A Cry for Help: Broken Promises and Funding Crisis with NEAR Foundation

Hello NEAR Community,

My name is Don Ferreira, and I am the founder of Near Global. I am reaching out to you today to share some challenges we have faced with the NEAR Foundation regarding business commitments and funding.

In January, under the condition that our project’s funding would continue pending the approval of a banking partner, the NEAR Foundation initially confirmed the continuation of this funding. Unfortunately, we were recently informed that this commitment would not be honored, despite previous agreements.

We were taken completely by surprise, as the name of our company, the names of our products and services, and over 14 months of negotiations were abruptly interrupted without any prior notice, compensation, or plausible justification. The agreement with the banking partner, requested on November 30th by the NEAR Foundation and Proximity Labs, was duly formalized following all their necessary guidelines.

We now face the risk of a lawsuit from the banking partner, significant financial losses, and potentially the shutdown of the project due to an agreement that was requested by the NEAR Foundation.

This situation not only impacts the progress of our project but may also set a concerning precedent for other developers and startups within our ecosystem that rely on similar commitments.

Our goal is to resolve this amicably and ensure that agreements are honored. Any feedback or support from the community would be invaluable.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any advice you can provide.

I am prepared to make public the evidence documenting the agreements, should the NEAR Foundation authorize disclosure if necessary.

Best regards,

Don Ferreira
Founder, Near Global


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Don: we want to express our understanding of the concerns you’ve raised and acknowledge the challenges faced in the wake of the NEAR Foundation’s strategic realignment. The NEAR Foundation values transparency and is committed to fostering a supportive community for all projects building on NEAR.

Earlier this year, we were pleased to support NEAR Global through a grant agreement, which was fulfilled and paid according to the terms outlined in our contract. However, the separate conditional commitment for project funding you describe in your post (and the relationship with the banking partner you reference) was always subject to further agreement and the execution of written and definitive documents.

Prior to pursuing this commitment we reviewed our strategy to ensure the efficient allocation of resources towards initiatives with the greatest potential impact. Based on this review, we determined that NEAR Global’s current proposals do not align with our revised criteria for additional grants at this time.

This decision does not diminish the value of NEAR Global’s contributions to the ecosystem, nor does it close the door on potential future collaboration. We remain open to revisiting opportunities to support NEAR Global as our strategic objectives evolve and if they align with the direction of your project.

We sincerely appreciate the hard work and dedication of the NEAR Global team and thank you for your contribution to the NEAR Ecosystem. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any further questions: abhishek.vaidyanathan@near.foundation.

Hello Abhishek,

Thank you for your response. I would like to clarify that there are two distinct commitments in question:

  1. The agreement made with the banking partner at the request of the NEAR Foundation, following the unification of proposals between NEAR Foundation and Proximity.

  2. The agreement between NEAR Global and the NEAR Foundation, established after the delay in negotiations, to address short-term priorities. A written statement was made by a director of the NEAR Foundation stating that, with the banking partner’s approval for the beta of the stablecoin, subsequent investments would be made, with only the details and formalization of contracts remaining to be discussed in two weeks. This understanding was reinforced multiple times to prevent any misinterpretation.

Additionally, a director from the NEAR Foundation recently requested comprehensive results and goals for the partnership between NEAR Foundation, us, and our banking partner, not limited to the scope of the grant. This further demonstrates that we had an agreement encompassing the entire initiative.

I had warned about the risks of formalizing a contract with a third party before finalizing all investment steps. Nevertheless, it was requested that I formalize this partnership and the agreement in writing, in detail and signed. I have always trusted the word of the NEAR Foundation, especially since all negotiations directly involved a director from NF.

It does not seem logical to ask our company to make a commitment with a third party if there was a risk of withdrawing from the deal or if there was still indecision. The grant that you provided after we received preliminary notice from this banking partner reinforces this perception.

I maintained constant communication with your CFO, who was aware that we were finalizing the validation of documents with sensitive information from the bank, we had already planned to create a bridge between NEAR and Drex (the Brazilian CBDC), were in advanced negotiations with market makers, and were about to formalize the accepted terms in contracts to continue, which he indicated would be done within two weeks.

To date, we have not received any legal support, financial support, or other compensatory measures in light of the breakdown of this agreement.

I look forward to your reply to understand how we can resolve this situation fairly and appropriately. If any member of the community is interested and wishes to verify the discussion group where negotiations took place, they are welcome to do so, as far as I am concerned.

Feel free to reach out to me directly at adonis@crefi.io or via Telegram: don_ferreira

It has become a commonplace observation that the Foundation tends to issue promises only to default on them subsequently or halt initiatives without fulfilling its obligations. A continuum of ceaseless experimentation and the allocation of resources towards individuals of dubious integrity veiled under the guise of noble objectives.

The orchestrator of these affairs is not even NF, but the so-called “Ecosystem round table,” which predominantly comprises ventures of negligible substance, which, despite demonstrating their inefficacy, persist solely by sustained grants and political excel. Behind closed doors, disdain towards this system festers.

Urgent rectifications:

Firstly, a cessation of all financial disbursements is mandated, given Near’s intrinsic nature as a protocol rather than a charitable organization. Funding requests should be redirected toward venture capitalists, thereby obviating the practice of soliciting funds through personal channels, notably via direct communication with founders.

Secondly, the dissolution of the eco round table is imperative, as it serves as a gatekeeper that obstructs new founders’ ingress into the ecosystem.

Thirdly, affording Black Dragon the autonomy to pursue developmental endeavors without undue interference is paramount.

Fourthly, a concerted effort to refurbish the Near brand is indispensable. Presently, it languishes as a meme narrative devoid of substantive association with the technological advancements Ilya and his team championed.

Lastly, the cessation of politicking and stratagems is warranted. Politically charged entities like NearWeek have long since ceased to serve the broader community interest, instead catering to a select coterie.

Public Update:

Dear Community,

I would like to provide you with an update on our ongoing situation with the NEAR Foundation.

  1. Communication with the NEAR Foundation: We have reached out to Abhishek Vaidyanathan but, unfortunately, have not received any response as of yet.

  2. Council Involvement: We have also sent detailed evidence directly to the NEAR Foundation Council. Despite this, there has been no acknowledgment or reply to our communications so far.

  3. Community Access to Negotiation Group: I have sought permission to allow community members to join the negotiation group to ensure transparency and collective insight. As soon as we receive the go-ahead, I will facilitate this inclusion. Please keep in touch with me on Telegram for quicker updates and actions.

  4. Current Challenges in Brazil: We are currently facing a severe crisis in Brazil due to the devastating floods in the southern part of the country. Many of our family members and team members are directly affected. Unfortunately, we have not seen any support or cooperation from the NEAR Foundation during this difficult time. While we continue to tackle this natural disaster, it would be immensely helpful if the NEAR Foundation could show more humanity and sensitivity.

Your support and understanding during these trying times are invaluable to us. We remain committed to transparency and will continue to keep you informed of any developments.

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