Community Slander Has Gone Too Far: Enough is Enough

Well, this should be a fun post.

Here is the TLDR: NEAR has decided to cannibalize its own community, for no reason other than because it would like to. Specifically, we are referring to NEAR Core members like @zavodil and @evgenykuzyakov and also Russian community trolls such as @Dacha. This was completely unprecedented and unprovoked. We had no issue with them and we did not want to this to happen. But it has, and that means we must take action.

Back in May, the NEAR Leadership Team created a slack group with me asking to create marketing support in the NEAR ecosystem. I then decided to bootstrap and create the Degens for the benefit of the Ecosystem with budget support from from this leadership . We did this as a long-term initiative to improve engagement of NEAR on Twitter, Reddit, 4chan, townhalls and much more. Every single budget was approved before spending. And I spent a significant amount of time recruiting, interviewing and growing this group. I did not do this because I wanted to, I did this because I was asked to. @rimberjack has already shared the metrics of this group, and many others including @ross @JMaenen and @Awen can vouch for the effectiveness of this group.

Now, @Dacha has been trolling the forum pretending to be ‘investigating’ the use of funds in the ecosystem, all without having a single metric, video, or proof of his own contribution. @zavodil and @evgenykuzyakov have supported him. He is nothing but a troll, and the proof is I have privately asked him to speak about the degens - and if he has had any problem - and he responded with nothing more than a meme:

Question: Does this constitute trolling?

His silly ‘investigation’ into the initiative that @illia requested from me was supported by both @evgenykuzyakov and @zavodil – to the point that they also were making fun of this initiative:

(First icon on the far left is Evgeny liking the ‘investigative’ post)

And here we have NEAR’s own @zavodil trolling the community for the initiative that @illia requested me to do.

Frankly, this is pathetic. @zavodil has also made some very bold statements about how I used the money to fund the degens while @evgenykuzyakov seems to also have opinions on how the Guilds should be run.

Specifically, @zavodil has said directly that I have “Given away free money” to the degens, with no expectation of work.

I am curious @zavodil - where is your ‘hard evidence of this’? Because misuse of funds is a serious allegation. I hope you can back up what you are saying, because normally this would be known as ‘defamation’ in legal terms. @SChamat from NEAR legal guild you might be able to help?

Not a single one of them ever personally reached out to me - never asked a single question - never wanted to know anything - instead they have preferred to publicly share this false information with the Russian community and NEAR Core Team on Slack.

18 days ago I made a post about Warpspeed Guilds here: Introducing Warpspeed Guilds: What and Why?

Not a single person had an issue with this, and not a single person wished to say anything about it. At that time @evgenykuzyakov had no questions about the process!

Yet here we are: Questioning the amount, the value of a guild, and sticking our heads into other people’s work without ONCE asking or discussing privately – looking for clarification, etc. Community building is something I take personal pride in and have no problem sharing what I do with others - but insulting me, our process, and the entire ecosystem is not a reasonable way of dealing with this - especially without ever reaching out.

From these comments, from @zavodil and @evgenykuzyakov I have decided that 4NTS is no longer interested in working with the NEAR Foundation and the toxic work environment of wolf-eats-wolf that has been have cultivated. Here is what this means:

—> I will no longer be managing the Degen group nor requesting funding for them. Even though @illia requested it, it seems like others at the NEAR team no longer believe it is a useful initiative - I hope that was thought through!

—> The Warpspeed guilds will no longer be managed by myself either – actually I am giving the reins over to @evgenykuzyakov who seems to know more about community building and guilds than I myself do. He can do 11 weekly calls, and set roadmaps with all of the talent in the ecosystem. He can re-invent the wheel with lockups as well.

----> I am closing the Sandbox because I don’t want people to give out ‘Free money’ like @zavodil has accused me of doing.

Additionally, there are some other areas of the ecosystem that actually need to be discussed. We talked about the NEAR Interoperability plan: NEAR BELT AND ROAD: Building Bridges on NEAR As A Strategic And Necessary Development Play

This was going to be funded by Move Capital – and @bentien and myself have been managing this initiative for the last 6 months trying to get it off the ground (no compensation btw). @zavodil @evgenykuzyakov @Dacha maybe you should give us some insights into if our investments are acceptable? After all, it may not be a good use of our $NEAR and you three seem to be good policemen.

The cannibalism is disgusting. We have been working full time in the ecosystem for 14 months across teams. These tactics are childish and reputation damaging, and there is no reason for them. None - and especially in this manner.

If you want to know how serious we are you can speak to @shreyas @JMaenen @Grace @amgando @Awen @amosbestcookie @mecsbecs @Sofia_Alum @ross @kendall-near @mattlockyer @sashahudzilin @gus @Yessin @mallynear and all of the degens, and all of the new guilds we have introduced. We walk the walk, and we don’t talk because we are serious builders.

If @Dacha @zavodil @evgenykuzyakov here thinks that I am wrong, lying, or trying to avoid the truth, then I would suggest we do the following:

Lets plan a 6 - 10 hour livestream - tell-all event. We can make it public and promote it on YouTube as well. And then everyone will have more than enough time to lay out their arguments in meticulous clarity and demonstrate any wrongdoing that is present. After the 10 hours we can take a week to go back and fact-check and examine the evidence put forward.

If it turns out that you are right - your accusations are right - and that I am lying, I will pay the three of you, 5000 NEAR.

If it turns out that you are wrong, you’ve overstepped and you don’t know what you are talking about, then we ban @Dacha from the NEAR community, and remove @zavodil and @evgenykuzyakov from any community related activities – and you pay the Degens 1000 NEAR each.

What do you big boys say? Do you have the stomach for it? Because, truth be told, I would relish nothing more than having 10 hours straight to humiliate the stupidity, arrogance, and narcissism that has bred this whole ordeal.

I am not and will not seek – or will accept – an apology for this. It is unprecedented and absolutely antithetical to the development of this ecosystem and everything I believe in, have worked for, and stand for. Shame on all of you.

I am going to conclude by saying this:

4NTS is going to keep working in the ecosystem – diligently and incessantly as we have for the last 14 months before most of the current NEAR Team members were hired. We will keep doing that, but not directly with anyone involved with the NEAR community processes, foundation, etc. We look forward to working with NEAR Asia, the Ref Team, Human Guild, Satori Octopus Network and the many many other projects in the ecosystem.

If you would like to reach out to 4NTS guild – you can do it all publicly on this forum from now on. We will no longer respond to slack or telegram messages from those we are not directly working with.

Special thanks to @Dacha @zavodil and @evgenykuzyakov for provoking this. I look forward to seeing what you can bring to the NEAR ecosystem.


The metrics in question are in this reply:


I have no animosity towards anyone. Before you read my reply please know that I am extremely grateful and honored to be a part of the NEAR ecosystem. I can’t thank the NEAR Team and the community enough for being such helpful and wonderful people with me but whats unfolding right now with all the name calling, accusations and outright slander is absolutely uncalled for and unbecoming of the NEAR contributors.

I can personally vouch for how effective the Degens have been and how much they have contributed to the ecosystem. I am ready to jump on a call with any of the NEAR Core Team members to explain what the Degens have been doing and the results they have achieved. I wont speak for anyone else here, speaking for myself - I applied to be a degen a couple of months ago. I was one of the most active and passionate of the lot and I reached out to several people in the NEAR Core Team as well as the larger ecosystem to build a network with them so that we can streamline our efforts and work more closely with the other projects and marketing / growth / social media teams.

I was a degen, then I went on to found my own Guild, the NIA all because of the experience and network I gained working as a Degen under the leadership of Ozymandius. I feel very bad that all the months of hardwork he has put in building the NEAR community is being tossed into the trashcan like it means nothing.

This is really really unfortunate and it should not have come to this. Every issue in this world can be resolved by dialogues and empathy but those accusing Ozymandius and Grace and others, have never reached out personally to seek clarification or to hear their side of the story. Going all out on the public forum brings disrepute to the whole project, apart from ruining the reputation of those who are being accused of misappropriation of funds or fleecing NEAR. I am disheartened at whatever has happened. I have spent countless hours building personal connections with major contributors in the ecosystem, reaching out to influencers, potential partners and bringing in community members. I would love to continue helping the NEAR ecosystem grow but its time to take a stand for whats right. I will be dishonest to my conscience and betraying myself if I dont speak out against this public display of immaturity and high handedness. Wishing everyone the best always and I really really hope that there’s reconciliation and sanity prevails


As one of the newer members of Near degens, I’ve seen nothing but hard work in the group. The members spend most of their times curating thoughtful discussions across different socials as well as promote each and every news put out by NEAR or any of its partners. If anyone can map out how active a community is, you should be able to see that group goes immensely active once any new news is announced.

What these people are accusing the group and @Ozymandius about is downright offensive and illogical. And they don’t even want to listen to reason. They refuse to talk to members and keep spewing lies and false statements. This is not right and I do not stand with it.

I hope this situation comes to resolve soon and on the side of the Degens group.


Your work for Near Ecosystem is admirable. Thanks for your expression, mate.


Hey Ozymandius

I didn’t attack you or Ants/Sandbox on public, you placed screenshots from the second unofficial chat “NEAR scandals, intrigues, investigations” which is 10 times smaller than the main NEAR RU chat. I described a painful issue with guilds budget competition on a private slack thread only

Several members of Near Degens Army told me that first payment for degens was done without any requirements and those money could be described as free money. On a second and third tranche the Army paid a lot less. Personally I support rewarding results instead of tasks. Personally I support investigations of the optimal use of funds.

Btw after Dacha’s investigation we had a great proposal by @evgenykuzyakov to create a contract with locked NEAR to pay for marketing rewards which is a good approach to distinguish long-term and short-term supporters.


It’s really so bad how envy still exist between humans who shares same interest, Near gaining so much traction recently is all because of the work of the degen group @Ozymandius created, we have been more than supportive to the Near Ecosystem, ready to go any miles just for the growth and support of the Nearverse. Go to the Near official channel and see things for yourself, check on the Telegram groups of all project launched on near you would see the degen are being real supportive, we spread out the good news of Near on almost all social media platforms , makes sure we bring positive results, shill out Near to big investors, even go for raids on official exchange telegtam groups, so much to say about the degen . Laying accusations when the truth is clear and broadly seen is nothing else but hatred and envy.


These accusations to @Ozymandius are nothing but the symptom of jealousy and narcissism. There is no hint of constructive criticism in what @Dacha said and it really shows that what he has at heart is not the NEAR community but himself and his ego. I’ve been involved with NEAR for the past 9 months and I could clearly see how the work of Ozzymandius has helped to grow the community. Not only he is very engaged and hard-working but he is also open to criticism and discussion, that’s how he became one of the most successful in the community. For what concerns @Dacha, I’ve never even heard of him. It’s easy to criticise when you are doing nothing yourself!


The idea of locked tokens is good, but what to live on for those who have no other sources of income?

For example, If I will work for NEAR Community full time and my reward tokens will be locked - where should I get the money to pay the bills?

I guess the real problem in this case is a lack of transparency and distrust of each other


ratio of locked/unlocked rewards could be configured for each guild. To be honestly I cant call a person who “should get the money to pay the bills” a real degen. Degens have tones of money with this defi hype.

Hi @zavodil
Please indicate exactly who is a member of NEAR Degens Army, they received the reward and without any requirements and contribution?


Making fun of someone does not seem like constructive criticism to me. Since when
making a meme denigrating someone’s work has helped to solve any issue? It’s fine to have disagreements but the way it was expressed it is clearly problematic and who did it should take ownership of it.

For what regards the idea of creating a contract with locked NEAR, would you be happy working in these conditions? Is it really a good incentive for people to get involved?


Do you personally know all the degens? How do you know they are rich? Many of them are actually people that are simply good at social media that are only starting their way in crypto they are far from being the crypto rich people you imagine.


I am both a member of the Ru-community and a member of NEAR Degens.

I’m really hope that this misunderstanding will be handled.

I can see that both guilds contribute significantly to the development of our common platform. Just they do it in different ways.

I think that there was a misunderstanding and conflict is a logical stage in the development of an open, decentralized system.
But also I think in such cases you need to go for a conversation and not to draw any conclusions without understanding.


That’s a bold assumption and this is where the problem lies. Degen’s main tasks are to market this doesn’t mean that they are rich by “defi hype”. It’s a wrong statement and assumption.

Honestly how can a developer tell what’s going on in the actual group and how the marketing/ natural community growth is done?


This is just a misunderstanding that should have been solved within yourselves privately. I see no reason why @Dacha keeps monitoring every single request on funding. Yes we should know where the payout are going to and why but with the degens I don’t think you need research and investigate like you always do. This people have brought so much to the community already if you’re active on twitter you’ll know what am saying and I learnt they also have a team on bitcointalks forum that forum has the largest amount of crypto investors seriously its high time you start encouraging people than abusing/accusing. @Dacha This isn’t the first time am seeing you asking for how funds are used,but this time you’re doing the right thing in the wrong way. Your previous post actually accused @Ozymandius and his degen team of money embezzlement. They paid them and you’re complaining of sell like is compulsory to hold you forgot they have their expenses and your analysis on 5th July is the worse I’ve gotten for a while now. You’re claiming that degens sold off tokens to dump near without checking the market condition. BTC was down and all other altcoins too so obviously NEAR also got a Downward trend not because of the amount of token you claimed the degens sold on CEX


As one of the earlier degens in the group. I would like to say that NEAR’s marketing would’ve been crippled or its reach would’ve been less than half without @Ozymandius and 4NTS Guild. People who know @Ozymandius whether personally or not can see that he genuinely cares and has the capability to grow the ecosystem. To date he has spent minimally hundreds or thousands of hours on NEAR and @Dacha don’t even know who he is and attacks like a troll on rampage.

Even as a non-degen, I got most information about NEAR, not directly from the NEAR’s page but from the work of 4NTS, they did the actual work of translating and sorting out news in the ecosystem for the average consumers. It fustrates and irritates me a lot to see @Dacha fingerpointing without evidence through his short baseless ‘investigation’ and jumps into conclusion, likely to make himself feel better.

If you, @Dacha, have the capability to manage and promote NEAR like what @Ozymandius did, then prove it, list your contributions or start contributing and show results. From the forum posts you made, almost all of them are accusations and nothing constructive. @Ozymandius invited you to a call with absolutely no hostility and you replied with a meme. Where is the professionalism?

To @zavodil and @evgenykuzyakov, as core members of the NEAR team, I sincerely hope that you guys lead by examples. Take the chance to find out more about the situation and not participate in some childish rants just because some ‘long time’ community member starts to make baseless claims.


I’ve been in the Degen group almost from the very beginning. I am blogging to Ozy, @rimberjack and NEAR Protocol in general for learning new things during this time and being able to gain new skills.
Ozy helped the NEAR ecosystem grow a lot: conferences, calls with the team, etc. 4NTS did a great job. You may not have noticed, but a lot of Twitter activity in the ecosystem comes from the degens. Do you, @Dacha, have any ideas and can you do everything that the degens do yourself? Or can you just make charts (and memes) as someone sells tokens on binance? (by the way, near tokens are on binance and I stake them).
This pathetic investigation with no suggestions by Dacha (I cannot call it any other pathetic one) is an attempt to troll and is not taken seriously. No constructivism and false conclusions without knowing what the degens are doing. It is a pity that such attempts at trolling are not suppressed by the moderators.
I hope you (@zavodil, @evgenykuzyakov and @Dacha) will have constructive suggestions on what to do with marketing (and I do not mean to lock tokens or hire a “cool” marketer).


@Ozymandius you’re doing great work. Everyone’s trying to row the same direction but sometimes the oars are getting stuck.

Let’s all remember that there are much much bigger things out there to focus on and that any time we spend pointing fingers at each other is a distraction. This whole thing works because we have tons of very different people working in very different ways which all add up to make this ecosystem powerful.

If we can’t try things,
if we can’t make mistakes,
if we can’t voice opinions and
if we can’t fail,
then no one can take risk at all and no one can act. And then nothing moves forward.

So we have to do more not less. We have to try crazy shit just because 9 bad ideas can produce 1 gem. Yes, we have to do so within the bounds of our values but let’s not get hyperfocused on the details and policing small decisions. That’s how you make people frustrated and it accomplishes nothing in the big picture.

Anyway, thanks @Ozymandius for what you’ve done to help the ecosystem (for example that town hall you hosted was aces all the way through) and thanks everyone else for what unique contributions you’re making as well. To everyone: don’t get discouraged. We’re a community and we’ll always have some sort of community drama. In the immortal words of Taylor Swift, shake it off :slight_smile:

We’re fighting to get 100M+ people using apps on NEAR. To help build billion-dollar communities and billion-dollar projects. I hope that puts things in perspective.

Anyone who wants to join this effort and can contribute value to it is welcome. Let’s each focus on what we can each individually do to support this. This will take the efforts of 100x as many people as we have now and spending 100x as much community funds so the question isn’t how to police small allocations of capital but how can we bring in or create projects that are worthy of spending millions of dollars to accelerate? Think bigger not smaller. It takes the same amount of effort for that but the payoff is 100x bigger.

Again, I’m just trying to put this all in perspective.

If you have a great idea, apply for a grant to make it happen. Then execute the hell out of it like Oz has been doing and let’s make this ecosystem great together.


Near community, especially the members of Near Degens understand how @Ozymandius has contributed to the development of the Near community. More and more people on social networks, especially twitter, talk about Near and that is the result of the positive activities of @Ozymandius in particular and Near Degens in general. Please stop your baseless accusations @dacha, contribute to the development of the Near community if you can. Remember that We all love Near!