NEARCONditioner: Why NEAR is a sleeping giant

A breath of fresh air during this crypto Winter.

The content is taken from Crypto Banter’s Live coverage of NEARCon in Portugal.

Although the video also features fireside chats, we mainly focus on interviews by Ran from Crypto Banter with founders and developers who express why they chose NEAR as their blockchain of choice.

To whet your appetite, here are some impressive quotes from the interview:

Without further delay, here are the highlights of the interviews: first is with NEAR Founder himself:

Illia Polosukhin, Co-Founder of NEAR Team

Ran: Every person I spoke to today said the same thing about NEAR: “they’re the smartest developers in the world, we’re the best technology in the world, but they need a marketing department.”

Ilia: “I thought that’s the whole point of blockchain. The whole community is a marketing department. I’m encouraging everyone to help us and spread the word.”

Ran: (Now) we go all the way the rabbit hole:

Aurora Labs with Alex: Founder

Ran: One of the most important parts of the NEAR ecosystem is Aurora. It’s the EVM compatible chain which can migrate projects from Ethereum or EVM compatible chains onto NEAR. Right?

Alex: it’s just a smart contract on NEAR blockchain, but it acts and feels like a chain.

Ran: Okay now why is it such an important part of the NEAR ecosystem?

Alex: Aurora actually brings two big pillars of the Web3: NEAR with it’s scalability, cheap transactions, and really fast execution of the transactions, and all of the ecosystem in ETH blockchain with all of the tools that are there.

So literally we’re taking these two pieces and merge them together. You’re getting the ecosystem where you can use all of these tools from Ethereum like Metamask for example, and you have the scalability of the NEAR Protocol with its cheap transactions.

Ran: Why did you choose NEAR? Why didn’t you choose Solana, or Polygon.

Alex: From our point NEAR is the final destination. Once your application is working on NEAR blockchain, there is no need to migrate in order to scale. NEAR is infinitely scalable, because of sharding technology.

Ran: Because NEAR has sharding, you believe that the speed and the scalability of NEAR is currently unparalleled?

Alex: Absolutely.

Ran: What happens when Ethereum finally gets to sharding?

Alex: I think the Ethereum ecosystem is going to scale through this, but why do I need to wait multiple years until this. We already have all of this in NEAR. It already works. It’s already in production for multiple years. For me it’s all about (the) time (in the) market.

Orderly Network with Arjun Arora: Head of Partnerships

Ran: Arjun, I’m so excited by what you guys are building (at Orderly). It’s an important part of what we need if people are gonna start moving into NEAR right?

Arjun: Yup; We’re trying to build the infrastructure for projects to be able to build on top of Orderly and therefore bring users, traders, (and) other projects over to the NEAR ecosystem.

Ran: What is Orderly, how does it work?

Arjun: A modular orderbook DEX infrastructure built on top of NEAR. So we’re creating an orderbook for other projects to build DeFi protocols on top of our orderbook…engine.

NearPay with Ivan Ilin: COO

Ran: What exactly is NEARPAY?

Ivan: NEARPAY focuses on connecting the two worlds: the fiat world and the crypto world. So we have two products right now that are both live: the first is the onramp widgets.

The widgets are used for buying crypto using a credit card which can be installed in different products and projects in the NEAR ecosystem. Right now it’s installed into NEAR wallets, my NEAR wallets, and a couple of NEAR wallets in the NEAR ecosystem.

Ran: Why did you choose to build on NEAR?

Ivan: First of all, we know Ilia; and we believe in what he does. We see the opportunities that NEAR gives in comparison with other blockchains, like working sharding. So right now there are four working shards of NEAR, so we know that the speed will be the same in (the future).

The second thing is that the transactions are cheap and fast. And also we like the options to build our own tokens on NEAR.

Ran: Do you think technologically that there is any other that can achieve what NEAR can achieve?

Ivan: NEAR blockchain combines all of the factors: it has the people there, people using NEAR. It has builders building on NEAR. And the third thing is the technology. So it has all the parts to succeed.

I have met so many people building on NEAR. There are some people that just talk about something and they don’t do it. NEAR will bring one billion people to crypto. Here in the NEAR ecosystem, there are lots of people really building, really believing in what they’re saying, and this is why we are building on NEAR.

BANYAN Collective with Jason Arnold: Head of Ecosystem

Ran: What are you looking to do in the United States

Jason: To grow developer interest as well as consumer interests in NEAR

Ran: So it’s basically a business development arm funded by the NEAR foundation?

Jason: Initially funded by the NEAR Foundation through a grant, and then we will have private investors afterwards as well.

Ran: Walk me through the difference between Luna and NEAR:

Jason: Terra was very focused obviously on the stable coin adoption front, and NEAR seems to be more ubiquitous, very focused on usability, as well as security and scalability, and that’s what I think NEAR does best in those categories.

Ran: What do they do worst?

Jason: I think marketing might be one thing that could be improved, I think the US market is not yet privy to the growth and expansion.

Ran: Every person that I have had here all said the same thing, they all said they’re very good at development. But when it comes to marketing… well that’s good though, marketing you can fix.

Jason: And that’s also something BANYAN is gonna be working on moving forward.

Few and Far with Taj Tarsha: Co-Founder

Ran: Tell the audience what you guys are actually doing:

Taj: We’re building on NEAR native, and when we look at the market landscape we really saw that there is a gap for a premier NFT marketplace. And so my background I have been building in this space since 2017 on a number of chains recently Solana.

We wanted to take advantage of the fact that NEAR obviously has incredible TPS, low fees, but NEAR has got this amazing easy-to-use web wallets, you don’t have to download Metamask, my mom could use it, right? And so we’re building a premier NFT marketplace on NEAR. We think of ourselves as the magic Eden of NEAR.

Ran: Why NEAR, why not on Solana, Ethereum, Polygon?

Taj: I was building on Solana, we were doing an NFT collection. And on the day that we dropped our NFTs, the RPC went down. And the network completely shut off. That experience was tough.

We’re close to a lot of folks at the NEAR foundation. We’ve heard about what they were doing, we looked at the underlying tech, it’s incredible.

Ran: What differentiates the tech as a builder?

Taj: What’s so amazing is their web wallets and the architecture. So when you create a wallet on NEAR, you don’t need to use a 48-character hash for your public address. You can make it “ran.near.”

It’s all web wallet based, so it’s easy to essentially onboard users, and so for us to bring in one billion users into Web3, we think NEAR is the best place to do it.

Sweat Team with Oleg Fomenko

Ran: Let’s talk about Sweatcoin. What is it, how is it so big, how come people in crypto don’t know about it? Walk me through:

Oleg: Sweatcoin is actually our original Web2 business that was created in 2015 for the purpose of making the world more physically active.

Ran: How many people are using the app today?

Oleg: So we have 120 million registered users. Probably 150 million installs. 35 million users are active.

Ran: Now you’re launching a token. Why migrate from a coin to a token?

Oleg: Great question. Three big reasons: reason one is that our users wanted it at the beginning, they bugged us all the way through; and they continue bugging us now. And they’re very happy that we’ve finally become crypto.

Second: our mission was to create a currency backed by physical activity. And we’re now finally, today, we’re finally delivering that vision seven years later.

And the last reason is we met amazing bunch of people from NEAR that put this slide last year at NEARCON, Ilia, the founder of NEAR, had this slide that said, “Mass adoption is NEAR; let’s bring one billion people into Web3.” Our vision is one billion people more active. That was just like sort of moment where you kind of go (and say), “you know what, that makes sense.”

Ran: Will you decentralize at some point?

Oleg: Absolutely. It has to happen. This is probably the most exciting next step for us to launch: how do we decentralize, what is the right time, how do you organize governance, how do you pull in, because everybody is talking about governance. In our case, it’s 13 million people. How do you run a DAO like that is exciting? Very interesting.

There you go, folks. More builders are launching or migrating on NEAR. Indeed, “Mass adoption is NEAR.”

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NEAR Protocol PH

NEAR is a decentralized application platform that is secure enough to manage high value assets like money or identity and performant enough to make them useful