NEM Foundation Close to Bankruptcy, Might Start Layoffs Next Month

  • NEM foundation, a nonprofit that supports NEM blockchain's development, is close to bankruptcy. 
  • The organization is seeking funding from NEM's community and may begin laying off certain employees next month,

The NEM foundation, a non-profit organization established to support the ongoing development of the NEM (XEM) blockchain platform, is reportedly planning to layoff many of its staff members.

Due to the prolonged crypto bear market, the NEM foundation has been forced to reduce its operational costs and also begin restructuring its organization. Alex Tinsman, the newly appointed president of the NEM foundation, told Coindesk (on January 30th) that the Singapore-based organization will be submitting a funding request to the NEM community fund.

The NEM foundation is seeking 160 million XEM tokens (to help it cover operational costs), an amount currently valued at about $6.85 million according to CryptoCompare data. These funds are urgently required as the NEM foundation is reportedly close to filing for bankruptcy.

In an interview this month, Tinsman revealed: 

Basically we realized we had a month to operate, due to the is management of the previous governance council.

Layoffs Could Begin Next Month

NEM foundation’s 202 supporting members, who are required to comply with know-your-customer (KYC) requirements and also pay a yearly $50 membership fee, will be voting on whether to approve the funding request in February. Based on the amount of funding the NEM foundation receives, the organization will announce the number of employees it will be laying off, Tinsman stated.

Launched in March 2015, the NEM cryptocurrency network is based on a centralized blockchain model and it’s governance, or platform management, is often compared to Dash (DASH). Notably, XEM tokens were initially distributed to a group of individuals who helped develop the NEM platform.

NEM To Launch "Full-Featured" Blockchain Engine 

According to NEM’s founders, the few people that held XEM started distributing the tokens to NEM’s growing community. Former NEM foundation president, Lon Wong had expressed confidence about NEM’s potential in an interview in February 2018 - when the market capitalization of XEM tokens and other cryptoassets were considerably higher.

At that time, Won had explained that the NEM platform and its native cryptocurrency was primarily developed to facilitate cheap transactions and help businesses conveniently pay routine services fees. NEM’s development team is planning to launch Catapult, the platform’s “full-featured” blockchain engine. The updated version of NEM’s protocol is being developed specifically for enterprise-level use in public and private networks.

Reducing Marketing Activities

Some of the use cases for NEM that are currently being explored are blockchain-based voting. According to Tinsman, the NEM foundation spent approximately 80 million XEM (appr. $34 million at current rates) between December 2017 and January 2019 on marketing services.

However, Tinsman said that the foundation has “reduced [its] marketing activities” as “it doesn’t make sense to market a product [Catapult]” that has not yet been introduced.

Notably, a blockchain developer who had been working under NEM’s previous management team, revealed that the foundation’s former president, Wong, had been promoting what the developer thinks are questionable ICO projects, including Ecobit and ProximaX. The developer, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “the community felt this was a breach of faith” (on Wong’s part).

Need For Better Budget Management

He added:

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.

In order to better manage NEM’s operations, Tinsman, a former communications executive at the foundation, is planning to cut costs and will be closely supervising the development budget. She explained:

The community will also be voting on these [funding requests] and which ones we should be moving forward with.

Blockchain Wallet Integrates BitPay Support for User-Friendly Transactions

  • Blockchain Wallet announces the integration of BitPay into their existing service. 
  • Emphasis on allowing for "user-friendly" transactions and payments. 

Popular cryptocurrency firm Blockchain.com, which operates the Blockchjain wallet, has announced integration of payment processor BitPay

Blockchain Wallet Adds BitPay Support

In an update, Blockchain Wallet confirmed its new partnership with BitPay, which will allow for the direct spending of user bitcoin in an effort to increase the ease of crypto-based payments.

The press release states that BitPay has been “seamlessly” integrated into the existing Blockchain Wallet framework, which clients can use to make payments directly from their application. 

According to the announcement,

As the largest global crypto payments provider, BitPay and has processed more than $2.8 billion from merchants and B2B customers since 2011.

The press release continues, 

We’re excited to see this new addition connect our Wallet users to the world of merchants that accept Bitcoin (and soon other cryptos) as a payment method — one of the key ways to interact with and grow the digital asset ecosystem.

The emphasis on payments shows the direction that Blockchain Wallet imagines for the future of crypto. While the platform has created a secure cryptocurrency wallet for users to retain simultaneous control over their funds and private keys, user-friendly transactions and spending has continued to be a work in progress. 

BitPay has emerged as one of the more successful payment platforms in crypto, with a focus on establishing a relationship with merchants to accept bitcoin. The partnership with Blockchain Wallet, with its reported 41 million userbase, could go a long way in spurring greater use for bitcoin outside of a store of value asset or token for price speculation.