As June comes to a close, summer in the NEAR ecosystem is heating up with a wave of new announcements, events, media appearances, and more. Not to mention a few notable celebrities bringing some star power into NEAR’s orbit. Here’s a rundown of all the newsworthy NEAR happenings over the past month.
Sammy Hagar and Guy Fieri jump into NFTs on NEAR
In the US, Grammy-winning musician Sammy Hagar and celebrity chef Guy Fieri joined the NEAR ecosystem, teaming up with NEAR on-ramp Trident3 to launch an NFT loyalty program. The Santo Spirits Club loyalty program, as reported by Coindesk and Decrypt, will enable tequila fans to earn on-chain tiered perks and an opportunity to win a virtual tasting with the duo.
Mirae Asset, MARBLEX, and Vortex boost South Korea
Over in Asia, NEAR Foundation continued to make inroads in South Korea. Mirae Asset, a subsidiary of Asia’s largest financial group, announced a partnership to research Web3’s role in global business. Per Bloomberg, Mirae Asset will collaborate with NEAR Foundation to strengthen the Web2/3 business network and identify opportunities for real-world blockchain value creation.
Meanwhile, Blockchain Reporter broke that Marblex – a Korean blockchain infrastructure provider for high-quality gaming – will integrate NEAR protocol with Marblex’s gaming universe, enhancing user convenience and Web3 adoption. NEAR will integrate with MARBLEX’s WARP Bridge, taking advantage of NEAR’s high scalability and speed to improve the gaming experience in Web3. The partnership will also enable joint marketing initiatives and events, boosting awareness of the global blockchain gaming market.
Then there’s Vortex Gaming, a Web3 subsidiary of Inven, the largest game media community in Korea. Coverage by European Gaming reported that Vortex will leverage NEAR protocol to integrate a gaming community encompassing Web2 and Web3 by building innovative infrastructure for gaming developers. The NEAR Foundation and Inven will also collaborate on marketing and business development, adding to NEAR’s exciting Web3 gaming ecosystem.
Skoda launches metaverse for auto fans in India
Czech Automobile Manufacturer Skoda entered the Metaverse in the world’s most populous country, giving users an opportunity to explore, collect and own digital art pieces on NEAR. The platform, as reported by Cointelegraph and Entrepreneur India, will enable NFT owners to access exclusive perks and rewards, while allowing owners to trade digital artwork in the future.
SailGP christens The Dock for decentralized fandom
In more partnership news, the Global racing league SailGP and Oracle announced the launch of “The Dock”, a decentralized fan engagement platform powered by Oracle and NEAR’s ongoing partnership to bridge the worlds of Web2 and Web3. As reported by SailWeb, The Dock will revolutionize how fans follow SailGP, increasing engagement through exclusive content and enabling fans to earn points, redeemable for exciting rewards including VIP access to SailGP events and more.
Alibaba Cloud and Women in Web3 headline Collision
The NEAR ecosystem took over Toronto this month, showcasing the best of BOS at Collision 2023, one of the world’s biggest tech conferences. During the event, the NEAR Foundation announced a groundbreaking partnership with Alibaba, enabling developers across Asia to launch new NEAR validators with Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure as a service.
The partnership was covered in myriad outlets such as Coindesk, Journal du Coin, and BTC Echo. Partnering with Alibaba means the NEAR ecosystem will have access to Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) and enable users to interact with NEAR’s Blockchain Operating System while using Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure.
The NEAR Foundation also released the Women in Web3 Changemakers List 2023, celebrating the achievements of extraordinary women throughout the Web3 ecosystem. As reported by Tech Funding News, the ten women were selected by the public and hail from all corners of the globe, following hundreds of nominations from the Web3 community.
Leadership viewpoints on media and social fairness
Illia Polosukhin, Founder of NEAR and CEO of Pagoda, took the time to write a thought leadership piece in Blockworks about crypto’s potential to transform how we interact with the media. Illia sets out the emerging problem with the status quo: bad actors are beginning to utilize generative AI to dramatically scale up misinformation campaigns.
However, Illia explains that blockchain-based “sign-and-trace” systems can enable the public to reliably source and validate real news stories, with a legitimate trail of sources available online.
CEO of NEAR Foundation Marieke Flament also penned an article for London’s leading daily business paper CityAM about using Web3 to build a fair and inclusive digital world. “Too often technology has only benefited the few: those who have money, those who have power, or those of a certain gender, ethnicity, or skin color.
But this doesn’t need to be the case,” she explained. “Technology can and should be in the service of all people. But to achieve this, we will need a change in perspective, something that Web3 can help us achieve.”
Marieke also talked about blockchain, Web3, and BOS on a podcast hosted by the editor Journal du Coin – France’s leading crypto media outlet, and for a video interview with Fintech Finance at the Paris Fintech Forum.
That’s all for this month. If we missed anything or want to share anything for next month’s roundup, get in touch!
NEAR Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership with Vortex Gaming, a Web3 subsidiary of the leading game industry INVEN. INVEN is the largest game media·community in Korea, with a monthly active user (MAU) count of 7.2 million.
With the guidance of the NEAR Korea Hub, NEAR Foundation and Vortex Gaming plan to achieve mutual growth by collaborating to support the growth of Vortex Gaming; strengthen the NEAR game ecosystem; conduct offline hackathons and events to foster developer talent; and enhance brand awareness and business networks.
To support Web3 gaming, Vortex Gaming will leverage NEAR’s global layer 1 protocol, known for its user experience and scalability, and the Blockchain Operating System (BOS). The BOS is an OS for an open web, allowing developers to effortlessly build apps for an internet free from centralized platforms.
“Following the leading companies in the gaming industry such as Kakao Games, Wemade, Netmarble’s Marblex, we expect our sustainable game ecosystem to be further enhanced through this partnership with INVEN,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of NEAR Foundation, expressed her delight at INVEN joining the NEAR ecosystem.
Vortex Gaming: an open web community game changer
Vortex Gaming is a content-based game community that builds services optimized for Web3 games. It also offers a global social media platform and features such as Gaming Guild. Vortex’s Gaming Guild will allow members to earn rewards by playing games, participating in tournaments, and contributing to the guild’s community. The guild system also provides a stronger sense of bonding between guild members, which can help strengthen user retention.
Vortex Gaming also aims to break a major stereotype of current Web3 games as being dominated by a few profit-seeking individuals. It does this by offering specialized content that thoroughly explores the in-game economy, the completeness of the game, and gameplay guide. By leveraging its successful experience in building Web2 communities, Vortex Gaming plans to establish a robust user base by incorporating both high quality content and INVEN’s existing wide pool of users.
INVEN is the largest game media·community in Korea. For over 20 years it has been the leading company in the game industry, driving the development as the top online game media platform. Based on content generated in-house, INVEN continues to innovate and expand into industries such as entertainment and Web3.
“The ultimate goal is to build an integrated gamer community that encompasses both Web3 and traditional Web2 gamers by providing high quality Web3 and Web2 content alike,” said Vortex Gaming CEO, HOON JAI LEE. “Gamers and their communities are the most crucial components of the game ecosystem. In addition to offering game content for gamers and their communities, Vortex Gaming envisions establishing a sustainable cycle by incentivizing gamers’ production of content such as character builds and game guides”.
The NEAR Korea Hub, responsible for business expansion across Korea and other Asian regions, has been instrumental in fostering this partnership. The Hub views Vortex’s onboarding as a significant moment that further accelerates the development of the NEAR gaming ecosystem.
“While the strong content competitiveness of leading companies plays a crucial role in attracting many users to the NEAR ecosystem, community is the key driving force in maintaining this competitiveness,”said Scott Lee, Co-CEO of NEAR Korea. “The synergy effects resulting from the onboarding of Vortex Gaming will further strengthen NEAR’s position as the optimal mainnet in the Web3 game ecosystem, accelerating ecosystem development.”
The ever-expanding gaming landscape faces significant challenges such as engagement and identity fragmentation. As fans navigate platforms like Twitch, Discord, and YouTube, brands and creators struggle to monetize their fan bases effectively. This is where ARterra Labs steps in — a company on a mission to revolutionize fan engagement and unlock Web3 fandom for the gaming industry.
ARterra Labs aims to transform fan engagement in gaming by integrating its innovative Web3 solutions into existing Web2 ecosystems. Bridging the gap between platforms and simplifying monetization, ARterra Labs is set to attract millions of gamers through strategic partnerships and an ambitious plan to onboard over 5 million users, positioning itself as a game-changer in the industry.
As ARterra Labs redefines gaming engagement, the NEAR Foundation’s blockchain technology will play a crucial role, powering ARterra’s innovative solutions such as the credential-based fan passport and the Battle Pass system.
How ARterra’s Battle Pass is energizing Web3 gaming
ARterra Labs deploys three distinct products aimed at transforming the gaming landscape. With a credential-based fan passport, they offer a secure platform for fans to exhibit their unique identities and interests.
In addition, they introduce metaverse experiences, allowing fans to interact, engage, and form deeper bonds with their favorite franchises. Completing the trifecta is the Battle Pass system, a tiered reward structure that gamifies fan engagement, incentivizing both participation and loyalty.
ARterra Labs’ metaverse experiences immerse fans in virtual worlds where they can interact, engage, and connect with their favorite franchises. And the Battle Pass system gamifies fan engagement with a tiered reward system, incentivizing participation and loyalty.
Central to ARterra’s strategy, the Battle Pass is a reward system on the NEAR blockchain, connecting to other chains via the BOS and LayerZero. It propels NFT liquidity within the NEAR ecosystem and unites gaming communities across networks. By rewarding active engagement, Battle Pass bolsters user loyalty and underscores NEAR’s role in settling cross-chain gaming transactions.
Together, these three products serve as the foundation for ARterra Labs’ Experience Hub — an open-source marketplace that enables the creation of User-Generated Content (UGC) experiences for distribution to their extensive network. ARterra’s User-Generated Content (UGC) — primarily enabled through Fortnite’s Creative mode — serves as another cornerstone to its success, already captivating over 46 million gamers and maintaining a steady base of 500,000 monthly players.
User experience and seamless onboarding play a critical role in ushering these gamers into the Web3 ecosystem. Key alliances with industry leaders like Complexity Gaming and GRID Esports’ Champion of Champions Tournament (CCT) further reinforce ARterra’s prominence.
ARterra’s market strategy is twofold. Initially, it centers on activating Web3 fandom, using user-generated content effectively, and fostering unity in the gaming community. The second focus involves collaborating with premier Web3 gaming entities, offering gamer incentives, and constantly refining these tactics with data insights.
Reshaping gaming for an open web
Blending NEAR’s fast and scalable blockchain with ARterra’s innovative approach to gaming, the partnership is set to bring about radical improvements to the Web3 gaming experience. ARterra’s unique tools like the Discord-native tournament platform and the Battle Pass will foster enhanced interactions between gamers, developers, and brands.
The alliance, cemented by a 12-month agreement that’s extendable indefinitely, emphasizes the faith NEAR Foundation is placing in ARterra’s potential. This cooperative venture bolsters NEAR’s position as the gaming fandom’s settlement layer across multiple chains while also ensuring priority access for NEAR ecosystem games to ARterra’s platform.
It’s also a win-win for both players and builders. Gamers gain an immersive environment where rewards and exclusive content are the norm. Developers are offered a supportive platform, underpinned by the NEAR BOS and protocol, while brands can tap into a vibrant, engaged, and diverse audience.
With ARterra Labs and NEAR Foundation’s shared vision, the focus will be on expanding and refining gaming platforms to attract more users, developers, and partners. The two will be dedicated to adding value within the gaming community, setting the stage for a significant growth spurt in the NEAR and Web3 gaming ecosystems alike.
Amplifying the open web gaming journey with Battle Pass, metaverse realities, and the fan passport, ARterra Labs and NEAR Foundation don’t merely enhance the experience — they define a new standard. It’s a game-changing era in Web3 and fans are just barely unlocking the first level.
NEAR Foundation and PipeFlare, a trailblazing play-to-earn (P2E) platform, are partnering to reshape Web3 gaming by building on Aurora, NEAR’s Ethereum-compatible layer. As Web3 gaming on NEAR accelerates, PipeFlare will enable gamers to play, earn crypto, and engage socially in a decentralized environment. Collaborating with NEAR Foundation, PipeFlare aims to redefine scalability, security, and sheer enjoyment in Web3 by leveraging the EVM-compatible development capabilities of Aurora.
PipeFlare is one of the industry’s most reliable Web3-enabled gaming platforms, allowing users to earn cryptocurrency through gameplay, tasks, and activities. The partnership will help create more intricate, engaging Web3 games in a secure fashion. The collaboration will most certainly attract more users to Web3 gaming, while making NEAR a top choice for game developers.
Let’s delve into the PipeFlare and NEAR Foundation partnership, the advantages of the NEAR Blockchain Operating System and tech stack for Web3 gaming, and how the collaboration positively impacts the future of the NEAR decentralized gaming ecosystem.
Transforming play: PipeFlare’s NEAR-driven gaming evolution
Pipeflare is one of the most reputable P2E gaming sites in the industry, backed by some of the largest investors in the blockchain space like DCG and Horizen Labs. All PipeFlare transactions are published publicly as well, giving gamers more transparency and peace of mind in Web3 gaming, earning, transacting, and collecting.
Gamers can enjoy playing games, collecting free cryptocurrency from PipeFlare faucets, participating in airdrops, competing in weekly leaderboards, and earning rewards through the referral program. Additionally, players can buy and sell limited-mint NFTs on PipeFlare’s NFT marketplace.
PipeFlare’s exclusive Pyro NFT also brings perks like staking bonuses and a secret fourth crypto faucet to users. A dedicated support team demystifies blockchain and NFTs, while NEAR’s scalability enhances transactions without sacrificing speed or efficiency. This paves the way for PipeFlare’s explosive growth in the dynamic Web3 gaming market.
As security becomes more paramount in safeguarding digital assets and identities in Web3 gaming, PipeFlare is now embracing the speed and security of NEAR infrastructure. This ensures the protection of user data and assets and provides a cutting-edge, trustworthy, and reliable Web3 gaming experience for users to explore and enjoy.
Making Web3 Gaming more scalable, secure, and dev-friendly
NEAR’s intuitive, developer-focused platform offers substantial advantages for PipeFlare, simplifying game development and empowering creators to craft groundbreaking Web3 gaming experiences for veteran gamers and newcomers alike. But the PipeFlare and NEAR Foundation collaboration will transcend mere technology integration. Harnessing the BOS, PipeFlare can introduce even deeper functionality to players in areas like NFTs, in-game token rewards, and community engagement. As one of the only platforms where NFTs can be ported into multiple games, PipeFlare is breaking new ground in the industry.
NEAR Foundation is excited about this new portable NFT model in Web3 gaming, and will focus on the following three areas to help accelerate PipeFlare:
- Scalability. One of the biggest challenges facing Web3 gaming is scalability. Traditional blockchains are not designed to handle the high volume of transactions required for gaming. NEAR is a high-performance blockchain that can handle a large number of transactions per second, making it ideal for Web3 gaming.
- Security. Another important factor for Web3 gaming is security. Players need to be confident that their data and assets are safe when playing games on the blockchain. The BOS uses a variety of security measures to protect gamer data and ensure the protection and provenance of all digital assets.
- User-Friendliness. Web3 gaming needs to be user-friendly to succeed and grow in the long term. Users need to be able to easily create and manage their accounts, buy and sell NFTs, and play games. With the BOS being one of the most developer-friendly ecosystems to build on, PipeFlare is set to make big strides in Web3 gamer onboarding.
To get the ball rolling, the partnership will initially focus on upgrading Pipeflare’s existing games and developing new ones using the BOS. This transition will enhance the gaming experience for users and showcase the capabilities of NEAR’s technology in the Web3 gaming space.
The collaboration also marks substantial progress for the Web3 gaming industry, demonstrating that key players recognize NEAR’s potential. It also signals NEAR’s strong positioning to emerge as the premier blockchain for novel gaming experiences.
The Near Foundation is excited to announce that it’s partnering with WEMADE, one of the largest publicly-listed gaming companies in South Korea. A leading game developer in South Korea for over 20 years, WEMADE will be vital in Near’s push toward mainstream adoption of Web3.
Near and WEMADE will support the development of blockchain apps in Korea as well as other markets. Near and WEMADE will also jointly work on mutual brand awareness, and collaborate on a number of Web3 community events and business opportunities.
“WEMADE and Near share a similar vision of enabling and accelerating the mainstream adoption of blockchain to create a future of nearly limitless potential use cases and benefits for all of us across many different areas of our daily lives,” said Shane Kim, CEO, WEMIX and Vice President, WEMADE.
“In order to achieve that vision, we must make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective for developers to onboard off-chain apps, organizations, and startups, and are confident that Near is ideally positioned to do so.”
Onboarding end users and developers into Web3
The partnership will do much to encourage developers, including game designers, to build on the Near. Beyond co-hosting community events like offline hackathons and boot camps, Near and WEMADE will work together on mutual brand awareness, invest in research and collaboration on cross-chain initiatives, and be on the lookout for potential Web3 business opportunities and founders.
A renowned leader in game development, WEMADE is at the forefront of a generational shift as the gaming industry pivots to blockchain technology. Its WEMIX subsidiary is building an experience-based, platform-driven, and service-oriented mega-ecosystem — one that will give users everywhere access to a wide array of easy-to-use Web3 apps and experiences.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with WEMADE as part of our shared vision towards a decentralized future for the gaming industry,” said Commenting on the partnership, Marieke Flament, CEO of the Near Foundation. “By joining forces, we are confident in our ability to accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions that meet the growing needs of gamers and developers in the Web3 space.”
The Near-WEMADE partnership marks the second major Web3 gaming partnership from the Near Korea Hub. The first, a partnership with BORA — the Web3 GameFi platform of Kakao Games — will also be vital in accelerating the mainstream adoption of Web3.
Near is excited to announce a new strategic partnership with BORA, a Web3 gaming subsidiary of METABORA. Near and BORA will support each other in spreading local brand awareness, invest in research and collaboration on cross-chain, host events, and generate Web3 opportunities in Korea.
An affiliate of Kakao Games and its parent company BORANETWORK, BORA is focused on game development and blockchain-based gaming ecosystems. Its mobile gaming titles include Friends Popcorn, Friends Town, and Friends Shot.
“We are thrilled to be working with Near and welcome their expertise, knowledge and network as we aim to transform the world of Web3 gaming,” said Vincent Lim, a CBO of BORA. “Together with Near we will not only explore cross-promotion opportunities, but also seek future collaborations on IP-based game development that will lead to mass adoption and give us the competitive edge we need to position ourselves as leading players in the web3 gaming space.”
Since the launch of Near’s Korean Hub in November of 2022, BORA has been steadily building up awareness throughout South Korea, while focusing on Web3 innovation, business development, education, and talent. The hub is led by entrepreneurs Scott Lee and Ben Kang — both influential figures within South Korea’s growing blockchain community.
“One of the big ambitions of the hub is to tap into the country’s active gaming community, and to bring amazing projects and creators to the Near ecosystem.” said Robbie Lim, GM, Partners & International at Near. “ The partnership with BORA is our first major win – and a big step forward for NEAR as it accelerates its ambition to become the go to layer 1 for the Web3 gaming community.”
It’s been a whirlwind year for NEAR – and it’s hard to believe that 2022 is coming to an end. It’s been a year filled with massive milestones and achievements, including the biggest NEARCON ever, record-breaking new wallet creation, and much more.
With 2023 around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect and take stock of all the exciting happenings and announcements that took place in 2022. NEAR Foundation congratulates every developer, community member, and partner that made 2022 a blast.
Without further ado, here’s everything that happened with NEAR in 2022, how the ecosystem is successfully navigating bear market conditions, and why NEAR is primed for explosive growth heading into 2023!
The last 12 months saw huge progress on the protocol level, with an exciting roadmap charting the course for 2023 and beyond. From staking upgrades to new developer tools, the NEAR protocol made huge strides in onboarding new builders and the next 1 billion users.
NEAR also saw the introduction of meta-transactions, allowing third parties to pay transactions for the transaction cost of any account. Users can then be onboarded to NEAR apps without owning any NEAR tokens. Meta transaction development will continue through next year and will be critical to new wallet growth.
Stake Wars’ latest iteration also began in 2022, marking another step towards decentralizing the network. Stake Wars will increase the total number of validators as chunk-only producers for the next phases of sharding. The chunk-only producer role will be more accessible to new validators who don’t have sufficient $NEAR to run a Block Producer node.
Phase 1 of Nightshade Sharding Commences
Stake Wars was a critical step in the transition from Simple Nightshade to Phase 1 of sharding in 2022. As Phase 1 continues, total validators will increase from around 100 to 300, with a significantly lower seat price. Phase 1 was crucial to facilitate scaling, improve decentralization, and bring the Open Web to mass adoption.
There will be an 86% decrease in collateral requirements to become a chunk-only producer as Phase 1 of Nightshade concludes in 2022 and continues into the next year. Phase 1 went live on mainnet in September 2022 with key contributions and assistance from the Pagoda team.
As NEAR co-founder Illia Polosukhin told CoinDesk in the lead-up to the Phase 1 roll-out, “the more users the network gets, the more decentralized the network gets as well.” This allows NEAR to add more validators in response to more demand for the network, delivering on the promise of speed, scalability, and efficiency.
Major Strides in Funding and Transparency
A thriving NEAR ecosystem requires resources and trust, both of which made major strides. The birth of Transparency Reports assured the community that all core stakeholders in NEAR are operating in good faith and from a position of financial strength. These reports provide important information about the health of the protocol and ecosystem, including staking distribution, daily transactions, and new accounts created. (Read the Q3 Transparency Report.)
To see how NEAR Foundation and other ecosystem funding projects have been distributing portions of the $800M in funding throughout 2022, check out Q1/Q2 and Q3 Transparency Reports. Key areas of funding include Proximity Labs and DeFi, DAOs, NFT infrastructure, and Regional Hubs. The NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) was also announced and launched at NEARCON, with one of the goals being to further decentralize and democratize grants giving and decision-making processes.
NEAR’s 2022 was one of huge growth and innovation. New partnerships like Sweatcoin and SailGP were major stepping stones toward bringing Web3 to the masses. Projects in areas such as gaming, music, and NFTs showcased that the NEAR ecosystem is thriving and poised for new heights in 2023.
The NEAR protocol experienced 15x growth in cumulative accounts over the past year with 22M+ today. NEAR also has 900K monthly active wallets, marking a major increase from this time last year. And in 2022, the NEAR ecosystem generated $330M of external capital in projects building on NEAR.
One of the biggest catalysts for new NEAR wallet and account creation was the partnership with Sweatcoin. The $SWEAT token rewards users for every step they take throughout the day, encouraging users to live healthy lifestyles. Sweatcoin migrating to NEAR pushed total wallets from 2 million at the beginning of the year to over 20 million by November. As Flament pointed out during the Sweatcoin keynote at NEARCON, the movement economy is in its infancy, and NEAR is poised to be a leader in the space with the help of Sweatcoin.
Another huge addition to the NEAR ecosystem was the world-renowned boat racing league, SailGP. SailGP partnered with NEAR to pioneer the intersection of sports, Web3, and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). In addition to offering NFT collectibles on the NEAR blockchain to fans, SailGP will use AstroDAO tooling to create the first fan-owned team as a DAO. In addition to the growth of ecosystem projects like Kin DAO for equity and inclusion, it was a banner year for NEAR and DAOs.
You may not have noticed, but 2022 saw a massive surge in interest about music and Web3. And one of the most innovative projects in this area was in the NEAR ecosystem, with the launch of Endlesss. The music creation, marketing, and community development platform’s NEAR integration went live in the summer as a virtual gathering place blending social media features with music production tools. Endlesss enables musicians of all skill levels to conduct “jam sessions” on the NEAR blockchain and mint their music as NFTs.
The NEAR ecosystem got a huge dose of star power with the unveiling of Armored Kingdom. Backed by Hollywood star Mila Kunis, Armored Kingdom will be an immersive gaming, NFT, storytelling, and metaverse experience built on the NEAR blockchain. The project kicked off with a first edition NFT comic book airdrop at Consensus, Austin. NEAR also announced the launch of the South Korea Regional Hub with a focus on bringing the NEAR blockchain to the massive local game development community.
PlayEmber also established itself as a key player in the NEAR gaming ecosystem, taking a mobile-first approach to Web3 gaming and bringing advertisers into the space. PlayEmber’s games now have over 4.2 million monthly active users, and recently closed a $2.3 million pre-seed raise led by Shima Capital.
With core NFT infrastructure maturing in the NEAR ecosystem, 2022 was a year of innovative use cases and groundbreaking projects. NEARCON saw the announcement of a key grant to Few and Far, a premium NFT marketplace on NEAR with a seamless UX and simple minting solutions. One of NEAR’s biggest NFT projects, Mintbase, received over $12 million in funding this August. Mintbase empowers niche creators with the ability to mint NFTs of any type with little technical know-how, exemplifying NEAR’s commitment to making Web3 easy for everyone.
From the launch of Phase 1 sharding to protocol upgrades and ecosystem growth, 2022 was a huge leap for the NEAR ecosystem in many respects. It’s the year that the “Create Without Limits” vision was introduced, the biggest NEARCON ever took place, and some of the most important partnerships in the history of NEAR were cemented. It was also a year in which NEAR committed to more transparency and communication with the community.
Looking forward, NEAR will continue to champion Web3 as a catalyst for change, in addition to environmental sustainability as a carbon-neutral blockchain. In 2023, the NEAR community can expect even more partnerships that push boundaries and support projects that will enhance and empower a prosperous NEAR ecosystem.