My story about Steemit for GQ Australia: "Cryptocurrency Conference Steemfest Proves Bitcoin Isn't Dead Yet", March 2018

in steemit •  6 months ago

I'm Andrew McMillen, a journalist and author based in Brisbane, Australia.

In November, I travelled to Portugal to write a feature story about Steemfest for GQ Australia, which was published in the current issue of the print magazine (March/April 2018) .

As my fellow attendees will attest, the timing of Steemfest was rather fortuitous, as the event took place just as Bitcoin's price shot toward an all-time high around the end of 2017. This led to widespread discussion of cryptocurrency in many mainstream publications – which made this idea of 300 people gathering in Lisbon to discuss a currency named Steem rather attractive to my editors, to say the least.

My story about Steemfest has just been published in full, on GQ's website. Excerpt below.

Cryptocurrency Conference Steemfest Proves Bitcoin Isn't Dead Yet

As the Bitcoin rollercoaster ride continues, we go inside a conference for another cryptocurrency called Steem. There, we meet the devotees who see this new financial system as the way of the future – and the man who will lead them there.

On the stage in front of us stands a clean-shaven young man, his short brown hair slicked back at the fringe. Dressed in a plain black T-shirt and dark jeans rolled up to reveal heavy brown boots, his name is Ned Scott, a 27-year-old former-financial-analyst-turned-tech-entrepreneur who looks remarkably, well, normal.

The kind of guy who could easily slot into your social sport team, then buy you a beer after the game. But he also happens to be a millionaire many times over.

Before him sits an audience of 300 men and women who are each hoping to become as rich as Scott, simply by posting on a website named Steemit.

Co-founded by Scott, the site officially went live in July 2016 and has since paid out more than $25m in digital currency to its users. These devotees have travelled from more than 35 countries around the world – each paying as much as AUD$1500 – for the privilege of attending this, the second annual Steemfest conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Sporting the kind of wireless headset you might catch Madonna wearing on stage, Scott projects easy confidence as he gives a presentation to open the first day of Steemfest. Hundreds of people have gathered to pray at the altar of this new technology, which might change the shape of the world’s entrenched financial systems.

For about 15 minutes, Scott addresses the crowd, who are mostly listening in respectful silence but occasionally erupt into cheers and applause.

“The thing that’s probably more important than anything else,” Scott tells the crowd, as his talk draws to a close, “is actually something I can describe in one word.” He clicks the device in his hand to reveal the final slide of his presentation, which features just three large letters.

“You,” he announces, gazing at the neat rows of occupied seats. “You go out there, and you’re bringing the passion, interest and value to the project. Everything that you guys do is what matters. The technology is just a vehicle for you; for us. And I’m looking forward so much to what you’re going to do over the next several years, as we grow, and go to the moon.”

The crowd erupts in whoops and cheers, raising their phones to snap photos of Steemit’s leader, who looks down fondly on his flock.

It’s all very energetic. And it’s hard to avoid the feeling there is something of an air of cult-like fervour in the room. In fact, it’s a sensation that permeates the entire conference. From the jubilant reception for Scott’s keynote speech, to the closing dinner a few nights later, when the charming Dutch MC leads the crowd in a chant of “Steem! Steem! Steem!”

These people are the true believers; invested, in every sense, in a digital currency that they cannot see or touch. Which brings us to an obvious question: what exactly is Steemit?

While you’re sharing memes and holiday snaps on Facebook, these 300 devotees – and their global community of more than 400,000 Steemit users – are earning digital dollars for posting on the site.

Its point of difference from other social networks is that the entire website is powered by a cryptocurrency called Steem and each post, comment and like earns its users tiny fractions of the currency. Over time, at least in theory, it is possible to accumulate a substantial amount of Steems that users could eventually cash in for cold, hard Aussie dollars.

Or maybe not. The site’s layout feels pretty clunky, especially for those accustomed to the smooth, easy-to-use platforms seen elsewhere on the web. Plus, we’ve been posting on Steemit for little more than a year and our estimated account value sits at around AUD$1900. Better than nothing, but it’s probably a little early to start picking out waterfront properties. Still, even if our contributions to Steemit eventually earn us just a single, shiny dollar, that’s a gold coin more than we ever earned posting memes on Facebook.

To read the full story, visit GQ Australia.

Above photo credits: Siavach Agha Babaei, aka @siavach.
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Great article, but you used "Steemit" while you meant "Steem" about a dozen time.

Steem is the system, Steemit is one of the interface to it, and a company with a lot of Steem.


@Grumpycat spotted in the wild. ;) (@brian-rhodes)

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OMG! If I could only tell them... I am Satoshi Nakamoto!

Great article thank you for sharing

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i would like to bring you witness to my w/(h) ea L/L (t/h) D https://steemit.com/g0fig/@xubrnt/ned-steemit

I read the story on GQ - found it via steemit on twitter. While there was some good things about it, (rather controversially I appreciate your observations regarding the cult-like feel of the event), it was also pretty flat in other important aspects.

I'm not sure a reader would have gotten an idea of what it's like to be a part of the steemit community. What can you get from the story? The interface is clunky, you've made $1900, and people using steemit don't need to know how cryptocurrency works. Where's the drama? Where's the hook?

I get that a lot of people think that the first rule of steemit is to never say anything bad about steemit, especially where non-steemians might see it. But this didn't say anything of substance about either the good or the bad of the steem ecosystem.

No discussion of the great communities or fantastic people, as well as the relative lack of trolling and full-blown culture-wars. No mention of the fact that most of what is on the trending page is only there because of paid up-voting, or the general plutocratic concentration of power in the form of SP. This is the first post that I've seen anywhere near the top of trending for ages that got there without the use of bidbots (and that's mainly because of the $180 from @blocktrades). You didn't think that any of this, good or bad, was worth reporting?

That said, I get that you've got to write what GQ wants to publish - not everything that's worth writing is what a publication wants to run.

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I agree.
There's a ton of collaboration, and art projects, community projects, and comedy groups, and foodies and gardeners and don't forget all the contests! ...basically "doers" working together that lend to the community feel. I think it was touched on by the author just a tad when Ned was quoted as saying that steemit (and the possibility of earning steem) brought out the 'collaboration" of its users. But it was sort of buried.

On the other hand, press is good! Andrew McMillen has written twice now about steem and steemit, and I think it's great that he's covering the crypto scene/steem and bringing it to 'the masses" if you will.

But as many of us already know....People come for the steem, stay for the experience. ;0)

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Thanks for this thoughtful response, all very fair.

As you've identified, this was written for a general (men's magazine) audience, and largely about the event rather than the platform.

I wrote about Steemit for more of a tech-oriented audience last year, which may satisfy some of your critiques. Here: https://www.wired.com/story/the-social-network-doling-out-millions-in-ephemeral-money/

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i would like to bring you witness to my w/(h) ea L/L (t/h) D https://steemit.com/g0fig/@xubrnt/ned-steemit

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Don't randomly spam people, unless you want to get downvoted further.

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i am not randomly spamming, you are, without sound presence to return debt ass t a r e a.d.

Solid article! Well written and your last paragraph while realistic, sums it up very nicely!

Beautiful .. Wonderful, who works hard deserves
Great information from you
Thanks for sharing

Great post. Your writing is great, GQ Magazine is a huge win for us, gq has a lot of readers who will see your article. Good news for you and steemit. Cool.

P.S I didn't know Ned Scott was just 27

Jeez, it sounds like we were 299 sycophants there to get paid taking selfies with Ned...

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Lol I didn’t even post anything when I was there

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Lol hahaha you nailed it

Its really a good information provided about steemit. This blog has a very good content. Thanks for sharing such a valuable post.

My Aussie bro ... well done ... regards from Sydney .... cheers

Yeah, so proud :)
Thanks Andrew :)

Interesting article for a very cool event! I was there with my hubby and it was really a great experience!

Hi @andrewmcmillen
This is a wonderful must have been an amazing steam experience that really breaks me down knowing that their future is too big for a treat worthy of focus

Yeah, you are right.Bitcoin isn't dead yet.We shouldn't loss our hope.

I don't think Bitcoin will be dead as in "gone" or even crypto in general. It's just starting and of course people will always be afraid of new things. That's for majority of course because not all can see the potential of the new technology. The price might dip but definitely, it's bound to stay that even government can't stop it.

It's really people who drives the success or failure more especially on blockchain projects.

thanks for your great article; when it will benefit us all in steemit
Thanks you @andrewmcmillen

great post steemit will take over alot of BS social media sites like facebook and twitter.

do you know anything about Steemfest3?

друг тебе голос за хороший обзор .

Savage....!!

Enjoyable read. This is certainly a grand experiment and I'm looking forward to seeing where it all goes. Thanks!

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It's a working experiment already!

Hey Andrew,

I recently launched a start-up in the Crypto-wear world and I would love to bring you on as a sponsor. If you're interested please let me know!

Feel free to reply here or email me at brian@bitcoinhatclub.com

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what is crypto wear?

you wrote what comes to my mind exactly the same words sometimes I feel that about the steemit and digital currency your message is clear straight as an arrow and well directed and defines good facts mentioned that grap the attention what it is and what we are actually doing here

wow..
Thanks for this article..
I really learnt from it..
Especially when you said
"You go out there, and you’re bringing the passion, interest and value to the project. Everything that you guys do is what matters. The technology is just a vehicle for you; for us".
Am motivated with this...
And am saying bye to facebook and more to steemit.
And I will also spread the goodness and benefits of steemit.

Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.

Good write up. You did make the event sound a little too cult like though. I think more emphasis on the fact that Steemit is gaining thousands of new users every week would have been nice.

And we don’t increase the number of “steems” that we hold. :P

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I think it helps the 'lay' reader.

it was a good articale

Wow very well detail post. Thanks for sharing @andrewmcmillen. I always like to read such updates.

Very educating I must say.

Genial tu post, @andrewmcmillen, felicidades!

great articel, GQ go! :)

Challenge, where you can win up to 100s $SD!
If you want to, you can try it here:

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Great article that really touch the most important aspect of crypto

Nice story proved Bitcoin did not dead

Cool article. I was there and it was a great event. Not sure if we met

Nice mate. Have you joined TeamAustralia yet? We'd love to have you in the group.

I am new here but camn definetly see potential for steemit.com and steem

I am astonished to see your language and articles.. thanks for sharing.please share this type of post to help us♥♥

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

This is good to see

this great information i appreciate your bitcoins thanks for sharing this crud currency news .. best of luck...

your article is very good and inspiring once, i as a new user will share your post. this will bebecome a lesson for us all.
greetings from aceh, indonesia my brother. @andrewmcmillen

great to have your writing.

I am very confident bitcoin, I am a vietnamese trader, and i have seen steem / btc has gone to nice buy price range. again @sonpham1997 i have updated the trend of many graphs, if you are interested in The tradecoin you can look through and we discuss.

Wise men invest more when the price is low with a greater hope of raise in price tomorrow.finitely there is a better tomorrow for bitcoin.

Your travel to Portugal looks great! You have seen freshly the early start of Steemit! Still, I am not sure the fundamental difference between the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and Steemit except the point that Steemit encourages production of excellent contents. After some years, I hope that Steemit may grow unexpectedly.

Great article thank you for sharing

still we did not lost our strength . bitcoin still alive .we have hope and end of the day we will be the winner...

Yeah far better than Facebook, you got it right " that’s a gold coin more than we ever earned posting memes on Facebook"

very good story I find it excellent..felicities

Congratulations @andrewmcmillen!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 3 with $ 335,82

If future investors choose insurance and security over freedom from financial regulation, they will be free to make this choice. The black market will most likely prefer the unregulated digital currencies. this why bitcoin Isn’t Dead.

Excellent information

I'm sure one day Bitcoin will rise from the grave and will surpass its former glory days

Caramba, estos esta mas que claro... es un éxito.....

400K members Bwahahaha!
The good old days ;-)

I do not feel Bitcoin will likely be dead as in "long past" and even crypto usually. It is just beginning and of direction men and women will continuously be afraid of new things. That is for majority of course on the grounds that now not all can see the expertise of the new science. The rate would dip however definitely, it can be bound to stay that even executive cannot discontinue it.

I need to go to one of those conferences @andrewmcmillen

Hello, what good they do activities where learning about steemit is the goal, greetings.

It doesn't matter who, what government, or how; crypto is here to stay.

Hi! I am new here!

this is great news. digital currency is taking over physical cash transactions sooner or later

Hi, I am a young Venezuelan, sportsman and I am new to this social network ... I follow your work very closely, and I am delighted with the potential that you show in your publications .... I will follow your post to learn and grow progressively in steemit. .. Congratulation! Keep going on

Cada vez que publicamos algo bueno para nutrirme, para conocer, y por eso hago las gracias, gracias por dejarnos una buena contribución para ir creciendo en este ... amigo de espero que sigan los exitos y triunfos en tu vida. .. te deseo lo mejor, desde colombia te sigo plenamente ...

Every time we publish something good to nourish myself, to know, and for that I thank you, thank you for leaving us a good contribution to grow in this ... friend of I hope you follow the successes and triumphs in your life. .. I wish you the best, from Colombia I follow you fully ...

This is a nice blog.
Hi,I am a young Venezuelan, sportsman and I am new to this social network ... I follow your work very closely, and I am delighted with the potential that you show in your publications .... I will follow your post to learn and grow progressively in steemit. .. Congratulation! Keep going on......

great, so amazing

Haii your article very good, can you visit my blog? Please

Thanks for sharing this post its really a good post 😍

great article 👊🏻

Good info

no doubt ned scott is a great leader in this community, @ned no doubt is a great entrepreneur who with only 26 years could create this great company called steemit that has changed the life of many people including me ..
How would I like them to do a steemfest in South America? would be great .. a great article I liked reading it, thank you

Pretty article! Great!