Cosmose and NEAR Foundation Set To Revolutionize Retail with Web3 and AI

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) wave is touching just about every corner of commerce and culture, and retail is no exception. Cosmose AI, one of the leaders in AI and retail, has received a strategic investment from NEAR Foundation to create Web3, mobile, and retail experiences that enhance personalization without sacrificing privacy or security.

“NEAR is the most secure, scalable, and sustainable blockchain protocol,” says Miron Mironiuk, founder and CEO of Cosmose. “As such, we’re grateful for the ongoing support from NEAR Foundation and are excited about what’s to come.”

By utilizing the NEAR Blockchain Operating System (BOS) and AI-powered retail personalization, Cosmose gives users access to their data and personalized recommendations. This move toward a decentralized and user-focused Web3 future emphasizes how AI and blockchain have the power to completely alter current business structures in the retail sector.

With the help of NEAR’s technology and ecosystem, Cosmose can now change conventional retail business models and produce hyper-personalized shopping experiences that increase loyalty and happiness. These experiences will include its flagship mobile application KaiKai and a suite of AI-powered personalization tools.

Personalizing retail with Web3 experiences

Shopper and user personalization is nothing new in retail, but Cosmose is blazing a new trail with the power of its proprietary AI engine. Cosmose’s AI gathers and analyzes user data to produce suggestions and experiences that are uniquely tailored to each user. 

By building on NEAR, Cosmose is able to help retailers develop stronger customer interactions while also addressing privacy and data security issues endemic to Web2 retail data collection. Cosmose and its KaiKai mobile app are trusted by top brands including LVMH, Richemont, L’Oréal, and Estée Lauder.

“Having built on NEAR in 2022 and while working with NEAR Foundation we discovered that our visions for the Web3-driven future are aligned,” Mironiuk continues.

Through the partnership, Cosmose will be able to offer individualized experiences to its worldwide clientele through a number of channels, including online, in-store, and mobile. 

“This investment from NEAR Foundation is a testament to Cosmose AI’s strength and potential to revolutionize e-commerce and the retail industry,” said George Raymond Zage III, founder and CEO of Tiga Investments and a Cosmose board member. “We’re excited to see Cosmose AI’s continued growth and success.”

KaiKai: Introducing “Shoppertainment” on the NEAR Blockchain Operating System

KaiKai, Cosmose AI’s flagship product, shopping, retail, and gamification to create a new category altogether: Shoppertainment. The mobile shopping experience is constructed in a very unique way, using the BOS aa backbone to make brand discovery and engagement more fun and rewarding.

Some of KaiKai’s features that brands are already using include:

  • Exclusive product drops available for a limited time
  • Augmented Reality (AR) technology that brings products to life
  • Livestreams featuring celebrities and influencers
  • Ads displayed on users’ lock screens without interruptions
  • Geolocation features displaying available products in the user’s area
  • Rewards for collecting products and writing reviews
  • A secure Near wallet accessible via the KaiKai app

KaiKai also features a native cryptocurrency called Kai-Ching, which users earn and spend like any other retail rewards program. The difference is that Cosmose’s AI provides more personalized recommendations and rewards suggestions, with customers easily transacting on the NeAR blockchain with a native KaiKai crypto wallet.

“We’re excited to support Cosmose as it continues to scale rapidly and create new ways for retailers to offer customers the best offline and online shopping experiences,” noted Marieke Flament, CEO of the Near Foundation. “Cosmose has already been building on NEAR testnet, and with this additional support it will have many more opportunities to grow and expand its offerings with Web3 in a sustainable, transparent, and infinitely scalable way.” 

Flament added: “Cosmose’s excellent AI innovation will help to intensify its global marketplace lead, and with superior AI-driven personalization, its user base will undoubtedly continue to grow as new and existing customers are seamlessly transitioned into the world of Web3 and all the exciting opportunities it brings.”

It’s no secret that AI is turning industries, communities, and business models on their heads – and that’s not a bad thing. NEAR Foundation’s commitment to developing Cosmose’s retail technology, including KaiKai, signals that consumers will now be even more empowered with more personal recommendations, a “shoppertaining” experience, and the sound of “Kai-Ching” as they earn crypto rewards powered by Near and BOS.

“Together we’ll build a future where one billion users benefit from the ecosystem they’re part of, with complete control of their data and superior AI-driven personalization,” said Mironiuk.

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NEAR Foundation Partners with Absolute Labs to Accelerate How Brands Connect with Customers in Web3

NEAR Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership with Absolute Labs, a company revolutionizing Web3’s marketing stack. Its “Wallet Relationship Management™ platform can be used by Web2 brands and Web3 startups alike to acquire, convert and retain customers on the Open Web. 

To help in this endeavor, the company announced an $8M seed round of funding at NFT NYC in the past week. Other funding partners include backers like Samsung Next, Aglae Ventures, Sparkle Ventures (Animoca Brands), The Luxury Fund and MoonPay. 

”We are thrilled to have the NEAR Foundation as a partner in helping us to accelerate how marketing is done in the next Internet,” says Samir Addamine, Absolute Labs’ CEO and co-founder. “Both our organizations share a vision to accelerate the world’s transition to decentralized marketplaces and more open, transparent and valued user engagement, so it’s a great fit for us.”

What is Wallet Relationship Management

Wallet Relationship Management (WRM™) starts with the premise that wallets hold the keys to everything Web3 — from proving identity, providing access to value-rich brand experiences, facilitating payments, creating “ownership” opportunities for customers, and much more. Combining on-chain data from wallets along with assets that Web2 brands can also inject from their Web2 systems, this platform supports all facets of the marketing funnel, from acquisition to conversion and retention of loyalty.

Users of the platform can gain deep insights into their customers and their on-chain preferences and behaviors, identify actionable segments to track and engage, and craft cross-chain and cross-channel (Web2 and Web3) campaigns to develop and nurture relationships

Absolute Labs customers can also use WRM to reactivate dormant wallet customers by using the WRM dashboard to distribute meaningful incentives such as rewards tokens, NFTs, and more. 

To date, Absolute Labs has 40+ companies using their services. With WRM, these customers get an enterprise-grade suite of connectors and APIs to seamlessly integrate with their existing marketing tech stack. 

Absolute Labs has an incredibly strong product and is a fantastic addition to the NEAR ecosystem. Their Wallet Relationship Management platform is a clear market leader in the burgeoning Web3 martech space, and is already an indispensable component of the modern marketing stack. By bringing Absolute Labs into the NEAR ecosystem, it creates a seamless Web3 on-ramp for brands  and will enable them to engage, retain, and reactivate customers like never before.

DISCLOSURE: Any information shared in this announcement regarding our partnership with Absolute Labs should not be considered as a binding agreement or representation, and may be subject to change without notice. The information presented in this communication is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Any decisions made based on this information are solely the responsibility of the individual or entity making them.

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NEAR Foundation Announces Policy Principles

It’s no surprise that the Web3 industry presents many unique challenges for lawmakers and regulators globally. Decentralised, permissionless technology is, in many ways, at odds with much of current law and regulation that assumes centralised, intermediated and gatekept systems. Adding to this inherent complexity, Web3 technology is borderless by nature, spanning countless jurisdictions and legal/regulatory frameworks.

We believe that fair, proportionate and clear regulation can benefit our industry and is necessary if we want to see genuine global growth and adoption of Web3 technology. We also believe that the policy outcomes advanced by most regulators globally (protecting investors, maintaining market integrity and promoting financial stability) are reasonable and capable of being achieved in the Web3 context with the right approach (i.e. regulatory equivalence is possible).

Indeed, many of Web3’s core features (including decentralisation, disintermediation, transparency and immutability) make it uniquely suited to effectively achieving these policy outcomes. But, to achieve these outcomes, regulation must be fair and proportionate. If regulation isn’t fair and proportionate — if it doesn’t consider the unique features and associated challenges inherent to Web3 technology — then it can stifle innovation and undermine the very policy goals lawmakers and regulators are trying to advance1


Currently, there is no common or consistent approach to Web3 regulation. Laws and regulations that do exist vary widely between jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, including Switzerland, the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, we are seeing progress and, critically, a recognition that, at least in some respects, our industry does require a different approach. In the EU, for example, the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) (the text of which was agreed upon late last year and is anticipated to come into force in late 2024) aims to create a harmonised, comprehensive legal framework across all EU member states for the regulation of crypto assets and related activities2 (although other policy developments are troubling3). Switzerland was one of the first jurisdictions to implement an effective regulatory framework for digital assets back in 20184 and has since been home to a vibrant Web3 ecosystem. The UK has also signaled its intent to embrace our industry, recently launching a significant consultation to seek views on how the UK could best regulate the Web3 industry5, which followed an excellent Law Commission of England and Wales (Law Commission) paper on personal property law and digital assets (as well as a consultation on decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) which recently closed6).

However, in other jurisdictions, most notably the US, there has been an increasing, and in many cases, overt hostility towards our industry. Amongst other things, a recent White House report on crypto is scathing7, a Treasury Department analysis of decentralised finance (DeFi) (somewhat more balanced than the White House report) contains some fundamental technical and policy misunderstandings8, banking access for Web3 projects has been compromised in a seemingly coordinated and deliberate manner9, prominent lawmakers talk of creating an ‘anti-crypto army,’10 and aggressive legislation proposals are receiving increased support. Regulators continue to rely on outdated laws and regulations that aren’t fit for purpose without providing any clarity or guidance that the industry desperately needs, let alone a viable route to registration11. Amidst this complex and unclear regulatory background, regulators and the industry alike struggle with definitive asset classification and the industry faces a wave of enforcement actions12

This approach is unquestionably damaging the Web3 industry in the US (and beyond), driving many projects out of the jurisdiction. It is not a fair or proportionate regulatory approach, it is regulation by enforcement.


There is much work to do, particularly in the US. As an industry, we need to recognise that these regulatory challenges and the apparent growing hostility can potentially harm us all. However, what is unfolding now across our industry in the US could become a seminal and net positive moment if we can unite and mobilise effectively.

The NEAR Foundation’s primary focus is to support the ongoing growth and development of the NEAR protocol and its associated ecosystem, but it also has a more general mandate to accelerate the adoption of open technologies at a global scale. The Foundation, therefore, has a responsibility to advocate for reasonable, proportionate and effective approaches to regulating our industry. 

Part I of this series sets out the NEAR Foundation’s core policy priorities for the next 12 months and beyond to increase awareness of the key issues, and to show what guides the NEAR Foundation as we advocate on behalf of the NEAR ecosystem and the wider industry. These policy priorities are: (1) protect developers and open source software; (2) protect privacy; (3) promote autonomy; (4) protect validators; (5) promote clarity, collaboration and good faith engagement.

In Part II of this series, to follow shortly, we set out policy initiatives to help drive these priorities forwards.



Developers are the lifeblood of our industry, responsible for creating, maintaining, and innovating the infrastructure on which Web3 operates. To foster innovation and growth, it is essential to safeguard developers from onerous regulation and ensure that publishing open source code remains free and open. Developers should be able to explore, experiment, and create without unnecessary constraints, burdensome obligations or fear of liability (including, for example, designation as fiduciaries13 or ‘Financial Institutions’14). 

Open source code is a powerful tool that enables transparency, collaboration, and rapid innovation,  allowing developers to share, modify, and build upon existing work while enhancing the security of the code. By defending the right to publish open source code, we also support the principles of freedom of expression and the free flow of information. This not only benefits the Web3 community but also fosters a culture of open collaboration across the entire technology industry and encourages its continued development.


Privacy is a fundamental human right and a cornerstone of the Web3 vision to create a more secure, user-centric and user-empowered web. However, as a neutral and highly transparent technology, blockchain (and other Web3 technology) is equally capable of being misused for warrantless mass surveillance and censorship if appropriate privacy safeguards aren’t in place. We are already seeing various attempts to erode privacy in Web3 that could have far-reaching consequences well beyond our industry15.

Web3 technology has demonstrated that maintaining privacy can be compatible with other important policy outcomes including, for example, the prevention of crime. Zero-knowledge proof (and other) innovations are already capable of implementing (for example) KYC/AML and sanctions checks without exposing sensitive personal data16.

Privacy should be staunchly defended to protect individuals from unwarranted surveillance, invasive data collection, censorship and malicious actors. Policymakers should support these outcomes when it comes to Web3 technology, as they have done in Web2 with data protection legislation such as GDPR and DPA. By championing privacy, we want to ensure that Web3 technology continues to respect users and empower them to own and control their data. 


Ensuring individuals can use self-hosted products and services free of heavy restrictions or obligations is critical to user empowerment. Through self-hosting, users can fully control their assets and data, enhance their privacy, and reduce censorship risks and reliance on centralised intermediaries and service providers (and it is often within such centralised intermediaries that risk is most highly concentrated17). Self-hosting is also a foundational component of secure, resilient, diverse and competitive ecosystems since it minimises centralised points of failure and dangerous concentrations of power18 and supports decentralised infrastructure and governance systems19. But, we are already seeing proposals that would harm autonomy by significantly constraining the development and use of self-hosted products and services20.

Users should be able to seamlessly embrace self-hosting as a viable and attractive alternative to centralised service offerings and also safely participate in decentralised autonomous governance systems (including DAOs) without fear of liability or being subjected to burdensome obligations. Many in the industry, including those working on NEAR protocol’s transition to the Blockchain Operating System21, are pioneering technological innovations to make this possible. Policymakers should also enable these outcomes. 


Validators are the backbone of decentralised networks, ensuring those networks can function effectively by validating transactions, maintaining transaction accuracy and ensuring adherence to consensus rules. In performing this essential function, validators should not be subject to burdensome obligations or significant liability risks22. Accordingly, a balance should be struck between the need for regulatory clarity, network security and ease of validator participation.

A good starting point could be the creation of a light-touch, standardised public disclosure regime whereby validators would be required to disclose relevant information about their operations. This relevant information could include (amongst other things) relevant digital asset holdings, ownership of/the extent of their node operations, fee structure, affiliations with other significant ecosystem participants, hardware and software infrastructure, security measures, and past performance records. De minimis thresholds could be implemented so that the disclosure requirements would apply only to those validators operating at scale and in connection with significant networks. This approach could also provide much-needed clarity by confirming the nature and extent of participating validator obligations and liability in the context of network failures, security breaches or other adverse events, providing an incentive for participation in the regime.

This type of disclosure-based approach would reduce information asymmetry, and therefore promote investor protection and help to maintain market integrity. It also has other advantages, including: (1) focusing on the types of activities that are being undertaken rather than the nature or classification of the underlying asset (the latter approach can create enormous complexity, as evidenced by the current situation in the US); and (b) being relatively flexible and so capable of application to other critical network participants including, for example, core development teams who are building/maintaining certain types of Web3 projects/infrastructure23.

By establishing clear guidelines and legal safeguards for validators (and other network participants), policymakers can provide a conducive environment for validators to operate without fear of significant legal consequences. This will promote the resilience, security and growth of decentralized networks and help to preserve critical benefits of Web3 – decentralisation and disintermediation.


The industry desperately needs clarity from lawmakers and regulators. Effective policy debate requires willingness from both policymakers, and the industry to discuss issues in good faith24, as well as a recognition that Web3 presents a unique and unprecedented policy challenge and therefore an openness to exploring new approaches.

We should also recognise that as developers, users, and other proponents of Web3 technology, we are each representatives of and advocates for our industry. Our conduct matters, and we should all strive to act with integrity and set a good example to show policymakers what our industry is capable of, and the unique value it can generate25. To do this effectively, collaboration across the industry is essential. 


Productive dialogue between the industry and regulators will hopefully lead towards further legal and regulatory clarity in Web3, which will have a positive effect on: (1) developers, by offering them a framework in which to operate, aware of their obligations and protected from the unreasonable application of unsuitable laws and regulations; and (2) users, by providing a safe environment in which to try new products and services and explore a new technological frontier where autonomy, transparency and privacy are paramount.  

We believe that the light-touch disclosure based approaches (like the high-level proposal referenced above), as well as safe harbour implementations26 (which provide projects with viable, conditioned routes to registration/compliance – and which could be integrated into a wider disclosure based regime), sandboxes (to explore specific activities like digital asset issuance, updated AML/KYC processes etc.) and model law proposals27 (amongst other approaches), show significant promise and warrant further work and discussion28

We will explore some of these potential routes forwards in more detail in Part II of this series. 

In the meantime, we believe that regulatory clarity and consensus are essential for the meaningful global adoption of Web3 technology. Policymakers’ approach to Web3 will continue to evolve, and on-going education efforts and good faith discussions will be key to moving the conversation in a positive direction. We welcome the opportunity to engage with other industry participants, as well as lawmakers and regulators globally, to develop a fair and proportionate approach in support of these policy priorities. 

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article/post should be construed as legal, tax or investment advice. This post might not reflect all current updates to applicable laws, regulations or guidance. The authors disclaim any obligation to update this post and reserve the right to make any changes to this post without notice. In all cases, persons should conduct their own investigation and analysis of the information in this post. Where this post contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for information only and should not be interpreted as approval by us of those linked websites (or any information obtained from them) that the authors of this post do not control.


1. See, e.g., Running on Empty: A Proposal to Fill the Gap Between Regulation and Decentralization, Hester M. Peirce, speech on February 6, 2020 (available here), where Peirce discusses the current challenges in the US with the lack of legal clarity around decentralization and the outdated application of the Howey Test to crypto assets. See also, e.g., The SEC, Digital Assets and Game Theory, Yuliya Guseva, 46 J. Corp.. L. 629-679 (2021)(available here), which suggests that the SEC’s regulation via enforcement actions approach has broken the ‘fabric of cooperation’ between industry participants and the SEC and is therefore leading to bad outcomes for all market participants. See further testimony before the US House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion, hearing entitled Coincidence or Coordinated? The Administrator’s Attack on the Digital Asset Ecosystem, Dr. Tonya M. Evans, March 9, 2023 (available here), where Evans emphasizes the difficulty in innovating and building in Web3 given the present uncertain regulatory climate in the US.

2. MiCA will primarily regulate centralised intermediaries/crypto-asset service providers in a relatively proportionate manner, enabling so-called ‘passporting’ across all member states and largely carving out decentralised initiatives, demonstrating a clear recognition by EU lawmakers and regulators of the current and future importance of our industry. MiCA isn’t perfect – the provisions governing stablecoins are unwieldy and challenging, the bloc’s intended approach to decentralised initiatives remains largely unknown and some other legislative developments are troubling (see footnote 3) – however, it represents a meaningful launching-off point for engagement and future iteration, and will provide much-needed clarity and consistency across the world’s largest single market.

3. See, e.g., Proposal for a Regulation on Information Accompanying transfers of funds and Certain Crypto-Assets, Piotr Bąkowski, European Parliamentary Research Service, 20 July 2021 (available here), which proposes to expand travel rule obligations to all crypto-asset service providers (CASPS) and require them to collect identifying data in respect of all transactions with no minimum transaction threshold (while the TradFi equivalent rule has a €1k minimum transaction threshold). See also, e.g., Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act), European Commission, 23 February 2022 (available here), which proposes mandating that certain smart contracts be ‘reversible’ and/or contain a so-called ‘kill switch’ in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT) context. See also, e.g., “Decentralised” or “disintermediated” finance: what regulatory response?, April 2023, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) (available here), which proposes, in effect, to ‘re-intermediate’ DeFi (amongst other things) by requiring DeFi projects to incorporate in the EU, and to classify DeFi front-ends as regulated intermediaries with data collection and monitoring obligations.

4.  The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published ‘ICO Guidelines’ in February 2018 (available here), which set out a relatively straightforward digital asset classification framework with the aim of providing clarity to market participants. 

5.  The consultation indicates an approach inspired partly by MiCA — i.e. regulate centralised intermediaries based on their activities, but recognise that decentralised initiatives will require a different approach — and asks the industry to provide views and feedback to inform the UK Government’s approach. This degree of engagement with industry is extremely encouraging. The NEAR Foundation will be submitting a consultation response and we would encourage all industry stakeholders to do the same. The consultation paper is available here.  

6.  The Law Commission’s consultation paper dealing with law reform proposals in the context of digital assets and personal property rights is available here, and the Law Commission’s consultation paper on DAOs can be found here.

7.  The Annual Report of the Council of Economic Advisors, 20 March 2023 (available here), p. 238. (“[C]rypto assets to date do not appear to offer investments with any fundamental value, nor do they act as an effective alternative to fiat money, improve financial inclusion, or make payments more efficient; instead, their innovation has been mostly about creating artificial scarcity in order to support crypto assets’ prices—and many of them have no fundamental value.”) 

8.  See, e.g., Coin Centre’s excellent commentary on the Treasury DeFi risk assessment. Peter Van Valkenburgh, Treasury’s new DeFi risk assessment relies on ill-fitting frameworks and makes potentially unconstitutional recommendations, 7 April 2023 (available here).

9.  See, e.g., Operation Choke Point 2.0: The Federal Bank Regulators Come for Crypto, Cooper & Kirk LLP (available here).

10.  See, e.g., Elizabeth Warren is building an anti-crypto army. Some conservatives are on board, Zachary Warmbrodt, Politico, 14 February 2023 (available here).

11.  See, e.g., Due to SEC Inaction, Registration is Not a Viable Path for Crypto Projects, Rodrigo Seira, Justin Slaughter, Katie Biber, Paradigm (available here), which notes that despite SEC Chair Genlser repeatedly telling projects to ‘come in and register’, current US securities laws are incompatible with various features of Web3, making registration a practical impossibility for Web3 projects.

12.  Only this week, the SEC commenced an enforcement action against Bittrex, alleging, among other things that the Bittrex Platform “merged three functions that are typically separated in traditional securities markets—those of broker-dealers, exchanges, and clearing agencies—despite the fact that Bittrex has never registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer, national securities exchange, or clearing agency,” and arguing that five tokens, including Algorand and DASH, are securities. Securities and Exchange Commission v Bittrex Inc., (WD Wash) (Complaint), No 2:23 cv 00580. See also e.g., SEC Cryptocurrency Enforcement Update, Cornerstone Research 2022 (available here), according to which, in 2022 alone the SEC brought 30 crypto-related enforcement actions against Web3 projects. In spite of the numerous enforcement actions, the SEC has still not provided any material guidance to the industry to foster regulatory compliance. For a longer list of SEC crypto asset enforcement actions, please refer to the SEC’s summary available here

13.  See, e.g. Tulip Trading Ltd v Van der Laan and Ors [2023] EWCA Civ 83, a case currently in the High Court of England & Wales (following the successful appeal of a High Court order for summary judgment which was overturned by the Court of Appeal) that considers whether certain core developers of various Bitcoin networks owe network users either a fiduciary duty and/or a tortious duty of care, and therefore is one of the most important cases to date in the context of developer duties/liability. 

14.  See e.g., 31 U.S.C. § 5312(a)(2) (defining a financial institution as an entity encompassing various organizations and businesses, including but not limited to banks, credit unions, investment companies, broker-dealers, insurance companies, currency exchanges, and money transmitters, or deemed to engage in similar activities). Being classified as a ‘Financial Institution’ from a US law perspective subjects a person to (amongst other things) various onerous information collection and reporting duties, including a duty to: (1) identify and record personal information of any person who uses the relevant software/service; (2) develop anti-money laundering (AML) programmes that can block persons from using the relevant software/service where there are suspicions of illegal activity; and (3) file reports about users of the relevant software/service to the government.

15.  See, e.g., the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act proposed in December last year in the US by Senators Warren and Marshall (the “Warren/Marshall Act”),  which would significantly erode the privacy of anyone using or supporting public blockchain infrastructure; See also, e.g., Coin Centre’s post here for further analysis. See further, e.g., the US Infrastructure Bill which contains two particularly problematic revisions to the US Tax Code: (1) widening the definition of ‘broker’ so that it captures non-custodial service providers and transfers involving self-hosted wallets; and (2) an adjustment to include digital assets within provision §6050I, with the result that businesses would need to collect information about counterparties whenever they receive digital assets worth more than $10,000 in value. See also footnote 3 re ACPR’s proposals to treat DeFi front-ends as intermediaries which would require information collection and reporting with respect to users.

16.   Zero-Knowledge (ZK) proofs are a cryptographic technique that enable one party to prove to another party that they have knowledge of a certain piece of information, without revealing the underlying information itself. ZK proofs can enhance privacy and efficiency in KYC and AML compliance, as they can enable individuals to prove that they have already completed KYC with a trusted provider without disclosing their personal data to other parties. ZK proofs can also allow individuals to prove that they are not on any sanctions or watch lists without revealing their identity or location. ZK proofs can reduce the risk of identity theft, data breaches, and fraud, as well as lower the operational costs and complexity of KYC and AML processes. See, e.g., zkKYC – A solution concept for KYC without knowing your customer, leveraging self-sovereign identity and zero-knowledge proofs, Pieter Pauels, Smart Contract Research Forum, July 2021 (available here). 

17.  For example, both FTX and Alameda were (extremely) centralised digital asset intermediaries, performing functions and offering services to customers in a bundled manner, and it is critical to recognise that: (1) the market contagion following the collapse of FTX/Alameda was significantly amplified precisely because of the centralised, opaque nature of the institutions (as well as alleged criminal behaviour); and (2) the contagion across decentralised ecosystems, which are open,  transparent, and disintermediated by design, was notably less severe precisely because of these unique Web3 features. In relation to (2) see, e.g., Report of the Cotnell SC Johnson College of Business, 2022 Cornell Roundtable Forum on Digital Assets, (available here).

18.  From a policy perspective, a key element of promoting autonomy involves the prevention of concentrations of power amongst a small number of centralised service providers/market actors that bundle various services together, something that has been a feature of the industry to date. See, e.g., Policy Paper Series (Part 1): Reframing How We Look at a Crypto Legislative Solution, Delphi Digital & LeXPunK, 17 March 2023 (available here)), which proposes a regulatory framework for public permissionless blockchain networks focussing on the regulation of systemically important vertically-integrated centralised actors.

19.  The NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) is a community grassroots initiative in the NEAR ecosystem that is working to support the ongoing development of sustainable governance infrastructure and the ecosystem’s continuing decentralisation. The NEAR Foundation supported the NDC’s recent launch of a decentralised treasury that represents an important step in the NEAR ecosystem’s ongoing decentralisation. See, e.g., NEAR Digital Collective Legal Framework, 21 March 2023 (available here).  

20. The Warren/Marshall Act would classify all providers of self-hosted wallets (and effectively anyone else who maintains public blockchain infrastructure) as ‘Financial Institutions’, subjecting them to a host of onerous obligations that are in practice impossible to comply with, and would significantly constrain the development and use of self-hosted products and services. See footnote 14 for more detail on the onerous obligations of ‘Financial Institutions’ from a US perspective. See also footnote 3 re ACPR’s proposals to treat DeFi font-ends as intermediaries which would require information collection and reporting with respect to users.

21. The Blockchain Operating System (BOS) serves as a single platform that developers can build into and users can interact on, including by browsing and discovering Web3 products such as crypto exchanges, non-fungible token (NFT) galleries and social networks. The BOS will be compatible with all blockchains (currently supporting NEAR protocol and Ethereum Virtual Machine chains), with NEAR protocol acting as the common entry point. The BOS offers a decentralized and composable and front end framework for building, launching, and using dApps, while leveraging common user experience frameworks such as profiles, notifications, and searching.For more information on the BOS, see, e.g., Near Protocol Announces the Blockchain Operating System, NEAR Foundation, 2 March 2023 (available here); Near Protocol Starts ‘Blockchain Operating System’ to Focus on User Experience, Lyllah Ledesma, Coindesk, 2 March 2023 (available here).

22. For example, Rule 3b-16(a)(2), Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78a-78qq (2012). defines an exchange as an organization that (1) brings together the orders for securities of multiple buyers and sellers; and (2) uses established, non-discretionary methods under which such orders interact with each other, and the buyers and sellers entering such orders agree to the terms of the trade. The SEC’s proposed amendment to Rule 3b-16(a)(2) replaces the phrase “uses established, non-discretionary methods,” with “makes available established, non-discretionary methods,” which could inadvertently capture “developers working with all manners or protocols, front end systems, and smart contracts,” along with persons who “operate…’validators’ on the underlying blockchain where the AMM is stored”. See Reg-X-Proposal-An-Expempt-Offering-Framework-for-Token-Issuances, LeXpunK-Army, 7 March 2023 (available here). 

23.  The “Token Safe Harbor Proposal 2.0” framework proposed by SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce includes measures applying to validators, including “information, detailing…the process for validating transactions.” See Token Safe Harbor Proposal 2.0, Commissioner, Hester M. Peirce, 13 April 2021 (available here); See also, e.g., Safe Harbor X, LeXpunK-Army, 7 March 2023 (available here) (proposing a rule that would provide an exemption for the distribution of autonomous cryptotokens to users and builders of autonomous software systems, based on the Token Safe Harbor Proposal 2.0, but with some modifications and additions, such as requiring semi-annual updates, an exit report, guidance on decentralization criteria, and clarifying the definition and scope of autonomous cryptotokens and autonomous cryptosystems). These safe harbor proposals would operate to effectively provide projects with conditioned routes to compliance, based on each project meeting various requirements (including disclosures, smart contract audits, and degree of decentralisation).

24.  In any principles-based regulatory system, regulators are generally afforded wide discretion to interpret and enforce regulations in line with desired policy outcomes. Where that discretion is misused or otherwise not exercised in good faith, those systems break down with the result that innovation is stifled and policy goals are undermined.

25.  See, e.g., Community Policy Initiative No. 1, Polygon Labs, 11 April 2023 (available here)

26.  See footnote 23 for more information on potential safe harbor implementations in the US.

27.  Model law proposals are draft laws or regulations that are proposed by regulators or other authorities to address specific issues or challenges in a given domain. Model law consultations and proposals can serve as guidance or inspiration for other jurisdictions that are considering similar reforms or initiatives. See, e.g., Model Law For Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, Constance Choi, Primavera De Filippi, Rick Dudley, Silke Not Elrifia, Coalition of Automated Legal Applications, 2021 (available here); Proposal for a Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets, European Commission, September 2020 (available here) (proposing a regulation that would establish a comprehensive framework for crypto-assets in the European Union, which eventually led to MiCA); Future financial services regulatory regime for cryptoassets: Consultation and call for evidence, UK Treasury, February 2023 (available here) (proposing a new regulatory regime for cryptoassets in the UK).

28.  See, e.g.,Brief of LexpunK as Amicus Curiae Regarding Plainitff’s Motion for Alternative Service, LeXpunK, CFTC v. Ooki DAO et al., No. 3:22-cv-05416-WHO (N.D. Cal. Oct. 17, 2022) (available here) (challenging the CFTC’s motion for alternative service against token holders of Ooki DAO, a decentralized crypto platform, on the basis that DAOs are not legal entities or persons, but rather collections of smart contracts that run autonomously on a blockchain without any central authority or control). See also, e.g., Brief of Coinbase Global Inc. as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, Coinbase Global Inc., SEC v. Ripple Labs Inc. et al., No. 1:20-cv-10832-AT-SN (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 31, 2022) (available here) (arguing that the SEC failed to provide fair notice to market participants that XRP was considered a security); See also, e.g., Brief of Blockchain Association as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, Blockchain Association, SEC v. Wahi et al., No. 2:22-cv-02101-RSL (W.D. Wash. Feb. 13, 2023) (available here) (expressing support for the Defendants’ argument for dismissal and claiming that the SEC exceeded its authority by declaring certain tokens to be securities without prior findings and attempting to punish absent third parties who had no meaningful opportunity to defend themselves); See also, e.g.,Brief of Blockchain Association and DeFi Education Fund as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Blockchain Association & DeFi Education Fund, Van Loon v. Dep’t of the Treasury, No. 1:23-cv-00312-RP (W.D. Tex. April 12, 2023) (available here) (challenging OFAC’s sanctions on Tornado Cash, a privacy-protecting software protocol on Ethereum, as being based on a misunderstanding of blockchain technology and violating the Administrative Procedure Act). 

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NEAR Foundation Transparency Report: Q1 2023

Hello, NEAR World! Welcome to NEAR Foundation’s newly reformatted “Transparency Report”. Published quarterly, NEAR Foundation’s Transparency Report explores the NEAR Foundation’s progress towards  its OKRs, as well as the latest technology news and updates from the NEAR ecosystem.

NEAR Foundation is kicking off the new Transparency Report with the Q1 edition. It features a NEAR Foundation Treasury report and a variety of exciting updates on the recently announced Blockchain Operating System (BOS), the NEAR ecosystem’s thriving projects, and NEAR Foundation’s Web2.5 strategy. You’ll get the latest on NEAR Horizon Accelerator, NDC, NEAR’s Web2 → Web3 partnerships, and more. 

NEAR Foundation Treasury Update

At the end of Q1 2023, NEAR Foundation’s treasury totalled $1.1b, including $365m fiat reserves and 316m NEAR ($630m at a closing price of $1.99). 

The NEAR Foundation has continued to adopt a highly responsible approach to treasury management in order to minimize the risk of loss in a turbulent market. Exposure to non-NEAR assets therefore has been limited, with fiat reserves held in AAA-rated Swiss bank accounts. 

Q1 has been a turbulent quarter for the US banking sector. However, the NEAR Foundation treasury’s proactive risk management policies — including limited exposure to Silicon Valley Bank (under FDIC insurance levels) and no exposure to Credit Suisse — have prevented any loss of funds. NEAR Foundation’s risk management strategy helps ensure that the NEAR Foundation maintains sufficient resources and runway even if the market downturn lasts for multiple years. 

As a result, the NEAR Foundation is in an extremely strong position to continue to support the ongoing growth and development of the NEAR protocol and ecosystem.

A recap of NEAR’s go-forward strategy 

Despite well-known issues with Web2 platforms and legacy institutions, and the significant progress made in the blockchain industry, Web3 has yet to fully deliver on its promise to open the web. The Web3 of today is held back by inaccessible user experiences, siloed apps that are difficult to discover and explore, few real-world use cases, and technology tribalism. While there is a lot of hype in Web3, there just isn’t enough value for users. 

This is why the NEAR Foundation is focusing on making the most of NEAR protocol’s fundamentals and convictions. The NEAR protocol has the best tech in Web3, world-class talent, and an ample runway. The NEAR protocol also has the ability to achieve mainstream adoption through a focus on users, rather than cultish maximalism or hype, and the understanding that converting strong Web2 projects to Web3 will get the NEAR ecosystem there. 

With NEAR’s recent launch of the Blockchain Operating System, this next phase of adoption is already underway. The BOS makes it easier than ever for Web2 apps and communities to take advantage of Web3’s opportunities while giving developers and end users a richer, more sustainable experience. 

In 2023, NEAR Foundation is focused on two different approaches to bringing more users to the NEAR protocol and the BOS. It begins with the NEAR Foundation’s top-down approach to partnerships, led by a world-class business development team. By working with major applications and brands with substantial, established communities, the NEAR Foundation is partnering on real use cases that drive engagement on the NEAR protocol, like ticketing and earning. High-traction focus verticals for these partnerships include sports, entertainment, and loyalty. Major partnerships in recent months include Grupo Nutresa, Google Cloud, and Sweat Economy

Q1 has also seen NEAR Foundation’s bottom-up, grassroots approach. This is designed to empower the NEAR ecosystem to invest in its own expansion through grants, primarily through 3 major community DAOs: Developer DAO, Marketing DAO, and Creatives DAO (visit the DAO websites to get involved). These grassroots DAOs will be supported by the NDC, which has launched several working groups in Q1. This quarter has also seen the launch of NEAR Horizon, an early-stage accelerator that will provide support across education, tech, hiring, legal, UX, and GTM guidance, to promising projects and founders on NEAR.

With the launch of the NDC, the DAOs, and the accelerator, NEAR Foundation will focus less on the allocation of capital directly to projects. Instead, the NEAR Foundation will support the community in making these decisions and further decentralizing key elements of the ecosystem. Also, Proximity supports projects building DeFi applications on the NEAR protocol through grants, advisory services, and developer support.

Q1 Ecosystem OKR performance

Throughout Q1, NEAR Foundation experienced several areas of growth toward our OKRs. While the NEAR Foundation met many of its goals, there is always work to be done. 

There is a lot of green. However, as an ecosystem we missed our North Star. NEAR Foundation’s goal was 2M MAAs but we came in short, just under 1M. There are a couple of key reasons for this, as well as a path forward to improve performance next quarter.

  1. SWEAT (which still represents the majority of MAA) is revisiting their MAA ramp up. Current expectations are that MAA growth will occur mostly in the second half of the year, with the US app launching in September.
  2. NEAR Foundation’s BD team has been closing great deals (23 in Q1 alone) — most announcements haven’t been made (6 only) and most launches will be towards the end of the year.

NEAR Foundation has built a new model to better forecast and set MAA expectations. With this new model, the NEAR Foundation is expecting just over 1.5M MAAs in Q2 of this year with a path to 10M by the end of 2023.

Outside of MAAs, the NEAR ecosystem  had a successful quarter with several areas of strength.

  • Crystalized strategy around the BOS with new branding + launched in Denver (6K+ accounts).
  • Growth of Twitter followers far outpacing others in Web3 (175K per month vs. flat growth from others).
  • NDC Trust launched and grassroots DAOs starting to become fully independent and operational.
  • NEAR Horizon went from ideation to MVP with pre-cohort launch and partners signed up for full launch.
  • Despite macro conditions, the NEAR Foundation continues to manage its treasury effectively and NEAR ecosystem–based projects continue to raise external capital (Open Forest Protocol, Few and Far,  Calimero). The Backer / VC Network data infrastructure was also revamped.
  • Lots of exciting BD deals closed, setting the stage for a strong end of year when they go live.
  • The Data / Analytics team was formed to operationalize KPIs and better track and understand what’s going on in the ecosystem.
  • Q1 saw a consistent increase in total new accounts with 1.5m new accounts, as well as a consistent increase in total new contracts, seeing 3,800 new contracts on the NEAR protocol. Q1 also saw 25m transactions on the NEAR protocol.

NEAR Foundation is currently working on a suite of real-time dashboards so the ecosystem can have visibility into the progress against our OKRs. You can find this at

OKR1: NEAR is the BOS 

At ETHDenver, it was announced that the NEAR protocol announced that it is becoming the Blockchain Operating System — a common layer for discovering and creating Open Web experiences, across all blockchains. As part of that announcement, NEAR protocol launched, a composable frontend for Web3 allowing end users to easily and frictionlessly discover all of Web3’s possibilities in one seamless experience. It also enables developers to create and code interfaces in a single environment with the ability to fork a host of components to build apps faster, and more efficiently than ever before.

The BOS announcement generated a lot of excitement, inspiring Pantera Capital’s Franklin Bi to tweet, “Decentralized frontends are the future.”

Quoting Illia’s announcement tweet, Redpoint’s Managing Director Jason Warner said: “Something I actually think is interesting is what Illia and crew are doing with NEAR and what they are calling the open web. It’s an experiment worth running for sure starting with Near.Social.”

“We need innovation at every level of the stack, not just the core protocol and smart contract layers,” tweeted Ali Yahya, General Partner at a16z crypto. “NEAR is leading the way.”

Since launching, there has been strong usage and curiosity from the NEAR ecosystem community, with 6,000 accounts created and over 2,500 individual components published. The Pagoda team has been working closely with the active community of builders to help enhance the BOS experience.

Illia Polosukhin, CEO of Pagoda and co-founder of the NEAR protocol, also hosted a technical workshop where he zoomed in on each layer of the BOS stack and showed some examples of features, components to build from, and how gateways can become super apps by integrating with the BOS. 

The next big update on the Blockchain Operating System will be at Consensus. You can find out more about NEAR’s presence at Consensus here.

OKR2: NEAR is a thriving decentralized Ecosystem

One of the NEAR Foundation’s core mandates is to support the continued decentralization of the NEAR ecosystem, and great progress has been made on this front since the previous transparency report. 

A roundup of the ongoing decentralization efforts across the NEAR ecosystem follows. 

NEAR Digital Collective (NDC)

The NDC initiative was announced towards the end of last year, and has grown to become a grassroots movement with hundreds of participants, including users, projects, and other stakeholders. The NDC is focused on self-governance, aiming to empower the ecosystem to collectively make decisions in a robust and decentralized way on everything from funding to elected representatives and more. 

There are now several working groups that have been launched as part of the NDC’s work, covering various ecosystem needs including governance (Governance WG), marketing (Distribution Network WG), project incubation (Startup DAO), and legal work (Legal WG). 

To learn more about the NDC, please see here.

NEAR Community Treasury Launch

One of the NDC’s biggest achievements is the recent launch of the NEAR Community Treasury. Championed by the NDC’s Governance Working Group with support from the NEAR Foundation and other stakeholders, the NEAR Community Treasury leverages an innovative legal framework to provide the ecosystem with a robust, sustainable, and decentralized treasury. 

At the outset, the NEAR Community Treasury will hold 5,662,061 NEAR, which was donated to the NEAR Digital Collective by the NEAR ecosystem community (along with a nominal amount of USDT that was donated by the NEAR Foundation as part of the administrative setup process). 

The NEAR Community Treasury wallet is viewable here.

Grassroots DAO funding activity

The three core grassroots DAOs — Developer DAO, Marketing DAO, and Creatives DAO — have been making great strides recently in updating their internal governance and processes to ensure they are as transparent, sustainable, and effective as possible. 

NEAR Foundation has been supporting each of the grassroots DAOs through that update process. Both the Developer DAO and Marketing DAO have already begun allocating funding again, and the Creatives DAO intends to follow suit shortly.

The grassroots DAOs remain the key source of funding for anyone looking to build in the NEAR ecosystem.

NEAR Horizon (Accelerator) 

The mission of NEAR Horizon is to attract the highest quality founders to build on NEAR protocol and support them in taking off. To that end, NEAR Horizon’s strategy consists of three components. 


The NEAR Horizon team is building a dApp on NEAR’s Blockchain Operating System that is a double-sided marketplace, which allows founders to find people and organizations who can help them. The team launched an MVP of the product for beta testers in early March 2023. 


The team is launching a series of RFPs (the first RFP was released in Feb 2023) to create partnerships with people and organizations who are well positioned to help Founders. In early Q2, the NEAR Horizon team will be releasing additional open calls for:

  • Engineering support resources
  • Talent / recruitment platforms and services
  • Legal platforms and services
  • Back office accounting platforms and services
  • Marketing services
  • Product management services

Content & Tooling

The NEAR Horizon team will provide asynchronous content and access to tooling within the dApp. Think go-to-market examples, legal how-to guides and tools like back office accounting software specifically made for Web3 businesses. 

OKR3: Web2 → Web3 

Starting in Q2 last year, the Business Development team’s  plan was to revamp and hire a full BD team, restructure past historic deals, solve for key infrastructure gaps, and bring the highest quality builders to the NEAR ecosystem. The team is now fully hired, ramped up, has met most key infrastructure gaps, and is in process of renegotiating past deals. Q1 marked the first full quarter that BD has focused on bringing builders to the NEAR ecosystem.

The goal of BD is to help enterprises and startups realize that the NEAR protocol should be the default chain of choice to start building any blockchain application. Fundamentally, BD is attempting to kickstart a flywheel effect to drive network effects to attract builders to the NEAR protocol in order to make it that default choice. 

The flywheel starts with enterprises, marquee use cases, or household brands building on NEAR that provide brand awareness and legitimacy. This in turn attracts startups to NEAR. Collectively, these support real world use cases and increase adoption to attract more users to the chain, which in turn draw more enterprises and startups to build on NEAR. 

For core use cases, BD is focused on a few key categories, including gaming, loyalty and rewards, and emerging verticals such as sustainability and decentralized science. In Q1 we focused on improving the number of partnership opportunities we were seeing, and our pipeline has increased dramatically. We found high quality sources of leads to be from backer referrals and agencies / dev shops so have strengthened those ties. BD has also seen a rise in projects looking for more support and a number of builders came over from other chains to make NEAR as their primary, or sole, chain (e.g. Passion, Dropt, Solaire). Geographically, the team now has expanded its focus to India and Korea, and expects to drive meaningful opportunities from entrepreneurs in those countries. 

SWEAT continues to be a  category leader in the move-to-earn space becoming one of the most popular Web3 apps in the world. SWEAT is being consistently used by a million monthly active users engaging voluntarily with NEAR protocol and using SWEAT tokens for staking or transactions. NEAR Foundation’s BD team will continue working with the talented SWEAT team on launching new features such as Learn & Earn, token swaps, and games that will create deeper bonds between the NEAR blockchain and SWEAT users. 

For NEAR Foundation’s Q1 goals, the BD team set out to close three Tier 1 partnerships and seven Tier 2 partnerships for a total of 10 lighthouse partnerships — a goal which the NEAR Foundation surpassed. Although several of those deals are yet to be announced, NEAR Foundation is excited to highlight and welcome the following partners to the NEAR ecosystem:

  • Dropt — By using Dropt, teams and enterprises can now easily and seamlessly introduce blockchain-powered loyalty and engagement mechanics into their customer journey. These Web3 features will help increase engagement, retention, and lifetime value without customers ever even knowing they are interacting with the blockchain.
  • BORA (Kakao games) — An affiliate of Kakao Games and its parent company BORANETWORK, BORA is focused on game development and blockchain-based gaming ecosystems. 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.
  • WEMADE  – As one of the largest publicly-listed gaming companies in South Korea and 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.
  • Crystals of Naramunz – Featured in a premium spot under Sweden Showcases side by side with traditional games at one of the biggest gaming events in the country.  Their alpha waitlist surpassed 10,000 signups.
  • SLiC Images – In February, NBA All-Star Baron Davis announced SLiC Images, a photo and video rights management platform. Built on NEAR, it has received a grant worth $250K funded by Mintbase Grants Program.
  • SeatlabNFT – Recently named as finalists in the Mobile and Emerging Technologies category for StartUp of the Year.
  • Hydra Ventures – A first in the Web3 space, Hydra Ventures is designed to help other investment DAOs get off the ground. This partnership will open the door to the eventual launch of the first investment DAO in the Near ecosystem, with the goal of helping to provide critical funding to purpose-driven, socially impactful web3 startups.

NEAR Foundation is also excited to partner with Flow Carbon (tokenized carbon credits market), Starchain Gazer (play and own gaming), Vizta Digital (fashion metaverse), and Popp (customer engagement for SMBs) to continue expanding the NEAR ecosystem. The NEAR Foundation’s BD team remains committed to bringing the best Web2 and Web3 builders to NEAR, and look forward to sharing next quarter’s list of partnerships.

Building stronger connections with the NEAR ecosystem

As part of NEAR Foundation’s ongoing commitment to transparency and building stronger connections with the NEAR ecosystem, a number of new initiatives are in progress. 

First, the NEAR Foundation is restarting NEAR Town Halls. Similar to their previous incarnation, the Town Halls will be open to the entire NEAR ecosystem. Hosted by Marcus Ribeiro, a member of NEAR Foundation’s Community Team, they will be held bi-weekly — giving everyone a chance to get a firsthand look at the latest updates and exciting developments in the NEAR ecosystem. You can watch our March Town Hall here.

Earlier this year, NEAR Foundation kickstarted the Ecosystem Roundtable. Meeting weekly, the Ecosystem Influencer Roundtable is designed to enhance communication and increase accountability between major ecosystem projects, Pagoda, and NEAR Foundation. The roundtable’s regular meetings help with aligning on updates, sharing insights from the ecosystem, and discussing high-level ecosystem goals. These meetings, however, are not for decision-making purposes. 

Most recently, the Ecosystem Influencer Roundtable met at an offsite at ETHDenver. Over time, the goal is for the Ecosystem Influencer Roundtable to become more autonomous, and for the participants to work independently to collaborate, set goals and initiatives for the NEAR ecosystem, and develop their own governance structure. You can read more about the roundtable here

The Community Team also put out a NEAR Foundation Community Survey. The goal of this survey was to measure the ecosystem sentiment around NEAR Foundation and gather feedback on where to focus and improve efforts.The common areas for improvement that were identified were around funding, improving communications and transparency, and improving the support and engagement with the NEAR ecosystem.

Lastly, NEAR Foundation has been working on an overhaul of NEAR’s Twitter Spaces/AMAs, which showcase and highlight projects building on the NEAR ecosystem. The NEAR Foundation’s Community Team is finalizing a structured process for projects to leverage NEAR Foundation’s platforms to conduct Twitter Spaces/AMAs with the NEAR Foundation team. The team encourages feedback by following up to the Spaces/AMAs with a feedback form, which is reviewed to ensure community voices are heard and the valuable feedback is put into action. NEAR Foundation has run a few of these in a test flight to refine the project, and the new process should be live by May 2023. Stay tuned on NEAR Twitter, Telegram, and Discord accounts for an announcement on this new process. 

NEAR in the press

Q1 saw a number of top news stories from the NEAR Foundation and NEAR protocol’s thriving ecosystem. The NEAR ecosystem was covered in over 400 articles across the globe in Q1, including over 15 tier 1 stories in outlets including  CoinDesk, Forbes and  Bloomberg, and 34 tier 2 stories in outlets including  Block and Cointelegraph.  

Headlines included the announcement of the Blockchain Operating System at ETHDenver, as well as coverage from many of our partnership announcements, ecosystem hubs, and progress from many of NEAR protocol’s ecosystem projects. These include Kakao Games, SlickImages (led by ex-NBA all-star Baron Davis), Recur, LedgerLive, Calimero, Few&Far and the NDC, amongst others (more details on these below).

To find out more about NEAR Foundation’s and the NEAR ecosystem’s press coverage you can check out the  monthly roundups below:

NEAR Foundation PR Roundup for January

NEAR Foundation PR Roundup for February

NEAR Foundation PR Roundup for March

Ecosystem Highlights

Completed Raises

Q1 2023 saw several projects complete a fundraising round.

Ecosystem News & Community 

  • The NDC GWG announced the NEAR Community Treasury is now live. 5.7 million NEAR is now available for decentralized funding of grassroots initiatives through the NDC. This is a major milestone in the efforts in decentralization of the NEAR ecosystem.
  • DevDAO, the organization behind NEAR Developer Governance, made significant strides in fostering open discussions and development via the Community and Work Groups. They established a framework and platform for decentralized funding for developer opportunities, and distributed funding to several projects. At its core, DevDAO is an embodiment of the future of decentralization of the NEAR developer ecosystem. The roadmap includes a range of initiatives such as hackathons, virtual and in-person events, documentation, and dev support programs. If you’d like to learn how to get involved, check out this post outlining the various contribution pathways.
  • The NEAR Wiki Landing page has been overhauled to provide a better user experience and a more refined journey for the end user to find what they’re looking for.
  • NEAR DemoDay kicked off this quarter on the 15th and 16th of March. DemoDay is a full spectrum ecosystem showcase, aiming to run once a quarter, which brings projects, leaders and VCs/Funds together to showcase new projects as well as discussions of hot topics in the space and exciting developments on NEAR. It was an impactful event, garnering significant interest,  including from CoinTelegraph. DemoDay saw 64 projects registered, 22 projects presented live on DemoDay, with ten ecosystem VIP judges, including Marieke Flament and Alex Shevchenko and folks from Huobi Incubator and Pantera Capital. The recap content can be found on
  • The NEAR Foundation Community Team kicked off a weekly NF Ecosystem Amplification Twitter Spaces/AMAs series to highlight the multitude of projects building in the NEAR ecosystem. ~30 projects expressed their interest in participating.
  • NEAR protocol is being included in CoinGecko’s Candy Rewards Learn and Earn Program. It is set to officially kick off in early April.
  • The Governance Forum has gone from 8,888 members at the start of Q1 to 9,329 (~5% growth in the quarter). Weekly pageviews on the forum have gone up from 82,269 (December average) to 124,445 (~51% increase). However, the number of posts are down by 15% from the previous quarter.
  • NEAR Social (BOS) has gone from 483 MAA at the start of Q1 to 4141 MAA as of today. (~857% growth in the quarter, ~319% growth since NEAR Day @ETH Denver)


  • NEAR protocol saw a peak of $88m TVL in Q1 2023. Ref.Finance led the way for TVL on NEAR protocol, followed by MetaPool. There was, however, a 34% drop in TVL at the beginning of April as a result of the bankruptcy of Alameda, following on from the effects of FTX.
  • Ref.Finance launched an Orderbook built on top of Orderly. The orderbook provides a transparent, efficient, and decentralized mechanism for matching buy and sell orders on the platform, allowing users to experience a Central Limit Order Book (CLOB)-like user interface.
  • Spin launched Strategies, aka DeFi Option Vaults, on NEAR protocol. DeFi Options Vaults (DOVs) are instruments that simplify option investment strategies for users. The DOV automatically deploys staked assets into specific options strategies — a process entirely run by smart contracts.


  • Duel Network, an innovative play-to-earn gaming project on BSC, launched their token on NEAR. By embracing NEAR’s technology and growing ecosystem, Duel Network is positioned to attract and engage users from BSC. This strategic move not only amplifies the Dual Network’s reach, but also strengthens the collaboration between NEAR protocol and other leading chains.


  • EveryoneEatsEntertainment recently launched Music Feast, a decentralized label and NFT marketplace, on NEAR protocol. With Music Feast the team is aiming to bridge the gap between the traditional music industry and Web3 by utilizing high caliber talent, and simplifying the purchase process for the end user by masking the current complexities. For example, there is fiat on-ramping with auto generated non-custodial wallets. The platform launched with a NEARWEEK AMA, along with their pioneer artists AshleeBANKZ and world-renowned hip-hop icon DJWhooKid.
  • They are currently working with 8 artists, and others are on the way. 
  • Artists will release 6 NFTs per collection on a tiered system with each providing additional perks and benefits. 
  • The main artist drop right now is Whoo Kid, featuring Ashlee Bankz. Between Whoo Kid and ClassiQ there are an estimated 1.3 million reachable fans.
  • Salmon Wallet is building an all-in-one, open-source wallet with an integrated bridge, NFT marketplace, and other features. According to the project, the Source of Water NFTs work as an exclusive membership program — holding a Source of Water NFT grants a wallet perpetual free commissions on any swap/bridge/on-off-ramp. 
  • YouMinter launched on mainnet. YouMinter is an NFT Social platform where users can create, communicate, and build a community within a sleek UI, with effortless onboarding and usage.

Infra & Devs 

  • A 2022 Near Foundation grant recipient completed and launched their Rust Smart Contract Security Course. And the best part? It’s completely free on YouTube.
  • Welldone Studio / Welldone Wallet dropped a NEAR plugin for Remix IDE. WELLDONE Studio demoed their new plugin on April 4th, which enables developers to create and deploy smart contracts on NEAR with Remix Project, the most popular IDE on Ethereum.
  • Coinpanda announced its API integration with the NEAR protocol. Coinpanda is an easy-to-use crypto tax platform that supports DeFi, NFTs, and 800+ integrations.
  • At ETHDenver, Calimero announced the launch of private sharding on NEAR. Now anyone with minimum experience and proficiency in blockchain technology can launch their own private shard in a matter of minutes and be sure about the performance and security that is managed by the platform itself. This is facilitated by Calimero Console, a user-friendly interface that makes deploying, monitoring, and maintaining private shards a streamlined and user-friendly process.
  • Keypom is a tool built and recently launched on NEAR that allows anyone to create highly customizable onboarding experiences for both new and existing users. They launched a companion no-code app as well as an SDK and docs at ETHDenver. Keypom will be at Consensus, where they’ll show off trial accounts — a way to instantly sign in and start using an app with the click of a link.
  • NEAR Foundation, in partnership with Developer Governance, Proximity Labs and Aurora Labs, sponsored over $36,000 worth of bounties at ETHDenver, and there were a number of great submissions. There will be many more hackathons coming up this year, so be on the lookout for announcements so you don’t miss out.
  • Aurora released Aurora Cloud, a turnkey blockchain solution for businesses transitioning to Web3.

A Look Ahead

Looking ahead to Q2, the NEAR Foundation is continuing its strategic focus on similar  OKRs to Q1, including more work on the Blockchain Operating System, the continuing efforts toward a thriving decentralized ecosystem, and our Web2.5 strategy.

This NEAR Foundation Transparency Report (the “Report“) is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is provided on an “as is” basis, and the NEAR Foundation makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information contained in this Report.

The NEAR Foundation, its affiliates, directors, employees, and agents, shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information provided herein. NEAR Foundation reserves the right to update, modify, or amend any information contained in this Report without prior notice. This Report is not intended to provide financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice. Readers should consult with their own professional advisors before making any decisions based on the information contained in this Report.

The post NEAR Foundation Transparency Report: Q1 2023 appeared first on NEAR Protocol.

Rove World v2 Simplifies Web3 Ticketing and Loyalty for Brands

Rove, one of the most user-friendly entertainment ecosystems in Web3, is now in collaboration with NEAR. Their next release, Rove World v2, will act as a one-stop mobile-based ticketing solution and loyalty rewards program for brands. The update will also feature an in-app store that will include major brands, sports leagues, and musical artists.

Rove and Rove World v2 removes many of the key friction points that occur when brands and creators try to engage their audience with Web3 technology. Notable brands are already on board, as Rove has collaborated with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger on the Web2 side, alongside some of Web3’s largest brands such as Claynosaurz and MonkeDAO, with more exciting partnerships and activations to be announced soon.

“A multichain approach was always at the forefront of our long-term growth strategy for Rove,” said Jason Desimone, Founder of Rove. “Having built and launched the initial version of the Rove World mobile app, our goal is to now expand the reach and traction of Rove to other ‘Layer 1’ blockchain communities and ecosystems that align with our vision and will help us achieve our goals with the launch of Rove v2.”

Let’s take a look at how Rove World V2 is a game-changer for branded NFTs on NEAR.

How Rove is helping brands amp up their NFTs

The Rove ecosystem is a solution to many of the core issues facing brand and entertainment NFT campaigns, launches, and projects. That’s because Web3 itself is often difficult or daunting for the end user, who amongst other things might have questions about the value or utility of NFT ownership.

What Rove brings to the table is a user-friendly mobile app where NFTs are minted in mere seconds and with minimal steps. Brands can also easily add utility to the NFTs which are easily accessible by the user. Rove’s vision aligns seamlessly with NEAR’s Web2.5 strategy of making the onboarding of the next billion users into Web3 as easy as possible.   

Brand and entertainment NFT experiences built atop Rove and NEAR lets users log in seamlessly through familiar means like social media log-in, Apple ID, or facial ID. NFTs are easily sent and received on the Rove app via usernames, again with a similar Web2 interface to that of Venmo.

Rove World v2 release lets brands create buzz

The Rove World v2 release will be a major part of Rove’s suite of tools that make it easy for brands to get started with blockchain technology. Their approach is to allow brands to engage with NFTs in a collaborative manner that benefits creators, brands, and end users alike. Rove World v2 on Near is a huge leap in that direction.

The main feature is the in-app store that brands can now leverage in combination with Rove’s flagship app for curated NFT launches and blockchain-based ticketing. Not only will attendees be able to claim NFTs instantly at the tap of their phone, but brands can also now leverage Rove World v2 to offer seamless in-app purchases via the mobile store.

NEAR and entertainment continue to shine with Rove

Rove has many brands in the pipeline across the fashion, film, music, and sports verticals that want a seamless NFT experience for their customers. This not only brings more notable and forward-thinking brands into NEAR’s orbit but also showcases how the NEAR ecosystem continues to make major strides in the sports and entertainment verticals. 

Eventually, Rove will serve as a central ticketing and NFT project on NEAR. Users can easily create assets, mint the NFT, and distribute it however they’d like. The entire experience will be on a single mobile app, bridging the technical gap between users and brands while giving a fairer share to creators than mainstream NFT marketplaces.

All assets on Rove and Rove World v2 also have some form of utility. Anyone who owns an NFT on Rove can stake that asset for Rove credits that unlock various perks. It’s a great example of how Rove is making all of Web3 simple, including things like staking. 

Ticketing and NFT distribution for brands and creators are about to get a whole lot easier for everyone thanks to Rove. And with Rove World v2’s in-app store, major brands are lining up to be at the forefront of making web3 truly accessible, user-friendly, and financially fair.

“NEAR’s emphasis on onboarding the next billion users into Web3 with a specialized focus on entertainment, sports, and culture fit identically with our approach,” said Rove’s Desimone. “Not to mention NEAR’s industry-leading technology which enables a seamless migration of the easy-to-use features of the Rove World mobile app onto the NEAR blockchain.”

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NEAR Balkans’ Tekuno and Mastercard Team Up for Gamified NFT Experience

NEAR Foundation is thrilled to announce that Tekuno, one of the most innovative NEAR Balkans Hub projects, recently teamed up with Mastercard to serve up an incredibly unique real-life NFT experience. Attendees at the recent Money Motion (MoMo) Fintech conference in Zagreb, Croatia got a taste of how Web3 and NEAR can help brands reach new audiences with blockchain gamification.

Mastercard, a leader in global payment systems, enabled the Tekuno team and NEAR Balkans to realize this ground-breaking experience with NFTs. The NFT activation provided MoMo visitors with a gamified experience through which they could gather evidence of their participation at the conference and various NFTs — a concept called Proof of Doings (PODs).

These PODs had time and space restrictions, so participants could only pick them up during a particular period of the conference. PODs demonstrated a novel use case of how NFTs can be used to gamify real life, while strengthening Mastercard’s brand as forward-thinking in the loyalty and payments space.

Behind the Tekuno and Mastercard partnership

The city of Zagreb, Croatia, recently hosted the first edition of an exclusive FinTech conference called Money Motion. With Mastercard as one of the conference organizers and NEAR Balkans as a sponsor, this presented the perfect opportunity for collaboration.

Before the conference, NEAR Balkans Hub’s Product Lab was ready to launch Tekuno,  a blockchain as a service (BaaS) platform for NFT experiences. A user-friendly product for seamless onboarding of mass audiences to Web3, the Tekuno platform makes blockchain knowledge a preference rather than a requirement. 

Tekuno can be used for a variety of campaigns and experiences, including loyalty programs, marketing activations and events, CRM, HR initiatives, and much more. The technology does this through the creation of secure and transparent Proof-of-Doings (PODs) in the form of digital collectibles (NFTs) to attest and reward a wide range of activities. For the “Experience the Motion” campaign, Tekuno was used as proof-of-attendance.

How MoMo attendees claimed NFT PODs

In “Experience the Motion”, MoMo attendees proved their attendance by collecting a total of 5 different NFT PODs. These PODs were exclusive — attendees could only claim them at specific times during the conference.Attendees claimed their PODs by simply scanning QR codes at several predefined locations — the entrance, speakers presentations and panels, and the NEAR Balkans booth.

The PODs functioned as a prize raffle gateway, which attendees entered by following certain rules. MoMo attendees competed for a number of exciting prizes, including: exclusive Mastercard merchandise; a special 1–2–1 session with Christian Rau, Senior Vice President Crypto and Fintech Enablement Mastercard Europe; an invitation to a Web3 NEAR educational workshop, VIP access tickets for conference party; and the grand prize — a Mastercard experience at Chiavalon, Istria, an olive oil making and tasting experience for two. 

NEAR Balkans and Mastercard campaign results 

The “Experience the Motion” ultimately reached more than 14,000 people on social media, and was available for over 1,000 attendees over two days of the conference. Tekuno’s user-friendly technology made it possible to distribute more than 500 PODs to more than 200 unique collectors.

Feedback from the attendees regarding the NFT experience and rewards was overwhelmingly positive. Participants found the Tekuno platform to be intuitive and easy to navigate. Participants  were able to easily open accounts, allowing them to follow the challenges and collect the PODs for a chance at winning exciting prizes. 

“This is the most seamless experience I have ever had with a Web3 app, and I’ve experimented with many, trust me,” said Vlaho Hrdalo, Lawyer and Chairman of UBIK — Croatian Association for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. 

Nikola Škorić, the CEO of Electrocoin, Gold sponsor of the conference, added: “‘Experience the Motion ’ — the NFT activation made possible by Mastercard and organized by NEAR Balkans and Tekuno for the Money Motion conference, engaged our audience in an authentic and fun way that brought extra value to the conference while rewarding the luckiest ones.”

“We’re happy that Money Motion is a place of technology adoption and that brands see us as a great partner for such activities,” Škorić added.

Driving engagement with NFTs

As Mastercard and NEAR Balkans noted, many attendees, who ranged from fintech professionals to regional bank representatives, retail marketing leads, and others were particularly interested in Tekuno’s various use-cases. Indeed, it demonstrated the real-world applications and versatility of NFTs, helping traditional industries see the value in Web3 integrations. 

Gea Kariž, Marketing Director at Mastercard Croatia, shared her insights on the successful collaboration between Mastercard, Money Motion, Tekuno, and NEAR Balkans. 

‘’Our collaboration with the Tekuno and NEAR Balkans teams provided Mastercard HR with a seamless and exceptional entrance into the Web3 domain,” said Kariž. “Through this activation, we not only gained significant brand visibility but also reinforced our commitment to embracing blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies.”

“The added value of this campaign was the deep engagement we experienced with our end-users, fostering a strong sense of community around our brand and further solidifying our position as a forward-thinking and innovative company,” Kariž added.

The NEAR Balkans General Manager, Ida Pandur, was similarly inspired by the partnership — especially as it aligns with NEAR Foundation’s Web2.5 strategy of onboarding the masses with real use cases in Web3.

‘’We at NEAR Balkans are committed to help and enable mass adoption of Web3 and decentralization into everyday lives,” said Pandur. “The way we do it is by educating, enabling and  partnering with innovative organizations to bring Web3 to users in simple, value added, use cases. We are happy to have been working with Mastercard and use Tekuno, which is one of the best Web2→Web3 tools UX wise to bring it to life at MoneyMotion and from the interest we see across the region, it’s just getting started.’’

Sally Meouche-Grawi, CEO of Tekuno, noted that the campaign illustrated how Tekuno demonstrated that Web3 products can be user-friendly. 

“We’re trying to make it as user friendly as possible, but it’s still realistically a Web3 product, but it’s a Web3 product that is easy to use,” said Meouche-Grawi. “And this is what a lot of these products are critically lacking, which is the easy onboarding experience.”

“So, we are trying to set the standard… to show how we can create a Web3 product that any average user can actually use,” Meouche-Grawi added. “Because from my experience when it comes to Web3 products they are usually developed by developers for developers, this is the trend and we are trying to break it.’’

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Open Call for NEAR Accelerator Service Partners

The NEAR blockchain is an open-source, decentralized blockchain protocol that is designed to be scalable, developer-friendly, and able to support a wide range of decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts. NEAR has built the Blockchain Operating System (BOS), a Web3 stack to integrate experiences from across the Open Web and streamline the discovery and onboarding experience for users and developers alike.

NEAR Foundation has committed over $90M in capital to ecosystem growth, and the NEAR ecosystem grew from 0 to over 1,000 teams. One of the central lessons learned during this time is that founding teams need a host of contributors — beyond investment — in order to be successful. 

Partner with NEAR Foundation for Accelerator program

NEAR Foundation recently announced Updates to Decentralized Funding, Development DAO, and the Accelerator, and released an Open Call for NEAR Accelerator Partners. To further assist founders and startups, the NEAR Foundation is looking to partner with existing products, experts, and services to support teams participating in NEAR Accelerator programs in a variety of different functions:

NEAR Foundation will offer service credits to teams participating in the accelerator program to use partner services to help them accomplish their vision. The ultimate goal is for founding teams to create great products and run successful fundraising campaigns, while also increasing revenue and market share for other stakeholders interacting with the product such as our service partners. NEAR Foundation commits to providing access to NEAR ecosystem teams for the selected service partner(s) as “preferred partners.” This will mean that the selected partner(s) are vetted and approved by the NEAR Foundation, and should lead to an increase in the number of projects that are interested in using the partner(s)’ product / services. 

Important dates for NEAR accelerator service partners

We will be assessing proposals based on the requirements outlined in each of the function-specific service partner open calls. Service partners are expected to submit their proposals by Apr 14, 2023. The NEAR Foundation review team will be conducting interviews with selected candidates between May 13-17. The review team will shortlist the service partners between May 20-23 and will communicate further with the selected parties. Final approval will be provided by the NEAR Foundation Counsel. 

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NEAR at Consensus: Get Started on the Blockchain Operating System

NEAR Foundation is excited to announce that NEAR is heading to the 2023 edition of Coindesk’s Consensus from April 26-28. 

NEAR has a massive base at this year’s Consensus, from which we will introduce devs and end users to the Blockchain Operating System. The Blockchain Operating System is an industry-first category, functioning as a common layer for browsing and discovering open web experiences with any blockchain.

Here is what to expect from NEAR at Consensus 2023. 

The Blockchain Operating System at Consensus 

If you saw NEAR’s big announcement out of ETHDenver, NEAR isn’t just a Layer 1 blockchain. It’s a Blockchain Operating System for the Open Web — your easy entry point into Web3. 

With the BOS, NEAR has built an industry first, with decentralized frontends and forkable components for developers. For end users, the BOS makes app discovery easy and social. All designed to bring billions of people into Web3, on any blockchain.

The BOS and much more will be on display at Consensus! 

The NEAR booth at Consensus 

Consensus is the world’s largest and longest-running crypto gathering, bringing together devs, VCs, founders, policymakers and many others in the Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrency communities. NEAR will be at Consensus for three days of talks, panels, demos, parties, and more. 

The NEAR booth at Consensus will be souped-up and multi-faceted, delivering the latest tech and ecosystem updates for the Web3 community at Consensus! 

NEAR’s booth will feature 4 different components. Let’s explore them. 

BOS for Devs 

If you’re a developer, get onboarded into the Blockchain Operating System. Talk to NEAR and BOS experts. 

Get started learning how to build widgets and experiences within the BOS. Create interfaces, fork components, and much more, with NEAR experts as your guides.

BOS for End Users

If you’re an end user who loves Web3, experience how the Blockchain Operating System is revolutionizing the access to and discovery of Web3 apps and experiences. Set up an account and get access to all of the latest exciting experiences that are now live or being built on NEAR.

NEAR ecosystem members will be there to guide you throughout your Blockchain Operating System experience with demos, tutorials, and more! 

NEAR Ecosystem Showcase 

NEAR’s booth will also feature an Ecosystem Showcase component. Here you will learn about the latest game-changing announcements, and discover the apps and experiences being built on NEAR. 

NEAR Horizon Accelerator

The booth will also feature a space for NEAR Horizon, the ecosystem’s new accelerator. Meet with the Horizon team and get started on the Web3 funding and building journey. . 

NEAR speakers at Consensus

Catch a number of exciting NEAR speakers and sessions at Consensus. The final list of participants and sessions is still being solidified. However, we do have some confirmed speakers to highlight. 

April 26 from 11:10am – 11:30am on Protocol Village Stage Alex Chioochi, Chief Product Officer, Pagoda and Mo Shikh, Co-Founder and CEO Aptos. A roundtable discussion with investors talking about what’s going on in the broader industry. On the Protocol Village stage. 

April 28th from 12:45pm – 1:30pm on Main Stage Illia Polosukhin, CEO of Pagoda and Co-Founder of NEAR on “Devs Doing Something: BUIDLing in a Bear Market” panel with Sergey Nazarov, Co-Founder of Chainlink and Emin Gun Sirer, CEO of Ava Labs.

April 28th from 3pm – 3:20pm on Protocol Village Stage — Illia Polosukhin, CEO of Pagoda and Co-Founder of NEAR, and Alex Chioochi, Chief Product Officer of Pagoda will present on the latest Blockchain Operating System insights.

April 28th from 3:20pm on Protocol Village Stage — 3:35pm on : Marieke Flament, CEO of Near Foundation and Special Guest VC 

April 28th from 3:35pm – 3:45pm on Protocol Village Stage — Alex Shevchenko, CEO and Co-Founder of Aurora: Web3 Cloud Containers

April 28th from 3:45pm – 4pm on Protocol Village Stage — Web3 Media Tech Panel. Special guests TBA.

Stay updated on the complete slate of confirmed speakers at

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Near Foundation PR Roundup for March

The Near ecosystem is ending March on several extremely high notes, from partnerships and community events to unfolding initiatives. 

Near strengthened its India and Southeast Asia presence, widened its gaming footprint — and of course, introduced the Blockchain Operating System (BOS). 

Here are all the key happenings from a massive March.

Near unveils itself as the Blockchain Operating System (BOS)

Coindesk broke the biggest news of March, announcing Near as the Blockchain Operating System (BOS) at ETHDenver. Near will now be the common layer for browsing and discovering open web experiences in an industry-first category. The BOS makes Near the entry point for both web2 and web3, enabling easy web3 access and navigation for users and devs.

The BOS adds composable frontends to Near’s tech stack, simplifying onboarding and enhancing development from a collection of over 1,800 components. In only a few lines of code, builders from any ecosystem can create custom components and benefit from quick onboarding to help construct their web3 applications.

“The iOS provides developers a place to show their app in front of billions of users, and it gives them all the services and the infrastructure underneath to build,” Near co-founder Illia Polosukhin told CoinTelegraph. “We’re trying to give the platform underneath and let developers build.”

An alpha version of the BOS is now available for both users and developers to test at

Near at ETHDenver Highlights: the BOS, Near Day, and more

Exciting times for Near at ETHDenver, with a capacity crowd and jam-packed Near booth as the ecosystem engaged with builders from around the world. Near’s presence included a range of, including OnMachina on Web3 storage, Keypom for Web3 onboarding, and the Sweat Economy. Not to mention the BOS being first introduced to the world by Illia.

Let’s also not forget the over 1,000 people in attendance for Near Day, a one-day mini-summit for all things Near. Other big highlights out of ETHDenver included premium NFT platform Few & Far raising $30 million, the very first session unveiling the BOS, and Flowcarbon’s new carbon-market ecosystem built on the Near blockchain.

Arpit Sharma joins as Managing Director for eastward expansion

March also saw the appointment of Arpit Sharma as the Managing Director for India, South East Asia, and the Middle East regions. His focus will be on expanding the Near ecosystem’s presence in those regions, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise from a wide array of industries, solutions, and use cases.

Sharma’s web3 experience extends from the metaverse and NFTs to supply chain tracking and stablecoins. He sees enormous potential in regions and countries like India and the Middle East, believing that Web3 can be used to connect, collaborate and change the world. Regional hubs in India, Vietnam, and Korea should see a huge boost with Sharma on board.

Korean web3 gaming in focus with BORA and WEMADE 

Next, Near set its sights firmly on the Korean gaming sector as Yahoo! Finance reported a new partnership with BORA gaming, the first of two such agreements. A subsidiary of METABORA, the two will explore new frontiers of web3 adoption in Asia and beyond. Both entities are affiliated with Kakao Games and bring a wealth of IP and gaming expertise into Near’s orbit.

Together, NEAR and METABORA will work to identify global IP-based web3 joint ventures. This means leveraging BORA’s existing gaming catalog and future development capabilities to bring fun and interactive web3 games to the world. And per Business Insider, the Near Korean Hub should be an enormous beneficiary as the partnership progresses.

On top of that, MarketWatch reported the new relationship between Near and global web3 gaming company WEMADE, also based out of South Korea. The partnership will leverage WEMAKE’s over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry, as well as its WEMIX 3.0 mainnet for advanced blockchain services.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with WEMADE as part of our shared vision towards a decentralized future for the gaming industry,” added Marike Flament, CEO of Near. “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.”

Popp’s web3 customer engagement platform launches on Near

Finally, small-to-medium-sized business owners are about to get exciting new tools for customer engagement using web3 and Near. Popp, a web3 customer engagement solution-as-a-service, announced that it will launch its white-label service exclusively on Near.

Popp lets businesses set up micro-tasks called “Popps,” which reward users when completed. Actions like retweets and reviews are rewarded with Popp’s native token that can be redeemed for vouchers, discounts, experiences, and more.

March was certainly a whirlwind month for Near, with the BOS taking the ecosystem into the next era of web3 usability. And not to mention Near Day at ETHDenver being a rousing success. Near will continue to forge ahead at full steam in April, but if we missed anything that happened in March the community should hear about, don’t hesitate to let us know!

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How Solaire is Revolutionizing the Fashion Industry with Web3 Technology and Building the Retail Infrastructure on Near

Solaire – an exciting web3 retail platform that merges physical and digital assets – is revolutionizing the way consumers interact with fashion brands. By harnessing the power of web3 and the Near blockchain, Solaire is building out key protocol infrastructure and APIs that will expand decentralized retail and unlock new opportunities for both shoppers and fashion brands alike.

Solaire is pioneering phygital use cases and brands will be able to leverage the Near blockchain in tandem with Solair’s powerful APIs to engage with their audience in novel ways.  Solaire’s suite of APIs seamlessly integrates with a brand’s existing retail channels. This enables new revenue channels and richer data. 

Solaire’s entire backend is fully on-chain and facilitates an easy-to-use web2 interface, with no wallet or crypto needed from shoppers. The Near blockchain helps Solaire provide these benefits for brands, as well as unique integrations with Near. This includes Solaire integration with the Near Mainnet, native Near wallet support, and the Near token as a payment option.

How Solaire is Changing Fashion with Phygital

Solaire establishes a 1:1 connection between a physical object and its digital twin. Brands can then leverage Solaire’s infrastructure and suite of APIs to engage customers with NFTs and phygital experiences in a seamless, user-friendly way, removing some of the typical web3 friction points.

“We aim to do all the hard work on the backend so that brands and consumers can enjoy a familiar user experience with all the benefits of Web3 but without the hassle of dealing with wallet or crypto,” says Vivian Zhang, CEO of Solaire. “And Near’s blockchain is perfectly suited to run enterprise-level protocols to ensure a seamless and frictionless user experience.”

Soliare infrastructure helps brands create meaningful digital twins for physical goods, as well as providing a means for consumers to buy and trade phygital assets. Solaire allows for minting unique NFTs attached to physical goods and offers an end-to-end solution for securing and tracking a product from manufacturing through its entire product lifecycle.

Solaire has already collaborated with major fashion brands like Freeman’s Limited Edition Phygital Harry Potter™ Collection and Ilona Song. Smart contracts facilitate shipping, returns, and exchanges all on the Near blockchain This allows customers to shop and purchase with transparency and confidence.

Benefits of Phygital Assets for Fashion Brands

Phygital assets are a new way for fashion brands to engage consumers, combining the physical and digital worlds to create a more immersive shopping experience. For example, when a customer buys a dress in real life, they also receive a digital wearable. This can be in the form of an AR filter, a digital skin in their favorite game, or to wear in the metaverse. 

“Solaire’s mission is to empower the retail industry with web3 tools to cultivate a more connected and automated ecosystem,” Zhang continues. “With our suite of APIs, brands are able to maximize revenue and gain valuable data from digital assets, facilitate the secondary market, and build community.”

Brands can then use Solaire as a powerful CRM tool. Through the digital twin in customers’ wallets, brands will have a constant open channel of communication with both the primary customer and secondary owners. Smart contracts also automate royalties from secondary selling, giving brands visibility into trading data.

Another exciting feature is the secondary market experience brands can now provide. Solaire’s backend enables peer-to-peer physical asset trading without a middleman, utilizing blockchain-secured data and smart contracts. Buyers and sellers can independently confirm possession and authenticity of assets on-chain, and smart contracts resolve any disputes.

Solaire and Near Building a Phygital Fashion Future

“We’re building on Near because it champions community, and it’s one we have found to be incredibly supportive,” remarks Vivian Zhang, CEO of Solaire. “We’ve been able to connect and collaborate with so many partners as we build an entire retail ecosystem together on Near.”

As fashion brands recognize the value of web3, NFTs, and phygital technology as important audience touchpoints, Solaire has the potential to partner with even more fashion brands and designers. Solaire’s game-changing approach and tech stack – aided by the Near blockchain – will bring web3 to more fashionistas without some of the usual pain points.

“Together with Near, we hope to lay out the Web3 infrastructure for the retail industry to onboard the next billion users into web3,” concluded Zhang. 

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NEAR Foundation Backs Hydra Ventures to Create Web3’s First ‘Fund of Funds’ Investment DAO

NEAR Foundation is excited to announce that it has joined Hydra Ventures, a “fund of funds” investment DAO. A first in the Web3 space, Hydra Ventures is designed to help other investment DAOs get off the ground. 

By partnering with NEAR Foundation, Hydra Ventures will open the doors to the eventual launch of the first investment DAO in the Near ecosystem. 

“The combined expertise of the leaders that have created this fund offers a winning formula that will help provide critical funding to purpose-driven, socially impactful web3 startups,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of NEAR Foundation. “We are delighted to be playing a part in launching this DAO and look forward to seeing the role it will play in developing our ecosystem.”

Decentralizing Web3 investment with DAOs

To power the “fund of funds” investment DAO, Hydra Ventures has raised $10M in capital from NEAR Foundation, MetaCartel Ventures, ConsenSys, 1kx Ventures, Collab + Currency, Nonagon Ventures, CMT Digital, among others. Hydra Ventures aims to take a hands-on approach to support investment DAOs, from community coordination and investment practices to organizational design, incentive design, and back office/operations.

“While the first legally wrapped investment DAOs showed us what was possible, many of them have had major operating flaws which have been exposed over the years,” said Peter Pan, co-summoner of MetaCartel and Partner at 1kx Ventures. “Hydra looks to address many of these problems and ultimately emerge with a fundamentally better model for how investment DAOs should be operated. We are thrilled to have NEAR Foundation’s support in this venture.”

Hydra Ventures is incubated by Thing3 and MetaCartel Ventures (the first and one of the most successful investment DAOs created), and backed by leading founders and thinkers in Web3. MetaCartel has incubated and made investments in several category-leading projects like Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity, Arweave, Open Zeppelin, DAOhaus, Zapper Finance, and Rarible, and were also one of the first investors in Mintbase, an NFT marketplace built on Near. MetaCartel members include Ameen Soleimani (founder, Moloch DAO), Stani Kulechov (founder, AAVE), Roneil Rumburg (founder, Audius), Bobby Ong (founder, Coingecko), RAC (Grammy award winner), Peter Pan (Partner, 1kx Ventures), amongst others.

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Near and Popp Partner on Customer Engagement for Small Businesses

Near Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership with Popp, a company helping small businesses generate better customer engagement using Web3 technology. 

As part of the partnership, Popp — a solution-as-a-service (SaaS) for small-to-medium consumer brands — will launch its white-labeled tools and products exclusively on Near. 

How Popp works for small businesses

Popp helps consumer brands launch micro community spaces for customers, which are embedded in their online stores. Milestone-based customer rewards then drive more engagement for brands. The Near partnership will, for instance, allow Popp’s customers to issue NFTs when certain milestones are met. 

On Popp, brands can build deeper, more meaningful connections with customers by rewarding them across multiple touch points. Through these bespoke projects, Popp has already generated over £57k in revenue ($69k USD) in six months via six pilot partners. 

Popp has two interfaces. On the business side, each brand gets its own custom dashboard, where they control its loyalty and rewards program and see customer data. On the customer side, users can see all of the user activity in one place, like new members and the number of “Popps” that are live or completed. Customers can also create and interact with content — the more they interact with the community, the more coins they can earn. 

Popp’s customer brands include Batch LDN, perl Cosmetics, Acid Running, Jenki Matcha, and Ocean Bottle

What’s a Popp? 

A Popp is a small task set by a brand for customers. If customers complete the task, they earn coins that can be used to redeem rewards or unlock experiences. 

Each brand can set a variety of Popps for their customers, which are micro-tasks that generate value for the brand. This can include creating content, leaving reviews, or referring friends. Completing various Popps give users things like discounts and vouchers, but brands can also set up popps for charity, sustainability, and much more.

Through Popp’s “Partnerships” feature, brands can make coins redeemable for rewards from partnering bands. This feature even allows companies to “invite” brands to partner with them for these rewards.  Each customer gets their own user profile, through which they can see the number of coins they’ve collected, and explore where to redeem rewards.


Head over to Popp to explore the company’s customer rewards ecosystem. Popp’s closed beta is now live and e-commerce brands should head over to the website now to join the waitlist! 

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Near and WEMADE Team Up to Accelerate Mainstream Web3 Adoption

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.  

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NEAR Digital Collective Legal Framework

To help accelerate real-world value creation in the NEAR ecosystem, the NEAR community has launched the NEAR Community Purpose Trust (for ease referred to in the remainder of this post as the ‘NEAR Community Treasury’). The NEAR Community Treasury is intended to serve as a decentralised treasury for the NEAR ecosystem that will allocate funds to support various grassroots initiatives.

The launch of the NEAR Community Treasury has been championed by the Governance Working Group (‘GWG’), a group focussing on ecosystem governance initiatives as part of the NEAR Digital Collective (‘NDC’). The NDC is an ambitious grassroots initiative that brings together users, projects, stakeholders and partners of the NEAR ecosystem to promote self-governance, aiming to empower the ecosystem to collectively make decisions on everything from funding to elected representatives and more. It is a significant step towards an even further decentralised network.

The NEAR Community Treasury leverages an innovative legal framework that builds on work that has already been done utilising Guernsey Special Purpose Trust frameworks elsewhere in the industry. The NEAR community hopes that this framework should help to bring much-needed clarity to participants in decentralised autonomous organisations (‘DAOs’). Below for discussion purposes only is a high-level summary of some of the key features of the NEAR Community Treasury framework.

What is the NEAR Community Treasury and how is it structured?

A trust is a mechanism for holding assets so that the legal title to those assets is separated from the beneficial interest in those assets. One or more trustees are appointed as the ‘legal’ owners of the assets in question, and those trustees are bound by various duties and obligations to hold those assets either:

  1.  for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries; or in certain cases,
  2. to further one or more specified purposes (with a trust of this nature typically referred to as a ‘Purpose Trust‘).

The NEAR Community Treasury is a type of Purpose Trust, specifically a Guernsey Non-Charitable Purpose Trust (a ‘GNCPT’). A GNCPT is brought into existence when assets are transferred to one or more trustees (the ‘Trustees‘), and those trustees enter into a written settlement of trust (the ‘Trust Instrument’) with another party termed an enforcer (the ‘Enforcer‘) which determines how the assets subject to the trust will be administered.

The Trust Instrument sets out the duties and obligations of the Trustees and Enforcer, and also the various purposes that the NEAR Community Treasury was created to support. The NEAR Community Treasury is governed by Guernsey law at its inception (although this can be changed by the Trustees with NEAR community consent). The Trust Instrument has been drafted to deliberately minimise the trust that the NEAR community needs to place in the Trustees, the Enforcer and any centralised administrator. The NEAR Foundation has no control over the NEAR Community Treasury, nor any ownership right or interest in respect of any assets held in the NEAR Community Treasury.

The Trustees are required to administer the NEAR Community Treasury in accordance with the terms of the Trust Instrument and are also subject to various fiduciary duties which require them to, for example, always act honestly and in good faith and exercise their powers in furtherance of the purposes of the NEAR Community Treasury. The Trustees are also subject to a duty of care which requires them to employ the care, skill and diligence of a prudent person of business when administering the trust assets. Both the Trustees and Enforcer are also required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in connection with their roles.

The Enforcer has a fiduciary duty to enforce the NEAR Community Treasury in relation to its non-charitable purposes and has a proactive oversight function, monitoring the Trustees and their administration of the NEAR Community Treasury to ensure they are complying with their duties and obligations. The Enforcer has the power to request information and documentation from the Trustees; and also has the power to remove one or more Trustees in certain circumstances (more on this below).

The Trustees can use the assets in the NEAR Community Treasury for any transaction or arrangement that furthers one or more purposes of the NEAR Community Treasury, provided the transaction and/or arrangement has been approved by the NEAR community. 

At this stage, the NEAR community has not yet launched any on-chain voting mechanism (although there are various potential implementations in development). The Trust Instrument therefore also provides the Trustees with a limited power – subject to various constraints – to use assets in the NEAR Community Treasury for any transaction or arrangement that furthers one or more purposes of the NEAR Community Treasury without requiring approval of the NEAR community (the ‘Limited Trustee Power‘). Once an on-chain voting mechanism is launched by the NEAR community, this Limited Trustee Power will fall away permanently.

The Trust Instrument was reviewed by a set of skilled external and community legal counsel in Switzerland, the US and Guernsey. A group of lawyers from the NEAR community also reviewed the Trust Instrument, alongside various members of the GWG. The Trustees are required to make a copy of the Trust Instrument available to the NEAR community, and a copy of the signed Trust Instrument will be stored on IPFS (and this post will be updated with the IPFS link once it is confirmed by the Enforcer). 

The NEAR Foundation does have any control over, or ownership of, the NEAR Community Treasury

What are the purposes of the NEAR Community Treasury?

The purposes of the NEAR Community Treasury are set out in Schedule 3 of the Trust Instrument, and consist of two types of purpose:

     (i) Core Purposes: to support and promote the operation and/or development of the NEAR Blockchain and/or associated ecosystem. These Core Purposes cannot be changed by anyone, although new Core Purposes can be added by the Trustees with NEAR community consent.

     (ii) Subsidiary Purposes: there are various Subsidiary Purposes including to stake the majority of the Trust Fund that is NEAR denominated, and to consider and if thought fit approve funding proposals from the NEAR community. Subsidiary Purposes can be added or removed by the Trustees with NEAR Community consent.

Any assets held in the NEAR Community Treasury must therefore be used by the Trustees to support one or more of these Core and/or Subsidiary Purposes.

Who are the Trustees and Enforcer of the NEAR Community Treasury?

The initial Trustees are the following individuals from the NEAR ecosystem:

The initial Enforcer is Francesco Paolo Piatti, who is an experienced lawyer in the Web3 space. The initial Trustees and Enforcer were selected by the GWG, a grassroots community group that has been working on various ecosystem governance initiatives. The process the GWG used to select the initial Trustees and Enforcer is set out in detail here.

How do the Trustees and Enforcer operate?

There must always be a minimum of 3 Trustees (although there is no upper limit specified in the Trust Instrument). Trustees can be appointed and/or removed by the Enforcer at the direction of the NEAR community. The Enforcer also has the power to remove any Trustee where that Trustee has committed a breach of a purpose or a breach of fiduciary duty. Conversely, the Enforcer can be removed by the Trustees at the direction of the NEAR community.

Each Trustee has one vote on any proposal. Trustees are required to disclose any direct or indirect conflict of interest in respect of any proposal, and by default cannot participate in any vote where they are conflicted. The Trust Instrument prohibits the same person occupying the role of a Trustee and Enforcer simultaneously.

The Trustees and Enforcer are entitled to be paid a reasonable remuneration for performing their respective roles (and the NEAR community has control in respect of this remuneration on the basis that, to the extent any remuneration is put in place that the NEAR community disagrees with, the NEAR community can remove the Trustees and/or Enforcer).

What assets are held by the NEAR Community Treasury?

At the outset, the NEAR Community Treasury will hold 5,662,061 NEAR that was donated to the NEAR Digital Collective initiative by the NEAR community (along with a nominal amount of USDT that was donated by the NEAR Foundation, consistent with its legal purpose, as part of the administrative set-up process). The NEAR Community Treasury wallet can be viewed here.

The Trustees will administer this initial trust property as a proof of concept, enabling the NEAR community to establish how to best utilise this GNCPT framework and demonstrate that the NEAR Community Treasury framework can be used effectively. Moving forward, the NEAR Foundation (as well as other NEAR ecosystem participants) can make further contributions of assets into the NEAR Community Treasury based on the needs of the ecosystem.

How will the NEAR Community Treasury operate in practice?

The Trustees provided NEAR addresses, as well as Twitter and Telegram handles (but not physical addresses), in the Trust Instrument. They are able to make decisions as they would normally in the absence of the trust (e.g. via real-time written communications like Telegram or Signal) without having to adopt any additional formalities or bureaucratic processes.

The Trustees control the NEAR Community Treasury multi-sig wallet and can execute transactions that support one or more of the NEAR Community Treasury’s purposes from this wallet, with a majority of Trustees required to approve/sign any transaction. Any such transaction or arrangement must support one or more of the NEAR Community Treasury’s purposes and would require NEAR community consent; however as discussed above until the NEAR community implements some form of on-chain voting mechanism, the Trustees have the Limited Trustee Power to allocate funds from the NEAR Community Treasury without requiring the consent of the NEAR community. Any such allocations would still need to support or further one or more of the Core and/or Subsidiary Purposes.

Based on the GWG’s proposed framework, the NEAR community’s intention during this initial period is for the NEAR Community Treasury to receive funding proposals just from the 3 ecosystem grassroots DAOs – being the Developer DAO, Marketing DAO and Creatives DAO. The NEAR Community Treasury’s scope will likely be widened moving forwards as determined by the Trustees and the NEAR community, potentially becoming the primary treasury/capital allocation node in the ecosystem.

Based on input from the GWG, the Trust Instrument envisages that the NEAR community will develop an on-chain voting mechanism that leverages proof of personhood technology (i.e. technology that can verify there is an identifiable, unique individual controlling a NEAR account).

Once the NEAR community launches this on-chain voting mechanism, the Limited Trustee Power will fall away permanently. The NEAR community will then be able to put forward and approve funding proposals, and also direct the Trustees to take various actions including:

  • fulfill grant requests;
  • add Core Purposes and add/remove Subsidiary Purposes;
  • appoint/remove Trustee(s) and/or Enforcer; and
  • change the NEAR Community Treasury’s governing law.

What are the benefits of the NEAR Community Treasury structure?

  1. Participant Liability

One of the most significant legal issues currently facing DAOs and other decentralised initiatives is participant (or token-holder) liability. Recent legal developments (for example in connection with the CFTC’s enforcement action against Ooki DAO) have only heightened the uncertainty and risks in this context, particularly with respect to DAOs being classified as ‘general partnerships’ or ‘unincorporated associations’ and creating potential joint and several liability exposure for participants. This means participants potentially being held individually liable on an unlimited basis for their own actions, and/or the actions of the entire DAO/initiative, and/or the actions of certain participants.

It is the hope of the NEAR community that the NEAR Community Treasury may help to mitigate these potential participant liability issues:

  • The Trustees undertake (in their capacity as Trustees) certain activities and actions (e.g. holding treasury, making grants) that might otherwise expose ecosystem participants to potential liability. Other ecosystem participants do not undertake these activities and instead exercise oversight over the Trustees and Enforcer.
  • When the Trustees (a) act (as they are required to do) in accordance with the provisions of the Trust Instrument and their fiduciary and statutory duties as trustees; and (b) also make it clear to any third parties that they are acting in their capacities as trustees of the Community Treasury, then the liability of each Trustee should be limited to the value of the assets held in the NEAR Community Treasury.

In addition:

  • The Trustees are indemnified under the Trust Instrument, meaning that they will be compensated for any liability/losses suffered by them in carrying out their duties as Trustees from the assets held in the NEAR Community Treasury.
  • The Trust Instrument also makes it clear that the Trustees will not be liable for any losses arising to or suffered by the assets in the NEAR Community Treasury (save for any losses arising in respect of a Trustee’s breach of trusts arising from their own fraud, wilful misconduct or gross negligence).
  1. Off-chain activities

Without a formal legal structure, if a DAO/decentralised initiative wishes to participate in an off-chain transaction or arrangement then typically individual participants would be required to enter into the relevant transaction/arrangement in their individual capacity (and/or some other affiliated legal person); exposing them to potential liability. While the NEAR Community Treasury is a ‘legal arrangement’ and so not itself a ‘legal person’ (i.e. it does not have a separate legal personality from the Trustees, unlike for example a limited liability company), the Trustees are able to interact with the off-chain world – in their capacity as trustees – in a similar way as other entities (for example, opening a bank account). 

  1. Tax

Certain activities undertaken by DAOs, particularly holding a DAO treasury, can create complex tax consequences for participants (especially in the absence of any clear guidance). One critical risk is the possibility of tax liability arising in connection with DAO activities being attributed to (and so payable by) individual participants.

The NEAR Community hopes that the NEAR Community Treasury may mitigate that risk for participants by ensuring the relevant activities are being undertaken by the Trustees (in their capacity as Trustees). In addition, as the NEAR Community Treasury does not have any Guernsey resident beneficiaries or Guernsey-source income, it should not be liable to tax in Guernsey nor be required to make any on-going tax or reporting filings. 

  1. Efficient and trustless

Unlike many other alternative DAO legal ‘wrapper’ or ‘proxy’ structures, the NEAR Community Treasury does not rely on a centralised administrative body to be brought into existence or maintain its legal standing – the execution of the Trust Instrument by the relevant parties is all that is required. As mentioned above, there are also minimal operational formalities, meaning the Trustees can make decisions as they would normally (i.e. as if the trust wasn’t there). 

Under Guernsey law, there is also significant flexibility regarding who can serve as a Trustee or Enforcer, including no requirement for a locally-registered professional trustee/trust company to serve as a trustee. To the extent any disputes were to arise in connection with the NEAR Community Treasury, these would be heard and ultimately determined by the courts in Guernsey.

What happens if the NEAR Community Treasury is terminated?

The NEAR Community Treasury is irrevocable and can continue to exist for as long as there are Core and/or Subsidiary Purposes to support. The NEAR community could however direct the Trustees to transfer all of the NEAR Community Treasury assets to another trust (provided such a transfer supported one or more Core and/or Subsidiary Purposes).

The Trust Instrument also contains various contingencies in the event all of the NEAR Community Treasury’s Core and/or Subsidiary Purposes cease to exist and/or one or more Trustees undertake a transaction or arrangement that is in breach of one or more Core and/or Subsidiary purposes. In such circumstances, the Enforcer (acting reasonably and in good faith) has the power to direct the Trustees to transfer the NEAR Community Treasury assets to a new trust or otherwise deploy them for the benefit of the NEAR community.

Some closing thoughts

The NEAR community hopes that the NEAR Community Treasury framework will enable the NEAR community to benefit from a decentralised treasury in a risk mitigated manner. For more information about Guernsey Non-Charitable Purpose Trust frameworks, a template Guernsey Special Purpose Trust Instrument will shortly be hosted on the NEAR Foundation GitHub (and this post will be updated to include the relevant link, once available).

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article/post should be construed as legal, tax or investment advice. This post might not reflect all current updates to applicable laws, regulations or guidance. Any templates or documentation referenced in this post are made available on a non-reliance basis and the authors do not assume any responsibility for their contents or any consequences of their use. The authors disclaim any obligation to update this post, and also reserve the right to make any changes to this post without notice. The subject matter of this post deals with an emerging and uncertain area of the law and there are no guarantees (and none are given, of whatsoever nature, by the authors or otherwise) that the NEAR Community Treasury framework will effectively mitigate any of the risks identified above. In all cases persons should conduct their own investigation and analysis of the information in this post. Please consult with a reputable lawyer in your jurisdiction for any questions or concerns and before making use of any templates or documentation referenced in this post. Neither this post nor the NEAR Community Treasury constitutes, or is indented to constitute, the offer or sale of any security or token.

The post NEAR Digital Collective Legal Framework appeared first on NEAR Protocol.

Near Announces the Blockchain Operation System

Near announced today that it is becoming the Blockchain Operating System (BOS). The BOS is an industry-first category: a common layer for browsing and discovering open web experiences, compatible with any blockchain. 

The Blockchain Operating System will make Near the entry point for the Open Web, for users and developers alike. And it will make both Web3 and Web2 easier than ever to access and navigate. 

Becoming more than just a blockchain 

Since inception, Near’s mission has been to onboard 1 billion users to the Open Web. The first step in the journey was to focus on building a best in class L1 blockchain that was easy to build on and easy to use. 

Near was designed to be simple, with a flexible account model and human readable accounts — any name a user wants instead of a string of letters and numbers. And with Near’s Nightshade sharding approach, the Near blockchain was designed to be infinitely scalable and secure. At the same time, Near concentrated on building out tooling to support builders developing on the protocol, including the JavaScript SDK that now gives 15 million developers access to building on Near. 

This has created and sustained a thriving Near ecosystem with more than 23 million accounts and over a thousand project building, but these were only the first steps toward delivering the vision of Web3 to a mainstream audience.

Now, Near is building up the Web3 stack to integrate experiences from across the open web and streamline the discovery and onboarding experience for users and developers alike. 

Enter Near: the Blockchain Operating System 

Today, Near is launching — a composable frontend for Web3. It will allow end users to easily and frictionlessly discover all of Web3’s possibilities in one seamless experience. It will also empower developers to create and code interfaces in a single environment with the ability to fork a host of components to build apps faster, and more efficiently than ever before.

Anyone in the Open Web ecosystem can create their own frontends (i.e., their own versions of, compatible with the blockchain of their choice. This means that builders from any ecosystem can create components in just a few lines of code, and take advantage of fast onboarding to help make new and custom Web3 experiences.

This is an industry first. With the addition of composable frontends to the tech stack, Near now becomes the Blockchain Operating System, allowing seamless, one-time onboarding and removing friction points like making accounts for every experience, while supercharging development from a collection of over 1,800 components. is the first step in Near’s Blockchain Operating System journey. It’s the Alpha version, where builders can see the frontend come to life. 

Try out the Alpha at to experience the world’s first Blockchain Operating System — a revolutionary moment in Web3. If you’re a developer, see how easy it is to fork components and create new experiences. If you’re an end user, see how easy it is to explore Web3 experiences, social, and news all in one place. 

The Blockchain Operating System is Near and it’s here. #NearistheBOS

The post Near Announces the Blockchain Operation System appeared first on NEAR Protocol.

Near at ETHDenver Highlights

Near saw a number of  partnership and project announcements at Near Day and ETHDenver. Over 1,500 people attended Near Day, with many more visiting the Near booth and dropping in on ETHDenver talks and panels featuring Near ecosystem figures. Beyond the many engaging talks and projects demos, there was also an ecosystem party, side events, a hackathon, and much more. 

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the latest announcements from Near at ETHDenver. 

A number of other announcements will be rolling out over the course of Near Day and ETHDenver, so stay tuned for those in the coming days.

Few and Far raises $10.5 million in funding

Few and Far, a leading Digital Collectibles web3 platform, announced today that it has raised $10.5 million in a funding round led by Pantera Capital, the leading blockchain investment firm.The raise marks a significant milestone for Few and Far, which has been experiencing exponential growth since launch. 

The new funds will help expand the platform’s capabilities, enhance user experience, and increase the number of Web3 developers. IP owners also stand to benefit from the platform. Few and Far features an all-inclusive platform available to carry out everything related to next generation digital collectibles, including a suite of developer tools. 

The round also included top VCs, Cypher Capital, Huobi Ventures, Hypersphere, Metaweb, Mantis Partners, K5 Global and many more. 

The post Near at ETHDenver Highlights  appeared first on NEAR Protocol.

Near Foundation PR Roundup for February

As February draws to a close, Near Foundation wanted to share some of the best news headlines from the Near ecosystem and community. 

Let’s take a look about some of biggest stories from Near in February. 

Near partners with NYU for Web3 learning workshop

Near attracted over 135 pieces of global coverage this month. One of the popular  announcements was Near’s  partnership with New York University’s School of Professional Studies, featuring a Web3 learning workshop. 

Published by Cointelegraph and other top tier press,  this partnership will expose students, faculty and commercial partners to the underlying technology powering the Web3 industry. The course will focus on blockchain’s intersection with the sporting industry, exposing those involved to hands-on experience taught by Michael Kelly, a co-founder of Open Forest Protocol, and an early builder in the Near Ecosystem.

Former NBA player Baron Davis builds platform for photographers on Near

Two-time NBA All Star Baron Davis announced his plan to transform the image and video rights market, utilizing NEAR’s extensive NFT infrastructure to create a purpose-built platform for photographers. 

In an interview with Decrypt, Davis revealed that his startup SliC Images is teaming up with Mintbase with a $250k grant to build a platform where photographers will have ownership of their channels, replacing long-term predatory corporate deals with a fairer platform facilitating opportunities for all photographers. 

Also featured in Tech Funding News and across the industry press, the announcement has excited the Web3 community around the world. Allowing users to take a photo, add a permanent license, auction it off, and stick it on a blog within five minutes, SliC images are aiming to have a prototype of the platform ready for ETH Denver.

Near Foundation and Supermoon announce Near House 

As the Near community prepares for ETHDenver, and especially Near Day, Near Foundation announced Near House in collaboration with Supermoon. 

As covered in the Bitcoin Insider, the unforgettable 8-day experience will see 20 builders and founders from the Near ecosystem set up camp in downtown Denver and engage in team building activities and enthusiastic discussions about Near Protocol. Near House will also include a curated ETH Denver agenda, enabling the innovators to maximize their experience at the event.

Marieke Flament on more women in Web3

Fast Company spoke with Marieke Flament about the importance of greater participation from women in MENA. The crucial nature of diversity of thought in the boardroom cannot be understated, particularly in high-growth industries like Web3.

In the interview, Marieke outlines that human biases are unavoidable components of all our decision making. So, ensuring that the group making the decisions is as diverse as possible is a key mission when creating the future on the blockchain.

Calimero amongst 10 Web3 startups to watch in 2023

Following their recent funding announcement, Calimero Network was featured in Tech Funding News’ 10 Web3 startups to watch out for in 2023. The piece covered the exciting startup’s  ambition to assist Web2 companies in scaling up their offerings by utilizing the Near blockchain. 

Calimero’s founders Sandi and Mario are building the first private sharding infrastructure on the Near Protocol, enabling more privacy for companies storing data on blockchains.

Near partners with Recur

Towards the end of February, Business Insider covered Near’s latest step in enhancing interoperability and accessibility in Web3. Partnering with Recur, a project focused on improving the blockchain building experience, the Near ecosystem will have access to an enterprise-grade Web3 software suite. 

The exciting partnership will make Web3 more accessible for everyone, empowering brands and fans to innovate and explore new digital experiences.

Near joins Figment-powered Ledger Live

Wrapping up  a busy month of activity, Near Foundation announced that Near has joined Figment-powered Ledger Live, an all-in-one digital asset management app secured by Ledger’s industry leading hardware wallets. As covered by the Crypto Reporter, more of the Web3 community will now be able to enjoy the benefits of self-custody whilst helping to secure the NEAR Protocol by staking their tokens. 

That’s all for February. If Near Foundation missed anything or you would like to share anything for next month’s roundup, please get in touch!

The post Near Foundation PR Roundup for February appeared first on NEAR Protocol.

Update on NEAR Decentralized Funding, DAOs, and Accelerator

Hello Nearians,

We are more than halfway through the first quarter of 2023 and wanted to share a quick update on the progress NEAR Foundation has made on community funding and accelerator strategies.

First, if you are a project building on NEAR or interested in building on NEAR and need some immediate support, please fill out this Project Support Form. NEAR Foundation will connect you with the appropriate person or organization who can assist. 

Decentralizing Funding

Important changes in the grant program were announced at the start of January, highlighting the Foundation’s goal for a more decentralized funding process by handing over decision making to community DAOs. What follows is the status of the initial DAOs. 

  • NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) is a grassroots movement by the NEAR Community to decentralize. NDC V0 Governance is coming soon! The initial milestone is for the Community Treasury to come online, and it is actively being finalized. V0 focuses on funding the GrassrootsDAOs listed above: Marketing, Developer, and Creatives.

The Accelerator

From the accelerator side, NEAR Foundation’s past experience with the grants program showed us that founders and teams are in need of a variety of support in order to be successful and take their project to the next level. 

To that end, the Foundation’s strategy consists of three elements

  1. We are building a product on NEAR Discovery that will allow founders to connect with a range of contributors (e.g., investors, subject matter experts in areas like legal and finance) who can support them in their journey. We are launching an MVP in early March.
    1. If you are a founder, investor, mentor, or subject matter expert interested in being a beta tester, please fill out this form
    2. If you are a founder interested in participating in paid user research, please fill out this form.
  1. We recently made an open call to partner with accelerator programs that can help us fast track support needs for projects. We will be releasing additional open calls in the coming weeks as we continue building out the support network available for founders. These open calls will be for:
    1. Engineering support resources
    2. Talent / Recruitment platforms and services
    3. Legal platforms and services
    4. Back office accounting platforms and services
    5. Marketing services
    6. Product management services
  1. We are continuously developing and identifying learning content and tooling that are most helpful for early stage founders (e.g., accounting software geared towards Web3 teams, Go To Market exemplars, etc.). These resources will be available within the product.

Take 1 minute to help us pick a name for the Accelerator here (survey closes on March 1, 2023)!

If you have any questions on decentralized funding, the DAOs, and Accelerator program, please reach out to the Community Team on Telegram, Discord, and other social media channels used by the NEAR community. 

And again, if your project is building on NEAR or interested in doing so and you are in need of some immediate support, fill out this Project Support Form. NEAR Foundation will connect you with the appropriate person or organization who can assist. 

The post Update on NEAR Decentralized Funding, DAOs, and Accelerator appeared first on NEAR Protocol.

Near and RECUR to Make Building on Web3 Easy for Web2 Brands

Near Foundation is excited to announce a new integration with RECUR, a  Web3 platform helping major enterprises launch innovative, digital collectible experiences. With RECUR Builder, an enterprise-grade SaaS, the company is making it easier than ever for projects of all sizes to seamlessly build, scale, and integrate Web3 experiences into their existing products, marketing stack, video games, and more. 

By using RECUR Builder, Web2 brands and other projects can develop on-chain branded experiences that enable the purchase, collection, and resale of digital projects and collectibles, like NFTs and beyond. Beloved brands like Paramount, Hello Kitty, and Nickelodeon currently work with RECUR to create chain-agnostic, bespoke experiences that make NFTs accessible through user-friendly experiences. 

Near’s partnership with RECUR is part of its Web2.5 strategy, functioning as a bridge between the Web2 and Web3 worlds. This new integration will enable Near users to purchase, trade, and engage with RECUR’s extensive roster of licensed intellectual property, along with participation in upcoming mints and the option of ecosystem partnerships and NEAR-native mints.

Building and scaling Web3 experiences

RECUR prides itself on helping businesses and creators to build, distribute, and manage Web3 experiences at scale with enterprise-level tools. With a polished and super user-friendly interface, first-time buyers can purchase NFTs from major global and upcoming brands alike. With a Near Wallet, users can buy NFTs using credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and crypto (BTC, ETH, USDC). 

 “We are delighted to partner with Near to bring more Web2 companies into the world of Web3, supporting enterprises and fans with future-proof solutions via the RECUR platform,” says Zach Bruch, CEO of Recur. “We have always been passionate about building the future of web3 for everyone, and building alongside partners like Near is a crucial part of that journey.” 

Marieke Flament, CEO of Near Foundation, noted that this partnership with RECUR is part of a larger commitment to making Web3 more accessible for everyone. 

“[We] are excited about partnering with RECUR to empower brands and fans as they invent and explore new digital experiences,” says Flament. “Finding ways to make Web3 more user-friendly is a key part of unlocking the magic of this new chapter, and we believe this partnership with RECUR helps us to do that for many around the globe.” 

The post Near and RECUR to Make Building on Web3 Easy for Web2 Brands  appeared first on NEAR Protocol.

Keypom Brings Frictionless Onboarding to Near and Web3

A key roadblock to mass Web3 adoption is onboarding. People want to get into Web3 and crypto, but they don’t know how. Seed phrases, private keys, smart contract transactions, technical knowledge and crypto jargon are massive barriers to Web3 entry. 

With Keypom, that’s about to change. Keypom is a new zero friction onboarding protocol with a companion no-code app, built on Near. 

Now users, regardless of their background, can experience the value of Near’s blockchain technology whether or not they have a wallet. Envisioned as a community-driven, public good — or a public utility — Keypom’s APIs (the Keypom Protocol) will be completely fee-free. The Keypom App will also allow non-developers to take full advantage of Keypom’s powerful wallet-less onboarding experiences.

How Keypom’s frictionless onboarding works

Debuting at NEARCON 2022, Keypom’s onboarding solution is entirely on-chain and non-custodial. It’s  run completely on the Near blockchain via Near smart contracts  — not on any centralized databases.

Keypom allows Near and Web3 to function more like Web2, where developers and end-users alike can use applications without Web3’s usually confusing, tedious, time-consuming onboarding. For those looking to explore this technology, Keypom will offer an App, which is currently set to release at ETH Denver 2023. This app will give users and organizations the ability to easily create links to invite users to experience aspects of the Near blockchain without having to set up a wallet first.

On other blockchains, users are commonly onboarded with pre-created, pre-loaded wallets. Keypom operates on the basis of Near’s unique access key model, which allows for much more flexibility in the end user-experience. 

With Keypom, users are given a special type of access key that can be used to experience a crypto application and later be turned into a wallet. This key can be embedded within a simple Web2 style link that, once clicked, allows users to enter into a crypto experience, entirely on-chain and non-custodially. 

Currently, Keypom experiences include receiving $NEAR, NFTs, Tickets to an event, or even dropping the user into a trial account with Near tokens to spend on a preset selection of apps. Once a user has enjoyed an experience with a Keypom link, they can upgrade to a full account and enjoy the entire Near ecosystem.

For organizations that have experienced Keypom and choose to develop on top of their protocol, the Keypom SDK and Wallet Selector plugin allows for a seamless integration of Keypom’s technology into their own apps. Companies will be able to customize every aspect of the user experience to tailor their needs, all while using carefully designed plug-and-play libraries meant to abstract complicated processes for the developer. 

Low-cost, customizable linkdrops

Typically, linkdrops have been used to onboard developers and end-users looking to build on Near. The cost of creating 1,000 accounts via traditional means has been approximately 1,003 $NEAR. With Keypom, the costs for onboarding 1,000 users can fall to about 3.5 $NEAR. 

“We imagine a world where decentralized applications use the Keypom Protocol to create truly immersive user experiences and specialize in specific use-cases spanning across the entire ecosystem,” says Keypom’s Ben Kurrek. “Companies can build anything from event ticketing to subscription-based payments and multi-sig tooling. While the Keypom App would still allow for users to experience these use-cases, it would be at a much smaller scope.”

Keypom can be used, for instance, to automatically register users into a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) as part of the onboarding process. Another use case is for events ticketing. With Keypom, users wouldn’t need a wallet to enter an event, and would also be able to receive a POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) NFT.

Perhaps one of the most powerful use cases is the ability for applications to use the Keypom protocol to give their users a free trial. After choosing an account name, the user is instantly signed in and can begin exploring and experiencing the app. Just like with gift cards and other vouchers, the funds can only be used on that dApp thus preventing the possibility for a rug to occur. Once the trial is over, the user can onboard fully with the added option of a payback condition for the funds that the dApp fronted. 

In this new model, Keypom introduces a paradigm shift in Web3 where users experience crypto first and only focus on onboarding once they’ve seen the benefit and gained value.

“We leave it to those building atop the Keypom Protocol to specialize and create applications however they see fit, such as charging custom fees,” says Kekpom’s Matt Lockyer. “We’ve created a world where there are no limits and we simply provide the technology that unlocks these experiences.”

For a full explanation on what is possible with Keypom’s customizable linkdrops, check out the Keypom Protocol README. Keypom developer documentation can be found here and Keypom Executive Summary here

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