Crisis at Steemit Inc (STEEM) : 70% Employees laid off

Steemit Inc announced that 70% of their employees were laid-off due to the company restructuring. It is clear that there are major issues at the company. We did some analysis on the reasons for the layoffs and also took a deep dive into the future plans of the company. 

Reasons for the Lay-offs

  • Market Collapse – Unfortunately, the price of STEEM dropped 97% (from $7.31 dollars in January 2018 to $0.24)
  • Budget Shortcomings – Steemit Inc held substantial amounts of the cryptocurrency STEEM. As employees are paid out in fiat, this meant the company couldn’t cash out enough STEEM to pay for the employees
  • Company direction – the company focused on two fronts – blockchain development AND website development. Unfortunately they couldn’t master both. 

Long Term problems

CEO Ned Scott explains layoffs at Steemit Inc
  • The company is doing too much blockchain development – developing blockchain features (Database migration, Smart media tokens (ie ICOs on Steem)), Developing DAPP (,
  • Costs of API maintenance – the company maintains APIs for free (Steem API) which is expensive
  • is a full-blown social media project and is hard to maintain.
  • they don’t have resources/management skills to manage both sides well


  • Cut down the scope of new features (Steem Media Token ~ lite edition). 
  • Sunset on website / Dapp.
    • Ned said the infrastructure of can never scale to compete vs Instagram 
    •  “Destiny” a new app to solve core issues with is now abandoned because of the lack of resources

Future Goals 

  • Goals to improve the adoption of blockchain – transfer of value / store of value
  • encourage other applications on steemit that further censorship resistance
  • Increase usage of Steem as currency. how to grow the currency


Various competitors in the social media space have also sprung up this year. One of them is Mithril, an ethereum based social network which focuses on fair-reward for content creators. Other social media services such as Dlive have migrated away from the Steem blockchain in favor of alternatives like Lino. 


Steemit Inc had to make some tough decisions. After setting the core direction of blockchain development, everyone else was cut. Moreover,CEO Ned Scott was unnerved during the livestream Q & A session, especially considering a majority of their employees are leaving leaving. This sets a dangerous precedent at the company and goes to show that financial management and prudence – including not speculating on their own currency is key to the successful running of any company. Questions over how the company can generate income to sustain long-term development remains. 

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Michael Gu
Michael Gu, Creator of Boxmining, stared in the Blockchain space as a Bitcoin miner in 2012. Something he immediately noticed was that accurate information is hard to come by in this space. He started Boxmining in 2017 mainly as a passion project, to educate people on digital assets and share his experiences. Being based in Asia, Michael also found a huge discrepancy between digital asset trends and knowledge gap in the West and China.


  1. Barry Dutton

    I was a top blogger there for a long time… til I spoke out about the issues, bullies and politics. Trust me, I loved it and what it meant to liberty, I have said many times the last 18 mths it broke my heart.

  2. sorry to hear to that Barry. From the video with Ned Scott, it’s clear that he loved blockchain development over This is ok as long as there is a dedicated team in charge of

    One thing they don’t realize is that the 3rd party solutions like are still hard to use and not every post looks good on it.

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