What is Steem?
Steem is a blockchain-based content incentivizing system. It serves as the base-layer blockchain for the social-media and blogging platform Steemit. The underlying thought of Steem is that every contribution to social networks can be measured in value. This value is derived from the number of up- and downvotes from the community.
It is based on Bitshares and Bitshares on Graphene.
The idea is a decentralized and censorship-resistant media network where everyone can upload content in a censorship-resistant environment, and every contributor gets rewarded in proportion to the value of his content. In contrast to the vast majority of public blockchains, it uses a unique username instead of a cryptographic hash as addresses.
The consensus mechanism of the Steem blockchain is delegated Proof-of-Stake, the block time is three seconds and transaction fees are not needed. On the website Steemit.com, you can view every media content that was uploaded into the Steem blockchain.
The most important native assets on the Steem blockchain are STEEM and Steem Power (SP). Every three seconds, when a new block is attached to the blockchain, 1.668 it is generated (at the time of writing). The issuance is decreasing about 0.5% a year until 0.95% inflation is achieved.
These newly generated tokens are then distributed to the community:
- 75% goes to the reward pool; these tokens get distributed to people who are writing posts or are curating content
- 15% goes to vested token holders (people who are holding Steem Power)
- 10% goes to witnesses (Proof-of-Stake validators)
While it is the main currency of the network, there are also other tokens involved.
Steem Power (SP) is a reference how much influence you have in the ecosystem. The more SP you have they more an upvote from you is worth. Steem Power has the same value as STEEM, although it is much less liquid. You can only exchange it to STEEM with 13 payments over 13 weeks.
Steem Dollar (SBD) aims to hold always the equivalent value of one USD. Can be exchanged to STEEM, designed as a stablecoin.
The reward for content creation is split, 75% goes to the creator, and 25% goes to the people who voted on it. Half of the reward is paid out in Steem Power and the other half in STEEM or Steem Dollars.
Steem also allows anyone to create their own token on its platform, called Smart Media Tokens (SMT).
Steem and Steemit are owned by the privately held company Steemit Inc., which is based in New York City. The founders of the company are Ned Scott and Dan Larimer (founder of BitShares and EOS). The Steemit network was launched in March 2016 and has 950,000 users at the time of writing.
Can it be mined?
The generation of STEEM and the actual minting of the blocks is done by the witnesses via Proof-of-Stake. But it uses another consensus mechanism it has called it “Proof-of-Brain.” It has the view that “everyone’s meaningful contribution to the community should be recognized for the value it adds.” Proof-of-Brain is a type of token rewards algorithm that encourages people to create and curate content. It enables tokens to be distributed to likes or upvotes to align incentives for both, token creators and the community.
Long story short, you can earn STEEM tokens by either writing articles on Steemit.com or vote on the quality of already existing articles.
What differs it from other Cryptocurrencies?
A very good approach for content monetarization and a blockchain that is actually used for other than pure value transfer.
How much is it worth today?
What is the total and the circulating supply?
The total supply of STEEM is 272,037,253 and the circulating supply at the time of writing is 255,063,159 STEEM. The maximum supply is theoretically uncapped.
Where can you buy Steem?
You can buy it on several cryptocurrency exchanges, most notably Binance, Huobi, and Upbit.
Can Steem be sold for cash?
You can sell it for cash on several cryptocurrency exchanges that have fiat-pairings, most notably Upbit.
The team is working on a highly secure mobile wallet for Apple and Android, as well as an updated notification system for the Steemit website. And the team is constantly working on improving the user experience and spreading awareness about their product.
Verdict and Rating
I like it from a technological viewpoint. It is easy to use and solves the problem of content monetarization. But I don’t like it from an investors point-of-view, the token is inflationary and uncapped in supply.