Introducing NEAR at ETH Denver Featuring NEAR’s Peter DePaulo


Friday marked the launch of ETH Denver. As one of the most popular and memorable conferences of its kind, ETH Denver is a place for networking, product announcements, and community building across the crypto space. NEAR Protocol’s Peter dePaulo took the stage in the opening ceremonies to send a message to the crypto world about NEAR – it’s focus and how it is an accommodating and win-win Layer 1 / Layer 2 Hybrid solution for the space. 

“Why are we at ETH Denver? There is a misconception about NEAR that has been bothering me since we started this project. The misconception is essentially that we are a competitor in some way to Ethereum. I am here to contest that.”

To kick off the presentation Peter focused on clarifying the position of NEAR in relation to Ethereum: NEAR is not a competitor of Ethereum. Rather, NEAR is focused on collaborating and bridging – not only with Ethereum but multiple other L1 blockchains. In the context of the larger crypto space, Peter explains NEAR’s role as being the Developer Usability Team: 

“I see NEAR’s role in the Ecosystem as the developers usability team, think of us, as the people who, rather than spending all of our time focusing on the scaling side, we are the people thinking: How can we make the onboarding experience, how can we make the developer experience better?”


The second most important announcement in Peter’s opening ceremonies speech was that the NEAR Grants program has officially launched with an astounding $1 Million dollars in available funding, split between NEAR and FIAT USD. 

“These are for NEAR projects, but they serve 2 core categories. 1 is to extend the technology, and 2 is to reward stellar contributions within the NEAR collective, and the NEAR Ecosystem. Broadly we are really interested in these programs and these projects that are focused on adoption usability, and intuitive developer experience. That is the thing that we are really , really looking for.”

With the crypto market booming, NEAR is making a big play for bringing new developers into crypto – for the benefit of all projects. A full transcript of the talk can be found here