What is Steem?
Steem is a cryptocurrency that powers the Steemit platform. Steemit is a social media network that is imprinted on the blockchain. Like smart contracts, Steemit too is a decentralized app since it operates behind the blockchain technology. Steemit lets it users post relevant comments and articles on their site for a reward (Steem cryptocurrency). Think of it like Reddit only that here you get paid for posting quality content. New candidates have to post articles daily for a week which are then upvoted by networks users for one to get some Steem. The more “Steems” you have, the more you earn the rights to vote or make some key decisions on the network. Without these coins, one considered less useful on the platform. Steem can also be swapped for other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, or Ripple. This is actually the best way to liquidate your Steem since it is hard to find an exchange that will convert them straight to fiat currency.
Steem Backed Dollars and Steem Power
SBD (Steem Backed Dollars) and Steem Power (SP) are two more currencies that run operations on Steemit. SP is Steem that is kept away for three months in a vesting fund. When you upvote content, SP units get depleted but regenerate after some time. Early votes usually attracted a huge reward so any SP holder should place a vote early to rake in a big reward. Steem Backed Dollars are meant to be held in order to earn interest. They also protect content curators from volatility. SBD can be converted to tradable Steem, and the process takes five days to mature.
Multiple social media platforms can be created on Steemit. At the moment Steem Q (something like Youtube), Steepshot (Instagram-like) and Zappl (Twitter-like) are some of the social media sites being built on the platform.
Where does the value come from?
At the moment, Steemit can appear as a scam right off the bat considering the network doesn’t earn revenue yet. Look at it this way; was Facebook valuable when it started out? No, it wasn’t. It was just a place to share with friends the occurrences in your lives until its population exploded and it was soon monetized through paid ads.
Steemit too is looking to get more followers on its platform and then perhaps turn itself into a money minting platform someday soon. While most social networks have ordinary individuals, Steemit will have mostly professional content writers and reviewers. It’ll basically be a blockchain-based talent pool.
Pros of Steem
Faster transactions – Steemit users do enjoy instant transactions with zero fees.
You get paid to do stuff – This blockchain-based network will reward you for creating and upvoting content.
Attribution and accreditation – Authors on Steemit get recognized for their work. Once the content is published, there is no editing. The record is permanent.
Free to join – There is absolutely nothing to lose on this platform since joining is free.
Extremely undervalued– Steemit is highly undervalued compared to other social media, yet it’s still in nascent stages. In 2017, Facebook was valued at $500 Billion. If Steem continues to maintain its place as a leading social media platform, we can see Steem rise over the next few years.
Cons of Steem
A rip-off of Synereo – This network looks exactly like Synereo-a blockchain-based content publishing platform where content followers get rewarded for getting the word out, and writers get paid to write. It would have been better if Steemit offered something extra like improving on Synereo’s features instead of replicating their style. Synereo also didn’t explode like Steem did due to better marketing by the Steem network.
Not much revenue – Steem doesn’t earn much revenue yet, so the current market cap of 1.5 Billion is pretty overvalued.
Where to buy Steem
Steem can be bought from major exchanges like Poloniex and Bittrex. However, the best decision would be to sign up with Steemit and earn them for free.
In a world where information is over the rooftops, it’s hard for good talent to be recognized and appreciated. With Steemit, no one needs to advertise their content, set up a mail list or depend on PPC ads to earn. You just post relevant, and quality content and both of you (writer and commenter) get rewarded with Steem which is tradable on major exchange networks. This is something that might attract many people to this platform and hence resulting in more growth. Also, since there is nothing to lose, there is definitely more to gain from Steemit.