NEARCON 2022 is at full tilt here in the gorgeous city of Lisbon, where the NEAR ecosystem is on full display, with over 2,000 people in attendance. With a distinct carnival atmosphere, NEARCON has been a vibrant, interactive showcase of the ecosystem’s diverse and inspiring talent and creativity. Beyond the myriad of engaging talks and projects demos, there have also been parties, an IRL hackathon, food trucks from around the world, and much more
NEARCON has also seen a bevy of exciting announcements, including some new ecosystem funds, a major Nightshade sharding milestone, and more.
Let’s take a quick look at everything that is new on NEAR from NEARCON.
A number of other announcements will be rolling out over the course of NEARCON, so stay tuned for those tomorrow.
Switchboard Brings Permissionless Oracle Protocol to NEAR
Switchboard Labs launches its permissionless, customizable oracle devnet implementation on NEAR Protocol. The protocol allows developers to build general-purpose data feeds such as price, sports or weather data, opening up a world of new possibilities for developers. Being a permissionless oracle protocol, Switchboard allows a developer to build their own data feed within minutes and have complete customizability, and management over their own feeds.
NearPay brings debit cards creating another bridge between crypto and IRL
NearPay, the bridge between the fiat and crypto world has taken another step forward in helping users access their crypto wherever they are with the launch of a physical debit card. A virtual card is already working in the EU and the UK, and the physical card is due to start delivery during the autumn. On top of that, the NearPay team has plans to expand into the US and Asia over the next 12 months.
Pagoda launches flagship product for dApp developers on NEAR
Pagoda, the easiest Web3 startup platform and a major contributor to the NEAR Protocol, announced today the launch of their flagship developer product. The Pagoda Console provides a robust set of integrated tools to streamline the dApp development experience from a single place.
Pagoda supercharges existing dApps built on NEAR and accelerates the development of new NEAR dApps. Developers, innovators, and founders are empowered with a comprehensive toolset to build, deploy, improve, manage, test, monitor, analyze and interact with their dApps.
Regional Hubs Launch in India and Vietnam
At NEARCON, not one but two regional hubs were announced: India and Vietnam.
The regional hub in India is dedicated to blockchain talent development and innovation. NEAR’s involvement in the country aims to move the dial towards a sustainable and inclusive approach to blockchain development, and a strong group of potential emerging leaders already exists in the region.
In Vietnam, meanwhile, NEAR has partnered with premier venture capital fund GFS Ventures to launch a hub dedicated to ongoing blockchain innovation, education and talent development throughout the region. Vietnam’s digital economy is booming with the pandemic seeing eight million new digital consumers and a doubling of new startups in the country. The nation is actively promoting digital transformation and development and also ranks 5th out of 154 countries in the Global Cryptocurrency Acceptance Index. However, Vietnam tops global rankings when it comes to the percentage of crypto ownership, as one in five of its people (or 20.3 per cent) own crypto.
Fayyr Launches First NFT Marketplace on NEAR for Social Impact Organizations
Fayyr provides a unique online marketplace for users to support social impact causes and artists at the same time. Artists upload their creations to Fayyr and earmark a percentage of the proceeds support an impact organization of their choosing.
Founded by a professor and two students from the University of Waterloo, Fayyr’s vision is to empower global participation in an environment that supports social good using emerging blockchain technology. The team at Fayyr is addressing a gap in the current NFT market by providing a space for charities, non-profits, and social impact organizations to participate in the crypto space through donations from NFT purchases.
NEAR to Form Community Working Group on Ecosystem Governance (NDC)
NEAR is thrilled to be reaching a new milestone on the road to decentralization by creating a new framework for an ecosystem-wide self-governance treasury called the NEAR Digital Collective (NDC). The purpose of the NDC is to shift decision-making to the blockchain itself, making the NEAR community more resilient, transparent, and fair.
This working group will be led and shaped by the NEAR community and will take the next steps necessary to launch and implement the NDC framework. This process, now being launched, aims to serve as a model for the wider Web3 ecosystem for the creation and implementation of truly decentralized, on-chain governance.
Sustainable Learn2Earn with “Coinbase Earn”
Along with being the world’s leading blockchain for developers, with its low fees, high speeds, and infinite scalability, NEAR has always championed the importance of education and sustainability in its mission toward mass adoption of Web3.
Now, in a new, exciting partnership with Coinbase, one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges, those values will take center stage in Coinbase Earn, a new program aimed at educating users about NEAR and the utility of its native token.
The program will be funded through NEAR staking rewards—a first-of-its-kind, sustainable approach to help users learn about the tokenomics of the NEAR ecosystem, and what makes NEAR the best entry point to Web3.
Women Make Web3
Inclusion and accessibility are at the heart of NEAR Foundation’s mission. Partnering with Forkast, a global digital media platform focused on Web3, NEAR is thrilled to unveil the winners of the inaugural Women in Web3 Changemakers.
In total 1,167 votes were tallied for 180 nominations. Of the nominees, eleven were selected (ten + one tie) and it will be a joy to honor them publicly at NEARCON.
Here are the names of the 2022 Changemakers listed in alphabetical order:
- Amy Soon, Founder, Blu3 DAO
- Bianca Lopes, Identity Advocate and Investor
- Deborah Ojengbede, CEO, AFEN Blockchain
- Erikan Obotetukudo, Founder and General Partner, Audacity
- Lauren Ingram, Founder, Women of Web3
- Medha Parlikar, Co-founder, Casperlabs
- Oluchi Enebeli, Nigeria’s first female blockchain engineer, founder Web3Ladies
- Sian Morson, Founder and Editor of TheBlkChain
- Tammy Kahn, Co-founder and Co-CEO of FYEO
- Tricia Wang, Co-founder and lead Crypto Research and Design Lab (CRADL) at CISA
- Wendy Diamond, Web3 Impact Investor, LDP Ventures, CEO/Founder Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO)/#ChooseWOMEN
CEO of NEAR Foundation Marieke Flament said: “Together we can inspire one another, become each other’s role models and level the playing field for the next generation of women.”
Selected by public vote, these extraordinary and diverse women hail from all corners of the globe. They are founders, investors, CEOs, engineers, and so much more. “This inaugural list of these incredible eleven Changemakers,” writes Angie Lau, CEO, editor-in-chief, and co-founder of Forkast, “celebrates the trajectory of our collective story. We can’t wait to tell their stories, and share them with the world.”
Tether Finds a New Home at NEAR
NEAR Foundation is excited to announce a new and important partnership with Tether (“USD₮”). The addition of Tether to NEAR’s rapidly growing ecosystem is a major moment for both parties and will be crucial to an increasing presence in DeFi ecosystems.
“We’re excited to launch USD₮ on NEAR, offering its community access to the first, most stable, and trusted stablecoin in the digital token space,” says Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether Operations Limited. Marieke Flament, CEO of NEAR Foundation, adds “We look forward to seeing what Tether will achieve with the launch of USD₮ and the vital role it will play in shaping the future of finance and the digital economy.”
For more information on how the stablecoin works, head over to Tether.
NEAR Foundation announces partnership with Few and Far to grow the NEAR NFT ecosystem
Few and Far, the next-generation NFT marketplace built on NEAR Protocol, has been awarded a grant by the NEAR Foundation — and a partnership to significantly increase the advancement of NFTs across the ecosystem.
“We are thrilled to support Few and Far’s mission to provide seamless NFT minting solutions and an easy-to-use marketplace for the NEAR ecosystem and beyond,” says Robbie Lim, GM, Partners & International at NEAR.
“The NEAR Foundation embraces the digital asset revolution and the importance of laying the foundations for web3 gaming, the metaverse economy, and much more.”
Nightshade Sharding Phase 1 is live
On NEARCON Day 1, there was some major Nightshade sharding news. Pagoda, the Web3 startup platform and contributor to NEAR Protocol, announced the launch of Sharding Phase 1—a major technical milestone that increases the number of validators, improves decentralization, and bolsters the network’s resilience.
This is great news for anyone building or creating on NEAR, the network for creating without limits. Sharding Phase 1 is a significant step toward network decentralization and scaling capacity toward billions of transactions. And it will do this without any disruptions for developers, entrepreneurs, end users, and token holders.
This launch is the second part of a four-phase plan to implement Nightshade, a novel sharding design that enables an almost infinitely automated scalable blockchain. Phase 1 follows less than a year from the launch of Phase 0, which marked the very beginning of sharding on the NEAR network.
Pagoda said Nightshade’s subsequent phases are expected to be complete in 2023.
NEAR and Caerus launch a fund for creators
NEAR Foundation also had some exciting news for creators. The Foundation announced a new strategic partnership with Caerus, a recently launched investment firm, to help revolutionize how Web3 intersects with culture and entertainment.
The partnership will see the creation of a $100M venture capital fund to support the development of next-generation platforms, marketplaces, and apps that showcase a range of creators, talent, IP owners and their communities. The Venture Lab, the partnership’s first investment, will be an incubator for creators and IP owners to build and launch projects.
“We’re yet to imagine the plethora of use cases for how Web3 technologies will change how culture is experienced, entertainment is consumed, and value is distributed,” said Nathan Pillai, an executive at IMG/Endeavor. “And that was the genesis of Caerus: to be a catalyst for innovation that unleash projects in sport, music, film, TV, fashion, art and gaming which offer greater equity for all.”
Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow!