The NEAR Foundation, a key player in the development of the Open Web, has recently announced a significant restructuring to enhance its efficiency and impact.
The update, addressed to the NEAR community, outlines the foundation’s achievements, challenges, and a strategic shift in its operations to better align with its core vision.
Near Foundation’s achievements and challenges: A year in review
In 2023, the NEAR ecosystem witnessed substantial growth, marking a pivotal year in its journey towards creating a truly Open Web. The NEAR Protocol emerged as a major hub in the Web3 space, hosting three of the top ten applications. The success was accompanied by a record number of daily users and an increasingly collaborative relationship with the Ethereum community, highlighting NEAR’s growing influence in the blockchain world.
However, the journey wasn’t without its challenges. Feedback from the NEAR Foundation Council (NFC) revealed areas where the Foundation could improve its effectiveness. Concerns were raised about the pace of progress and the Foundation’s tendency to spread its efforts too thinly across multiple initiatives.
Strategic realignment and team reduction
In response to these insights, the NEAR Foundation has decided to undergo a significant realignment. The core team will be consolidated, focusing on a more narrow but impactful set of activities. The shift is part of a broader strategy to gradually reduce the Foundation’s footprint as the ecosystem moves towards greater decentralization, with various nodes driving more activity.
The realignment will result in a reduction of the Foundation’s team by approximately 40%, affecting 35 members, primarily from marketing, business development, and community teams. Despite these changes, the NEAR Protocol Engineering Team at Pagoda will continue its operations as usual. The Foundation is committed to supporting the affected colleagues during the transition, assisting them in finding new opportunities within the NEAR ecosystem, the broader Web3 industry, and beyond.
Financial stability and future outlook
The NEAR Foundation reassures its community of its strong financial position. With over $285 million in fiat, 305 million NEAR tokens (valued at over $1 billion), and $70 million in investments and loans, the Foundation is well-equipped to support the ongoing growth and decentralization of the NEAR Protocol and its ecosystem.
Looking ahead, the Foundation is excited to move forward with renewed focus, efficiency, and speed. Upcoming updates will delve into the Foundation’s plans for advancing chain abstraction, user-owned AI, and the mainstream adoption of the Open Web.
The NEAR Foundation extends its gratitude to the community for their continued support and contributions. As it embarks on the new phase, the Foundation remains committed to its vision of an Open Web and encourages the community to keep building towards the future.
The NEAR Foundation is embarking on a strategic realignment to enhance its focus and efficiency in advancing the Open Web. Despite facing challenges and the difficult decision to reduce its team, the Foundation remains financially robust and committed to its vision. The restructuring is a step towards a more decentralized ecosystem, with the Foundation poised to continue supporting the growth and innovation of the NEAR Protocol. As the community looks forward, the Foundation’s dedication to chain abstraction, user-owned AI, and mainstream adoption of the Open Web sets a promising path for the future.