The South African city of Johannesburg kicked off the first edition of Steem Saturday, an event created by community members of the decentralised social media platform Steemit, on Saturday, Oct. 29.

This is the first time the platform would organize a major event that is geared towards improving its value in Africa.

The event, which precedes a proposed 3-day SteemFest slated for Amsterdam next weekend, attracted a local crowd of Blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts as well financial experts.

Co-founder of Steemit, Ned Scott, was in South Africa to give the keynote address and take some questions afterwards.

He cited the lack of transparency and fraud in the banking sector and how social networks interact with users as the motivation for launching Steemit. He added that the structure of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter acted as the middleman between users and advertisers, that uses people's private information to leverage profits.

He said:

"What we want is a paradigm in which data is transparent, whereby utilities that we use online are working for us and not taken from us.”

He added that users spend so much time, creativity and energy contributing content to these social media platforms which take all the information along with our private data and putting it behind a wall guard to leverage profits for their shareholders.

"With Blockchain, we can flip that model so that the data is public and so that our time, energy, attention and creativity are rewarded.

"We are in a unique moment in time where we can take the Blockchain and the crypto-currency content and apply it to these social networks in a way that creates more synergy between the end-users, the platform and businesses that tap into the platform to get our attention."

Zambian investor and entrepreneur, Ceaser Siwale, talked on the challenges of transacting across borders in African countries while Bankymoon’s Lorien Gamaroff touched on using the Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies for crowdfunding and how this will help save huge costs in getting funds to where they are needed.