Steemit, a blockchain startup that aims to build a social network around blockchain has a new chief in less than two months after laying off most of its staff as part of cost-cutting measures. Steemit is far from the only blockchain startup forced to lay off staffs. Recently we heard about other blockchain companies having to cut their workforces as well due to the market decline. Now its rebuilding plans with the newly appointed managing director Elizabeth Powell.
Formerly the company’s head of communications and advocacy, Powell has stepped up to replace Ned Scott, who will remain in the company as the chairman.
Steemit was founded in July 2016 and gained its initial traction rapidly, especially during the big ICO craze. However, like many blockchain startups, it has so far failed to compete with existing services on the internet and offer a truly differentiated experience that appeals to users outside of the crypto community.
The token that Steemit provides (Steem) suffered as the market has crashed. Valued at $7.31 during its peak in January 2018, it is currently priced at $0.41, according to CoinMarketCap.com. This wasn’t an ICO token. Most people gained Steem tokens through contributing on their site and leaving comments.
Following its financial wobbles, Steemit is testing advertising as part of their new strategy for improving the economic sustainability and decentralization of Steem. That’s certainly controversial but, as Powell wrote, it is now very much part of the roadmap.
Powell is a relative newcomer to Steemit, having only joined the company last year. In response to her appointment, some users raised concern at her relative inexperience on the site — she has published just one original post and shared a further two — but others suggested that the appointment of an “outsider” brings a new perspective that can help widen Steemit’s audience.
Either way, Powell certainly has a challenge on her hands if Steemit is to fulfill its early promise