Blockchain firm LBRY has announced its decision to cease operations. The firm, which had its primary purpose of developing a decentralized content sharing platform, said it had grown an insurmountable debt accumulated through operating costs and cost of funds.
In a statement, the firm said it “worked tirelessly over the past few years to create a robust platform for users and content creators” but could no longer continue operating. It said it would be closing access to the LBRY platform, refunding all customers, and offering employees a two-month salary in lieu of notice.
In addition to developing its own platform, the firm had worked with leading cryptocurrency companies and exchanges, such as Coinbase, to make its content available on additional platforms.
While LBRY said it was shutting down, other open-source blockchain firms have sprung to its defense and urged support for the firm. Executives from IOHK, a leading blockchain company, said it was working with LBRY to facilitate transactions in order to refund customers in the wake of the company’s closure. Others have called for donations to a GoFundMe page set up to cover LBRY’s outstanding costs.
Crypto veterans have speculated that the company may have made bad business decisions in an era of extreme volatility in the crypto market. Changes in government regulations, token recognition, and market rebalancing could all have played a role in the ultimate demise of LBRY.