NEM Almost Bankrupt, Plans Layoffs and Pivot

Community-funded nonprofit foundation NEM, a company designed to promote the NEM Blockchain, is planning layoffs across its entire 150-person workforce, due to the several large budget cuts and ahead of an imminent restructuring.

The newly elected president of the NEM Foundation, Alex Tinsman, said on Wednesday that the Singapore-based NEM Foundation now intends to submit a funding request to the NEM community fund for 160 million tokens (worth roughly $7.5 million), money that would be used to rescue the organization from the verge of bankruptcy.

NEm tokens are listed under the XEM ticker, which has a circulating supply of 9 billion. At present, XEM is the 18th largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization.

Tinsman, who took over the non-profit in January, said that he had realised that this change was imminent, and was happening due to the previous management’s actions. He said,

“Basically we realized we had a month to operate, due to the mismanagement of the previous governance council.”

As a consequence, the foundation’s 202 members who underwent identity checks and pay an annual membership fee of $50, will be asked to vote on the funding request in February after it’s published on Thursday. The layoff will be determined by the size of the funding that is agreed upon.

NEM’s XEM token launched in 2015 under the guidance of former foundation president Lon Wong. The cryptocurrency is primarily used for transaction and service fees on the NEM blockchain. The full launch of the platform’s native engine software, called Catapult, is scheduled for June 2019. In the meantime, NEM pilot projects have often focused on use cases such as voting.

However, according to a veteran NEM user, who asked to remain anonymous because he worked directly with the departed leadership, said that Wong had faltered when he used his visibility at the foundation to promote “sketchy” ICOs such as Ecobit and ProximaX.

The anonymous developer added that,

“There’s not a whole lot of people working on this platform. Even though it’s easy, the community isn’t really there unless you go to Japan… We need more developer traction on this platform.”

However, Tinsman seemed more optimistic than others, in this case, planning to monetize the foundation’s activities this year, including enterprise training and affiliate marketing, to reduce the nonprofit’s reliance on community grants.

She said that she believed this was a “positive step” for the non-profit foundation.