Another cryptocurrency startup is laying off staff and restructuring its business entirely. This week, it’s the group behind the NEM blockchain and its token, XEM, and of course, it’s the bear market‘s fault.

The news was shared in a wordy statement from the NEM Foundation, a non-profit. Unsurprisingly, it held the cryptocurrency market downturn responsible, even while describing its shoddy spending practices.

“The XEM exchange rate has suffered catastrophic drops from this time a year ago, just as many other ambitious cryptocurrency projects have suffered, now the NEM Foundation is facing challenging budget decisions,” stated the Foundation. “We are in a tough spot like many others in this space. It is our duty to act quickly to ensure the longevity of the NEM Foundation ecosystem and development.”

According to NEM, when its recently-elected council looked at the books and studied the results of 2018, it saw “very little accountability for funds,” leading to a whopping 9 million XEM being sold per month, which it called its ‘burn rate.’

Nine million XEM is currently valued at over $360,000.

The entire organization hierarchy will shift as a result, with regional teams eliminated and replaced with “newly created, product-focused teams” in a bid to encourage return on investment.

“In terms of running an effective organization, the existing structure failed,” NEM noted, expressing the burn rate would be reduced by 60 percent to streamline extraneous spending. 

Is this really just a case of bear market tings?

It’s certainly true we are now in the grips of the longest Bitcoin bear market in history. But, if we take a look at the details, one starts to question the validity of this now common deflection.

First, the dollar–value gained by selling 9 million XEM per month would have varied widely. For instance, in the heat of last January’s bull market, the price of XEM rarely dropped below $1, so the possibility of making close to $9 million in a single month isn’t unreasonable.