Near Foundation to cut 40% of workforce, cites move toward decentralization
These workforce reductions are being implemented to streamline the Foundation and eventually reduce its role to core aspects of development.
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The Near Foundation, the non-profit organization supporting the Near ecosystem, has announced a reduction of approximately 40% of its staff in a decision that will affect 35 employees across its marketing, business development, and community teams.
Near Protocol co-founder and Near Foundation CEO Illia Polosukhin said that its operations will not be impacted and promised that it is committed to assisting affected employees in finding new opportunities within the Near ecosystem or the wider crypto industry.
According to Polosukhin, the reduction comes after a recent internal review in which they found “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” and decided that it would be better to “significantly consolidate the core Foundation team to focus on a narrower and higher-impact set of activities.”
Polosukhin claims that the Near Foundation treasury “remains strong and well-managed” to the degree that it maintains some $285 million in cash, over $1 billion worth of NEAR tokens, and $70 million in loans and other investments.
Polosukhin noted on December 20, 2023, that the Near ecosystem represented four out of DappRadar’s top ten decentralized applications (dApps) in the Web3 sector, serving over 2 million daily transactions for over 7 million active users.
Despite the Near ecosystem having a relatively strong year, with the Near Protocol hosting some of the leading web3 apps and achieving a record number of daily users, the layoffs are still being implemented to streamline the Foundation and eventually reduce its role to core aspects of development as the Near ecosystem matures.
“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,” Polosukhin shared.
According to on-chain data from NearBlocks.io, the daily average transactions on Near increased significantly last year, soaring from 312,000 to 4.9 million, with a peak of 13 million transactions on a single day recorded on December 1, 2023.
The Near protocol also experienced a significant rise in new addresses, with the spike indirectly caused by the popularity of EVM-based inscriptions patterned after Bitcoin Ordinals and the BRC-20 token standard.