Steem is a social blockchain platform that focuses on decentralized applications, an example of which is the popular Steemit publishing platform. Launched in 2016 by EOS founder Dan Larimer and Ned Scott, STEEM is one of the earliest examples of a social and content-focused platform that employs cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.
Steem’s mission is to empower communities by giving them smart tokens to incentivize users to help grow communities and foster participation.
Steem’s most prominent application, Steemit, is a publishing platform where content creators are rewarded with the cryptocurrency token STEEM for the quality they produce. There is also a stablecoin available on the network called Steem Dollars (SBD). Both tokens can be traded on an internal decentralized exchange. Transaction fees are replaced by the inflation rate of the token.
Several other decentralized applications have already been created on Steem. Other dapps include Steem Engine, a platform for issuing and trading Steem-based tokens; DTube, a decentralized platform for uploading and sharing video material; SteemPress, a WordPress plugin connecting WordPress and Steem; and more.
The Steem team is currently focusing on developing Smart Media Tokens, which will “will allow anyone to create their own token...and use those tokens to fundraise, monetize content, and grow their own social communities.” This is intended to help communities in the content creation space to launch their own tokens to support themselves and establish mutually beneficial mini-ecosystems.