Steem (STEEM): Pioneer of Decentralised Social

As the world of decentralised social is experiencing a massive surge with the launch of projects like, New Bitcoin City, and Tomo, the older and more established SocialFi platforms are also returning to the spotlight. Steem (STEEM) is the oldest among these platforms, a true pioneer of the decentralised social category. In this article, we take a look at this unique ecosystem that lets nearly everyone earn crypto rewards by the mere act of liking posts.

Overview of Steem

Steem is a blockchain-based social media and cryptocurrency platform launched in 2016. It was designed to address some of the issues associated with traditional Web 2 social media platforms, offering content creators and community participants new ways to engage and be rewarded for their contributions.

Steem is built on a decentralised blockchain, providing a unique approach to social media and content monetisation. Unlike platforms like Facebook, X, or Instagram, Steem allows social media users earn cryptocurrency for their activities, such as creating content and liking content.

The Steem blockchain hosts a number of apps, among which the biggest one is the Steemit decentralised micro-blogging platform. Users earn crypto rewards on Steemit when they post content if their messages and articles receive enough “upvotes”. The upvote is the term Steem uses for likes and similar forms of user interaction.

Those who provide the upvotes are also rewarded with the platform’s native cryptocurrency, STEEM.

Another app on the Steem blockchain is DTube, a video streaming application quite similar to YouTube. While Steemit users earn crypto by upvoting and posting micro-blogging style content, users of DTube can earn rewards by sharing and upvoting video content.

Proof of Brain – Steem’s Unique Concept

Steem's reward system is known as "Proof of Brain". In Proof of Brain, users “mine” new tokens by contributing valuable content to the platform, thus earning STEEM tokens. The more upvotes and engagement a piece of content receives, the more it earns, creating an incentive for quality contributions.

Despite its similarity in name to Proof of Work and Proof of Stake – the two dominant blockchain consensus algorithms – Proof of Brain isn’t really a full-featured transaction validation model. Proof of Brain simply denotes the crypto reward mechanism used by the blockchain. The actual underlying consensus that powers Steem’s operations is called Delegated Proof of Stake.

In a Delegated Proof of Stake setup, the majority of the blockchain’s users delegate the right of transaction validation to a limited number of “delegates”.

Steemit Communities

The Steemit micro-blogging platform allows users to create and participate in communities known as "Steem communities". These communities enable users to connect with like-minded individuals, discover content that aligns with their interests, and curate content for rewards. The communities on Steemit is a concept similar to Groups on other social media platforms.

Boosting Your Influence on Steem

Steem Power (SP) is another token, in addition to STEEM, used by the platform. Users can "power up" their STEEM tokens into SP, which gives them more influence on the platform. The more SP a user holds, the more their upvotes are worth.

SP is a great way for social media users, and particularly for influencers, to increase their visibility and influence on the platform.

Why Steem?

What makes Steem so different from other social media networks? The key advantages of the Steem platform include:

1. Monetisation. Steem allows content creators to monetise their work directly, without relying on advertising or sponsorships. By producing quality content that resonates with the community, creators can earn STEEM tokens, providing a financial incentive to continue their work.

2. Ownership and Control. Content creators on traditional social media platforms often lack control and ownership of their content. If Facebook or X decides to wipe out your account, you are done. On Steem, creators maintain ownership of their work and can decide how they want to distribute and license it. Being a decentralised blockchain, Steem has no central controlling authority who can decide to shut you down on a whim.

3. Engagement and Community Building. Steem communities provide a space for content creators to connect with their audience and build a loyal follower base. These communities can provide invaluable feedback, support, and collaboration opportunities. Since ordinary users on Steem can also earn crypto rewards by upvoting content, they are more likely to be actively engaged in the community you have set up.

Is Steem a Viable SocialFi Player?

Steem’s STEEM crypto is in the top 5 of SocialFi cryptocurrencies by market cap, with a total cap of slightly over $100 million. Since 2016, numerous decentralised social networks have come and gone, but Steem has shown amazing resilience. It continues to feature among the top decentralised social platforms and has done so for over 7 years, longer than any other big SocialFi platform of today. This time-tested resilience of Steem definitely warrants a closer look from crypto enthusiasts and investors.

Steem and its applications - Steemit and DTube - are unique in the social media industry. Not many platforms around allow ordinary users, not just influencers, to meaningfully monetise their social media activity.

While the newer SocialFi platforms –, New Bitcoin City, and Stars Arena – decided to lean towards the influencer side of the social media world, Steem stands out as a great monetisation vehicle for the massive ordinary follower portion of the market. Steem means rewards for rank-and-file social media users, not only for influencers with large follower numbers. A unique social concept indeed!