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The continued evolution of the NEAR Foundation – NEAR Protocol

The continued evolution of the NEAR Foundation

NEAR Foundation
September 21, 2023

The NEAR Foundation’s vision is one of an Open Web, where users have true ownership of their data and assets, and are empowered to participate in value creation, ownership and governance opportunities in permissionless systems. The ultimate goal is to enable billions of users to participate in an Open Web. 

To help achieve this, the NEAR Foundation strategy has been two-fold – one of top-down to attract prominent Web2 organizations into Web3, the other of bottoms-up to empower the ecosystem through the fostering of grassroots community – all of this being powered by the Blockchain Operating System and NEAR Protocol. The primary goal has been to grow users (MAU) so that more people can experience what Web3 can bring to them. Great progress has been made, with over 2.6m Monthly Active Users on NEAR protocol driven by this strategy, with NEAR protocol now as one of the top 5 most active blockchains driven by innovative partnerships such as Cosmose AI.

Over recent months, there have been discussions between NEAR Foundation leadership and the NEAR Foundation Council (NFC) on the strategic direction of the Foundation and the best way the Foundation can continue in its evolution to support the NEAR ecosystem in achieving this broader vision.

As part of this, Marieke Flament has elected to move into a council-only position to support the continued evolution of the Foundation. Chris Donovan, General Counsel of the Foundation, will step up as CEO and will work closely with the NFC and the broader ecosystem on the Foundation’s evolution plans. Chris has been with the Foundation for over a year since joining from Outlier Ventures and brings a wealth of experience in web3. In addition to her role on the NFC, Marieke will also stay on as a strategic advisor to Chris until the end of the year. There are no changes to the current strategy of the Foundation.

In a statement, Mona El Isa, Chairperson of the NFC remarked: “Marieke has been pivotal in all the incredible progress the NEAR ecosystem has made over the last two years, bringing NEAR to be one of the most active ecosystems in web3 and progressing the journey of the ecosystem towards decentralization. Amidst many critical industry and world events, Marieke has set the NEAR Foundation and the NEAR ecosystem on a solid pathway. I am excited to welcome Chris into his new role – I could think of no one better placed to continue the Foundation’s mission and wish him all the success.”


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