NEAR Foundation announced plans to cut its team down by about 40% as part of its realignment initiative, impacting 35 employees.
In 2023, the NEAR Protocol managed to host three of ten top Web3 apps, achieve a record number of users daily, and gain more Ethereum community partnerships.
NEAR Foundation Realignment Efforts
NEAR Foundation has released an update through a blog post that its layoff will mainly affect community, business development, and marketing teams. Notably, the engineering team will not remove employees.
The reduction follows a review that found the foundation was ineffective, moving too slowly at times and doing too many things at once. Hence, the protocol has decided to narrow its focus and concentrate on activities with a higher impact.
Further, the team expects to contract more as the ecosystem decentralizes and more nodes are available to instill more activity in the NEAR Foundation network and ecosystem.
As per the announcement, the departing team will be assisted in finding new opportunities in the Web3 industry, NEAR ecosystem, and others.
The protocol mentioned that it will now proceed with more efficiency, speed, and focus as it works on advancing chain abstraction, mainstream Open Web adoption, and user-owned AI.
NEAR Foundation also emphasized that its treasury is secure and strong. The current funds amount to $285 million in fiat, 305 million NEAR worth over $1 billion, and $70 million in loans and investments.
Crypto-Related Layoffs Have Been Rampant
NEAR Foundation’s layoffs are not an isolated case, as other crypto-related firms have been restructuring.
Blackrock is reportedly expected to downsize its team by 3%, about 600 employees. Similarly, the layoffs are not connected to capital issues but are based on the performance of the staff, which is routine in the company. The move comes after a major market recovery for the firm, whereby it saw a 6% rise in 2023 compared to a 21% plunge in 2022.
In 2023, crypto industry firms experienced heavy layoffs affecting over 13,400 employees globally, spanning 108 companies.
OpenSea cut its staff by 50% in November 2023, citing big changes to focus on OpenSea 2.0. Ava Labs also cut down on its staff by 12% in the same month to reallocate its resources and double down on growth. Polkadot Technologies reduced its workforce by 30%, 100 employees from business development and marketing departments, to focus on its technology.
Aside from these crypto firms, about all major crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance downsized their workforce in the year.
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