Believe it or not, but in many ways Steem reminds me of the early days of Bitcoin even they are completely different in nature. Hear me out.
In the early days, people accused Bitcoin of just being a scam, magic internet money with no real value. Now this is in a way understandable for the people that didn't take the time to dig deeper into it and realize what the true innovation of blockchain was. In a time when Internet scams such as Ponzi and MLM schemese were popular it was difficult to differentiate between the two. You really had to take time to read the whitepaper or follow discussions on forums of other people getting deeper into it to really understand its possible potential. Same thing goes for Steem, even though the innovation of blockchain should already have been proof enough there were still a lot of people who to begin with didn't understand it nor did they think Bitcoin was legit either. Not only that but there were people who started saying that Bitcoin was the only real blockchain and everything else is a scam. It is quite funny how short sighted people can be and it is sad that some of those are still around pretending to be evangelist of the tech. So Steem may have had a rough start and the same goes for many other cryptocurrencies at the time, same thing goes for Bitcoin.
"Bitcoin is only used to launder money, buy drugs off of Silk Road and for pump and dumps". Luckily Steem is a lot more open and connected to individuals than Bitcoin was at the time, but people have started to understand what the blockchain is and how it works nowadays to know that Bitcoin is not a great currency to use for transactions you want to keep hidden. Mainly due to all transactions being able to be traced and when you want to withdraw them you have to go through exchanges who most nowadays require KYC. Same thing about Steem where from the beginning many choose to verify their accounts linked to their identity to gain trust of the investors to easier receive rewards for being themselves - or more importantly not just being another sockpuppet. Although Steem has not had as many pumps yet, many have accused it of being a circle-jerk where investors are just rewarding themselves with the rewards and getting rich due to their early advantages. I'm not saying this is completely false, but at the same time this is a social platform and people like to reward people they know more than those just providing quality content. Bear in mind that this is mainly in regard to the early days of Steem, I do realize that curation is not working as well nowadays and needs a fix. Regardless there are ton of accounts that have come here with barely any investment and have been able to earn their way up through their activity. Same thing can not be said about Bitcoin due to it needing hardware and putting that to work to give you a reward of its new distribution, but in the beginning that was easily done with only a couple processors or graphics cards. Now I believe we are also nearing the end of the easy rewards earned here on Steem and the more projects pop up and the more users join the harder it is going to get.
A lot of Bitcoins are lost forever due to user error, exchange scandals and other scams. Luckily for Steem people are a lot more vary about cryptocurrency this time around and due to its social aspect it is a lot easier to be prepared for these things just by reading content on Steem and learning from your followers. Whereas many Bitcoin holders forgot about their wallets early on because they just didn't care or trusted Mt. Gox with their coins or invested them into ICO's thinking they'll make back a lot more - on Steem things have been quite different here. I don't think many have lost their keys although you do hear it every now and then, luckily that mostly effects newcomers who often don't have a lot of Steem to begin with. Even though Poloniex has been such a pain I don't think anyone has actually lost much Steem to exchanges getting hacked or running off with your coins. About re-investing Steem into some other projects it is hard to say but it wouldn't surprise me considering how many accounts who may have underestimated Steem may have sold it for something else and lost a lot of value that way. Luckily the future of investing here on Steem will be quite different through the powers of delegation and curation and will keep users a lot more safe than previous crypto giants have.
Over time it is astounding to see how far Steem has gotten compared to Bitcoin at this age. Sure people are a lot more aware of cryptocurrency now and that's mainly thanks to Bitcoin, but due to Steems technical advantage we are also so far ahead in transactions made, users aquired (even though many are AFK because some people just don't learn that its during the lows that you should be most active - but they'll be back :)) and just the explosive nature Steem has where everything can have a chain reaction depending on price and the way it affects the rewardpool. Most importantly the Steem blockchain being able to take that usage and handle it well with no bottlenecking and making it insanely expensive for users to use.
If you happen to come up with more similarities between the two, feel free to share them in the comment section and discuss it further there. :)
[Image Source: Pixabay]