A Year on NEAR

A little over a year ago, NEAR held its first conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Fast forward to today and NEAR is back in Portugal, for the next chapter of NEARCON. But things have changed quite a bit in that time.

To celebrate the second anniversary of NEARCON, the NEAR Foundation looks back at all the things the community has achieved across the year.

A catalyst

At NEARCON in 2021, the Foundation announced an $800m fund to help spearhead growth within the ecosystem and to back technological advancements that would simplify development and adoption of Web3.

Under the terms of the agreement, the fund would distribute $250 million in ecosystem grants over four years, establish a regional fund of $100 million, and earmarking $100 million specifically for socially impactful startups and launch a DeFi focused fund, Proximity, with $350m.

Create without limits

In the spring of 2022, the Foundation received $590m from the following key backers: Tiger Capital, FTX, a16z, Circle, Dragon Fly, and others.

To ensure the Foundation can maintain sufficient resources throughout the market downturn, the Foundation has been very conservative in how the funds have been managed. Exposure to non-NEAR has been limited, with more than $500 million of funds raised held in fiat in Swiss bank accounts.

This approach has left the Foundation in an extremely strong position to continue to distribute funds to high quality projects for the foreseeable future.

Ecosystem Growth

The ecosystem went into overdrive over the last 12 months. Here’s a snapshot of some of the ways the NEAR ecosystem has delivered stellar results:

  • Wallets — the number of NEAR wallets has exploded from 1 million at the last NEARCON to more than 19 million today.
  • Developers — The NEAR community has grown from 250 to 1,500 developers deploying on MainNet.
  • DAOs — Thanks to projects like AstroDAO, NEAR has one of the largest DAO communities in all of Web3, growing from 50 in October 2021 to more than 800 today.
  • Projects — When NEAR held its first conference, there were 100 projects developing on its blockchain. Today that number is 790, and growing quickly. The Foundation expects that number to pass 800 before 2022 is finished.
  • Total transactions — Another huge growth signal. During NEARCON, the total number of transactions sat around 50 million, today that number is beyond 200 million, showing 4x growth in how active the ecosystem has become.
  • External funding — One of the key markers of a healthy ecosystem is its ability to attract external funding above and beyond the Foundation. In the past year, projects building on NEAR have raised more than $300 million from outside funding.
  • Total Value Locked — A measure of the relative health of a network’s DeFi ecosystem, during the first conference, there was $50 million in locked value inside DeFi projects. Today, that number is $600 million, peaking at $1.8 billion in April this year.

Keystone Development

During the past year the NEAR Foundation and the NEAR Community have hit several crucial milestones in developing the core components of a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. Below is a summary of how the ecosystem has matured over the last 12 months.

Infrastructure and Integrations

Infrastructure is a catch all term for key parts of the ecosystem that are needed to help unlock mass adoption. These include things like wallets, bridges, oracles, zk technologies, privacy tools, and improved tools for developers.

Integrations with the NEAR network are crucial to bring more users into web3. The following partnerships have been instrumental in accelerating NEAR’s connection with the rest of web3.

Since NEARCON 2021, these key projects have been at the forefront of building out these capabilities on NEAR.

Gaming / Entertainment

The web3 gaming space is still wide open. While it’s still early days for gaming and entertainment in the NEAR universe, the following projects have all deployed on NEAR in the past 12 months.

NFTs

NFTs on NEAR have been growing rapidly over the last 12 months. Below are projects that have either deployed or have seen stellar growth:

DAOs

NEAR has the strongest no-code, easy to use, DAO tech stack. It’s no surprise to see DAO growth be so strong in 2022. Below are projects have accelerated DAO development on NEAR.

The Year Ahead

While it has been a fantastic year for NEAR, the community is just getting started.

This year, the foundations have been laid, and thanks to NEAR’s simple, secure and scalable blockchain, it has an incredibly long runway to build bigger than anywhere in Web3.

NEAR is the simplest, most usable and most scalable tech around. The next 12 months will be all about helping to bring more projects and users to NEAR.

Create without limits!

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