All of the below is included in the video above
I just got back from the most exciting weekend of my life. And it wasn't all the partying that made it exciting, or even the free food and drink or the starstruck feeling from meeting people we can almost consider celebrities on this new social media platform, but it was the amount of positive energy to really build a better world with the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
So for the outsiders who don't know what I'm talking about, the first ever steemfest was just held in Amsterdam over the weekend and it was the first time more than 200 people who knew each other only by username on this new social media platform actually met up at a hotel in Amsterdam. For the past 7-8 months we've all been collaborating, chatting, debating and making friends and apart from all the partying in amsterdam, we had tonnes of presentations and talks on blockchain technology and how steemit is changing lives for the better!
So what's steemit?! Steemit is a social media platform, currently mostly for bloggers but anybody can take part and contribute the same way you contribute to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Except the most obvious difference with steemit is that you make some money both from contributing value to the platform and from supporting valuable content on the platform. I actually prefer to call it a support network instead of a social network because unlike most social networks where you have lots of trolling, negativity, advertising and censorship. The steemit community is incentivised to be supportive and positive because that's what people like. The blockchain is censorship resistent unlike Facebook etc, and the best part is how advertising will work! Currently platforms like Facebook monetise the attention and data that you give away for free and make money off them from corporations and advertisers. Yes, Facebook sells YOUR data and attention for profit... That's how the internet currently works. But steemit is going to be a revolution for the online world! Because steemit is going to give the power back to you, the one who gives away that valuable data and attention. You can actually get paid for your attention and only see the advertising you are paid to see! You might even be able to put a price on it yourself! This is what's most exciting for me.
But where does the money come from...
Well here's where it gets interesting. So the guys who started steemit are Nned Scott and Dan Larimer. Both of them fell in love with a girl called bitcoin. Bitcoin is actually a cryptocurrency that's widely accepted now online. Call it "magic internet money" if you want but since it's creation back in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention to a cryptography mailing list in a research paper called "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System", bitcoin has gone from being worth a cent to $31 by July 2011, then back down to $2 and back up to $266 dollars by April 2013, then back down to $100 and all the way up to $1250 by November 2013 when basically a lot if early investors became filthy rich almost overnight. But be careful, I'm not saying it's a safe bet because of course with people selling when the price is high, the value crashed and fluctuated like crazy for several months and was all the way back down to $200 in march 2015 and steadily on the rise since. And it's not just for selling on the markets, some people pay their bills directly with bitcoin, you can buy gift cards on Amazon, it is as real or maybe even more so than the piece of paper we call money!
So back to steemit.
Like bitcoin, steem is a cryptocurrency. It started in march and for 3 and a half months only, it fluctuated between 20c and a dollar until it shot up to over $4 mid July when the website userbase exploded after a bunch of skeptics got their payout and realised this "magic internet money" is actually real!! Since July the price has come all the way back down gradually but remember what happened to bitcoin... But here's the best thing about steem. Unlike bitcoin, you don't have to buy it! You can earn it! Just by participating on the platform the same way you would Facebook or Instagram. And I'll warn you the website is still in beta so it doesn't look like much, but the people who got rich from bitcoin got in early.
Why did they get rich?
Because they were sick of corruption. The banks and politicians putting us in debt for their own mistakes... Cryptocurrency removes the need for banks... And this is what I'm really excited about. Our governments are abusing our obligations to vote for the "lesser evils". Why not vote for ourselves for once. Let's take back some power, and become independent of banks and independent of political corruption!