Steem Cryptocurrency Notches 50% Gain as Social Network Gains Traction

Steem cryptocurrency saw its market value spike on Wednesday, with gains that far outpaced the competition as investors rallied behind the so-called media monetizing coin. The unexpected surge puts Steem in 19th spot among active cryptocurrencies with a market cap of more than $1.6 billion.

Steem Price Levels

The STEEM token rose 52% on Wednesday to reach $6.53, its highest in more than two weeks, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. The coin rose 43% relative to bitcoin to trade at 0.00057113 BTC. There are more than 247.7 million STEEM tokens in circulation out of a total supply of 264,756,936.

Trade volumes exceeded $262 million on Wednesday, with South Korea’s Upbit generating roughly 85% of the turnover via won and BTC transactions. Meanwhile, Bittrex processed nearly $10 of the daily transactions via STEEM/BTC. Poloniex, HitBTC and OpenLedger DEX also support the buying and selling of STEEM tokens.

There was no immediate catalyst for the large appreciation, although Steem social network has been gaining traction for quite some time. The platform is much older than the current ICO craze, having launched in March 2016. STEEM tokens spiked immediately after launch day, eventually becoming a top-five cryptocurrency based on market cap.

Blockchain-Powered Social Media

Although many investors may not be familiar with Steem, they’ve likely come across, a social media platform that monetizes curated content. The website is owned and operated by Steem, and utilizes the STEEM cryptocurrency for digital rewards.

If website traffic is a proxy for future success, then Steem could be poised to do big things. currently ranks no. 1,208 on Alexa, placing it among the world’s most active websites. To get a sense of just how powerful that score is, consider  that is ranked in the 300s and in the 400s. The popular social trading website eToro is down at 1,520 at the time of writing.

Steem’s value proposition lies in the integration of cryptocurrency with social media, which incentivizes users to participate in the network. The platform itself runs faster than the major blockchain applications, including bitcoin and Ethereum, with the added benefit of no fees.

Three digital tokens make up the ecosystem, including STEEM, Steem Power and Steem Dollars. Through Steem Power, users can invest in the network in an equity position. As the name implies Steem Dollars are pegged one-for-one with the U.S. currency.

The company claims it has paid out nearly $23 million in rewards since June 2016.

At this stage, Steem is no longer in the concept phase, but is a full fledged social media powerhouse with a large and growing user base. The company has prioritized third party development as a means to grow the network and has launched native mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi