Why NEAR’s Ecosystem Remains Primed for Growth in 2022
For many, 2022 has been a time of uncertainty. Volatility in global markets and the crypto sector has had a radical effect on business, community and creativity. While this is not the first time turbulence has crept into Web3, change can create a fear of the unknown.
But know this: one thing that will not change is NEAR’s commitment to building a lasting Open Web.
Collectively, NEAR ecosystem members continue to create a vibrant, inclusive environment for anyone to take part in. For creators, developers or community leaders looking to develop the next generation of decentralized apps, there has never been a better time to do it.
Let’s take a quick look at the NEAR ecosystem’s fundamentals. From capitalization to strategic partnerships and the app ecosystem, this is an exciting time to be part of the NEAR community.
Funding & Team
In 2022 alone, NEAR has raised significant capital total from the likes of Tiger Global, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Republic Capital, FTX Ventures, Hashed and Dragonfly Capital, amongst others.
This capitalization ensures that NEAR can facilitate the building of ecosystem apps with grant funds, as well as support from the NEAR Foundation, a Swiss non-profit. It also means the Foundation team can keep growing to deliver crucial support and other resources to developers and entrepreneurs in NEAR’s ecosystem.
NEAR Foundation’s executive leadership team includes: CEO Marieke Flament (Mettle, Circle), Chris Ghent, Global Head of Brand Strategy & Partnerships (Tezos), CISO John Smith (Neilsen), CFO Yessin Schiegg (former director, BlackRock), CMO Jack Collier (Mettle, Circle) and Head of Business Development, Robbie Lim (Twitch).
Since early 2022, NEAR has forged a number of strategic partnerships. Recently announced partnerships include SailGP, a global sailing league co-founded by Oracle’s Larry Ellison, and Orange DAO, a collective of over 1,000 Y-Combinator alums, who chose NEAR as their preferred Layer 1 blockchain for Web3 startups.
The good news is that more partnerships are in the works. This means more visibility for NEAR ecosystem projects, and better avenues for onboarding millions of new users onto the blockchain.
Grants & Education
NEAR’s healthy capitalization ensures that it is well-equipped to offer grants funding to individuals and teams building apps. In 2022, NEAR has awarded more than $45 million in grants to more than 800 projects, helping founders from across Web2 and Web3 reimagine their worlds.
NEAR Education has helped more than 5,000 students learn and build on NEAR, paving the way for the next generation of apps. Through NEAR University, developers and entrepreneurs can learn NEAR developer skills (for free) through courses, guided workshops, instructional videos, and more.
Scalability, Sustainability and Security
With Nightshade, the protocol’s unique sharding approach, NEAR’s ecosystem will be infinitely scalable by Q1 of 2023. NEAR rolled out Phase 1 of Nightshade — Chunk-Only Producers — early this year, expanding the number of validators and further decentralizing the blockchain.
With an infinitely scalable blockchain, more developers and entrepreneurs can join the NEAR ecosystem, both easily and cheaply. These individuals and teams will be the builders of the open web future. The innovators of a more fair and decentralized internet.
NEAR’s climate commitment is a major part of its long-term future. In 2021, South Pole, a leading low-carbon project developer, awarded NEAR its Climate Neutral label. NEAR’s energy usage is a fraction of other chains, like Bitcoin. The NEAR network consumes as much energy in 10 years as Bitcoin does every 10 minutes, creating a sustainable platform for future growth.
Security is another major component of the NEAR ecosystem’s long-term plans. The NEAR Foundation’s security team, as well as security partners like Elliptic, are hard at work making sure decentralized applications and user wallets remain safe and secure.
From the NEAR Foundation leadership to the community leaders and the founders creating and innovating on the blockchain, NEAR is here for the long term.