Decentralised publishing and content distribution platform Steemit has become the latest blockchain company to feel the heat, as the slowdown in legacy cryptocurrency markets continues to bite.
According to a statement from the firm, as much as 70% of its workforce will now lose their jobs, suggesting “the weakness of the cryptocurrency market, the fiat returns on our automated selling of STEEM diminishing, and the growing costs of running full Steem nodes” were behind the decision.
Steemit was launched to significant fanfare back in 2016, as a way of rewarding content creators for their work through cryptocurrency payments. Powered by its on-platform currency STEEM, Steemit was at one point regarded as one of the leading examples of a decentralised app for blockchain.
Staff members who survive the cull will be tasked with focusing on finding other ways of reducing costs and rolling back the size of the Steemit blockchain, with a view to decreasing the firm’s reliance on Amazon AWS.
CEO and founder Ned Scott said that while the platform still had potential, there was little option but to get costs under control.
According to Scott, “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, to ensure that we can continue to improve Steem, we need to first get costs under control to remain economically sustainable.”
One of the first dApps of its kind, Steemit was set up to allow users to submit content and get paid for their work. In the recent crypto market slide, the platform’s STEEM coin has been badly hit, losing as much as 96% of its value. As of today, STEEM was trading at $0.37.
The ongoing crypto bear market, dominated by the ongoing crypto sell-off, has put significant pressure on decentralised apps like Steem. The Civil platform is another which has struggled in recent weeks, after being forced to refund early investors in its CVL tokens.
It remains to be seen whether apps like Steem and Civil now have the staying power to cling on under such persistently difficult market conditions.
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Coinfloor, the UK’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, is to lay off staff following the announcement of a slew of redundancies at the firm this week, Financial News reported.
Founded in 2013, Coinfloor is considered to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to setup in the UK. Focused on institutional and larger investors, the platform currently enjoys daily trading volumes in the region of $1 million.
However, according to informed sources, the exchange is now turning to significant redundancies amongst its 40 strong team, as part of a wider essential restructuring of their business.
Coinfloor CEO Obi Nwosu was quoted by the news outlet as saying the move has been prompted by changes in trading volumes at the exchange over recent months. He confirmed to Financial News, “Coinfloor is currently undergoing a business restructure to focus on our competitive advantages in the marketplace and to best serve our clients. As part of this restructure, we are making some staff changes and redundancies.”
The news comes at a time of increasing difficulties for some notable cryptocurrency exchanges, following the bear market conditions that have prevailed through much of 2018 so far.
In the last few weeks, similar rumours had emerged from Kraken, suggesting they too were laying off staff, with their offices in Halifax, Canada, earmarked for closure.
However, the firm subsequently denied this was the case, issuing an unequivocal statement that they “can confirm that we are not shutting down any operations in any specific place.”
Much of the difficulties can be attributed to the plummeting price of BTC, dramatically down on its highs of nearly $20,000 in late 2017. According to a growing number of crypto analysts, it looks unlikely BTC will even nearly recover this lost ground any time soon, if ever.
According to Nwosu, Coinfloor has handled as much as $1 billion in BTC transactions over the last 12 months—perhaps indicative of the current extent of their apparent problems.
While it remains to be seen whether the rumours of job losses are confirmed, the news is further confirmation of the dwindling relevance of the old BTC coin in today’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
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