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NEAR Protocol Project Octopus Network Lays Off 40% of Team

Octopus joins firms like Coinbase and OpenSea, who have all made big cuts to staff numbers in 2022 amid the challenging market environment.

2 min read
Octopus Network is a crypto project built on the Near Protocol. Image: Shutterstock.

Octopus Network has announced a set of restructuring measures amid current bleak market conditions, which will see roughly 40% of its members (12 out of 30) leave its core team.

The remaining team members will accept a 20% salary cut, and the Octopus Network’s team token incentive will be suspended indefinitely.

Octopus Network is a project for launching and running application-specific blockchains, known as appchains, built on the NEAR Protocol blockchain network.

The NEAR Protocol is a public Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, that offers speedy transfers and low fees.

Taking a bleak view of the future of the wider industry, Octopus’ founder Louis Liu said that he expects that the crypto winter “will last at least another year, perhaps much longer” and that the majority of “Web3 startups will not survive.”

But it’s not just staff cuts that are on the horizon; the company also said it “will condense operations and focus on building in the next year.” 

Octopus says this will include connecting various appchains, such as those built on Substrate or Cosmos SDK, to Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC) enabled blockchains.

The Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC) is an open-source protocol built to handle the authentication and transport of data between two separate and distinct blockchains.

The news comes after the firm had targeted rapid expansion as recently as September 2021, receiving $5 million in Series A funding from a variety of VC firms. At the time, the project promised to fund 20 appchain projects each year via what it called the Octopus Accelerator Program.

Octopus joins crypto cuts back

Octopus’s decision to cut staff comes as many other firms in the industry look to take similar measures amid the current crypto winter. 

The latter part of 2022 saw Coinbase axe 18% of its staff, while leading NFT platform OpenSea cut 20% and crypto exchange Kraken cut around 30%. 

This month alone, the industry has seen UK-based crypto tax firm Koinly cut 14% of its global team, roughly 16 people, and crypto derivatives platform Paradigm slash staff salaries by 15%.

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