NEAR Foundation’s Response to the War in Ukraine
How fast the world changes. Just a couple of weeks ago I had landed back in London from ETHDenver, excited by what I had witnessed — everyone full of hope and optimism for the world. Fast forward a few days and we all have been abruptly reminded just how fragile and full of uncertainty the world can be.
As the global situation sparked by the invasion of Ukraine continues to evolve, I wanted to share with the NEAR community our reactions and thoughts moving forward, both from the perspective of the NEAR Foundation and in the context of NEAR as a protocol technology.
Our team members, our community, and our friends and family are all deeply impacted by this brutal war. NEAR, in particular, has deep roots in Ukraine and in Russia.
- Our founders were born in Ukraine and Russia.
- We have team members living in both Ukraine and Russia.
- We have an established Ukrainian innovation hub with over 50 members.
- And, many of our community members have friends and family within both countries.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the situation and with their loved ones. We hope for a peaceful resolution for the people of Ukraine, of Russia, and of all impacted communities.
Together with the community, we have rallied to support our team members and ecosystem. So far, and to the best of our knowledge, everyone from the NEAR ecosystem is currently safe and accounted for.
Times of rapid change are difficult to navigate. Such change is stressful, unsettling, and paralyzing. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
The world is going through turbulent times, and yet, there is a hope. When I see the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom I can’t help but be inspired. We are witnessing phenomenal leadership that many thought no longer existed in today’s society.
This type of leadership is showing us that it’s time to stand up for what we believe in, to fight for democracy, and help make the necessary changes for a better, more open world.
While this statement is coming from us at the NEAR Foundation, it’s important to remember that the NEAR Protocol, as an open source technology, is explicitly neutral. This is paramount. The protocol will always remain open and available to all developers and participants, wherever they happen to be in the world.
While the technology is neutral and decentralized, the NEAR Foundation is not. We are taking all necessary actions internally to comply with the many government mandates from around the world. Our legal team will also continue to thoroughly examine such mandates as they evolve. The NEAR Foundation will always remain fully compliant.
This is also a watershed moment for Web3, showcasing the power of crypto for good. Through unchain.fund, over $2M in humanitarian aid for Ukraine has been raised on the NEAR Protocol. Across the Web3 ecosystem, tens of millions of dollars have been raised, including direct contributions to the crypto wallets held by the Ukrainian government.
In addition to unchain.fund, NEAR Foundation will be donating money to the following charities:
More than ever, what we are building together matters. Building for more transparency, more individual sovereignty, and for a more fair and open world.
And so, while we navigate through challenging times, we need to continue building. We are very well-placed as an ecosystem to thrive, and the race for the future is happening now.
Stay safe, protect and hug your loved ones, and let’s keep building.
NEAR Foundation CEO