We would like to bring to the community’s attention some changes with Palyanitsa Ltd, the leading company within NEAR UA, a prominent hub within the NEAR ecosystem.
NEAR UA have made many positive contributions to the NEAR ecosystem, notably their team’s incredible efforts in raising awareness and taking action with the current situation in Ukraine. To date, NEAR UA has received a significant amount of grant funding and support from NEAR Foundation, conditional upon those funds being used to achieve certain milestones and in a way that is consistent with the values of the ecosystem.
Unfortunately, NEAR Foundation has decided to halt funding and terminate the grant agreement with Palyanista Ltd. This was not a decision that was taken lightly, but ultimately the NEAR Foundation believes this to be in the best interests of the NEAR ecosystem as a whole.
NEAR Foundation has been working hard directly with principals behind Palyanitsa Ltd to try and find a workable path forward. However, despite everyone’s best efforts — and we thank the principals behind Palyanitsa for their hard work during this period — NEAR Foundation believes the only realistic way forward is the following:
- NEAR UA gradually winds down
- NEAR Foundation offers to cover hub payroll for 3 months
- NEAR Foundation works one-on-one with certain hub projects to see how to best support
This difficult decision to halt funding to NEAR UA was driven by various factors, including some that are specific to the NEAR UA hub itself and its historic management and operation, and others that are part of the more general funding review the Foundation has been going through (as announced in “Evolving NEAR Foundation’s Funding Strategy”).
What does this mean for NEAR UA projects and personnel?
NEAR Foundation has committed to:
- make grant funds available to pay NEAR UA’s payroll (excluding the hub principals) for the next 3 months;
- work directly with hub projects to assess their funding needs and how NEAR Foundation can support; and
- support hub personnel in finding new roles within the ecosystem should their initiatives within the hub be wound down.
We will provide more information shortly about how eligible hub personnel can claim their monthly compensation (and whether this will be made available via Palyanitsa Ltd or directly from NEAR Foundation). We are also setting up an Airtable for hub personnel and encourage all projects that are recruiting to review and reach out to suitable candidates.
NEAR Foundation has already begun to get in touch with the NEAR UA projects to assess their progress and other needs. A member of the NEAR Foundation team will be in touch with relevant project leads shortly (if they haven’t gotten in touch already).
We want to emphasize that this is not a reflection of our commitment to hubs in either Ukraine or Lisbon, where NEAR UA has been based since early 2022. We will be exploring a relaunch of local efforts early in the new year, and we will work closely with the community as those efforts progress. NEAR Foundation also remains committed to supporting efforts in providing assistance to those who need it in Ukraine. We are working with the community to explore various ways this could be done, including providing additional financial assistance to NEAR community members based in the region.
NEAR is home to many incredible people building awesome projects across a wide variety of verticals. The NEAR Protocol and ecosystem are well-positioned as the Web3 market moves into 2023 and beyond. The Foundation is truly inspired and excited by NEAR’s thriving community and all of its potential as we collectively move forward to create without limits.