NEWSLETTER Edition #141
A weekly update on everything that moves NEAR Protocol
Nº 141 · SUN 31 Dec, 2023
Hello NEAR community (⋈),
In 2023, the NEAR ecosystem has redefined the boundaries of development building through the bear market.
This year has been a journey of remarkable milestones, each contributing to an ever-expanding ecosystem where technology meets possibility. At the heart of NEAR's progress lies a strengthened tech stack and infrastructure, seamlessly connecting a global community of builders that are more engaged than ever. These pivotal developments are not just steps forward; they represent a leap into a future where NEAR leads with vision and innovative technological impact.
Here are some of this year’s key highlights:
THE BIGGEST STORIES
THE LAUNCH OF B.O.S: NEAR launched the Blockchain Operating System, an open-source platform designed to simplify the building, deployment, and access of decentralized front-ends across various blockchains. LINK
MAJOR GROWTH: In 2023, we’ve seen a huge spike in daily active users and the number of transactions on NEAR overtaking both Bitcoin and Ethereum, driven by the rollout of consumer dApps such as Ka-Ching and the continued rollout of SWEAT with the US launch. LINK
ENTER THE BLACK DRAGON: It was announced just before NEARCON that IllIa joins the NEAR Foundation as CEO to lead the ecosystem. The dragon is back! LINK
INAUGURAL ELECTION IN THE NEAR ECOSYSTEM: In September 2023, the NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) held its inaugural elections, a significant step in advancing the decentralisation of the NEAR Protocol. LINK
NEARCON: NEARCON '23, back in November, featured keynotes and discussions on various topics, including the Open Web vision, Web3 regulatory issues, and the intersection of AI and blockchain. Furthermore the NEARCON hack attracted more than 700 builders who hacked for a total prize pool of 140k USD in Lisbon! LINK
THE RISE OF DEVHUB: Hackathons, Workshops, Campus Collaborations and we could go on. The hardworking people at Dev Hub are always planting seeds for future builders with their initiative takes on Dev Relations, now also with the amazing launch of the Hackbox tool set! LINK
NEAR HORIZON LAUNCH: The NEAR Foundation announced the accelerator program NEAR Horizon which will serve as an early-stage accelerator, transforming how founders and builders access support in the Web3 space. LINK
NEAR DA: Announced in November as part of the NEAR Open Web Stack, NEAR DA is a groundbreaking innovation that offers robust, cost-efficient data availability for ETH rollups and Ethereum developers. LINK
FASTAUTH: FastAuth offers a streamlined account creation process for websites and applications compatible with the NEAR Blockchain Operating System (BOS). Emphasizing a user-friendly approach, FastAuth provides an onboarding experience reminiscent of traditional web platforms. LINK
EIGENLAYER: The NEAR Foundation and Eigen Labs are collaborating to revolutionize Ethereum rollups with EigenLayer. Their goal is to create a "fast finality layer" that reduces Ethereum Layer 2 transaction times to mere seconds and slashes costs dramatically. This initiative aims to boost efficiency, security, and flexibility in transaction processing, focusing on scalability and an open web. A testnet is scheduled for early 2024. LINK
POLYGON zkEVM: The Polygon zkEVM is the first zero-knowledge scaling solution compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine to integrate smart contracts and developer tools.With the interactive Polygon zkEVM app dashboard on the BOS, users can now discover and use zkEVM projects in a frictionless way. All this can be done on one website, with users only needing to connect their wallet once to get started. LINK
WORMHOLE: NEAR Foundation enhances Web3 evolution by integrating with Wormhole for better multi-chain interoperability, utilising Zero-Knowledge light clients. This boosts secure communication in Web3 applications, impacting sectors like DeFi, NFTs, and governance. LINK
MANTLE: The Mantle Ecosystem Gateway launched on B.O.S. This gateway, developed in collaboration with the NEAR community, is designed to streamline the discovery of Mantle applications and aggregate various top dApps in one location. LINK
MAILCHAIN: NEAR also partnered with Mailchain, a blockchain-based email communication platform, and has launched a partnership to develop a secured communication layer for Web3 users. This collaboration aims to enhance the blockchain community's email communication experience, making it more secure, decentralized, and scalable. LINK
COSMOSE AI: KaiKai, Cosmose AI's leading offering, innovatively merges shopping, retail, and gaming, establishing the unique 'Shoppertainment' niche. The mobile shopping experience is distinctively crafted, utilising the BOS framework to elevate brand interaction and discovery, thus making it more engaging and rewarding LINK
ALIBABA CLOUD: NEAR Foundation also launched a significant collaboration with Alibaba Cloud, the technological and intelligence core of Alibaba Group. Through this partnership, NEAR Foundation and Alibaba Cloud will work together to provide developers and users in the NEAR ecosystem with RPC as a service. LINK
MARBLEX: Early in 2023, NEAR Foundation announced a strategic alliance with MARBLEX, Netmarble Corp's blockchain branch, aimed at growing Korea's Web3 gaming sector. MARBLEX will utilize Aurora, NEAR's Ethereum-compatible layer, to enhance scalability and accessibility in blockchain gaming, bringing more players into the Web3 realm. LINK
2024 IS NEAR!
The NEAR ecosystem is experiencing significant expansion, as evidenced by its current metrics: 7 million monthly active accounts and a total of 35 million accounts. Additionally, it is recording an average of over 2 million transactions daily. This year, these figures highlight a notable increase in activity within the ecosystem, positioning NEAR favorably in daily usage compared to its counterparts. Looking ahead, we are confident that the ecosystem will consistently strive for the advancement of The Open Web.
The upcoming year 2024 promises to be thrilling for the NEAR community, with the introduction of innovative product launches and dynamic partnerships. Let's build!
Happy NEAR year!