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The NEAR Foundation is axing its workforce by 40%, impacting 35 members of staff.
NEAR announced that the layoffs will affect marketing, business development, and community teams.
“The NEAR Foundation will provide support to affected colleagues during this time to help them find new opportunities in the NEAR ecosystem, the Web3 industry, and beyond,” said CEO Illia Polosukhin.
The decision comes from a review of the Foundation's activities, which have "not always been as effective as it could be" according to the announcement.
NEAR will now consolidate the core Foundation team to focus on a "narrower and higher-impact set of activities."
The foundation reiterated that its treasury "remains strong and well-managed" with more than $285m fiat, 305m NEAR (worth over $1B), and $70m of investments and loans.
Hiring or Firing
Reflective of crypto's volatility, the industry has seen wild swings in employment patterns. With FTX imploding at the end of 2022, shockwaves were felt throughout the crypto industry. Consequently, 2023 began in the doldrums. Data compiled by Coindesk indicates that more than 28,000 crypto jobs were lost as of 10 January 2023.
Crypto giants Consensys, Coinbase, Crypto.com, Huobi, Matrixport and Filecoin all reported significant job cuts in 2023 Q1.
However, towards the end of 2023, crypto firms began looking to expand their workforce. Blockchain.com announced plans to expand its workforce by 25% despite starting the year with laying off 28%.
Singapore-based crypto exchange, PayBito also announced plans to expand its staff by 50% in its Dubai and Singapore offices.
A recent report from Primus Partners also suggested Web3 can unlock 8 million job opportunities in India over the next decade by creating an employment base of 2 million high-paying direct jobs and a 3x multiplier on indirect jobs.
Let's hope NEAR's employment cut is not a sign of things to come.