What is Steemit and How Does It Work?

It's like if Reddit was built on the blockchain.

Flickr / Bruce Guenter

If you’ve ever been on Reddit, you’ll know that the almighty Upvote rules. Redditors around the globe spend hours forging memes, editing GIFs, and writing fan fiction in the hopes that one day their post will earn enough praise to make it to the front page.

Steemit — a social media network built on top of blockchain technology — has taken this craving for Internet popularity points and has turned it into a way for bloggers to earn cryptocurrency.

While Facebook earns money by having people use it, Steemit rewards users for posting, commenting, and even just upvoting. That means if that stunning waterfall picture you took makes it to the “Trending” page, you could potentially make hundreds of dollars worth of STEEM — the cryptocurrency that powers the site.

Here’s a breakdown of how to get involved and what to expect:

Starting An Account:

The site's homepage.


Unlike other social media sites, once you sign up with your email and phone number you’re placed in a waiting list. It could take as little as a day to as long as a week for an administrator to verify your account.

Once you’ve gained access to a new account be sure to safely store your password. Steemit does not include a password recovery system, like most other sites, so if you get locked out you’re out for good.

Another distinct attribute of Steemit accounts is that they cannot be deactivated or deleted. They are permanently stored on the blockchain, much like standard cryptocurrency purchases.

Navigating, Posting, And Commenting:


Once you’re in, the homepage should look akin to your Reddit feed. There’s an endless stream of posts ranging from in-depth discussion to reposted Youtube videos.

The tabs located on the upper-left of the page, next to the Steemit logo, let you navigate to different feeds. “Trending” includes posts with a ton of engagement and votes, “Hot” is the content that’s surging at the moment, and “New” is simply organized chronologically.

At the upper-right you’ll find a “Post” button that will let you begin getting involved in the world of Steemit. Instead of having to post something to a particular subreddit, you can simply tag your post with relevant labels.

If your post or comments are hilarious, informative, or simply attract a lot of attention, you’ll start amassing some digital currency in due time.

STEEM, STEEM Power, Steem Dollars:

The STEEM token's 7 Day ticker. Via CoinMarketCap.


STEEM is the base token of the platform and is similar to bitcoin. It can be turned into two other versions of the digital currency.

STEEM Power (SP), is essentially a measurement of clout on the site. The more SP you hold the more you can influence how much recognition other posts get. It’s like being a highly revered critic. You can turn STEEM tokens into SP, but you’ll be trading liquid value for Internet influence.

Steem Dollars (SBD), are pegged to $1 USD. You can trade them with STEEM or transfer them to other accounts for commerce or exchange.

You’ll receive half SP and SBD as rewards for posts, or you can opt to receive all SP.

This Won’t Make You Rich Quick:

Not all posts are lucrative.


While this might seem like a fast and easy way to make money, it isn’t quite so simple.

The content you post has to go viral on the site for it to earn a notable amount of rewards, but if you’ve ever tried to make it to the front page of Reddit you’ll know how difficult this is.

Also, you can’t immediately cash out your rewards. The SP and SBD you earn on posts are deposited to your wallet a week after the post was published.

But if you consistently post, comment, and vote, it is at least possible to amass a decent cryptocurrency holding. Not bad for a Reddit alternative.