Steemit is the leading social media platform on the Steem blockchain. It pays users to create content and engage with posts using the Steam token (STEEM), the native cryptocurrency of the Steem blockchain. Steemit app users can earn crypto rewards by upvoting content, even if they don’t post. The more upvotes a post gets, the more STEEM tokens the author receives. This incentive aims to improve our social media experiences by encouraging high-quality content via community moderation. Furthermore, Steemit uses the SMT token standard to enable anyone to create their own token. The SMT token is specifically-designed to incentivize Web3 social media adoption and build robust communities within the Steem ecosystem.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the Steemit Web3 social media platform. We’ll explore how the platform rewards users for creating and curating content. Plus, we’ll discuss the Steem blockchain and the native STEEM token that create the foundations of the Steemit platform. Also, we’ll look at why decentralized social media platforms are becoming so popular and the problems they aim to address.

What is Steemit?

So, what is Steemit? Steemit is a Web3 social media platform built on the Steem blockchain. The platform pays users to post, share, and interact with content using the STEEM token, the native crypto asset of the Steem blockchain. Steemit was founded in 2016 by Ned Scott and Daniel Larimer. The project aims to improve the quality of our online experiences by creating financial incentives for engagement and community moderation. 

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The Steemit interface is similar to that of Facebook. It features an automated content feed that users can personalize to their tastes. Users can earn STEEM rewards by watching and reading content. Plus, Steemit uses an up-voting mechanism to identify the highest-quality content. The distribution of STEEM tokens on the Steemit platform is determined by engagement. Authors of the most popular content receive larger STEEM distributions. Users who engage with content and provide the most value to the platform also increase their earning potential.

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Exploring the Steemit App

Now that we have addressed the question, “what is Steemit?” – let’s dig a little deeper and explore how the Steemit app works. Steemit is the flagship application of the Steem blockchain ecosystem. Interactions on Steemit exist as transactions on the Steem blockchain, creating an immutable timeline of events and content. The Steam blockchain features a “rewards pool” where community token rewards are collected and distributed on a daily basis. 

Unlike traditional social media platforms, the Steemit app allows users to capture the value they create instead of passing it on to shareholders. Posting, commenting, and voting are free and contribute towards STEEM token reward distributions via the rewards pool. When you discover a piece of content before it gains popularity, you become a curator, which entitles you to additional rewards. However, to understand the Steemit reward structure, we need to look at the Steem blockchain and the token family that forms the basis of the Steemit app reward mechanism.

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The Steem Blockchain

Steem is a decentralized social blockchain protocol with smart contract functionality. It provides the underlying architecture of the Steemit app and other Web3 social media applications. The Steem blockchain was designed to reward creators and publishers using the native STEEM token as part of the Proof-of-Brain (PoB) protocol. It has a throughput of 10,000 transactions per second (TPS) and a block time of three seconds, making it highly scalable.

The Steemit app rewards creators using tokens that exist in the rewards pool on the Steem blockchain. It also uses the Proof-of-Brain voting mechanism to enables the community to determine the quality of a piece of content and the value it provides. This mechanism uses the Steem token family to incentivize human effort and community moderation.

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The Steem Token Family

The Steam token family consists of three tokens; the Steam token (STEEM), the Steam Power token (SP), and the Steam Blockchain Dollar (SBD). The STEEM token is the primary unit of account in the Steem ecosystem. 

The STEEM token plays an essential role in the platform’s Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism. Network validators known as “witnesses” earn 10% of all block rewards for verifying transactions throughout the network. The Steam blockchain distributes 75% of all newly-generated STEEM tokens to moderators, content curators, and authors via the rewards pool. The rewards pool serves the entire Steem ecosystem and all apps built on the Steem blockchain. The remaining 15% of new STEEM tokens go to stakers who lock up SP tokens for 13 weeks. 

The SP token grants holders greater influence in voting mechanisms and reward distributions. Plus, SP staking incentivizes long-term investment. Also, when SP holders vote less frequently, their votes have more weight. 

STEEM tokens can be converted into SP tokens and vice versa. Unlike a lot of crypto assets, the STEEM token had no pre-mine. Following the launch of the Steem blockchain in 2016, STEEM tokens were distributed at a rate of approximately 800 STEEM per minute, with an annual inflation rate of 9.5%. This number will decrease by 0.5% annually until a static annual inflation of 0.95% is reached.

The Steam Blockchain Dollar (SBD) was intended to be a stablecoin with a peg to the US dollar. However, at the time of writing, the SBD token has a value of $2.34, according to CoinGecko. While content curators and creators earn STEEM tokens, upvoters earn SBD and SP tokens for their network participation.

Transaction Fees

The Steem blockchain uses a zero-fee structure to help spur adoption and make the platform accessible to all. Some Web3 social media platforms implement microfees to pay for interactions with posts connected to the blockchain. However, the Steem team believes that even microfees pose a barrier to entry. Furthermore, because cryptocurrencies are volatile assets, they can create an unstable environment for fee-payers.

To remedy this, transactions on the Steem blockchain are free. This includes interacting with social media posts on the Steemit app. Also, the Steemit blockchain uses a “bandwidth-limiting mechanism” to minimize spam attacks, which is one of the main arguments supporting fees for Web3 social media interactions. Nonetheless, network participants can gain more bandwidth by increasing their SP token holdings.

What is the SMT Token?

So, what is the SMT token? The Smart Media Token (SMT) standard is a token protocol launched by Steem. SMTs allow users to create and launch Proof-of-Brain (PoB) tokens, which are distributed via upvoting and content interactions. The SMT token standard makes it easy for developers on the Steem blockchain to implement token distribution models like into their own Web3 social media applications. This model helps to create sustainable growth models and new monetization opportunities for Web3 social media platforms, benefiting developers, creators, and users.

The SMT token standard allows anyone to create their own STEEM-like token with customizable inflation and reward distribution models. SMTs make it easier for creators to make a profit from their content by giving them access to a greater portion of ad revenue. Furthermore, when projects use the SMT token standard, it helps them to build communities. It also provides mutually-beneficial incentives for content monetization that align the needs of users, creators, and businesses.

Moreover, the SMT token standard benefits from zero fees and near-instant transaction finality. The in-built Proof-of-Brain (PoB) features make it easy for creators to establish customizable reward mechanisms and incentives that benefit their communities and spur platform growth.  

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The Problem with Web2 Social Media Platforms

While social media platforms help to connect people globally, the current crop of platforms dominating the social media landscape is problematic for several reasons. The concentration of power among a small group of businesses means that users have very little control over their data, which can be sold to advertising agencies without consent. Also, social media platforms can ban anyone they like if they deem it to be in the interest of the broader user base. However, some argue that this practice jeopardizes free speech.

Another common complaint with Web2 social media platforms is that they are not secure. Centralized server farms create a single point of failure that makes it easy for hackers to disrupt social media platforms. However, Web3 social media platforms address this issue with blockchain technology. Public blockchains like Steem are decentralized. They have no central authority and no single point of failure. Also, blockchains use a decentralized network of nodes to store data and verify transactions without intermediaries. Each node holds an identical copy of the blockchain ledger, so anyone who tries to manipulate data or disrupt the network is instantly identifiable.

Furthermore, blockchains reduce the likelihood of hacks and increase transparency. Unlike traditional social media platforms, Web3 platforms like Steemit allow communities to self-regulate and decide what content they deem to be offensive or harmful instead of a small handful of powerful individuals making that decision on their behalf.

Moreover, Web3 social media platforms use cryptocurrencies to incentivize high-quality content. Traditional social media platforms are filled with fake accounts and spam bots that make it difficult to trust what we see online. Mechanisms like Proof-of-Brain help to filter out low-quality and spammy content while rewarding those who provide the most value.

What is Steemit and the Smart Media Token (SMT)?” – Summary 

The Steemit Web3 social media platform pays users for content creation and curation using the STEEM token. By harnessing the power of the Steem blockchain, the Steemit app empowers creators and the communities they build to enhance the social media landscape. Instead of corporate interests determining what content is valuable and which is harmful, Steemit allows users to create transparent structures for content moderation and community governance. As the leading Web3 social media project on the Steem blockchain, the Steemit app provides significant utility to the STEEM token, helping to encourage its adoption as part of the new attention economy. 

Although Web3 social media platforms are still in their infancy, they address many of the perceived shortcomings of traditional social media platforms. Web3 social media platforms help to preserve user privacy and create financial incentives that benefit users, creators, developers, and businesses. Moreover, the introduction of the SMT token standard forms a blueprint for other Web3 social media projects to follow, using customizable parameters to optimize incentives and build thriving communities around high-quality content.

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