Steem and Steemit: Review, History, Rates and Perspectives

steem cryptocurrency

Virtual currency market has a number of interesting coins, which means The Coin Shark will continue to talk about cryptocurrency projects that managed to attract attention of many users and are worth mentioning. Today we have – Steem, a reward blockchain platform and Steemit social network that enables its users to earn virtual coins.

Contents:
(please click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. What is Steem
  2. The ecosystem of Steem platform
  3. History of Steem cryptocurrency project
  4. How to make money on Steemit
  5. Steem cryptocurrency exchange rate
  6. Forecasts

1. What is Steem?

Steem is a blockchain platform for monetizing user content. Steemit, a social network focused on creating and sharing users content on various topics, operates on Steem blockchain. It is similar to the platforms you’ve definitely heard about – Medium and Reddit. However, the main difference between Steemit and its market mates is content monetization. In other words, each user receives a certain number of cryptocurrency for the publication of a certain material, depending on how this material is valued by the community. The more posts, likes, comments users make – the more coins users get. It is supposed to encourage users to make good quality, interesting and useful works, as nobody actually expects to recieve a lot of likes, if he or she simply rewrites a Wikipedia article. So, content authors and curators  receive daily rewards based on the community voting. According to the information on the official website of the project, Steem has already paid more than $40 million to its users, and there’re almost one million accounts in Steemit social network itself. One and a half million publications are made each month.

The main language of the platform is English, but you may also find articles written in other common languages, such as Russian, German or Spanish.

2. The ecosystem of Steem platform

There are several virtual currencies operating on Steem. They form a single ecosystem of the project. STEEM is a basic coin of tge Steemit social network. However, in order to be able to vote on the platform, users need to convert STEEM to Steem Power. The more Steem Power a user has, the more important is their vote for a content. Those users who have a lot of Steem Power receive more than 90% of new STEEM coins issued, which, in fact, encourages Steem community members to invest the assets back into the platform by converting their STEEM to Steem Power.

There is also a coin called Steem Dollar. Its rate is 1:1 equivalent to the US dollar. According to the Whitepaper of the project, Steem Dollar confirms the community’s debt obligation to a holder, so a holder, in fact, lends money to the project for its development. Steem Dollar is actually very similar to stocks.

3. History of Steem cryptocurrency project

The startup was created in New York in 2016 by Ned Scott and Daniel Larimer. Larimer is a well-known figure in the world of IT and virtual currencies. In 2014 he developed a cryptocurrency exchange platform called BitShares, in 2016 he co-founded Steemit, and later joined a sensational project EOS. In addition, he is also the developer of the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm.

4. How to make money on Steemit

Every user of Steemit social network can receive a reward in Steem coins. The main thing is to post interesting and useful content that other users will appreciate with sufficient number of likes and votes. As we have already said, not only posts, but also comments, as well as other activities are taken into account.

Users vote, thereby forming a rating of content and determining how much reward the author will receive.

Steem coins are traded on the major cryptocurrency exchanges, like Bittrex, HitBTC, Upbit, Poloniex, Huobi, Binance, OpenLedger, RuDEX and GOPAX, where users can exchange them for fiat money (US dollar and South Korean won), and for other virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, etc.

5. Steem cryptocurrency exchange rate

Currently (June, 2018), one Steem costs around $ 1.67, and project’s market capitalization exceedes $ 400 million. That allowes Steem to be the world’s 33 cryptocurrency buy market cap.

The first time the rate increased significantly was in the summer of 2016, when Steem reached a price of almost 4.5 dollars. However, then the rate fell, and did not exceed one dollar for almost a year. Once it was even as low as 9 cents. In summer, 2017, Steem rate increased again, this time to $ 2, and by the end of the year, together with most of other cryptocurrencies, Steem managed to set its all-time record having reached 6, 6.5 and finally 7.2 dollars.

6. Forecasts

Steem is a fairly young project, and so far only Steemit social network functions on its platform. Considering the fact that Daniel Larimer stands behind its creation, one can assume that the project will continue to develop, improve its technical base and attract new users. However, on the other hand, Daniel is already engaged in other projects, in particular EOS. The popularity of Steem platform will be a very important point of the project’s development – whether third-party companies and developers will use Steem blockchain to launch their own social networks with monetization mechanisms, already applied in Steemit.

Steem provides very high transaction speed, better than Bitcoin or Ethereum and, what is also important, has no commission fees. The platform provides tools for launching and running blockchain business, in particular, users can issue their own digital currency. Steem’s special way to distribute cryptocurrency was called “Proof-of-Brain” consensus algorithm. In fact, users can earn virtual currency without any special IT-skills, any mining or trading involvement. Anyone who can create interesting and useful content can receive a reward.

However, Steem has its drawbacks. There are no technical restrictions for users who have the largest number of Steem Power (and, therefore, the most “important” votes), against voting for their own content, no matter how good or bad it may be. Steem has less than a million users, comparing, for example with Facebook, that has hundreds of millions. But it is probably too early to say what is going to happen with Steem in the long term and whether it manage to increase the number of users of Steemit social network and attract other developers to use Steem blockchain platform. First steps have already been made and appeared to be successfull, but it is still difficult to say what will happen in a few years or more.

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Other Side of Blockchain: How Is the Technology Used Today?

blockchain technology

Today when we hear the word “blockchain” we think about Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. The distributed ledger technology as it exists now first appeared in 2009 together with the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, as well as the vast majority of digital currencies are based on blockchain. Probably the only exception is the project and the coin called IOTA that is based on Tangle technology and does not include blockchain. Anyway, it soon became clear that cryptocurrencies are just one possible way to apply the distributed ledger technology. Blockchain is actually a new and advanced way to store and exchange information, and if we stick to such a broad definition it will become clear how big is the potential of these technology.

Contents:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. What is blockchain technology?
  2. Blockchain and digital currencies
  3. Where is blockchain being applied and what are its prospects?
  4. Conclusion

1. What is blockchain technology?

To put it simply, blockchain is a kind of database, a way of its management. In fact, blockchain comes down to electronic recording of particular information;storage and amendment of this information must be coordinated between independent parties. The method of information storage with the help of blockchain guarantees impossibility of spontaneous information amendments by a user without other users’ concord. Blockchain resembles torrent, both technologies are based on peer to peer principle,where information exchange is carried out directly between equal participants.Every information record is a block. Blocks constitute a chain; so, every other block contains part of information from the previous one. All information of this distributed database stores on  computers of every net user.

2. Blockchain and digital currencies

Nearly all digital currencies are based on the blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency actually exists as a recorded information about transactions just like the real fiat money that we transfer between bank accounts. Digital currencies record, store and change their information using a distributed ledger technology. Many coins are based on the same blockchain. For example such currencies as Namecoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc. are based on bitcoin blockchain. Ethereum blockchain was used to deploy more than 500 other cryptocurrencies, including such popular coins as  Binance Coin and OmniseGo. Some leaders of the cryptocurrency market also used to be based on Ethereum blockchain but later developed or at least started developing their own distributed ledger. These are, for instance, EOS – top-5th digital coin by market capitalization, and TRON. However many cryptocurrencies were not satisfied with what bitcoin and Ethereum could offer and designed their own blockchain. These are Ripple, Zcash, NEO, Dash, Monero, Cardano and others.

So, how blockchain is implemented in cryptocurrencies? A block is a special structure where the information about transactions is recorded. Each block contains the information related to the previous one, so they form a single chain where no one can edit the information on their own discretion. The whole information about what has happened in a decentralized database is recorded into the blocks. Each block includes a header and a list of transactions. Blocks are formed by miners that carry out calculations necessary to find hash. The main function of the distributed ledger is that it ensures cryptographically secured and decentralized storage of the information about transactions.

3. Where is blockchain being applied and what are its prospects?

Blockchain technology is quite cross-functional, because it provides us with the new method of information storage and exchange. In all areas where it is applied, blockchain functions as a universal database that almost cannot be hacked or amended without sanction. However, anyone who has the right can get access to the information. A great interest to blockchain comes from the finance sector.  Traditional banks and fintech startups pay their attention to distributed solutions that blockchain suggests.

Governments treat cryptocurrencies rather negative, but at the same time they realize blockchain potential. Some countries, like Sweden or Arab Emirates, plan switch their register of properties to blockchain.  Estonia develops mechanisms for blockchain-voting at shareholders meetings. Besides,there is e-Residency platform in the country — electronic identification system based on blockchain.

The world’s largest humanitarian organization called World Food Programme uses blockchain to provide refugees with food via existing shops and retail chains instead of directly distributing food or money to buy some.   

Smart contract technology that is realized on Ethereum blockchain is not restricted only to cryptocurrency transactions processing. It is a kind of new method of contractual arrangements where there is no need for lawyers,banks or other mediators.

Today blockchain is already being used for creating distributed cloud storages, where users’ data (including personal data) will be protected by cryptographic means.

4. Conclusion

Anyway, blockchain is definitely an important technology that is likely to increase its impact in the near future. World Economic Forum describes blockchain as a fundamentally new form of computer architecture that brings the opportunities that could be compared to those brought by the development of the Internet in 1990s and smartphones in 2000s. The potential of distributed ledger is obvious for businesses and even state authorities and many of them started applying the technology in a number of areas.

Blockchain appeared 10 years ago, which is actually quite a long time given the speed of scientific and technical progress. However, we can state that the real potential of the technology is being discovered today. Blockchain is actually a new useful way of storing and transferring information, while in the modern society it is perhaps the most important asset.

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, September 22: Cryptocurrencies Are Unstable, Ripple Is Still Growing

crypto prices

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the online platform Coin360, Bitcоin (BTC) lost 0.74% in the past 24 hours. The price at the time of writing is $6652 per coin.

Cryptocurrencies stay both in the red and green zones:

Bitcoin Cash lost 1.70% over the past day and costs $473 per coin;

Ripple added 20.57% and is worth $0.56;

EOS grew by 1.87%, and its price is $5.89;

Litecoin increased by 0.71%, and its cost is $58;

Cardano lost 3.40%, and its value is $0.081;

Stellar dropped by 4.54% and is worth $0.23;

IOTA added 0.36%, and its value is $0.58;

Dash lost 3.3.1% and costs $200;

Monero decreased by 0.33% and is worth $119.

Ethereum added 3.97% over the past 24 hours. The cost of the coin is $235.

The total market capitalization is $221 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 52% of the total volume. It is $115 billion in monetary terms.

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HitBTC Added the Gemini Dollar Owned by Winklevoss Brothers to the Listing

gemini dollar listed on hitbtc

The cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC announced on its Twitter the addition of the Gemini dollar, launched by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on the Ethereum blockchain, into their own list of trading positions.

Since September 20, customers of the HitBTC, which joined it this year, can trade with Bitcoin, EOS, Tether and Ethereum in pairs with the Gemini dollar. The HitBTC platform was the first exchange on the cryptocurrency market, which carries out operations with this stablecoin.

We remind you:

OKCoin Adds Five New Tokens to Its Listing

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Cryptocurrency Prices Today, September 21: Bitcoin and Ethereum Are in the Green Zone, Ripple Rose by More Than 40%

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency prices

According to the online platform Coin360, over the past 24 hours Bitcоin (BTC) added 4.51%. The price at the time of writing is $6699 per coin.

Cryptocurrencies are showing positive dynamics:

Bitcoin Cash added 12.86% over the past day and costs $480 per coin;

Ripple added 41.76% and is worth $0.46;

EOS grew by 10.57%, and its price is $5.78;

Litecoin increased by 7.14%, and its value is $57;

Cardano added 16.18%, and its cost is $0.083;

Stellar gained 18.71% and is worth $0.24;

IOTA grew by 9.16%, and its value is $0.57;

Dash added 7.83%, and its price is $205;

Monero increased by 7.28% and is worth $119.

Ethereum added 8.43% over the past 24 hours. The cost of the coin is $226.

The total market capitalization is $217 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 53.2% of the total volume. In monetary terms, this is $115 billion.

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Mining Complexity: What It Is and Where It Will Get

mining complexity

Not long ago there was a real gold rush around cryptocurrency mining – thousands of people started digging digital rock to get the precious digital gold, while its rate was beating all records and surpassing all expectations. It all started from simple mining on users devices – laptops, personal computers, tablets, etc. – and turned into a complicated industry with a developed infrastructure. Mining pools appeared, specialized equipment (ASIC-miners) was produced, huge mining farms were set up, where mining was conducted on an industrial scale. Mining even partially switched to the cloud – services appeared that offered cloud cryptocurrency mining without any investments, except for financial ones. Although mining has not changed the structure of the world economy, it is nevertheless not an ordinary phenomenon. The fact that currently cryptocurrency mining consumes more electricity than many countries is a case in point.

Today we will talk about what mining complexity, its function, how it changes, what it depends on and how can it set the tone for the entire cryptocurrency mining industry.

Contents:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. Brief review of mining
  2. Complexity: how it changes and what it depends on
  3. What will happen to mining in the future
  4. Conclusion

 1. Brief review of mining

Mining actually means making computational operations to decode a certain algorithm and find its hash. Every mineable cryptocurrency is based on a particular hashing algorithm. When the algorithm is successfully decoded, a new block is added into blockchain, a new coin is issued and miners get their rewards. Many popular digital currencies can be issued only through mining, these are Bitcoin and its forks, Ethereum, Monero, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, etc. Some, however, are pre-mined and do not provide mining opportunities, like Ripple, NEO, NEM, EOS, Tether, etc.

Depending on hash features, different equipment can be used to mine different digital currencies. Initially all mineable coins, including BTC, were mined on users devices (PCs or laptops) using CPU. Today it is not that common and there are a few popular coins that still provide such type of mining. Soon CPUs became not enough to profitably mine digital coins and miners started using graphic cards to cope with more resource-intensive calculations and growing complexity.

Later the specialized equipment appeared on the market – ASIC-miners that are used today to mine Bitcoin, as well as other coins, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, etc. ASIC is a specialized microchip that performs calculations much faster than graphic cards. Although ASIC today is mostly associated with mining, the technology itself was developed in early 1980s to advance graphic performance of PCs. Besides, miners create pools where they combine their processing power to make mining more efficient for the whole group. The reward for the created block is then distributed depending on the processing power provided by each pool member.

There is also another mining solution – cloud mining. Graphic cards and ASIC-miners are rather expensive, more and more of them are required to mine profitably. The equipment needs space to be placed, has to be connected to the power grid, cooled, cleaned, repaired, set up, monitored, etc. Cloud mining implies leasing of computing power from companies that manage large mining farms and data centers. In addition, cryptocurrency is mined in other sometimes even illegal ways. For example, your computer can be infected with a hidden virus-miner that uses its resources to mine a particular coin.

2. Complexity: how it changes and what it depends on

Complexity indicates how difficult it is to find hash. The specified hash parameters determine how difficult calculations should be to find it. The more users are there in the network and the more cryptocurrency is mined – the higher complexity is. Bitcoin complexity is reviewed every 2016 blocks (about 2 weeks) and depends on how much time was spent to mine previous 2016 blocks.

What is the function of complexity? Bitcoin is designed to add every new block in  10 minutes on average. This can differ from one cryptocurrency to another (2.5 minutes for Litecoin and up to 20 seconds for Ethereum). The amount of processing power in the network can drastically change over time – when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first BTC, there was only one device in the network, probably a laptop or a PC. Today we have huge industrial farms with thousands of special mining devices.

To ensure the stability of the generation of new blocks, cryptocurrency software automatically makes it more or less difficult for miners to find hash. So if there are more miners and the computing power of the network increases, it is more difficult to find hash. If the power decreases – it becomes easier to make all necessary calculations. This is the way the system remains sustainable – no matter how much processing power is their in the network it will still take around 10 minutes to generate new Bitcoin block. In early 2010, Bitcoin complexity was just a little bit above 1, while in 2013 it was already 3 million. Today it has already exceeded 7 trillion.


Source: BitcoinEnergyConsumption.com

So, every 2016 blocks (about every two weeks), Bitcoin corrects its complexity, so that each block is generated in approximately 10 minutes, regardless of the number of miners in the system. Other mineable cryptocurrencies has the same role for complexity and it is implemented in a similar way.

3. What will happen to the mining in the future

Mining is no longer the same as it used to be – says… everyone. While some digital currencies can still be mined using PCs, it is rather difficult to join the “extraction” of most of the leading coins. To start mining Bitcoin today you should have… started mining Bitcoin a few years ago. The same thing is happening to other digital currencies, and ASIC-miners are to blame in fact. They are able to make calculations way faster and more efficient and wherever they enter the mining market, the total complexity increases and CPU/GPU-mining retires. However, some still manage to make money out of mining. There are still those coins that are not mined using ASIC-miners, which means one can still mine them on average laptops or PCs.

Anyway, one thing is clear – today, mining is no longer stands for easy money, and the market is being taken over by large, “professional” miners, who mine digital coins on an industrial scale. Industrial mining is associated with a whole range of logistics, legal and resource issues. Until recently, most of Bitcoin miners were located in China, but last year the government banned ICOs, cryptocurrency trade and mining. Another thing is energy consumption. Calculations require a lot of electricity, so the miners are looking for countries with lower power prices.

 

Source: BitcoinEnergyConsumption.com

Another problem is obsolescence of equipment. Many industrial miners have found out, that the hardware they used to mine BTC 2017 cannot ensure the same profit in 2018.

So, mining becomes less profitable and new members have no chance to join the market easily. This lead to the fact that mining of top coins becomes way less popular. Not mineable coins, as well as those who still provide available mining can take advantage of that. For example, in 2017 there was a boom for mining browser extensions (like Coinhive). Of course, browser-mining of Bitcoin or Ethereum sounds rather weird, but there is another relatively popular coin – Monero – that still provides such an opportunity.

4. Conclusion

So, complexity is one of the key categories that form a technical structure of mineable cryptocurrencies. Written in the protocol, it helps blockchain to remain sustainable in terms of the time necessary for the generation of new blocks. Complexity directly depends on the number of miners in the network and, accordingly, on the total processing power. Most of the leading cryptocurrencies have already became much more difficult to mine and this is obviously an ongoing process. There are more users, more special equipment and more professional industrial-scale miners which make mining unavailable for average users.  

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OKCoin Adds Five New Tokens to Its Listing

okcoin adds five new coins

To continue our today’s topic related to crypto exchanges, we wanted to inform you about the changes in the listing of the exchange OKCoin. OKCoin is currently occupying the second position of the CoinMarketCap rating. A couple of days ago, the management of the exchange introduced 5 new digital assets:

The newly added cryptocurrencies include:

– Ripple

ZCash

Cardano

– Stellar lumens

– 0x

The CEO of OKCoin seems pretty excited due to this event.

We are very pleased to welcome these five new cryptocurrencies and all of the communities that trade them,” he said.

We remind you:

Bittrex Adds Two New Coins: XRP and ETC

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