|Original author(s)||Ned Scott, Daniel Larimer|
|Initial release||March 24, 2016|
|Code repository||steem on GitHub|
|Development status||Currently under development|
|Source model||Open Source|
|License||MIT License |
|Timestamping scheme||delegated Proof-of-stake|
|Block time||3 s|
|Circulating supply||304,373,589 (March 12, 2019)|
|Exchange rate||$0.52 (March 12, 2019)|
|Market cap||$159,350,059 (March 12, 2019)|
STEEM is a cryptocurrency based on the social media and content-focused Steem blockchain, which was created on March 24, 2016 by Ned Scott and the blockchain developer Dan Larimer. With over 1.2 million registered accounts and a daily volume of more than a million signed operations, Steem is amongst the five blockchains with the highest level of activity. In terms of total market capitalization, STEEM is currently ranked at place 40. with a market capitalization of more than 159 million USD. (March 13, 2019).
The Steem Blockchain was developed and released by Ned Scott, the current Executive Chairman of the Steemit company, together with Dan Larimer, a well known blockchain developer and cryptocurrency entrepreneur. After the two founders first met in January 2016, the blockchain was taken online in the end of March 2016. At few weeks later Steemit, a decentralized and censorship-resistant platform for blogging and social networking, was released as the first of now many applications running on the Steem blockchain protocol.
About one year after the launch of the blockchain, Dan Larimer quit his job as the CTO of the Steemit company on March 14, 2017 and subsequently stopped his participation in the development of the Steem blockchain in order to focus on his new cryptocurrency project EOS.
The blockchain is currently operating under version 0.20.9.
The aim of the Steem blockchain is to provide a platform for decentralized application hosting as well as decentralized data storage. By using delegated proof-of-stake as consensus protocol, a fast block time of three seconds and zero fee transactions for users are made possible. Other blockchains using this consensus protocol are EOS.IO and BitShares.
Both the volatile cryptocurrency STEEM and the stablecoin Steem Dollars (SBD) are forms of value storage on the Steem blockchain. STEEM can be staked into STEEM POWER to gain influence and resources on the blockchain, while SBD is thought to be a stable coin making transactions and business options more reliable. Both tokens can be traded against each other on an internal decentralized token exchange. Exchanging both tokens into other cryptocurrencies or fiat money is possible on major cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Bittrex and many others.
Newly created STEEM tokens are distributed between content creators, the block-signing "Witnesses" and stakeholders as described in the whitepaper.
The Steem blockchain protocol permits users to choose a unique account name of up to 16 characters in length which then can be used for references and transactions within the network. At the moment, there are over 1,237,000 unique accounts registered on the Steem blockchain.
Unlike Bitcoin, STEEM is an inflationary cryptocurrency with a decreasing inflation rate. Steem launched with a highly inflationary supply model, which was supposed to double each year. However due to community demand, the inflation rate was set to 9.5% per year starting in December 2016 and decreases at a rate of about 0.5% per year until the overall inflation rate reaches 0.95%.
There are no transaction fees on Steem, the block producing "Witnesses" and rewards are all paid by this inflation.
Applications running on Steem (DApps)
The Steem blockchain has a large number of decentralized applications (DApps) running on it. The first DApp to use the Steem blockchain was Steemit, a decentralized and censorship-resistant blogging platform, which rewards its users for creating content. Since then many other DApps have decided to make use of the Steem protocol. In 2018, 44% of all accounts on the Steem blockchain have been active DApp users.
Prominent Steem DApps include:
- Steem Engine, a platform for issuing and trading Steem based tokens
- DTube, a decentralized platform for uploading and sharing video material
- eSteem, a mobile and desktop application providing both blogging and wallet functionality for Android, iOS and Windows, Mac, Linux users.
- Utopian Colony, a funding platform for open source development.
- SteemPress, a WordPress plugin connecting WordPress and Steem
- Partiko, a mobile first blogging platform for both iOS and Android
- Fundition, a decentralized crowdfunding platform
Besides using the Steem blockchain for rewarding content and social interaction, projects like the trading card game Steem Monsters make use of the ability to store data using the JSON file format on the blockchain, making the proof of digital ownership possible for virtual goods.
In January 2018, the American rating agency Weiss Ratings published their first cryptocurrency rating report, giving STEEM the "B-" grade and ranking it above the most popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin.  Steem was able to keep the "B-" rating in the subsequent reports by Weiss Ratings.
The State of the DApps, an online ranking for decentralized applications running on EOS.IO, Ethereum or Steem, lists various applications of the Steem blockchain in their top ranks with the social media platform Steemit leading the list.
Steem, Steemit and Steemit Inc.
Steem and Steemit are two different things. While Steem is the name of the underlying blockchain, Steemit is only one of many decentralized applications using the Steem blockchain protocol. This difference was also pointed out in an interview by co-founder Ned Scott shortly after the launch of the blockchain.
Steemit, Inc. is a privately held company based in New York City and responsible for running the Steemit community application as well as participating in the development of the Steem blockchain.
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