NEAR Business Update: January 2021


Since its launch to mainnet in Quarter 3 of 2020, the NEAR Ecosystem has expanded rapidly across multiple avenues of development. As startup and crypto veterans alike will say, product development very much foreshadows business development: A well-built and well-designed core product that fits a clear market need lays a foundation for robust user engagement, protocol adoption, and ultimately, value into the product. 

The NEAR Ecosystem is very much in the early stages of breaking out as a leading L1 Protocol: The protocol has launched with unique developer incentives, the wallet – while still being tweaked – is built upon an innovative account model that promises to be more user-friendly, and developers can start building their own dApps in common programming languages like Rust. How have these developments affected business development on NEAR? And what can we expect from the protocol in the future?

DragonFly Joins NEAR Validator Advisory Board

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This was one announcement that was slightly overlooked, especially in terms of its implications for NEAR. DragonFly Capital is a predominantly China – USA focused Crypto-Asset Investment firm that has invested in a number of different crypto projects. In this announcement, Haseeb explains how DragonFly now runs the 3rd largest validator on the protocol with a Validator Stake of 17.4 Million NEAR. 

This is important for two primary reasons: First, it shows that at its current stage of development NEAR remains a very attractive investment to large investment firms that specialize in making highly technical investments. Second, the long-term value proposition of NEAR as being developer friendly as well as more scalable and affordable than ETH has been validated by the DragonFly Investment: It’s not only the NEAR team that realizes or believes in the product that they are building. 

Haseeb Qureshi – One of two Managing Partners of DragonFly had two important insights in his announcement blog about joining the advisory board

First, that NEAR is not out there to kill Ethereum. It’s very much a second city in the crypto space: 

“The third path is what NEAR is taking: building a whole new well-governed and compatible layer-1 that can bridge back to Ethereum. In this metaphor, NEAR is trying to build a second city: the Chicago of smart contracts.”

Second, that technically-speaking, NEAR is already available as a massively more cost-efficient and accessible Layer 1 than what newcomers can expect to get from Ethereum: 

“To give you a sense for the sheer scalability improvements NEAR offers, each shard on the NEAR blockchain can process 10x more transactions individually than Ethereum 1.0. The NEAR blockchain will eventually have over 100 shards. This means that NEAR will eventually be able to process over 1000 times more transactions per second than Ethereum 1.0. Full sharding is not yet on mainnet, but even the current design is massively more scalable than Ethereum.”

The Open Web Collective Launches Its Second Batch Of Projects! 

Image from Open Web Collective

If NEAR is very much in its early stages of breaking out, then the second batch of projects launched in the Open Web Collective stand as a clear signal of what is in store for the protocol in the months to ahead. More concretely, these projects hold the promise of building out the foundational infrastructure of the Open Web across key areas of development: Privacy, Accessibility, Data Management, and Identity.

Here are the projects incubating right now on NEAR:

A more comprehensive analysis of this batch of the OWC and its implications for NEAR will be released in the near future. For now, the resounding conclusion is that there is a plethora of solutions being built for NEAR – across some of the most important areas of development in crypto to date. Time will tell how these projects mature, but for the moment it is a very strong signal that NEAR has a lot of development coming down the pipeline. 

Project Updates on NEAR: Mintbase, Common Fund, Flux and 1inch!


In light of the other two announcements there are many more updates about business development inside of the Ecosystem: 

For starters, Common Fund has announced that they will be building on NEAR to launch a project that pioneers the future of non-custodial crowdfunding. 

Mintbase recently had a business update from CEO Nate Geier on the bi-weekly Createbase call. He explained that development to test net is moving along quickly and that Mintbase has added in a number of new features including:

– Voting mechanics

– Follow other users and manage/customize your profile page.

– In the future you will be able to have multiple tethered NEAR accounts to your profile

– Option to flag for NSFW

– Dark and Light mode for the webpage

– Transfer tokens (and airdrop to multiple addresses at once) with verification badge showing it is a legit NEAR account.

– Languages for the website: Chinese, Portuguese and English

Flux Protocol continues to build out its core protocol infrastructure in what is expected to be a Main Net launch in the coming months! While a lot of internal development is taking place on Flux, they have started to attract serious attention from DeFi veterans as well. 

Finally, in late November of 2020, the NEAR Team announced that Mooniswap is bringing its next generation AMM by 1inch to NEAR. This announcement while largely overlooked, has contained within it the promise of creating the world’s first sharded decentralized exchange:

“To start, Mooniswap will migrate their protocol to NEAR’s virtual machine along with establishing a native liquidity protocol on NEAR. The NEAR Rainbow Bridge and EVM integration create a seamless path to market on NEAR in the short term while they architect long term solutions for even more scalability. Eventually, the team will rebuild their core protocol native to NEAR, based on a sharded architecture, and become the first sharded decentralized exchange.”

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Altogether, the clear takeaway is that NEAR is growing. Projects are developing quickly within the NEAR Ecosystem, a class of new projects is being incubated through the Open Web Collective, and the Protocol itself remains an attractive investment for crypto veterans interested in making a long-term play on the future of the space. 

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