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I posted an article on Smart Media Tokens a few days ago. I laid out a few criticisms of Steem’s system but thought it would also be great to put out a few reasons why I love Steem and Steemit.
Steem is centralized and decentralized
First it’s helpful to differentiate between Steem and Steemit. Steem is a decentralized network in the form of a blockchain. There are nodes (known as Witnesses) that provide the necessary services of keeping a blockchain running (constant uptime, validating blocks, proposals for upgrades). Steemit is a centralized website, owned by Steemit Inc. (founded by Dan Larimer and Ned Scott), that surfaces information from the Steem blockchain onto its interface. Wait, say that again? Think of it this way: Steemit is the front end of a website – what you see, what you click; and Steem is the backend – where data is stored and retrieved.
App developers who wish to build on top of Steem (the blockchain) can offer a compelling built-in economy for its users without having to fund it themselves. The Steem blockchain produces block rewards which are allocated to the user base in the form of author and curator rewards. The protocol determines the payout. The app developer creates the user experience.
Low (or No) Barriers to Entry
Like Bitcoin, there’s a certain level of censorship resistance to the Steem ecosystem. App developers can create interfaces that allow users to interact with Steem regardless of local regulations, or in compliance of local regulations. Entrepreneurs create the gateway that makes sense for its audience. The blockchain is run by a series of trusted nodes (Witnesses) that are incentivized to keep the network humming along – regardless of where they reside.
The implication of this setup is enormous in that it could dramatically bring in content creators who may not have otherwise been able to publish content in their home country or reach audiences far and wide.
Vote with your feet
Let’s say that you think an app developer’s site is moving away from its original ethos. Let’s say something crazy like Steemit became a website for squirrel worshippers. Now, I’m not of the squirrelly faithful myself but I am looking to still receive rewards for interacting with the Steem blockchain. Another app may very well decide to build a website similar to Steemit (or even a mobile app) that interacts with the Steem blockchain. I can still receive my author and curation rewards on that new site. The data produced on the new website may not be on the rebranded squirrelly Steemit, but will remain on the Steem blockchain.
Your funds are your funds
Let’s say for example you had a million airline miles with United Airlines. One day you royally pissed off their customer service agents. The next morning you realized your airlines miles were cancelled due to violation of their terms and conditions. You were in the wrong for sure, but should they have confiscated your points? With Steem, every digital asset earned on the Steem blockchain are yours to keep. No matter if you earned them on Squirrelly version of Steemit or on your new favorite application – the Steem you earned is yours. Those assets are sitting on the Steem blockchain waiting for you to access them with your private key.
Decentralization is competition for centralization
With decentralized architectures such as Steem, these networks present a compelling alternative to centralized services such as Blogger and Facebook. Classic economic theory shows competition is great for the consumer. It’ll force centralized peers to up their ante and offer even better services for consumers. Otherwise their users will up and leave for green pastures.
Try out the Steem and Steemit platforms today
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- Getting Started: Airdrops
- ICO Review: Holochain
- ICO Review: Edenchain
- ICO Review: Quarkchain
- ICO Review: DAOStack
- ICO Review: Alchemint
- ICO Review: Loki Network
- Coin Review: Ontology
- Coin Review: Aelf
- Coin Review: Mithril: a social network app on the blockchain
- Coin Review: Qtum
- Coin Review: Waves
- Coin Review: Banyan Network (BBN)
- Opinion: Why we need regulation
- Opinion: Token economics
- Opinion: ICO paradox