Alternatives to Bitcoin
Course Introduction
6m 46s
12m 22s
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7m 18s

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The most well-known cryptocurrency is BitCoin, but in this course, we will introduce you to some other alternatives out there in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. These include Litecoin, Binance Coin, Ethereum, Ripple, Steem, Ethereum classic, and Monero.


Here we have an interesting lecture, discussing the token of a very interesting project, Steem. So, let me give you a quick summary of what Steem is first before jumping into explaining steem, Steem Dollars, and Steem Power. Now, Steem is a social news platform that pays users with digital currency called Steem for posting and voting good content. Think of Reddit, but with a nice add-on on getting paid for your participation, simple as that. Let me dive into helping you understand now the terms associated with the site. Let's start with the term, Steem. So, this is the basic cryptocurrency used to power this whole system. It's like the bricks used to build Steem Dollars and Steem Power, which will be explained in a moment. You can buy and sell Steem, speculate on its price, or convert it to Steem Dollars and Steem Power. But if you're not looking to speculate on the price or if you're not cashing out your Steemer earnings, you don't need to deal with Steem directly. Next, we have Steem Dollars. This is the currency of the Steemit platform, and is also known as SMD. This is what people send to one another when they up vote posts on Steemit. The reason it's called Steem Dollars is because one Steem Dollar represents any amount of Steem required to reach US $1, depending on the exchange rate at that time, more or less. However, unlike Steem, you cannot use Steem Dollars outside of the Steemit platform. You will first have to convert your Steem Dollars into Steem, and only then you will be able to convert that Steem into Bitcoin or US Dollars. The reason Steem Dollars were created is because the founders wanted to peg the value of Steem in some way to the US Dollar, so that people will be able to trade inside Steemit, but not be afraid of exchange rate fluctuations. This way, if you trade, for example, 100 Steem Dollars, you know you're giving away $100 US dollars worth of a Steem. The Steem Dollar is essentially just an IOU, a promise, if and when you decide to cash out of your Steem Dollars, you will get however many Steem it takes to get to that value in USD. There's also an interest acquired on any Steem Dollars left in your account. It was about 10% a year, the last time I checked. This is done in order to incentivize people to leave their Steem Dollars in their account. Let's move onto Steem Power, also known as SP in short. This is basically a token symbolizing how much influence you have inside the Steemit platform. If you have a lot of SP, your up votes will count more and will award different offers SP and Steem Dollars as well. Then we have Powering Up, which means getting more SP either by up votes or buying a vice Steem. We also have Powering Down, which means liquidating your SP into Steem. SP can be powered down for Steem in a long process that takes two whole years. SP is considered a long term investment in the Steemit platform. That's why, other than taking a long time to cash out, it also bears a very high interest rate, encouraging people not to power down. I hope this short and to the point lecture helps you grasp all the terms involved with the Steemit website. Just a note here from me, Steemit as a platform has changed certain aspects of their tokens in terms of the percentages involved. So, please do double-checked figures, if you're just getting involved. See you in the next lecture, where we'll be diving into yet another cryptocurrency.

About the Author
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Ravinder is an expert instructor in the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, having helped thousands of people learn about the subject. He's also the founder of B21 Block, an online cryptocurrency and blockchain school.