Marieke Flament Steps Down as CEO of Near Foundation
Marieke Flament's leadership at Near Foundation saw significant growth, strategic partnerships with industry giants, and dominance in Dapps.
Marieke Flament's association with Near Foundation began two years ago, at a time when she was unfamiliar with NEAR. However, her subsequent involvement with the foundation saw her recognizing its immense potential, driven by its advanced technology, diverse community, and the vast opportunities it presented. Under her leadership, the Near Protocol experienced significant growth, with the daily active user count surging from 50,000 to a staggering 3 million. Additionally, the foundation's social media presence, particularly on Twitter, expanded from 200,000 followers to over 2 million.
"Two years ago, I had never heard of NEAR. Upon doing a bit of research and after several conversations it became clear that NEAR had a tremendous potential – fantastic tech, a diverse and vibrant community and a world of open possibilities, and so I joined."
During Flament's term, Near Foundation forged numerous strategic partnerships with industry giants, including Google, Amazon, and KPMG. Flament also highlighted that two-thirds of the top decentralized applications (Dapps) listed on Dappradar were developed on NEAR, underscoring the platform's dominance and appeal to developers. She also stated:
"My strategy has been one of driving mainstream adoption, enabling and empowering grassroot communities and continuing our journey to decentralization. Bringing onboard large web2 players, while nurturing web3 innovators has also been key to our growth."
The timing of Marieke Flament's resignation as CEO of the Near Foundation has raised some suspicion. This decision coincides with a period of notable financial shifts for the foundation. Specifically, the NEAR inflation rate is limited to a maximum of 5% annually, however, it has surged by over 28% in the past months. With the NEAR seeing such a big increase recently, some are wondering if Flament's departure is a sign that there might be underlying issues within the company related to this massive token inflation.
Major venture capital firms, including FTX and Three Arrow Capital, have previously participated in funding rounds for NEAR coins, and their locked coins are set to be unlocked soon. This is particularly concerning given that both FTX and Three Arrow Capital have recently declared bankruptcy. Adding to the complexity, a recent judicial decision has permitted FTX to liquidate up to $100 million in cryptocurrency on a weekly basis to repay its investors. Given these circumstances, it's probable that FTX will offload its entire stash of NEAR coins, which could have a negative impact on NEAR's market position and value.
The foundation's treasury currently boasts a balance of 330 million NEAR tokens, valued at approximately $350 million. Regarding governance, Flament will continue contributing to the foundation's mission, but in a different capacity. She will serve as a council member and also act as an advisor to the incoming CEO, Chris Donovan.