With new initiatives and projects being constantly birthed into the NEARverse on almost a daily basis, a challenge arises in deciphering the most promising, engaging and idea-driven projects on the NEAR blockchain. Enter NEARWEEK Perspectives: An ongoing, curated selection of projects throughout the NEARverse, selected purely on the basis of our own subjective merit.
NEARNAUTS: A generative PFP project built on NEAR Protocol
Looking towards the sphere of NFTs, it seems that its evolution is ever-evolving, shifting the concept towards a more community-driven, and often member-based, structure. Case in point: NEARnauts, a generative PFP project on the $NEAR Network that strives to bring a community-centric approach to the NFT discipline within the NEARverse.
We sat down with the project’s founder Ted Murdoch to learn more.
“I’m a UK-based, self-taught graphic designer and artist. Having dabbled around in Photoshop and Software on Adobe Suite since my early teens, I’ve been designing things for most of my life and once NFTs came around, I instantly gravitated towards them,”
Says Ted, speaking on his early beginnings with NFTs. When asked about how he first stumbled upon the world of blockchain and NFTs, he elaborates: “I had a friend who spoke about crypto to me all the time. I brushed it off in the beginning, thinking that one had to be a literal genius to engage with cryptocurrencies. After some time, I’d saved up some funds and put them into crypto. This was a year ago now.”
Though only having been involved with crypto for roughly a year, Murdoch quickly identified NFTs as his pulling force within the crypto universe. Speaking on that, he says: “I’m a sucker for NFTs and art in general. On the surface, this is what NEARnauts is but when you dig deeper, it has some layers to it that sets it far apart from everything else; bringing the project to the holders and giving them an actual say about the future direction of it, proving that an NFT project can in fact be truly community driven.”
Why build on NEAR?
With an abundance of blockchains being available for the building of an NFT community, Murdoch opted for NEAR above all else. On this decision, he notes: “To me, NEAR is a standout network. I truly believe that it has one of, if not the, best communities out there in terms of support and the level of professionalism that permeates the entire NEARverse. Though NFTs in the NEARverse are still in their infancy when comparing to other blockchains, I believe that there is so incredibly much room for us to grow in within this undersaturated market.”
At the heart of NEARnauts is a desire to drive change: “I believe that NEARnauts has the capacity to pioneer the NFT space on NEAR. However, in no way are we hoping to take over the NFT space. Instead, we wish to share it with other projects and empower projects throughout the NEARverse, bringing value to the network and community as a whole.”
Serving the community!
So, NEARnauts strives to be big on community-driven ideas, Murdoch says. When digging deeper into this aspect of the project, he says: “So many projects claim to be community-driven but more often than not, their team ends up making the decisions anyway, giving the users a fake sense of democratic empowerment. We want for NEARnauts to be a club with each member having ownership of the project, all working towards a common goal together with our team. Sure, NEARnauts is a passion project for me but I’ve no desire to control the outcome of the project. To me, it’s about giving back to the community and growing together.”
This is also where their DAO comes into the picture: “We will be using a DAO after our launch for all votes regarding the project; enabling us to propose changes and updates that can be democratically voted on by all NEARNauts holders, underlining our idea of a community-driven process.”
When looking at the impact of NEARnauts that extends to the world outside of the NEARverse, Murdoch wants for the project to be something that gives back in a broader sense through building an organic, loyal community, banding together the progress to excel the project further and from there, giving back to those in need through a variety of charity-related projects that NEARnauts will be introducing in the future.
Thus, one can safely conclude that Murdoch is far from running out of ideas for NEARnauts. In fact, it seems that he wants for the project to become an ever-evolving organism, driven by its community that constantly challenges the role of NFTs in the world of crypto: “We want for NEARnauts to truly feel like a family, wanting for everyone who holds a NEARnaut to feel as if they are part of the group and be rewarded as such. Extending further out, we’d love to engage in partnership with projects in the NEARverse, having already worked with NEAR themselves alongside SwaggerDAO and Paras without having even launched NEARnauts yet!”.
NEARnauts’ minting is going live on December 1st, 2021. Looking towards the first quarter of 2022, NEARnauts’ Community DAO will go live along with the first phase of its community project direction being initiated.
NEARNauts is a truly community driven, randomly generated NFT PFP project powered by the NEAR Network. It uses a pool of traits of varying rarity percentages to generate the completed NFT’s, meaning these NFT’s will vary in rarity. To ensure fairness for all people who purchase NFT’s, they ensure verified randomness by VRF. A Verifiable Random Function (VRF) is a tuple function that takes an input (x) to generate a pseudo-random output and proof that the output was generated randomly.
NEARNauts are meant to be a fun Non-Fungible Token for you to collect. They are not meant as investments. When you purchase your NEARNaut, you agree that your purchase from the initial launch of NFTs is all you are guaranteed to receive in exchange for your funds. Whether through primary or secondary channels, the art is what you receive. Any future benefits are ancillary to this purchase and not to be taken into consideration with your initial purchase. You agree that you are not relying on any future commitments by NEARNauts beyond the community treasury and participating in the NFT launch.
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