There’s a new asset rating agency on the block called the Weiss Ratings Agency. Unlike traditional ratings agencies like Dun & Bradstreet, the Weiss Ratings Agency is getting involved in the rating of the new kid on the asset blocks – cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrency ratings are so new that there have only been four reports so far, but guess which cryptocurrency it has given the best rating to. Nope, it isn’t Bitcoin. And it isn’t Ethereum or Litecoin or Ripple or any of those top ten market cap coins.
Nope, it’s a coin called STEEM and Weiss has given it a B+ rating – making it the highest rated of any of the cryptocurrencies rated by them.
If you haven’t heard of STEEM, it’s the token that powers the Steem network and is used by over 700,000 users already, with transaction volumes on the network of 1.5 million daily transactions. And guess what? That’s only 0.14% of the capacity of the network. No, there are no scalability issues on the Steem network.
The most visible aspect of the Steem network is Steemit.com, which is a blogging and social media platform. With over 700,000 users it is already well established, unlike other cryptocurrency networks, which promise amazing results, but are years away from any usable product.
Users are attracted to Steemit.com because when they write something, if it is of good quality they could find a lot of others voting for it, and they get paid for each of these votes. Users can even use some of the money they’ve already earned on the platform to promote their content, thus getting more visibility and votes for their newer content. If people like the content you can make back your ad spend and even more. It’s kind of like promoting content on Facebook, except you reap the rewards, rather than Facebook and its shareholders getting rich off your ad money and content.
And the Steem network isn’t solely for writers and bloggers. There are now other platforms on the Steem blockchain for video, audio, photos and even one for meme’s. These are analogous to Youtube, Soundcloud, Instagram and 9gag and users make money on these platforms the same way they do on Steemit. The ability to add new applications to the blockchain is one of the strengths of Steem. It isn’t the only one though. There are seven others as identified by Weiss Ratings:
1. Decentralization. Like most blockchain networks, decentralization is at the heart of the Steem network. The network is run by Witness nodes, of which there are always 21 running, and these Witnesses provide a function similar to that of the large mining pools for bitcoin or ethereum. The real difference is in the decentralization provided by having 21 witnesses. Compared with bitcoin and ethereum where 3-5 mining pools control the majority of the hashing power this is very decentralized.
2. Democratic. The Witness nodes cannot be run by just anyone. They are voted in by the users of Steemit, and this means that if they begin to misbehave, such as by giving priority to the transactions of certain users or groups, they can be voted out and replaced.
3. No forking necessary. Unlike other cryptocurrencies that end up splitting, creating separate communities when there are disagreements, Steem has covered that through its democratic structure. Any changes to the blockchain need to be approved by two-thirds of the Witnesses. If approved the change goes into effect. If not approved the change is scrapped, or modified and voted on again later. This avoids the type of battles seen with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for example.
4. Fast and cheap. The Steem network is capable of processing thousands of transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchains in the world today. It is even faster than Ripple, and Ripple is touted for the speed of its network. And this is all done with zero fees within the network. That’s right, transfers from one Steem user to another incur zero fees!
5. Huge usage. The Steem network is currently seeing 1.5 million daily transactions. That’s roughly double the usage of ethereum and 60% more than Ripple. And the Steem network is only using 0.14% of its capacity. There are no scalability issues with the Steem network.
6. Popularity. Because it is a social network, Steem has become very popular, adding roughly 25,000 users per week currently. People love the community building aspect and the interaction.
7. Individuality. Users on the Steemit platform are encouraged to show their individual talents and unique personality. In fact, right from the start an individual user is allowed to select their own unique username for the platform. This is vastly more consumer centered versus competitors.
When all of these strengths are added up it equals value. That’s what Steem brings to the blockchain. It is a cryptocurrency with a clear purpose, a clear value proposition, and a steady and rapidly growing userbase. This is everything anyone could want from a cryptocurrency, and it’s no wonder Steem gets such a high rating from Weiss Ratings.
If you’re interested in generating your own Steem, and joining one of the first and most successful blockchain projects, why not head over to Steemit.com and create your own unique account.