The NEAR Foundation Announces Layoffs of 35 Employees

The NEAR Foundation Announces Layoffs of 35 Employees

The NEAR Foundation has recently announced plans to undergo a significant realignment initiative, which will result in the reduction of its team by approximately 40%. This decision will impact a total of 35 employees across various departments within the organization. In an effort to streamline its operations and improve overall effectiveness, the foundation has determined that certain areas, such as community, business development, and marketing, will be particularly affected by these layoffs. However, it is important to note that the engineering team will remain intact, highlighting the strategic importance of technical expertise in driving the protocol forward.

The decision to downsize the team at the NEAR Foundation comes after a comprehensive review that identified areas of inefficiency and slow progress. The foundation recognized that it was attempting to tackle too many tasks simultaneously, leading to a lack of focus and reduced impact. In order to address these challenges, the protocol has made the deliberate choice to narrow its focus and concentrate on activities that will have a higher overall impact. This strategic shift in direction aims to enhance efficiency, speed, and effectiveness as the foundation works towards advancing chain abstraction, promoting mainstream Open Web adoption, and facilitating user-owned AI.

While the news of layoffs can be concerning, the NEAR Foundation has assured that it will prioritize supporting the affected employees during this transition. It has committed to assisting them in finding new opportunities within the Web3 industry, the NEAR ecosystem, or other relevant sectors. By doing so, the foundation aims to leverage the expertise and skill sets of these individuals in areas that align with their capabilities and interests.

The NEAR Foundation has also emphasized the financial stability and strength of its treasury. With a current value of $285 million in fiat, over $1 billion in NEAR coins, and $70 million in loans and investments, the foundation assures its community that it is well-positioned to support its ongoing initiatives. This financial security provides a solid foundation for the NEAR Foundation to continue driving innovation and growth within the blockchain ecosystem.

It is worth noting that the NEAR Foundation’s decision to reduce its workforce is not an isolated case within the crypto industry. Other companies in the sector have also undergone restructuring and downsizing measures in recent times. For example, Blackrock, a prominent financial services firm, is rumored to be downsizing its team by 3%, affecting approximately 600 employees. These layoffs are often the result of performance evaluations rather than financial challenges and are a routine part of organizational dynamics.

In 2023, the crypto industry as a whole witnessed significant layoffs, affecting over 13,400 employees globally across 108 companies. Companies such as OpenSea, Ava Labs, and Polkadot Technologies all made staff reductions as part of strategic realignments to optimize resources and focus on core objectives. Even major crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance were not immune to these trends, as they also downsized their workforce.

With its realignment initiative now in motion, the NEAR Foundation is well-positioned to navigate future challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities within the Web3 industry. By focusing on key activities and leveraging its strong technical capabilities, the foundation aims to make significant strides in advancing blockchain technology, promoting Open Web adoption, and empowering users with decentralized AI. The downsizing of the team, while undoubtedly a challenging decision, reflects the foundation’s commitment to continuous improvement and long-term success in the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies.


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