The NEAR Foundation Announces Downsizing amid Realignment Initiative

The NEAR Foundation Announces Downsizing amid Realignment Initiative

In a recent update, the NEAR Foundation has revealed its plans to undergo a significant downsizing effort as part of its realignment initiative. This move will impact approximately 35 employees, constituting a 40% reduction in their team. The decision comes after a thorough review which uncovered inefficiencies within the foundation’s operations. As a result, NEAR Foundation aims to streamline its focus and concentrate on activities that have a higher impact.

Upon conducting a review, the NEAR Foundation identified several areas where it was falling short, such as a tendency to move too slowly and trying to handle too many tasks simultaneously. To rectify these issues, the foundation has decided to narrow its focus on essential functions, enabling it to work with greater efficiency, speed, and focus. While other departments will be affected by the layoffs, it is worth noting that the engineering team will remain intact.

Despite the downsizing efforts, NEAR Protocol has made significant strides in the Web3 space. In 2023 alone, the protocol hosted three out of the top ten Web3 apps, witnessed a surge in its daily user base, and established numerous partnerships within the Ethereum community. By narrowing its focus, NEAR Foundation aims to concentrate its resources on advancing chain abstraction, promoting mainstream Open Web adoption, and exploring user-owned AI.

The NEAR Foundation is committed to supporting the employees affected by the downsizing by helping them find new opportunities within the Web3 industry, NEAR ecosystem, and beyond. This assistance underscores the foundation’s commitment to the overall growth and development of the industry, even when faced with difficult decisions like downsizing.

While NEAR Foundation’s downsizing efforts may appear significant, it is worth noting that this trend is not unique to them. Other crypto-related firms have also engaged in restructuring efforts. For example, Blackrock, one of the largest asset management firms, had plans to downsize its team by 3%, affecting approximately 600 employees. It is crucial to emphasize that such layoffs are not due to capital issues but rather based on performance evaluations, which is a regular occurrence in the corporate world.

It is not just NEAR Foundation and Blackrock that have experienced layoffs in the crypto industry. Throughout 2023, numerous firms had to make difficult decisions due to various factors. OpenSea, a popular NFT marketplace, reduced its staff by 50% in November 2023 as part of its strategic shift towards OpenSea 2.0. Similarly, Ava Labs downsized its staff by 12% during the same month to allocate resources more effectively and fuel its growth. In addition, Polkadot Technologies reduced its workforce by 30%, targeting the business development and marketing departments to prioritize the advancement of its technology.

Major crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance also underwent workforce reductions in 2023, highlighting the challenges that the industry faced during that period. These layoffs are indicative of the industry’s continuous evolution and the need for companies to adapt to changing circumstances.

The NEAR Foundation’s decision to downsize its team is part of a broader realignment initiative aimed at improving its efficiency, speed, and focus. By narrowing its focus on essential activities, NEAR Protocol intends to drive advancements in chain abstraction, mainstream Open Web adoption, and user-owned AI. While downsizing is a challenging process, the foundation remains committed to the growth and development of its employees and the Web3 industry as a whole. The industry-wide layoffs observed in 2023 further highlight the need for companies to adapt and evolve in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. As the NEAR Foundation continues its journey, a more streamlined and impactful organization is bound to emerge.


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