You may have heard all the recent buzz going on around cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin prices seem to be headed toward the $2000 mark.
Recently another cryptocurrency called ether hit $100 per token.
Even if you don’t know anything about cryptocurrencies you have probably heard of Bitcoin and whether you understand them or not cryptocurrencies are going to revolutionise money.
I personally believe that some of the people making early investment into cryptocurrencies today will be the billionaires of tomorrow.
The problem is it is not easy for the average person to obtain bitcoins — it is impossible to mine cost-effectively without special equipment and cheap electricity.
Buying it directly can also be problematic, not to mention expensive and in some cases risky (particularly in some countries).
As a result if you are wanting to get into cryptocurrencies it can often seem like the boat has already sailed.
Fortunately there is an answer, and the answer is STEEM.
Steem — The Basics
What is Steem ?
Steem is a form of cryptocurrency network (smart digital money) like Bitcoin. It combines the ability to send/receive money and store information.
What is the main advantage of Steem?
You don’t need expensive hardware to mine Steem — you mine it by creating and voting on content on Steem applications like Steemit.
What other advantages does it have over Bitcoin?
1. FREE transactions with NO transaction fee
Right now sending bitcoins can cost several dollars at a time and your transaction can end up at the bottom of the list if you don’t pay enough.
2. Simple addresses that are easy to remember and type
For example my Steem address is “thecryptofiend” that is a lot easier to remember than a bitcoin address like “1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2”.
Right now Bitcoin is capable of a theoretical maximum of about 7 transactions per second and this matter has been a source of serious conflict in the bitcoin community. Steem is already capable of doing thousands of transactions per second.
In ideal situations a Bitcoin block takes a minimum of 10 minutes to solve but you will often end up waiting a lot longer for a transaction to clear and be confirmed. Sending Steem is virtually instantaneous.
5. The Steem Dollar is a low volatility currency for merchants.
The Steem dollar is a special dollar pegged asset based on Steem that is designed to resist the normal volatility you get with most other cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.
What Steem applications are currently available?
- Steemit — a blogging platform like a combination of Medium and Reddit.
- Busy- a more Facebook like app with built in personal messaging.
- Esteem — a mobile app for IOS/Android.
- Others are in development like Steepshot (a photo sharing app).
- There are also a variety of tools for Steem available at Steemtools.com.
What is the difference between Steemit and Steem?
In simple terms Steem is the money network, Steemit is an app that uses Steem to pay rewards.
OK so I’ve decided I want to make a Steem account — what do I do?
- Follow the quick start guide I created here.
- The guide takes you through the process of registering and creating your first post on Steemit — if you prefer to use Busy you can use the same account (once created) to make a post there.
These are the very basic points that explain what Steem is.
My aim was to create a very basic explanation for those who are not technically minded or familiar with cryptocurrencies and I hope I have succeeded.
Please share this with others who you think will find this information useful.
I am also happy to answer your questions if you would like to know more.
Thank you for reading
All images are taken from my personal Thinkstock Photography account unless stated otherwise. More information can be provided on request.