Steemit Inc., the company behind Steemit, a popular social media platform that rewards content creators with cryptocurrency has laid off close to 70% of its team in a restructure.
According to a November 27 post by company CEO Ned Scott, the layoffs were part of a wider restructure forced upon the company thanks to the weakened cryptocurrency market that has seen fiat returns diminishing and rising expense to run full network nodes.
The remaining employees are focusing on reducing near-term costs, including replacing steemd plugins, and pruning the chain size and reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Scott reaffirmed his belief that Steem could become the best and lowest-cost blockchain protocol and said the changes were to ensure long-term sustainability:
“We still believe that Steem can be by far the best, and lowest cost, blockchain protocol for applications and that the improvements that will result from this new direction will make it far better for application sustainability. However, in order to ensure that we can continue to improve Steem, we need to first get costs under control to remain economically sustainable. There’s nothing that I want more now than to survive, to keep steemit.com operating, and keep the mission alive, to make great communities.”
Steemit’s native token “Steem” was trading at just over 37 cents on Thursday afternoon, a 95.7% fall since its all-time high of $8.57 on Jan. 3rd 2018.
The effects of the weakening crypto economy are beginning to be felt industry wide. CCN reported in October that the oldest cryptocurrency exchange in the United Kingdom, Coinfloor planned to layoff most of its 40 staff thanks to lower market trading volumes. Elsewhere, a Nov. 26 industry report from blockchain research unit Diar revealed that ICOs liquidated $17m (100,000) worth of Eth tokens during last week’s price collapse alone — and alluded to many ICO projects not being able to fulfil their purpose if their assets under management are now a fraction of what was raised.