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An Update from the NEAR Foundation – NEAR Protocol

An Update from the NEAR Foundation

NEAR Foundation
January 11, 2024

Dear NEAR Community,

The NEAR Foundation’s vision has always been to help the world create a truly Open Web, giving all people full control of their data, privacy, and power of governance. In 2023, the NEAR ecosystem saw remarkable progress towards this vision, with the NEAR Protocol now home to three of the top ten apps in Web3, a record number of daily users, and closer collaboration than ever with the Ethereum community.

With the NEAR Foundation Council (NFC), we’ve conducted a thorough review of the Foundation’s activities. During this process, we heard feedback that the Foundation has not always been as effective as it could be, sometimes moving too slowly and trying to do too many things at once. Following this review, we have decided to significantly consolidate the core Foundation team to focus on a narrower and higher-impact set of activities. Over time, Foundation’s footprint will continue to contract as the ecosystem further decentralizes and various nodes drive more activity in the network and across the ecosystem.

As part of this realignment, NEAR Foundation will reduce its team by approximately 40%, impacting 35 colleagues, primarily across the marketing, business development, and community teams. The NEAR Protocol Engineering Team at Pagoda will continue to operate as it has. The NEAR Foundation will provide support to affected colleagues during this time to help them find new opportunities in the NEAR ecosystem, the Web3 industry, and beyond. We thank each of our departing colleagues for your efforts and contributions towards our shared vision of the Open Web.

The NEAR Foundation treasury remains strong and well-managed, with over $285m fiat, 305m NEAR (worth over $1B), and $70m of investments and loans. The Foundation is well-placed to continue to support the ongoing growth, development, and further decentralization of the NEAR Protocol and ecosystem.

Thank you to everyone in the NEAR community for your ongoing efforts and support. We are excited to move forward with more focus, more efficiency, and more speed. We’ll share more updates soon about what comes next as we work to advance chain abstraction, user-owned AI, and mainstream adoption of the Open Web.

Keep building,

Illia

–Illia Polosukhin, CEO of NEAR Foundation


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