STEEM The Super Basic Explanation for NEW Users

in #steem5 years ago (edited)


New Steem Investors

The growing attention on altcoins and the current market conditions (bull market, higher price of Steem etc) will bring in a lot of new people who are not familiar with Steem/Steemit and are looking to just find out about it before they dip their proverbial toes in the water.

I thought it might be useful to make a summary for those who just want to know the basics and aren't necessarily used to cryptocurrencies.

I think if we can start with the most important points people will gradually pick up the rest themselves or via the help of others.

If you are one of these new people please let me know if you find this helpful or if you have any suggestions:

Steem - The Basics

What is Steem ?

Steem is a form of cryptocurrency network (smart digital money) like Bitcoin. It combines the ability to send/receive money and store information.

What is the main advantage of Steem?

You don't need expensive hardware to mine Steem - you mine it by creating and voting on content on Steem applications like Steemit

What other advantages does it have over Bitcoin?

1. FREE transactions with NO transaction fee
Right now sending bitcoin can cost several dollars at a time and your transaction can end up at the bottom of the list if you don't pay enough.

2. Simple adresses that are easy to remember and type
For example my Steem address is "thecryptofiend" that is a lot easier to remember than a bitcoin address like 1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2.

3. Scalablity
Right now Bitcoin is capable of a theoretical maximum of about 7 transactions per second and this matter has been a source of serious conflict in the bitcoin community. Steem is already capable of doing thousands of transactions per second.

4. Speed
In ideal situations a Bitcoin block takes a minimum of 10 minutes to solve but you will often end up waiting a lot longer for a transaction to clear and be confirmed. Sending Steem is virtually instantaneous.

5. Steem Dollar is a low volatility currency for merchants.
The Steem dollar is a special dollar pegged asset based on Steem that is designed to resist the normal volatility you get with most other cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.

What Steem applications are currently available?

1. Steemit - a blogging platform like a combination of Medium and Reddit.
2. Busy- a more Facebook like app with built in personal messaging.
3. Esteem - a mobile app for IOS/Android.
4. Others are in development like Steepshot (a photo sharing app).
5. There are also a variety of tools for Steem available at

What is the difference between Steemit and Steem?

In simple terms Steem is the money, Steemit is an app that uses Steem to pay rewards.

OK so I've decided I want to make a Steem account - what do I do?

  1. Follow the quick start guide I created here.
  2. The guide takes you through the process of registering and creating your first post on Steemit - if you prefer to use Busy you can use the same account (once created) to make a post there.

Where can I get more information?

  1. The Welcome Page, Official FAQ and a more comprehensive FAQ here.
  3. The Whitepaper - if you like reading - it is quite out of date now though.
  4. Ask a human in the help channel of Steemit chat.



These are the very basic points that can be used to explain what Steem is to those who are not technically minded or familiar with cryptocurrencies.

We can create further summaries to explain the more advanced concepts in plain language too.

What do you think?

Feel free to share and link to this post if people come to you with questions.

Also let me know if you think there is some other point that absolutely must be added here (but keep in mind the simplicity aspect).

If you spot any errors either factual or otherwise let me know.

Thank you for reading

Follow me on Steemit: @thecryptofiend & on Twitter : Soul_Eater_43.

All uncredited images are taken from my personal Thinkstock Photography account. More information can be provided on request. Thanks to @ocm for providing a free image of the Steemit logo here which I combined with the stock photo.

Before you go have you filled in the Coinbase form to list STEEM? It only takes a few seconds. THIS POST shows you how.

Are you new to Steemit and Looking for Answers? - Try:

HTML tutorial


You mean the official FAQ ? That one is more current and 56 page long.

OK I thought I linked to that one but I just checked and it seems to be a summarised version of it. I will add it as the long FAQ!

I have already started sending a link to your post here to my (so far) non-steemian friends. Thanks for this superb marketing material!

Thanks mate! Let me know if you want me to refine it any way.

muchas gracias, me ayudo mucho este post, creo q es facil de entender, y de hecho se lo reenvie a varios de mis amigo sinteresados en steemit

great introduction for starters :)

I think this will help many newcomers. Being a fairly new person myself, I know at first all of this can be a bit unnerving, especially for us less than tech savvy folks!

not bad. going to to something similar in German language for the community in Germany, Austria, Switzerland =)

Cool let me know when you do and I will share it.

sure thing =)

Gute Idee. Lass mich wissen wenn Du wen zum gegenlesen brauchst. Etwas simpel ausdrücken ist manchmal viel Aufwand. Gruß Detlev

Thanks I honestly haven't been able to figure out why people are using this just yet. When I ask questions I just get flagged so its a bit offsetting as a newcomer.

I believe you @benjaminadams but just don't worry even though Its upsetting for anybody. Some don't get flags?! Can anybody explain why not?

It seems the more power you have within steemit, the harder it is for someone with less power to flag?

Have you noticed this trend or am I incorrect?

Hmmm, not really sure about this. I thought everybody can flag.

Don't worry about the flags it is just a way to redistribute rewards. I also have a site called which you may find useful - it is a little out of date but most of the information is still valid and I will start updating it shortly. You can also ask for help in the chat: - all the best!

Thanks for the post....very helpful for us newbies.

Thank you verry much ! I found this very helpfull ! I am new here maybe you consider checking my blog ?

Sure will do when I have a moment! Welcome:)

How does the Force come into play?

As you know the force is involved with everything - that is why a master like yourself was able to conquer Steemit so fast. Unfortunately nobody is on your level and most regular people need a helping hand (pun intended given your new post!)

You are an excellent leader of your people. Do you ever choke any of them? If no, how do you overcome the undeniable urge? If yes, good of you!


Thank you. After many years of training I have managed to stop choking them but the temptation is still there and a battle I must fight every day.

Vera keeps telling me it is possible... but I think you have to really want to stop. So that might be my problem.

As always, you are concise and easy to understand. I think this will be an excellent resource for newcomers.

I think the one addition that might be missing is: Ok so I'll get some STEEM, how do I spend it?

It's all very well earning a currency, but the reason to earn it is to spend it :-) (at least that's what my wife tells me....) hehe

Thanks! Yes the spending thing is tricky - I'm not sure there is an easy way to sum that up though! I might just add a link to a blocktrades guide or something. I need to start updating the help website - just really pushed for time right now!

No worries. I didn't want to add to your workload :-) It just seems that was the only missing piece of information I would have liked to have known at the start.

You do awesome work, but don't overload yourself. It's ok to let some stuff slide for a bit, you know?

Lol thanks. I want to get things done before I go back to work!

Very useful indeed! I've been reading through some more detailed pages this morning and have been getting a little lost! A great clear summary, thanks.

I'm glad it is useful. Please let me know if there is anything you think should be changed. Also are there any particular topics you are confused about or looking for answers on?

It's about TIME a Steemian stepped up to the plate.

@thecryptofiend knocked the BALL out of the park!

Home Run Baby...

Great Job and Great Info on "STEEM The Super Basic Explanation for NEW Users"

This is great! thank you for putting it together. I think this will really help new community members.

Steemit was comparable to reading Japanese before I read this. It's now comparable to Spanglish. That's huge. Thanks!

Lol I hope that is good!

It sure IS!

Upvoted and resteemed. Good info!

Nice! Definitely a well-covered topic but this is a pretty quick and easy summary.

Thank you that was my intention:)

I'm doing something like that - even more basic ;) - for the italian new users. I'll put it on (I just bought it)

Cool link to me when you do!

I did it right now, but it is very beta :)
I'm going to post it on Steemit and around the italian web. Hints are very appreciated.

I don't speak Italian but hopefully other members will check for you. Do a Steemit post where you share the link so more people see it.

I did it now. I linked also some pages from steemithelp :)

i just joined up and found this very helpful thanks

Good, posting, you make newcomer will enjoy in steemit community.

This is great, upvoted and tweeted

Thank you so much. Let me know if you want any additions or amendments.

This is the right piece of content at the right time and right place!
Excellent, Arif. I resteemed it right away :)

Thank you so much!

Always a hit. You always explain Steemit well.

Thank you that is very kind. Do you think I should make any changes?

When I was starting, I was very confused by Steem vs Steemit vs SBD vs Steem Power. While half the fun of starting out was that I had to explore the website and discover the community through experience, it was confusing at first! Honestly, has probably been the most useful straightforward resource I have found. You should link to it!

Thanks - yes I have at the bottom of the post but I can put one in the body too.

This is to say, if this was my day one on Steemit, and I had no previous experience with cryptocurrencies, I would be confused by what exactly it was you were writing about. I'm not sure I'd be able to discern, "is he talking about a money thing or the social media aspect???"

Yes it can be confusing! I have added a few links at the bottom now as you suggested.

The confusion is part of the romance for a new steemster, perhaps.

Again, thanks for being such a great part of the community.

Excellent break down @thecryptofiend this should be put on special Steemit notice board or something of the like. Well, at least I can resteem it

Thank you -let me know if you want me to make any changes.

Your reward for being in Promoted is an upvote and 0.030 SBD extra promotion.
Good job, keep your contents promoted! :)

Oh , You are such a superstar the way you explain details.
I had the same idea in my own simple ways:) 9 hours ago but I went drowning with it.
Good job as usual !

You are too kind. I will check it out!

:) Sure, I am enjoying my flags meanwhile. So good to know its all for a good cause for fairness.

Thanks a lot man, while I have been slowly figuring out Steemit over the past week, this clarified a few things. Will definitely share with any friends who join!

Great guide for the new ones. Thumbs UP!

Thank you very much for your post. I'm a newcomer and am discovering Steem. I must say I am very enthusiastic about the concept. I am a french speaking people and I'm looking to French Steeming ;-)).

Welcome. I think @lemouth is French unless I'm mistaken - he works at CERN. I am sure there are others though and there are many French Canadians too!

@thecryptofiend you are almost right ^^

I am not French, but I live in France since 2008 (which is why I once in a while write in French). I also left CERN at the end of 2014 (although I am going back there once in a while too).

Thank you! New people really need this. There is a lot to figure out here.

THANK YOU! For creating!
@thecryptofiend! Congrats for your upvotes!

"Bitcoin is capable of a theoretical maximum of about 10 transactions per second"
Theorical 7, actual 5, not 10

Thanks. I used the wiki page but 7 sounds about right for the max possible. I'll change it.

Very helpful Singer!!

Wow! That was really helpful! Thank you! :)

Да,действительно познавательное описание о STEEM &STEEMIT.По-больше таких пояснений,для ясности.Спасибо за это.

Simple, spot on, and a good way to bring in people= congrats

Thanks mate!

Definitely a good and simple introduction... as a fairly recent newcomer, the only suggestion I might make would be to add an explanatory paragraph on what "Steem" and "Steemit" are, how they are related and how they are NOT related.

Thanks - so explicitly make it clear that Steemit is an app? I will think of how to phrase it:)

Yes, it's a little ambiguous if you're just a blogger with no familiarity with cryptocurrencies.

This would be how I see it (and I could still be wrong, after six weeks of reading!):

"Steemit is a social blogging and content platform where members can share writing, art, photography, music, news and more. It is both an independent application, as well as a framework supporting other applications (Busy, Golos, PeerHub, etc.). Steem is a virtual currency like Bitcoin, which not only serves as the basis for rewards to Steemit users for their contributions, but can also be used as payment at a growing number of web sites and physical locations around the world."

Nice post, good info. Thanks @cryptofiend!

Wow! 97 comments & 384 rock!

This is definitely what is needed so that newcomers and curious people would understand Steem and Steemit more. Thanks! :)

Thank you. Let me know if you want any changes - I will keep refining it.

Thank you so much! Very helped your post, I will make Resteem. Excellent work, timely

Very concise summary! Thank you :)


Very helpful and perfect timing!

Thank you :)

I was a beginner. This is very helpful. thank you @thecryptofiend

As one of the newbies, tha k you for your effort thecryptofiend. I will be watching for further clear help like this.

Super said, thank you.

Thank you @thecryptofiend, very useful information for beginners.

Couldn't imagine life without cryptocurrency...

Excellent post. This will help a lot of newcomers, such as myself. Didn't know there were transaction fees on Bitcoin. Is this something new?

No they have always been there it's just (if I remember right) they are optional and early on people could still get transactions processed if they didn't pay them.

The thing is they provide an extra incentive for miners to include transactions in their blocks so as time goes and there are more transactions filling every block, those that pay lower fees go to the back of the queue.

I think the original idea was that over time the transaction fees would compensate for the reduction in Bitcoins per block.

That is my understanding anyway. Others will likely be able to give a better and more accurate explanation.

I could see Bitcoin become irrelevant in the coming years, with slow block and transaction times. It seems Bitcoin wasn't meant to be scalable. Perhaps Dash or ETH could soon replace it.

Cool! I might be using this one in an upcoming post.

You might be inspired to attempt the same thing but addressing yourself to someone who never heard of Bitcoin. I'd love to see more people doing those kind of posts.

Cool! I might be using this one in an upcoming post.

Thanks mate! Send me the link when you do!

You might be inspired to attempt the same thing but addressing yourself to someone who never heard of Bitcoin. I'd love to see more people doing those kind of posts.

Yes I think we can do different versions to address different groups of people.

Valuable post. Using it now persuading new users. Thx.

is there any way to find out how many new users have come lately? seems like it's been exploding! love it!

I suspect there is - the best person to ask would be someone like @timcliff - the only method I know is the very crude indicator on Steemd.

Awesome you have helped us so much thank you so much for all your effort :-)

Simple and straight to the point. Thanks a lot.

You're welcome!

Just started on Steemit today. I came for the money, but I think I'll stay to practice my writing. I feel like it's a great board for not only free constructive criticism but with a slight monetary reward. Win-Win

Thanks for sharing! Helps us noobs figure this thing out!

You're welcome:)

Thanks for the links I wasn't familiar with Esteem8. Anyway there are hundreds of tools if you consider those kinds of things - you can find them on - I think it makes more sense to only talk about the main front facing applications that most people use. I'll add Esteem since many people will be using mobile to interact.

hey there , I have just joined steamit
can you please follow me so that it helps me to motivate and make awesome stuffs
check my wall for the bio
thank you !

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Thank you for the good read, will share!

Thanks a lot for your helpfully help. I will try to get more info in order to know more about the platform, but the idea in order to have a coin and a platform to write any opinion and new and relevant content, it makes great for new users and old ones. Thanks for give a resume of a lot of pages. Great! Now, i only have a question: can we write in other languages? Im from Spain and I would love to write in spanish for the Spanish speakers? Thanks

Thank you... I'm new here and this is helpful.

Thanks for writing this post. I joined Steemit recently and this piece explained in very simple manner all that was needed.

Hey I will be following you, Im new to this concept and want to better understand off to find time to read everything. Your simple explanation just opened some new thought processes.

Reading this in March 2018. Still relevant! Thanks for this post. And calling Steemit "a blogging platform like a combination of Medium and Reddit" is the most succinct explanation I've seen of Steemit so far!

Do you know how the progress, the new STEEM is created and distributed to reward pool, vesting fund and witness, is recorded in the blockchain?

thanks for the help!

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