main network of Steem, referred to as Steemit, is a social media network that bases its operations on the Steem blockchain. Steemit works in similar ways to social media sites like Medium and Reddit, but the main difference is that it rewards its users with cryptocurrency.
In fact, here is a simple breakdown to how it works.
The more value a certain content piece gives to more numbers of people, the more the originators and curators of that content will earn.
The users on the site will cast votes and therefore create hierarchies of content. The more upvotes your post gets, the more popular it is and the more you earn. Just for flexibility and fairness, downvotes can be on the site, so users have more choice when rating content.
The platform is meritocratic. This means that the more currency you earn, the greater the say you have on the site, so your votes have greater influence.
The differences here apply to Bitcoin because they both use blockchain technology, though in different ways. Bitcoin operates as a peer-to-peer currency, while Steemit differs from it (and other currencies) by acting as a social media platform. The result is a hybrid platform, which pays its users in STEEM tokens for their contributions.
Alternative coins to use
Steem has the potential for increasing popularity with time. However, other coins provide viable alternatives, and we have put a list of some of them.
Lisk – founded in 2016, it aims to simplify development of blockchain technology, therefore allowing for faster transactions.
Bitcoin/XBT – the most famous cryptocurrency, from 2009. It is similar to Steem because of blockchain application system.
Ripple/XRP – based on open-source internet protocol currency, and formed in 2012.
Cardano – thought to be an open-source digital currency, and constantly evolves itself from research and scientific philosophies.
Ethereum/ETH – this is a 2015 decentralized software platform allowing smart contracts to operate without interference from third parties.
NEM – this is another blockchain currency from 2015, and utilizes Java script in its coding.
How Steem works
Apart from acting as a social media platform and a currency platform simultaneously, the STEEM site is interesting because it has three currencies. These are Steem Power (SP), STEEM, and Steem Dollars.
Steem Power (SP) – this acts as a sort of investment, and is a conversion from STEEM tokens. One unit of SP is one vote, so the users with the highest SP amounts wield the greatest influence in deciding the content that ranks highly or lower. The additional benefit is that 90% of STEEM token creation goes to the highest SP holder, and this generates an incentive by users to invest their earnings back into the network.
STEEM – this is the currency of the network. You can exchange it for Bitcoin or other currencies through exchange providers. However, voting power is dependent on you turning your STEEM tokens into SP, also called ‘powering up’. You can also change them into Steem dollars.
Steem dollars – have an equivalent rate with the USD and they represent short-term debts. They act as fosters of growth, since holding them is like giving the community the value of one USD.
Steem prices and trading history
Since the platform is recent, it does not have an extensive trade history – but so far, the indications have been positive.
Acquiring STEEM currency
You can acquire STEEM in two ways – earning it (through the platform) and buying it (through cryptocurrency exchanges). The fastest way to get the currency is buying it, and the exchanges that offer it include Changelly, Bittrex, and Poloniex.
Is it worth investing in?
Many opportunities for rewards will await you when you decide to participate. New participants should have real expectations, however – you cannot shoot up the ranks when you first post on the site (similar to the way social media works).
Since the site encourages strong participation and payments, users will have strong reasons to deliver content. Getting more SP is another way of increasing your influence on the network, resulting in more chances to increase your rewards on the site.
The only thing to be cautious on is the inflatory nature of the currency because its supply increases by 100% every year.
Steem gives its users an interesting take, particularly on using social media to earn income. If you do not like the risks however, do not rush to invest in the currency, as it requires a high level of dedication to succeed.