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Near Foundation Slashes Staff by 40% While Affirming Strong Treasury, NEAR Price Close to $4

According to them, the Foundation has a balance sheet that includes more than $285 million in fiat currency reserves, 305 million NEAR tokens valued at over $1 billion, and $70 million allocated for investments and loans.

The NEAR Foundation recently announced its plans to downsize its core team by cutting a significant number of staff members. This reduction will amount to about 40% of the employees. However, the nonprofit organization, which is responsible for the NEAR blockchain protocol, assured the public that it has enough funds in its treasury to continue supporting the growth of the ecosystem.

Meanwhile, surprisingly, NEAR token is in the green zone. Currently, it is trading at around $3.70 which means that it has gained over 18% within 24 hours.

This layoff decision came as a surprise, as the NEAR Foundation will be letting go of around 35 employees, mainly in marketing, business development, and community-related positions. However, employees working in engineering roles within the protocol development teams will not be affected by these cuts.

The departing staff members will be provided with assistance during their transition period to help them explore other opportunities. They can choose to stay within the expanding NEAR ecosystem, seek opportunities in the broader Web3 industry, or even consider positions at organizations unrelated to blockchain.

The Foundation recognized the significant contributions made by former employees in moving closer to NEAR’s goal of creating an open and user-controlled internet. However, the leadership of NEAR ultimately decided that downsizing was necessary to have more agile operations and decision-making processes in the future.

Instead of overseeing numerous programs, the consolidated Foundation team will concentrate solely on essential priorities. These will include promoting interoperability, creating safeguards for user privacy, and encouraging the widespread use of NEAR-based applications.

As the NEAR ecosystem continues to evolve and grow, the Foundation anticipates that its presence will intentionally decrease. This will occur as the decentralized community and contributors take on more responsibility in driving activities throughout the ecosystem.

The Protocol Says Its Finances Remain Robust

Despite the significant reduction in staff, the Foundation made it clear that its financial position is still strong enough to provide essential support for the development and adoption of NEAR.

According to them, the Foundation has a balance sheet that includes more than $285 million in fiat currency reserves, 305 million NEAR tokens valued at over $1 billion, and $70 million allocated for startup investments and loans. This substantial capital ensures that there are ample resources available for funding improvements to the protocol, supporting developers who build on NEAR, and running ecosystem programs, even with 40% fewer staff members.

Illia Polosukhin, CEO of NEAR Foundation said:

“The NEAR Foundation treasury remains strong and well-managed…The Foundation is well-placed to continue to support the ongoing growth, development, and further decentralization of the NEAR Protocol and ecosystem.”

In a display of confidence, the Foundation emphasized its belief that by focusing resources on high-impact priorities and with the support of the community, they can accelerate the achievement of their ultimate goal, which is a mainstream Open Web that is entirely controlled by decentralized users.

Although the staff cuts came as a surprise, the leadership views this reorganization as an important move to prepare NEAR for taking advantage of the increasing popularity of Web3. In 2023, NEAR became the platform for three out of the top ten applications in the blockchain industry. Additionally, its ecosystem achieved record levels of user engagement. Thus, the leadership of the Foundation recognized the need for a restructuring that matches the maturity, efficiency, and focus required to maximize the protocol’s future potential.

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