Steemit, a distributed app designed to reward content creators, has laid off 70 percent of its staff, citing “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.”
The remaining team will focus on reducing server costs by shrinking the size of the Steemit blockchain and slowly the dependence on Amazon AWS instances.
Founder and CEO Ned Scott wrote:
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 became one of the first working decentralized applications and allowed users to submit content and pay content creators. The Steemit coin, STEEM, has fallen 96 percent from its all-time high and is currently trading at $0.37 USD.
Steemit follows Civil down the decentralized toilet as the idea of idealized decentralized apps rams headfirst with the volatility of the crypto market. Civil, for example, promised to pay journalists for their work, and a number of organizations created Civil-based payment programs for writers. With the fall of crypto, however, these organizations have pulled back, sometimes cutting salaries by 70 percent.
I’ve requested from Steemit clarification on the actual number of layoffs and further plans for the product.