Steem is a blockchain protocol designed from the ground up to power Social Media 2.0 applications that enable users to retain ownership over their information while providing important social applications like blogging, social media, and content creation applications.
The flagship Steem application is steemit.com, where users (known as Steemians) can explore and engage with each other’s Steem content. Steemit has a familiar content structure that’s similar to other platforms such as Tumblr, Reddit, and Medium, but unlike those, Steemit leverages the Steem blockchain to deliver frictionless cryptocurrency rewards to users who contribute and share content.
The Steem blockchain’s unique Proof-of-Brain token distribution algorithm enables applications like steemit.com to leverage blockchain-level voting functions to allow users to rate and reward content without having to take money out of their own wallet.
Users earn more STEEM as their content receives more votes, and that applies to comments as well as posts. There are two types of rewards: one which increases a user’s influence on Steem and another paid in “Steem Dollars” (which are worth $1 U.S. Dollar) and can be cashed out immediately, or converted to STEEM.