Full 'steem' ahead for blockchain

Steemit CEO and co-founder Ned Scott says a crypto-currency like Bitcoin empowers communities and the people that are using it.
Steemit CEO and co-founder Ned Scott says a crypto-currency like Bitcoin empowers communities and the people that are using it.

Blockchain is magic Internet money that gives people control of their money, says Ned Scott, co-founder and CEO of Steemit.com.

Steemit is a public and decentralised social media platform based on blockchain, where users get paid for blogging and curating content.

The platform plugs into a blockchain database, called Steem, which distributes crypto-currency rewards to users uploading popular articles, commentary, images and videos. It has already attracted 100 000 users since its launch in July.

On Saturday, QuadroIT hosted the first of many Steem Saturday events which will be arranged all over the world.

Held at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg, the event attracted a local crowd of blockchain and crypto-currency enthusiasts, Steemit users, as well financial experts.

Speaking at the Steem Saturday event, Scott said they were motivated to launch Steemit because of the lack of transparency and fraud that occurs within the banking sector and how social networks interact with users.

Social networks are not completely transparent and lately there has been talk of censorship and manipulation of content, he added.

According to Scott, the structure of social media platforms has been one that uses people's private information to leverage profits. "What we want is a paradigm in which data is transparent, whereby utilities that we use online are working for us and not taking from us."

He added: "We spend so much time, creativity and energy contributing content to these social media platforms. What these companies are doing is taking all this information along with our private data and putting it behind a wall guard to leverage profits for their shareholders.

"With blockchain, we can flip that model so that the data is public and so that our time, energy, attention and creativity are rewarded."

Scott noted it is social media like Facebook and Twitter that acts as the middleman, extracting users' information in their transaction process with advertisers.

"We are in a unique moment in time where can take the blockchain and the crypto-currency content and apply it to these social networks in a way that creates more synergy between the end-users, the platform and businesses that tap into the platform to get our attention."

Scott noted Steem is meant to be a database that flips the model on content creation and rewards users for creating good content.

"What we are trying to build are systems that empower communities.

"It's really encouraging to see the sheer number of entrepreneurs and developers that have come to this open platform and said I want to build alongside you guys, I want to build our own tools leveraging this technology," he said.

Read time 2min 30sec
Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
IT in government editor

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba is the IT in government editor at ITWeb. She reports on tech initiatives, policies and digital transformation strategies in government, banking and education. She holds an honour's degree in journalism from Rhodes University. Behind that smile, she is plotting how best to get government officials to respond to her emails before deadline :)

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