I have a confession to make–I am a complete newbie when it comes to cryptocurrencies. What? A libertarian that does doesn’t use bitcoin!? By now, readers might have gleaned that I’m an old-school gold bug (more on that later).
But, as of yesterday, I am a crypto-virgin no longer! Liberty Weekly has boldly embarked upon a great crusade into the cryptoverse with Steemit!
Steemit is a social media platform (like reddit) that is powered by Steem, a blockchain cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. There are three different forms that digital Steem takes within Steemit: Liquid Steem, Steem Power, and Steem Dollars.
By submitting and curating content, you earn different kinds of Steem: Steem Power and Liquid Steem. Adding or subtracting from your Steem Power is called “Powering Up” and “Powering Down,” through this process, one can buy or sell their amount of influence in Steem.
Liquid Steem is an intermediary phase between Steem Power and Steem Dollars. It is the most liquid form of currency on Steemit.
Steem Power measures the amount of influence that any given user can wield on Steemit. The more Steem Power you have, the more influence you have in curating content on the site (and the more Steem you earn for doing so).
Steem Dollars are the actual blockchain, “market powered token” that is pegged to the US Dollar.
From what I understand, Liquid Steem can be sold on an internal market, or bought directly with bitcoins. Steem’s creators are currently working on a means for Steem to interact directly with fiat currencies. Since there is a rather steep learning curve to Steemit, I am still trying to figure out how this part works.
Steem and Steemit have been around for about a year now. Although it has seen growth and success, current challenges facing Steemit have been summed up in an article and comments made this morning titled: “What is Driving the Price of Steemit Downward? Answer Questions, EARN Steem!!!”
In the comments, Steemit user @lpfaust reasons:
Currently, the only real reason to purchase STEEM would be to power up STEEM Power (and by extension vote strength) in Steemit. The market has consistently been repricing the value of that utility lower with every passing day, and the velocity of STEEM as a currency is grinding to a halt because liquid STEEM is not being soaked up faster than it is getting dumped out of STEEM Power.
My understanding is that currently, Steemit has plateaued at about 120,000 users. In order to be successful, Steemit needs to start absorbing the user base of other platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It also needs to streamline the Steem investment process by allowing users to purchase Steem directly with fiat and not just Bitcoin. Currently, Steem is not a great monetary investment, but is interesting and exciting enough for low-level participation just to see where it goes.
When it comes to the whole blockchain vs gold debate, I do think that blockchain technology is awesome, and that cryptocurrencies have their place. But, to me, gold’s 8,000 year track record proves that it is currently a better means of preserving wealth. Ideally, gold and cryptocurrencies would be allowed to compete on the free market.
That being said, I would definitely urge anyone and everyone to check this out. Since Steemit is a decentralized block-chain social media site, the community has so far been very friendly and receptive to ancaps, voluntaryists, and libertarians. Some of the most active topics (think subreddits) are liberty related.
In fact, last night I republished my June 28, 2016 article “Starship Troopers” and Conditioned Killing on Steemit. As of this posting, my article has earned a total of $24.11 in Steem.
While there is a steep learning curve involved with Steemit, the concept is incredibly exciting. Could you imagine if a site like Reddit or Facebook adhered to the concept presented by Steemit?
Hopefully decentralized blockchain platforms are the future of social media. In the meantime, I suppose we will see.
For now, follow Liberty Weekly on Steemit!