Whilst BTC represents  63% of the market cap of all cryptocurrencies (or approximately $175  bn), there are still over 5,000 other coins out there. We, at  decentralize.today, aren't going to wade into the maximilist minefield but we do feel strongly that there are a lot of people and projects around that are worthy of additional coverage.

The flip side to this is that of those 5,000 altcoins there are a large number (and no-one has broken this down as best as we can tell) and definitively defined or declared which may be dead, scams or dying!

So we plan to throw up a melange of AltCoin Outlooks in future featuring coins that we rate as well as some that we have concerns about for reasons we will explore.

By coincidence, we will  also be starting a series looking at the decentralization of social  media...we've all seen how it (and Big Tech) has gotten itself into most  of our lives in one form or another and even though we all know  Facebook and the like have many security and privacy issues and that  they sell our data to get rich on the back of that plus our content and  our usage and yet there are alternatives, places, apps, communities and  sites where there is no central point of control so no central point of  failure!

Join us as we dive into the alternatives to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and perhaps even YouTube and the like.

It just so happens that our first in the series will be a joint examination of an entity that features both a coin and a social media network...Steem.

​Steem/Steemit – the altcoin and the social media network

Steem started out as a blockchain.

On July 4, 2016, Steemit, Inc., a company founded by Ned Scott and  blockchain developer, Dan Latimer, launched a social media platform called Steemit as the first application built on the Steem blockchain.

Steem is the cryptocurrency on the Steemit platform and it is used to reward users for community building through the posting of meaningful content.

It also powers multiple Dapps via social apps like Steemit.

The reward aspect works by allowing a piece of content, delivered to the greatest number of people, to receive the greatest reward. Steemit users cast votes and that creates a 'hierarchy of content', the more votes the greater the reward.

But Steemit's meritocratic system  also allows users with the most currency to cast more 'meaningful &  greater influence' votes. (Think US Democrats and 'super delegates).

"Steemit has redefined social media by building a living, breathing,  and growing social economy – a community where users are rewarded for  sharing their voice. It's a new kind of attention economy"

"Steemit is a social blogging platform, think medium or reddit and  combine the two. Like on medium you can post an article and like on  reddit people can vote the article up. However unlike on reddit, steemit  rewards your content and articles with money." - in their own words

There are supposedly  more than a million users. User IDs and post data are stored on the  Steem blockchain. Steemit monetizes through users promoting their posts  so when they perform certain actions on Steemit, they'll earn Steem.

Having posts that get 'upvoted' allows users to earn from a rewards  pool and upvoted posts that become popular can earn voters a curation  reward. Votes are weighted by reputation, which accumulates with age, so  older accounts of early adopters have more power.

One of the  biggest issues here is that that 'whales' who have a lot of Steem Power  (explained below*) can vote for themselves and make themselves thousands  of dollars per article. You can easily see how this can lead to abuse  of the reward pool. It isn't long before the same accounts voting on  each other's posts (circle jerking) get some sub-optimal content on to  the Trending Pages!

*Converting Steem to Steem Power is refered  to as 'powering up'. This is within the functionality of your wallet and  at the rate of 1 : 1.There is an equivalent 'powering down' process but  it only allows reversion at the rate of 1/13th per week. Effectively,  your Steem are locked in!

Steem Power (SP) can be delegated to  others, which can lead to 'vote selling' and some enterprising users  have even reverted to 'bid bots' which canvass for the highest bidder.

And all to influence which articles/post make it to the 'Trending  pages'. A sad example of the system driving the service for personal  gain and aggrandizement!

​All this makes it tough for newcomers with little to no influenec (i.e. money) to make an impact on the platform.

Moving  on and wrapping things up, a Steemit account can also function as a  cryptocurrency wallet. Users are responsible for their own key  management and there is no account recovery for funds lost or stolen if  the key is compromised. Accounts cannot be deactivated or deleted as  they are permanently stored on the Steem blockchain. Due to spamming  (apparently) new accounts require an email and phone number and go  through a 'review process'.

Whilst you can use Steem to Power  Up within Steemit, you can also purchase goods and services on the  platform and exchange your Steem dollars via Bittrex, Binance and the  like for BTC.

The big upsell for Steemit is that it has it  all...from photo posting to storytelling to blogging. And when you get  voted up you get paid and that's a fabulous 'Real Use Case' in itself,  however, the biggest issue here is that 'whales' with lots of SP can  vote for themselves or their favoured associates and keep all the  rewards for themselves!

That abuse harms the entire platform.

A few key facts about Steem, the cryptocurrency, as at the time of posting:

Ranked 77th

Market Cap: US$78.5 MM

Ave daily volume: US$2.00 MM

Total supply: 372 MM

Maximum supply: n/a

ATH: US$8.57 (Jan 03 2018)

ATL: US$0.07 (Mar 10 2017)

Current price: US$0.22

On February 14, 2020, Steemit announced a 'strategic' partnership with  the TRON Foundation. Tron and Steemit developers will begin working  together and bring Steemit and other Steem blockchain based DApps to the  TRON blockchain and its community of over 20 million users.

The  announcement left many confused as to how a supposedly community owned 'coin' could be sold in such a centralized fashion...good question, we believe! Answers on a postcard, please (email DT or leave a comment!).

In the coming months, we'll be taking a look at other examples of decentralized social media including:

Dtube is a decentralized version of YouTube, which also started off using Steem for monetization purposes.

Dlive  is a Twitch-style live-streaming platform that started out using Steem, switched to using its own token, and was then acquired by Tron and is currently changing tokens again.

BCH, BSV : A few  social networks have built on these Bitcoin forks using the cryptocurrency to monetize and to store data. These include Memo and  Twetch.

We will write about these decentralized social  networks and others through our new 'SM decentralized!' series as we  only see this space becoming bigger and more significant in the future.  At least we hope so, as we don't like single points of control and/or  failures!

Likewise, we'll be devoting more time  & attention to 'AltCoin Outlook' so if you have a coin that you want  us to look at or represent a coin and want to share information on it,  please email us at hello@decentralize.today

Share this post