What Is Hive

March 7, 2021
by Jamie

What Is Hive

Free speech is arguably one of the most important rights we have gained in the last couple of centuries. Regrettably, it seems that we are losing this right evermore in an era where most of what we see and read is being hosted by a select number of tech giants that control most of the internet space we see.

Since the Corona era, censorship has been increasingly widespread, and so-called ‘fact checkers’ decide what is true and allowed on centralized platforms and what can’t be seen by the public. At an alarming rate, Youtubers, Tweeters, and Facebookers have been getting violation strikes due to murky rules, and in a lot of cases, have even been thrown off the platform. Those platforms being their livelihoods and their outlet to express their opinion.

Censorship resistant

While it obviously is shocking to see the West, where free speech was one of our cultural values, has accustomed to censorship at warp speed levels, the same censorship that was booed mere years ago when done by the Chinese now seems to be accepted. Whether it’s about people having a different opinion on leadership, how we deal with the Coronavirus, or the new vaccine, whatever isn’t in the script of Big Tech and their puppet masters will be removed. Even scarier is the level of cooperation seen between the different tech companies. They all seem united to redirect the public to one single message.

There is an entire article to be written just to discuss why they want the public to receive this particular message, but we won’t delve deeper into that here.

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The biggest problem with Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter is that they have enormous market share and a tremendous (social) network effect. It’s difficult for content creators and consumers to jump ship, hoping to receive the same reach/or information somewhere else. Furthermore, these platforms are entirely centralized, where a board of 5 people can decide what can and cannot be seen by millions and sometimes even billions of people.

As stated in our Cornerstone article on Blockchain and Social Media, the next level of social media will be generated by evolving into a decentralized platform that incentivizes both the content creator and consumer. A platform where simply by sharing experiences and curating others can generate you an income.

One of the most advanced in this sector is Hive. A decentralized social media platform where its users can earn cryptocurrency, read uncensored information, and where the community has a clear destination for its project.

Background information on Hive

The Hive blockchain is a fork from the Steemit blockchain. While the people that initiated the hard fork were mostly early supporters of the Steemit ecosystem, some users decided that after the (hostile) Takeover by Justin Sun from the Tron foundation, the network didn’t remain decentralized enough. They decided to build another platform based on the Steemit technology with full decentralization in mind.

In essence, Hive is a decentralized social media platform, ready and designed for web 3.0. Users can post, interact, and like the content on the platform while at the same time earning cryptocurrency instead of digital likes. We explained more in this social media revolution in our cornerstone article.

web 3.0

Currently, we see that most of the revenue created by content creators goes directly towards the platform they post their content on. For example, ad revenues generated on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter go mainly to the platform itself. With Hive, the content creator is the big winner. When the content is valuable and generates a lot of interaction, the creator gets the lion’s revenue share. Bloggers and communities can really start seeing themselves as a business.

Besides the content creator, there is also a vital role for the curator in the Hive ecosystem. By deciding what content is valuable, curators get their slice of the Hive rewards as well. This incentivizes everyone to participate, whether you are writing about your favorite subjects or reading and learning about them.

It all comes down to this: Add value -> generate attention and engagement -> receive cryptocurrency.

The way that content creators and curators are being rewarded in the Hive ecosystem has been stamped ‘Proof of Brain.’

Proof of Brain: Smart and Social Tokens

While most people will be familiar with the ‘Proof of work’ concept used by many blockchains, Hive uses the ‘Proof of Brain’ concept. New tokens aren’t randomly distributed to machines solving difficult mathematical problems. Instead, new tokens are distributed to valuable content creators and curators. The blockchain rewards both these players based on their created value in the Hive ecosystem. The amount everyone receives is based on the crowd’s collective wisdom (more ‘likes’ equals more rewards!).

The gravity of every vote is based on the amount of Hive someone is holding. This means that if you have more Hive and are more invested in the Hive network, your vote has more value. It’s a way of making sure that random 1-day accounts can’t spam the network. On top of that, you can only vote after you converted some Hive to Hive power, which takes some time to complete, again making sure that only people who are serious about the ecosystem have a say in the matter. To ensure that block producers are incentivized to keep consensus on the blockchain, 10% of the block rewards are divided by them.

Hive blockchain

3 different cryptocurrencies in one system

The Hive blockchain consists of 3 different cryptocurrencies that all have their own role in the ecosystem. However, it may seem a bit confusing if you start out learning about Hive’s possibilities, and it is vital to understand its functionality. Otherwise, you may find a roadblock trying to post your content and not get rewarded in the process.

Hive

Hive is the base cryptocurrency used on the Hive blockchain, similar to Bitcoin. It can be bought and traded on exchanges and can be seen as an investment. However, more importantly perhaps for people actually using  Hive, it is used to transfer into Hive power and Hive Dollars, the other 2 currencies on the Hive blockchain. Hive itself has no other practical uses in the Hive ecosystem.

Hive power

How much influence your curations have is dependent on the amount of Hive Power you have. The reward you give to someone else’s post also increases with the amount of Hive Power in your account. Furthermore, newly generated Hive is allocated to users in proportion to the Hive Power’s amount, creating an incentive to increase their Hive Power holdings. To acquire Hive Power, you will have to turn your Hive tokens into Hive Power, a process called ‘powering up.’ To turn them back into Hive is called ‘powering down,’ and it has a catch. It takes 13 weeks before you are allowed to transfer them back, guaranteeing that there are no flash crashes caused by people’s panic selling at the same time. This also means that you need to be sure you are willing to transfer your Hive into Hive power, which only functions on the Hive blockchain and can not be traded outside of the ecosystem.

Hive Dollars (HBD)

Hive Dollars, or HBD abbreviated, is the 3rd and last currency of the Hive blockchain and is designed to be more stable than the other ones. It is intended to be pegged to the US dollar, meaning that it trades to the Hive price intending to get the number of Hive tokens representing 1 dollar at that time.  50% of the payment to creators and curators on Hive is processed in SBD to protect them against the Hive cryptocurrency fluctuations.

You can trade your HBD internally on the blockchain for Hive (which takes 3,5 days) and Hive power, and you can trade HBD on exchanges.

The Hive Ecosystem

The Hive ecosystem is more than just the blogging section. Many different apps have been build on the Hive blockchain, ranging from games to fitness apps and more. We’ll give you a summary of the most popular ones.

3Speak positions itself as a home of free speech. Unless the content is seriously illegal, everything is possible. People can talk about any subject, whether it is religious, political, or something as trivial as the weather. Everything is fair game.

3Speak started on the Steemit blockchain but has moved to the Hive blockchain after the TRON takeover. The Proof of Brain concept that originated on the Steem blockchain still helps with granting decentralized rewards. Another aspect of the Steem and Hive blockchain, communities, can be used to create places where like-minded individuals can come together and enjoy each other’s content.

For now, 3Speak does use a centralized front end, which includes high-end servers. The reason being that they want to give people the same experience that they are accustomed to by using Youtube.

Although there is a free version available where you can already start sharing your content, there will also be a premium membership subscription option available, enabling you to make communities, open up live-streaming, and more.

3speak had many plans that would use the Steem media tokens, but since the Hive hard fork, it isn’t clear to us where 3speak is planning ongoing. We know that they intended to create their own token, but with all that has happened in the previous months, things seem to have been postponed.

Since CryptoDeepDive has decided to implement Hive into their platform strategy, we certainly hope that 3Speak will make all the right moves. We’ll inform you when interesting updates have been launched.

If you want to start using the platform, we’ll be happy to get your Hive account setup. Send us a message, and we’ll get you up and running. You can also use this link to start your Hive adventure, and we will send you a bit of Hive Power! 

Another interesting dapp running on the Hive blockchain is Actifit. Actifit monitors how much you move every day and incentivizes being active by exchanging activity for their cryptocurrency. They called their concept ‘Proof of activity’. The more you walk, jog or move during the day, the higher your rewards will be. Your activities can easily be placed and shared on the Hive blockchain. It’s an easy way to implement blockchain technology and rewards into your fitness schedule. If fitness is your thing, why not start earning a bit on the side while you at it! They even have some interesting deals going on where you can spend your FIT tokens.

You can learn more about them and their token via their website.

Splinterlands is one of the most popular apps currently running on the Hive blockchain. It’s a mix between physical and digital card games, wherein every card is a Non-fungible-Token (read more about NFT’s and how blockchain can enhance the gaming industry in our Blockchain & Gaming article). People can battle other players, and every result is stored on the blockchain. The cards can be bought, traded, and sold for real money. There’s a lot of strategy and tactics to be learned, so if that’s something that resonates with you, be sure to check out more about the game here. 

Frontends, communities, and more

Besides apps running on the Hive blockchain, different frontends such as PeakD have been built to ensure a pleasant user experience. In essence, these frontends enhance the way we interact with the Hive blockchain making it more familiar to current social media platforms. PeakD has also integrated with Hive Keychain, making it possible to use a password instead of using your private (posting) key to place and comment on blogs.

Blogs can be further specialized in certain communities. Similar to Reddit, these communities bring people together that have a certain interest in a particular subject. Communities can range from ‘the best of Hive’ to communities focused on a specific subject such as photography, traveling, or gaming. Leofinance, for example, is one of the largest communities, and it focuses on the Blockchain and Finance sector. They’ve even created their own token, economy, decentralized exchange, and more. We highly encourage you to check it out for yourself since it probably deserves its own Deepdive in the future. 

If we dig even further into the ecosystem, we see other ‘clones’ of current-gen social media platforms emerge. A striking example is D.Buzz. D.Buzz is essentially a decentralized Twitter. The gamechanger with D.buzz is, just as with the rest on Hive, that you can earn cryptocurrency with your posts. Again, earning money instead of digital likes. Simple economics would dictate that it’s just a matter of time before people flock to these kinds of platforms.

Conclusion

The previous statement should be true. People should switch from current generation social media platforms to platforms such as Hive and D.buzz. However, the most important factor for actually getting this change of behavior is dependent on the network effect. When looking at platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they all have in common that they are the winner in their specific social media niches. And in social media, the winner takes all.

Posts can only be seen by as many eyes that there are on a specific platform, and the rewards are dependent on the number of upvotes and likes that posts get. For now, it seems that this revolution is only just beginning, with mostly blockchain technology veterans at the forefront. For the masses to start the transition, there has to be more awareness and increased ease of use. Onboarding new users unfamiliar with blockchain technology is still a hassle, and they most likely need some assistance from friends who have experience with the platform. Efforts have certainly be made to improve the process, but it will probably take more to overcome the inertia of leaving a well-known platform for something new.

Social Media Growth

Hive does have all kinds of winds in her sails, though. The blatant censorship that we have encountered in the last years hasn’t gone unnoticed, and neither has the cryptocurrency market in general. More and more people are starting to get interested in and joining the blockchain and cryptocurrency revolution. While there are a couple of other platforms in the social media space, Hive can benefit from the network effect flywheel and become the winner takes all platform in the blockchain and social media sector.

If you want to start using the platform, we’ll be happy to get your Hive account setup. Send us a message, and we’ll get you up and running. You can also use this link to start your Hive adventure, and we will send you a bit of Hive Power!

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