Blockchain startup Steemit has laid off close to 70 percent of its staff, citing the prolonged bear market for cryptocurrency.
In a video address posted to YouTube Thursday, Steemit CEO and founder Ned Scott said:
“While we were building out our team over the last many months we have been relying on projections of basically a higher bottom for the market and since that’s no longer there, we’ve been forced to lay off more than 70 percent of our organization and begin a restructuring.”
The address did not specify how many employees Steemit had before the layoff and requests for further details were not returned by press time.
Nevertheless, elaborating on the impact of low market prices for major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Scott wrote in a blog post that “fiat returns” could no longer adequately cover the “growing costs of running full Steem nodes.”
Steemit is a social media platform that leverages blockchain technology to reward publishers and content curators with tokens called STEEM.
Launched in March 2016, Steemit was early on one of the six largest cryptocurrencies operating in the blockchain space with an approximate market capitalization of $157 million. Today it ranks 48th among crypto coins, with a market capitalization of roughly $106 million, according to CoinMarketCap.
Scott described “the financial course for [the company] being very much altered,” but emphasized that the startup fully intends to keeping fighting through bearish market trends.
“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,” said Scott.
He added that the priority for the company will be short-term “cost reduction solutions” including a number of technical changes easing the storage and energy costs of running the platform.
Steemit image via Shutterstock