Economy of Self Expression. How to Earn Money with New Content-Related Blockchain Projects
The blockchain technology is one of the most discussed topics in many industries. People cannot stop talking about its disruptive potential and constantly make new predictions about how it’s going to change the world as we know it. Even though many blockchain-based solutions are still in the development stage, the opportunities for content creators are already apparent.
The existing systems don’t allow content creators to reach out to their consumers directly. There are middlemen who decide how much any content is worth, what content they want to see, and even who can participate. Sometimes, consumers cannot get the content they want because they live in another country or because of the difference in payment systems. Until now, content creators couldn’t sell their content directly to a targeted audience of consumers who want to see a certain type of content and are willing to pay for it. With the blockchain technology, it finally becomes possible. Consumers can pay for the content small amounts of money, rewarding creators for each text, picture, or audio track. In turn, content creators can get considerable benefits in aggregate.
There are several content-related blockchain projects that kill two birds with one stone. On one hand, they allow users to decide what content they want to see, simply voting for it, with no ads, and with no need to involve complicated algorithms used in social media like Facebook or Instagram. On the other hand, creators get rewarded for their work, which was a rare thing before. Of course, users have already been able to evaluate content by liking it on social media, however, only blockchain makes it possible to add real value to each like.
Steemit is a blockchain-based social media which was inspired by Reddit. On Reddit, users can upvote or downvote content, adding or deducting points of ‘karma’ for each post. Posts that have more karma get better visibility and can appear on the front page. Steemit also allows users to vote for content, however, votes on Steemit involve a real financial reward. Not only does this platform reward users for creating good content, but also for commenting and upvoting as well. The company itself claims that the platform creates an attention economy. Steemit also has its Russian twin — Golos, a social network for Russian-speaking users which also rewards content creators.
Steemit is based on the Steem blockchain that runs on a large network of computers. All the financial transactions on the platform are based on the STEEM cryptocurrency, which is transferable, liquid, and freely movable, just like Bitcoin. STEEM to date has a market cap of $245 million. It also determines the value of other tokens used on the platform.
Users can convert STEEM into Steem Power (SP) — units with a 13-week vesting period. Steem Power has a dual purpose. It is used in incentives aimed to support a long-term interest and it also increases the holder’s voting weight, as well as their ability to be rewarded. Steem Power is not liquid.
Steem Dollars (SD) are another instrument that allows users to get amounts of STEEM tokens worth of $1 per SD. You can transfer SD to other accounts and exchange them.
The Steem blockchain produces new STEEM tokens all the time and adds them to a “rewards pool.” When a new block is created, 15% of tokens goes to the Steem Power holders, 75% goes to content creators, and the remaining 10% is for miners.
If your content becomes popular, 50% of your reward is paid in Steem Dollars which can be exchanged for real dollars on an exchange, and the remaining 50% is paid in Steem Power. The platform itself is not a one-day project. It works, and content creators actually earn money here. For example, you can see posts that earned $200-$500 on the Steemit front page. On the other hand, some users note that if your content doesn’t get upvoted into the trending section quickly, it will disappear among other posts.
In general, if you’re familiar with Reddit, Quora, or Medium, Steemit will be easy to get used to. Just like Reddit, Steemit has its communities and tags that subdivide content into various streams. The only difference is that after you provide your phone number and email, you will need to wait for an administrator to verify your account. Usually, such a process takes a few hours to a week. In addition, given that it’s a blockchain-based platform, we suggest choosing good account passwords and keeping in mind that everything you post will be stored in the blockchain forever.
This is another way of interaction with the Steem blockchain. This app is similar to Instagram, however, it also has a few differences. You can sign in using your Steemit account, and then you’ll need to provide your Posting Key. The Posting Key is the Steemit and Golos feature that enables posting permissions but has nothing to do with money. You can find your Posting Key in the Steemit account, just click on your Wallet and then open the “Permissions” tab.
The working principle of this platform reminds Steemit, the only difference is that Steepshot is intended for pictures only. However, when you post a picture using your Steepshot app, this post also appears on Steemit or Golos as a blog post. The biggest difference with Instagram is that Steepshot doesn’t allow users to edit photos using different filters. You cannot crop images, the only thing you can do is rotate them. As for captions, you can add a few paragraphs of text with no need to worry about a word limit. You can also use hashtags and see photos of the people you follow in your feed.
DTube stands for “decentralized tube,” which reflects the nature of this video platform. It is also based on the Steem blockchain and uses it as a database. Just like in the previous two examples, DTube also rewards active creators for their video content.
Here, you’ll also need to use your Posting Key, just like when logging in on Steepshot. However, here you can have as many accounts as you want, which makes this platform different from Steemit.
The best and the worst thing about DTube is that it has no censorship. No matter what kind of video is uploaded here, it cannot be blocked or deleted, as it’s stored in the blockchain permanently. On the other hand, you can filter NSFW clips in your settings and enjoy videos from TRENDING, NEW, and HOT categories. Despite the fact that DTube looks almost exactly like YouTube and has the same interface, this platform doesn’t count views. Instead, videos are sorted by the amount of generated money. As users watch a certain clip and vote for it, it gets more money as a reward. This number is displayed in US dollars under every clip.
This platform is based on the Ethereum blockchain and uses its own QCO tokens. Creators of this project state that this platform can help people who develop digital content (e.g. music, movies, apps, games, e-books). For example, if you want to record a music track and all you have is a microphone, you don’t need a production studio anymore. Instead, you can create a new project on Qravity and distribute this project among sound producers, musicians, and composers, creating specific tasks.
This platform has a number of tools which make teamwork easier. For example, there is a messaging system, file sharing, and asset production. Once the content is ready, it becomes available on the platform. It also becomes available on other digital marketplaces and app stores when the rights are sold to distributors.
You can buy QCO tokens for ETH. All the monetary transactions within Qravity use QCO, however, there are also Qravity Project Tokens (QPT), which are used only within a certain project. Simply put, Qravity Project Tokens represent shares in the project and cannot be purchased or exchanged. When content creators work on a certain project, they get paid in QPT. When consumers buy the content, creators receive payment in QCO based on their amount of QPT. Therefore, the more tasks you complete for some project, the more money you’ll receive when consumers buy your content.
New content-related blockchain projects appear all the time. Some of them have a great potential to become popular, while others may share the same fate as 92% of blockchain-based projects. However, platforms like Steemit are already popular, and their disruptive influence is hard to overestimate. The blockchain technology not only makes it possible to eliminate any third parties, connecting creators and consumers directly, but also allows creators to earn money for good content that becomes popular among consumers.
Of course, if you already have millions of followers on Instagram or YouTube, you won’t be able to have the same level of income on blockchain-based platforms. On the other hand, if you’re a newbie who cannot invest lots of money in the promotion so that at least somebody could see your posts in the feed, you should try your luck on DTube or Steepshot. These platforms are still new and smaller than mainstream social media. Just like any other platform, they offer early users advantage over those who join later. Thus, blockchain platforms are certainly worth giving a try.