Speaker for the Dead

Who speaks on behalf of all the people and valuable projects that have left the NEAR ecosystem?

Who represents the interests of the BILLION people we want to attract and the A PLAYERS we need to build the applications these billion people will use?

Who can convey the issues and challenges of the contributors that are not joining the ecosystem?

What are the metrics, the REAL metrics for assessing where we are now?

I’ve made calls in the past for someone to take ownership for the N Foundation failure to nurture and grow the NEAR community (Sorry Marieke). There’s been no resignation, no drama. But an acknowledgment that the N Foundation will be focusing on top down corporate deal and community is now grassroots, power and funds being handed over to NDC. I’d like to think that the calls and pressure from community were heard. Seems like a good outcome, BUT

Key question now is - can NDC do a better job?

NDC is a party with only a handful of people dancing to the same music and we wonder whether the DJ is fantastic or lame.

How can we grow beyond the current community size? Where can we do better?

I spend a lot of time building, travelling, and networking with founders, engineers across many ecosystems.

Every time I identify an opportunity for a partnership, talent that is outstanding, I immediately start thinking of ways of attracting them to NEAR - I am so obsessed with NEAR succeeding it is making me physically ill. Why? Here’s my experience:

  • Foundation closed its doors. No grants, limited support. Perhaps Horizon will be different but there isn’t a clear pathway to refer a relationship for growth. I’m not talking about a Fortune 500 company ready to sign a deal - I’m talking about the exploration stage: explaining the tech, the potential, onboarding, courting, etc.
  • NDC is messy. Hurts me to say but I am embarrassed to bring top talent into most Working Groups. There is talent within ecosystem, but they are increasingly working behind closed doors, insulating themselves from the masses - roundtable, town halls, etc. Honestly, can’t blame them. Most of the working groups are littered with unhinged people and childish behaviour. Petty fighting, finger pointing, insane ordeals over every dollar spent like these people have never held money in their hands before. Fixed mindset, average quality contributors at best.

Credit where credit is due - people who care are aware and taking action. There are guidelines in place, enforcement seems to be getting better. Still, the greater question is: how can we attract outstanding talent when we cater for the lowest common denominator?

How can we improve? The community is being tested right now with the Creatives DAO. Do we settle with the current standards or do we aim for something else? Can we keep up with the times and put the NEAR community first?

There is a call for feedback on the Creatives Charter and two things jump at me: First, community is not mature enough to have a conversation. Perhaps we need to have more structure debate, better tooling, who knows. But the blind and borderline aggressive support from those who have a direct financial benefit is overwhelming. Zero nuance or consideration as to the actual feedback requested.

Second, there are structural and ethical issues. I’ll sum up some of my personal views which happen to resonate with others I know:

Creatives DAO is in essence a charity. A charity that has been funded by NEAR Community Treasury. Nothing inherently wrong with the arts - there’s beautiful activities taking place in there - but where is the equity?

Why is the community ecosystem funding artists when we do not have any support mechanisms for active community members who are in this for the tech? There are teams contributing to vital open source code, building local communities, etc. without any support. Validators operating at a loss. Projects shutting down because they can’t get funding.

NEAR itself is a startup in survival mode, not an elite elderly institution in a position to become a Patron of the arts.

The problem will only get worse. ‘Democracy’ risks bulldozing over Common Sense. There can be more people who want money out of this charity than there are founders or engineers, combined, in the ecosystem. To quote Alexander Fraser Tytler:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy”. - Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee

Lord Woodhouselee nailed it in the 1800s. Looking at the visual representation I’d say NEAR started Liberty (Founding Fathers, Illia & Skidanov), we move on to Abundance during Bull Market (‘The Erik Era’, refers to former NF CEO). The things get complicated becuase: Creatives DAO seeking to operate like we are in Abundant times, while their recipients are spread across Selfishness and Complacency and the rest of the community is increasingly in Apathy… we all know what happens next…

Hence, the Speaker for the Dead.

I’ve been bullied. Shut out from the conversation. Discriminated against from accessing funds from NF and ecosystem - but I am still here, a lone voice speaking on behalf of all the top contributors we have lost, we want to attract, and the billion users waiting for us to build something fucking amazing.

Change is painful, but necessary. As the NF has reviewed and reinvented itself over the course of 2022 it seems to me that WE would be failing as a community is we keep doing the same things over and over again.

Ultimately the change that takes place will depend on how fast and efficiently you act - whether chopping the monarch’s head or forking the entire network and rebooting to Freedom, make no mistake, we are not going to stay in this faux era of Abundance and Apathy with all the entitled people in between. NDC gives us a path to victory, but we must speak out now.


Knowledge is power, and the most formidable challenge of a decentralized ecosystem is communication. A workgroup focused on just this has started, how to communicate in a decentralized ecosystem. The Dev DAO is starting to empower the DEV Community to BuiDL once more through the Devs Gig Board on NEARSocial. The challenge with change is that it takes time, all while the ecosystem pivots away from grants and toward Gigs, RFPs, and workgroups, with a goal of more focus on building common goods to create the decentralization and sustainability mechanisms of the ecosystem.

Thanks for highlighting some systemic issues we have faced as a Community that highlighted themselves at the beginning of the NDC. Infighting, toxic behavior, and conduct have presented themselves in an unbecoming way and still are. It appears that the pulse of the community is building to say, hey, we’re going to need some principles, safeguards, and policies, or things will get out of control like they did last cycle. Again our second challenge with decentralization is autonomy to make your own decisions and freedom of speech, but it appears there should be some places on NEAR where conduct matters, and this is in the context of interacting with diverse communities around town squares, water wells, and familiar gathering places.

Creatives DAO - every society has been propelled forward by the arts. In the case of NEAR, one of our success stories with creatives is the NFT Community. Regardless of how these DEGEN communities may be perceived, they created actual activity onchain and the largest grassroots AMPLIFICATION engine we have seen on NEAR. In addition, creative arts have the ability to create actual use cases for retail users and the ability to attract Web2 and regional communities. The parity between creative arts and creating thriving onchain communities is a key metric to watch.

Our perceptions and convictions are among the most pressing challenges we face as an ecosystem. While technology, crypto, and Web3 may move lightning fast, people do not. Building a genuinely decentralized society is a tremendous amount of work and will take time, and we are in year three. We have to ensure we are focused on moving the right needles, and those are plainly:

  • Growing active accounts
  • Retaining active accounts
  • Building products that fill a need that active accounts want

It’s not about making money at this stage. It’s about survival. There is one way and only one to survive. STRONG COMMUNITY!!!

The NDC is a grassroots movement by the NEAR Community to decentralize NEAR and BuiDL Web3 Gov on NEAR. This is a case where contribution matters. Getting off dead center while keeping the process open and collaborative was tough. We made mistakes… I’m happy to report that the Community (NDC) is now beginning to self-organize and tackle our ecosystem’s most complex challenges. But we must remain realistic; it will take time, and we (the Community) will not get it right at first; it will be iterative. But all the while, we must BuiDL Community.

Here are the NDC Vision and our Q2 Deliverables (lots to do)

With your key insights and investigative skills, the Transparency Commission WG or another may allow for the greatest contribution. You can find all the workgroups in the “Join the Movement” topic of the NDC Community Hub:

I would also welcome a continued dialog and a 1:1 if it makes sense.


The creative DAO NFT community is dead, we feed DAOs over the last two years, and this is the result: please try to find out Near here https://dappradar.com/nft

NDC is the Community’s chance to change its approach and creative DAO focus, but weak and not proactive NDC leaders prefer to go with the flow.

In the past, strong leaders like Marike could intervene and influence the situation. Still, Blaze remained alone with a group of creative DAO leaders who allegedly represent the community. It’s comfortable for Blaze to be in one team with them, but the carriage will turn into a pumpkin when they receive the money. All these leaders are here only because of the awards. Blaze, you were manipulated, and God is the judge.

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If you have specific feedback on the Creatives DAO Charter and how to improve it, it is open for Community feedback here:


54,000 NFTs minted by Creative communities in the last 2 years on mintbase

The amount of on-chain traffic generated by Creatives community is one of the biggest on the ecosystem.

Thanks for taking time out to share your opinion. Specific implementable feedback would be way more helpful and would add constructive value to your criticism.


NDC has been captured.

Want to help us map how creatives have infiltrated every layer of the NDC in a way that makes it impossible to criticise? NDC Layer, Creatives in it and the C DAOs they belong to, and how much money they have received to date for what

This is simply not true. Societies are propelled forward by:

  • STRONG INSTITUTIONS - fair laws and regulations that enable anyone to become the best versions of themselves and to rise based on merit.
  • Industry - the production of goods and services that other people want, increase tax base to invest in other things
  • Innovation - how can we attract the best and brightest to unlock value through new technology

In most societies artists have always been at the fringes and the people who consume art have always been very wealthy. Art is a Luxury.

The best example of this is that most of our artists are coming from developing countries. Why isn’t Art launching their economies into global superpowers? Because these are regions held back by CORRUPTION.

We are creating a two-tiered society where Artists are somehow above everyone else. Validators are pissed off (I run one). Builders are pissed off. Regional Communities are confused. NF is… not comfortable. Why are you bending backwards to accomodate this niche?

I can mint 54,000 NFTs today and it would still be a fraction of the average daily transactions on NEAR currently around 350,000 (half what is used to be during bull markets).

The NEAR daily transacted value of NFTs is so low it is basically non-existent. There’s been many proposals from active PFP projects over time to improve this, none moved forward as NFTs have never been among the strategic interests of NEAR. See:

Most of the legit, successful NFT communities on NEAR such as Nearnauts and Secret Skellies never received any support from Creatives DAO and they moved on to other ecosystems.


No more than 2000-3000, other “000” are only doubles of the originally minted NFT. Question: How much money have we spent on NFTs? Over 1M dollars? How much we sold? Don’t manipulate statistics.

That is not true. The traffic generated by Sweat, Near Crowd, Play Amber, Ref.Finance, NLC, Near Social.

Mint base generated only 320 unique users a month, and mostly the Creative DAO budget in March went to support the NFT marketplace

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The metric isn’t NfTs sold. It’s on chain activity which was created majorly by creatives community.

NFTs not being bought doesn’t fall under the purview of CDAO as we aren’t a for profit entity.

CDAO and MDAO are a grant distribution channel to fund communities in line with NEARs growth.

I have never seen any of you guys in any community calls or AMAs where we discuss grievances and problems real communities are facing and help solve them.

If you are genuinely interested in helping, please add specific points to be considered in the charter.


I agree we are actively working on decentralized governance in the NDC, led by the community. Would welcome your contribution.

The rest of the post I shared outlined how the Dev DAO is restoring funding to the Dev Community.

The linked deck also highlighted UBI for smaller Validators as a topic actively being discussed.

Do you have specific feedback on improving the Creatives DAO Charter, or do you think creatives should not be funded? The Charter is open for feedback and discussion:

Creatives DAO funding is available for DAOs, projects, and workgroups to apply.

Here are a few slides from the deck:


Hello,why do we need GWG? What is GWG budget? What is GWG councils remuneration ?

I’d like to remind everyone that the governance forum is for discussion and constructive criticism, not for posting memes. This is not 9GAG. Thank you :pray:


Very focal point here, as a validator I’m running with losses since december and there’s no answer from Near :confused:

Thank you for your post Hairen,

First I’d like to thank you for your passion and on-going commitment to NEAR ecosystem. Even if sometimes we have to agree to disagree, I’ve been following your work over time and I know that you have the right intentions, specially advocating for the validators community.

I’d like to reassure you that I have had a call with @Cryptonaut this week and we are pretty much aligned on everything. This highlights several things:

  • Most contentions conversations that may spiral out of control on the forum can be resolved easily over a phone call.
  • I have also been very critical of the Creatives DAO over time and have some feedback on current Charter that I’d like to see implemented prior to approval.
  • Sahil, representing current creatives leadership, is in 100% alignment that any project going through Creatives DAO must have a strong connection with NEAR. We will be revising the language of charter to ensure this is expressed clearly on the docos. However, you can already see on the C DAO March Report that most proposals do not meet the new guidelines and have been rejected. (Spreadsheet reads a lot better)
  • It is also important to note that there are factions within Creatives. Some are 100% aligned with us, some are resistant to change, and some may have been problematic in the past.
  • It is important to identify and support the factions within Creatives that are aligned with NEAR Strategic Goals and open to reform. Support them. They are already under constant attack from within.

I acknowledge that having three Grassroots DAOs that are functioning well (no irrational waste of funds or corruption, adding value in their verticals) still doesn’t address many of the issues that you’ve raised. I encourage you to take up those issues separately:

I’ll be publishing more info soon on the Vision for Grassroots DAOs and some simple, actionable frameworks to ensure we are all working towards the same Strategic Goals. Stay tuned.