Everyone have probably heard of bitcoin. It is the first and main cryptocurrency that is listed on the market. It has the largest market capitalization among all cryptocurrencies, and the largest trade volume daily. The next contender(Ethereum) has only around 10% of bitcoin's market cap.
Many people have invested in bitcoin, since it is the most widespread and popular cryptocurrency right now. It is even viewed as a safe haven for investors, to hedge against fiat monetary inflation. And bitcoin has certainly given many early adopters the chance to tell a rags to riches story themselves.
However, in this article I'm going to challenge the notion that bitcoin will the #1 cryptocurrency forever. I'll also state reasons why Steem has a good chance of overtaking bitcoin in a few years time.
1. Most of the things bitcoin is designed to do can be achieved through Steem, and Steem does them better.
Bitcoin is a very basic blockchain technology. Many altcoins have been made to attempt improve on bitcoin, but most of them their owners simply end up running away, it turns into a pump and dump scheme, or it is simply a blatant copy of bitcoin, except for a few parameters.
Steem has all the main functions of bitcoin - a decentralized, trustless payment network. But better.
Steem is designed to have everyone to participate in a community. With bitcoin you can literally live under a rock, but with Steem, you're actively contributing to the community.
I'll talk more about the merits of Steem compared to bitcoin in the below points.
2. Steem is still young, and has more potential to grow.
Steem has only been active for really 2-3 months, and there is only currently around 50,000 total users compared to the 8.5 million users on blockchain.info alone. This leaves us with a lot of room to grow. And with only 50,000 total users, we are already #3 on the cryptocurrency market capitalization list.
It's also a bit like silver and gold. Steem is extremely undervalued at this point in my opinion, just like silver is undervalued to gold. Also, silver has real tangible industrial demands and actual uses, while with gold it's pure speculation.
The google searches for Steem and Steemit are soaring, even though the value of 1 STEEM has fallen due to dilution; while bitcoin's searches purely relies on the price of it. This proves that Steem has intrinsic value and has real life applications as a technology, social media and monetary system, while bitcoin is pure speculation.
3. Steem is more fairly distributed, and less easily manipulated.
This might seem crazy for some of you, but in reality the whales aren't that bad after all. They actually do us all good, by upvoting quality content. Their biggest job is to curate, as it benefits both the Steem community and themselves through curation rewards. They are the ones who make the newbies get more Steempower themselves, and becomes dolphins.
Bitcoin however, is purely there for the people who mined when it was 1 cent per coin. The people who were early adopters will never make new worthwhile additions to the community richer like they do on Steem - they simply get richer and richer from their existing stash, and thus widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
Also, one person can manipulate the bitcoin market if he holds just a few million dollars in bitcoins. However, Steem whales actually cannot do that. Because what they hold is Steempower, and worst case scenario they can only dump 1/104 of their Steempower stash in one week, or 1/728 in one day. That's not much at all, considering trading volume is consistently above 300 BTC daily on Poloniex alone.
4. The Steem platform is designed for stability and everyday commerce.
Bitcoin doesn't really offer any stability, and it can encourages hoarding instead of spending the coin actively in exchange of goods. Thus, many people regard bitcoin as an asset, instead of a real currency.
With Steemdollars however within the Steem platform, this problem is solved. People can now have a trustless, decentralized but still price stable currency that they know won't fluctuate like bitcoin do on a regular basis. And thus a real market with Steem is formed - people start buying and selling goods in exchange for Steemdollars.
And with the constant dilution of Steem, people are encouraged to power up instead of hoarding their Steem and speculating.
5. Everyone can get involved in Steem and earn some themselves, without an investment.
This means that everyone can get involved in it. Not just rich people. Everyone who has access to the internet can have a go at Steem and see how it works. No risk involved, no strings attached. It's as simple as that - people have a chance to experiment with the network before deciding for themselves whether they would like to take it up or not, and thus having a larger chance of attracting more users, and getting more value into the system.
6. Steem gives you interest!
One of the most important part of a working decentralized banking system is knowing that you're rewarded for holding the tokens. Steem offers interest on both Steemdollars and Steempower. Bitcoin obviously doesn't, and you would like to grow your bitcoins, then you'd have to lend it out to an interested party - through a mediator such as Loanbase. Not so decentralized after all, huh.
7. Bitcoin has negative associations - Steem doesn't.
Bitcoin has been associated with many negative things - and will continued to be associated with negative things in the future. From illicit drugs to child pornography, you can literally get anything from the dark web, which pretty much only accepts bitcoin as its payment method. I support freedom of choice, and a free market, however for many average citizens they think that bitcoin is immoral simply because of the dark net associations. My friends in particular stay away from bitcoin for this reason, thinking that the police will track them down.
Steem can solve this problem, and erase the image of a drug cartel from the face of cryptocurrencies.
8. More females are joining Steem than any other cryptocurrencies.
An interesting point to raise about Steem is that if you take a look at the trending pages, women are actually getting paid just as well as men in many cases. Also women are stepping up and constantly contributing to the community - and getting paid for their contributions. This is also because Steem is relevant to them as social media and easier to understand than other cryptocurrencies, which I'll cover later on.
Obviously, there is still so inevitable inequalities, but I believe that in future, when Steem goes mainstream, there will be almost perfect balance between male and female rewards.
9. Steem founders are publicly known.
Again, the general public isn't comfortable with trusting a person who is completely anonymous - and holding 1 million out of 15 million coins in existence. He can wreck his own invention if he wanted to any day by dumping all his bitcoin stash.
Having active founders also mean that we get more technical support, and the community runs smoother in general.
10. Steem is easy to understand.
Steemit does a great job to bring Steem technology to life. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Steem is surprisingly easy to understand, as proven by the amount of women who has a Steem account, as opposed to the amount of women who have a bitcoin wallet.
As I said in my previous posts - understanding Steem only took me personally a few hours to understand. And I could explain it very well to my friends immediately after I learned what it truly was.
I am very excited about Steem. I believe that it will simply be a matter of time before Steem overtakes bitcoin as the number 1 cryptocurrency, simply because it has more intrinsic value and worth.
But in order for that to happen, we'll have to let more people know about this amazing technology. What you can do to help this happen faster is to:
1. Tell your friends and family about Steem.
2. Don't just tell them, explain to them how it works.
3. Keep on participating in the Steem community. Your voice is worth something, and it adds value to the community as well.
4. Upvote good content, so they can get noticed, and in turn generate more interest in Steem.
I believe in a brighter and better future through Steem.