Marieke Flament, the CEO who steered the Near Foundation to remarkable heights, has stepped down from her role, marking a significant shift in leadership. The Near Foundation has flourished during her tenure, with its treasury swelling to an impressive $350 million. This announcement brings forth a new chapter in the Near Protocol’s journey.
Flament’s Impact and Transition of Leadership
In a statement released on September 21, it was revealed that Chris Donovan, Near Foundation’s General Counsel, would be taking the reins as the new CEO. Although the announcement did not delve into specific reasons for Flament’s departure, it marks a pivotal moment for Near Foundation.
Marieke Flament reflected on her journey, stating,“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 tremendous potential – fantastic tech, a diverse and vibrant community, and a world of open possibilities, and so I joined.”
Unprecedented Growth: Near Protocol’s Milestones
Flament highlighted the remarkable growth of Near Protocol during her leadership. From 2021 to 2023, the daily active user count skyrocketed from 50,000 to an astonishing 3 million. Twitter followers surged from 200,000 to over 2 million, accompanied by more than 2,000 instances of press coverage.
The era also witnessed significant partnerships with industry giants, including SWEAT, Playember, Circle, Ledger, Alibaba, Amazon, Google, KPMG, Cosmose AI, SailGP, The Littles, PipeFlare, Shemaroo, Kakao Games, Inven/Vortex, and Netmarble/Marblex in Korea.
In a disclosure of financial strength, Flament revealed that the Near Foundation’s treasury currently holds a balance of 330 million NEAR, estimated at a substantial $350 million. This financial stability underscores the organization’s robust position in the blockchain space.
Marieke Flament shared insights into her leadership strategy, saying,“My strategy has been one of driving mainstream adoption, enabling and empowering grassroots communities, and continuing our journey to decentralization. Bringing onboard large web2 players, while nurturing web3 innovators, has also been key to our growth.”
NEAR’s Market Presence
As of now, NEAR ranks as the 40th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, with an estimated valuation of $1.04 billion. Notably, in June, Czech automobile conglomerate Škoda Auto made headlines by launching a nonfungible token platform on the Near Protocol.