Common Misconceptions about Steem (and Steemit)

in steem •  7 months ago


If you aren't into crypto or computers, Steem can be a difficult place to find your way around in. Lack of knowledge and misconceptions about the Steem blockchain abound. The following article addresses three misconceptions that I've encountered in my interactions with Steemians.

Misconception 1: Steemit = Steem

Steemit or Steem. Huh? What's the difference? A lot of people use them interchangeably when talking about the Steem blockchain. I know I did for months after joining Steem. Here's a quick contrast between the two terms to help you keep them separate.

Steem is a blockchain. It contains a complete history of every single transaction, upvote, post, and comment that has ever happened. Steem is decentralized - because the blockchain is stored on multiple individuals' computers (nodes), no person or company can change or delete anything from the blockchain.

Steemit, on the other hand, is a website or frontend that you can view the Steem blockchain from. Steemit is owned by a company and it could choose to censor content (the only content it "censors" right now is posts or comments from people with low reputation). Steemit is the most popular frontend, but multiple other frontends like Busy and SteemPeak (my personal favorite) exist.

Steem and Steemit are two separate things and should be referred to as such.

Misconception 2: Steemit is safer than SteemConnect (or sites using SteemConnect)

Many people believe that Steemit is the only site that you should give any of your keys. When you received your very first owner key, Steemit told you to never give your keys to another site, didn't it?

In a way, this is just a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Steemit isn't some special site. Most people use it join Steem and generate an account, but the signup process is done on the Steem blockchain and the process can be run by any frontend. Steemit is a privately owned frontend like any other frontend, it's just the most widely used website to interact with the blockchain.

So what does make a site safe to give your keys to? It has to have safe code, a secure server, and trustworthy owners. If the code or server is not safe, hackers could steal your keys. If the owners aren't trustworthy, they could steal your keys. Before you give your keys to a site you should make sure that they satisfy all of these qualifications.

Steemit and SteemConnect both have safe code, secure servers, and trustworthy owners. Both have also made their code open source so that you can make sure that the code is safe and that the owners aren't trying to steal your data.

SteemConnect is just as safe a place as Steemit to use your keys, as long as you pay careful attention to what permissions you are giving to a site.

Fun Fact: So we don't have to double check the code of every new Steem frontend, SteemConnect lets us give sites only certain permissions that we can revoke at any time. If a site that uses SteemConnect starts resteeming or upvoting sites without your consent, you can easily revoke it access from your account using the SteemConnect dashboard. If the site didn't use SteemConnect and you directly gave the site your keys, you would have to change all of your keys to stop the unauthorized behavior.

Misconception 3: You shouldn't make more than one Steem account

Unlike other social media sites, the Steem blockchain makes it easy for users to have multiple accounts. While Steemit limits account creation to one per person, this is because the account creator must pay or delegate a small amount of Steem to the created account and Steemit does not have unlimited funds. Using SteemConnect or something similar, you can easily create as many accounts as you want, using your own Steem funds.

Why would you want multiple accounts? Running a community project would definitely be a good reason to make one, but you could also create different accounts for your different types of blog content (or so you have seperate selling and playing accounts for SteemMonsters).

Because you have to fund accounts that you create, creating multiple accounts just splits up your funds and content. Creating multiple accounts to upvote yourself has no more effect than a self upvote with one would.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with having multiple wallets or Steem accounts.

Is there anything about Steem that confused you for a while or still confuses you? Leave a comment and I'll try to address it in a future post.

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