Launched as the first Blockchain-based social network, Steem rewards its users (who call themselves as Steemians), with an integrated set of Cryptocurrency known as STEEM tokens (STEEM, Steem Dollars (SBD) and STEEM Power (SP)) or (VESTS) In 2016, the first block was produced in March 24th and few months after, in July 4th, its first payouts were distributed. It grew in popularity in August 2016, gaining critical mass, having an article written on Coindesk, and with many online celebrities such as Jackson Palmer (Dogecoin Creator), The Corbett Report, and the Dollar Vigilante using it. At that time the number of users increased by record-breaking 3,200%. and according to the estimations in July 13th, 2016, the Steem token had reached the third place in market capitalisation after Bitcoin and Ethereum, jumping from $13 to over $250 million in only 10 days. It attracted a Cyber attack attempt when fewer than 260 accounts were compromised and soon reimbursed, as Ned Scott, Steemit, INC. co-founder and CEO, said after the incident.
While Steem is a decentralised network, users can use online interfaces such as Steemit (similar to Reddit), Busy (similar to Facebook), D.tube (similar to Youtube), Dsound (Similar to Soundcloud), Zappl (similar to Twitter) and others with an integrated Steem wallet and account creation capabilities. Running in the same Steem Blockchain many tools, websites and services form the ever growing Steem Ecosystem. The Steem platform is built upon Graphene, the same technology that powers Bitshares, another blockchain network created by Dan Larimer, Steemit, INC. co-founder and former CTO, who now is leading the EOS project. This technology has been demonstrated sustaining over 1,000 transactions per second on a distributed test network and can easily scale to 10,000 or more. Following this performance, Steem is capable of handling a larger userbase than Reddit.