If you are going to use Steempress on your WordPress site, you need to have a little understanding of steem. I have heard people ask many times, What is steem? And in this article, I am going to try and explain in a simple and nontechnical way.


Steem is a revolutionary social blockchain with unique abilities and it is a cryptocurrency.

“The blockchain is transforming social media through censorship resistant, global ledger technology that puts each person in control of their data and monetization without the requirement of top down control,”

founder and CEO Christopher J Kramer explained to Cointelegraph.

Steem is a blockchain

Steem is a decentralized social blockchain with something for everyone.  The first application created on the steem blockchain was Steemit.com.  Steemit is more or less a blogging/content sharing platform, a little like Medium.  But, the blockchain stores the content on a distributed network. So no one person has control of it (unlike Medium).

I’m sure you are familiar with Bitcoin.  This works of blockchain technology.  Anyone can host the bitcoin software.  That is what makes it decentralized. There is no one central server, making it difficult, if not impossible to attack.  Hosting the software for bitcoin makes you a bitcoin miner. Blockchain works by batching transactions into a block. Blocks need to be verified by a miner. Miners verify transactions by solving complex calculations. You will earn rewards(bitcoin) If your software approves a block of transactions. We call this mining bitcoin.

what is steem

The Steem blockchain

Steem is a little different.  On steem, we call miners, witnesses.  When a witness approves a block of transactions, they do not get rewarded with all the steem.  Instead, much of it goes to a pool, used to reward postings made to the blockchain.

Distribution of this pool of steem is by upvotes on content. In the steem world, we refer to this as the Proof of Brain concept. Having a stake in the platform allows you to distribute steem. The more stake you have, the larger your vote becomes. This makes a vote on steem, the most valuable vote on the web. The idea of this proof of brain concept is that great original content will be rewarded. And shit, plagiarized or spam content will not.

Everyone that publishes to steem has the opportunity to become a stakeholder. If your publication is rewarded with upvotes, any earnings will be paid half in stake and half in a liquid cryptocurrency form. We call this stake Steem Power and has a 13 week lock-in period.

You can also buy Stake. You don’t have to be a content creator to hold a stake. At any stage, you can buy steem on an exchange and add it to your wallet as steem power. There are many benefits of holding stake in Steem, which I will cover in a different post.

Other massive benefits of the steem blockchain are 3-second transactions. Free transactions. Smart media tokens and the inability ty censor content. Unlike other blockchains where wallet addresses are almost impossible to remember, on steem, wallets are users’ names. This makes it easy to transfer tokens between accounts. It also makes steem more user-friendly than other cryptocurrencies.

The Steem Blockchain is revolutionary

Steem as a blockchain has the ability to revolutionize the web. It gives users back control and ownership which are currently problems on the existing web model. Like blockchain technology in general, since its launch steem has come a long way since. Now, steem the blockchain is host to many decentralized apps. We have steempress, allowing every WordPress blogger access to publish on the block. And there are other apps such as the streaming and video sharing 3speak to fitness apps like Actifit and games like Steemmonsters.

A cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are basically digital tokens with an exchangeable (monetary) value.

The inner workings of blockchain involve the issue and distribution of tokens. You can buy and sell these digital tokens, known as cryptocurrency, on Exchanges. Bitcoin, probably the best known, is one such cryptocurrency.

Steem is the main cryptocurrency on the steem blockchain. New coins are issued each year. These coins are created when a miner, or witness as we call them on steem, approve a block of transactions. The distribution of these new coins gets split. Miners, content creators, content curators, approved development proposals all get a cut.

Steem, in its liquid form, can be bought and sold on exchanges like other cryptocurrencies. From an accounting view, cryptocurrency is an intangible asset, unless you are trading it. If you are trading it, you will treat it like stock.

Steem in a nonliquid form is known as steem power. This steem power equates to stake in the platform. Steem becomes steem power when you lock it into your wallet for a least a 13 week period.

Other Tokens on this blockchain

Besides to steem, there are also other tokens on the blockchain. There is SBD and then there are tokens issued by other apps and communities created on the block. Some of these will be smart media tokens, and some of them are what we call tribe tokens. You can trade these tokens against steem on internal markets.

Your content has the ability to earn many tokens at a time. This will depend on who votes for the article and what tokens they are staking.

The value of cryptocurrency goes up and down. It is a very volatile market and massive gains or losses can be made within hours. I am not a trader, and so don’t give trading advice. Some people buy steem to trade. Some people buy it to hold for speculative value. I am not a financial advisor either, so I won’t be giving you advice on that either. But I do see many benefits as an online entrepreneur to hold steem as steem power. As an intangible asset, I use to propel my blogging and content business forward.

If you have any question, comments or feedback on this post, please drop them into the comments section below

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