What’s Happening at NEAR? Updates From Behind the Scenes


In Crypto, public forums like Reddit, Twitter, and Telegram are oftentimes at the center of a project’s development. But as many know, a lot more can be learned about a project by paying attention to what is not at the center of attention: By looking at hard core fundamentals, tech updates, and team morale. 

NEAR Protocol is currently one of the fastest growing and high potential projects in all of crypto. The catch with NEAR is that they continue to fly underneath the radar in spite of their stellar team, exceptional focus on product market fit, and demonstrated capacity to execute time and time again. 

Stealth Product Development

Eugene, also known as Evgeny Kuzyakov, is one of the Core Devs working at NEAR. In one of his recent twitter threads he delves into some of the most important developments happening in terms of protocol development “Behind the Scenes at NEAR.”

What his twitter thread shows, is that NEAR is not merely ‘another L1 protocol’. It is not replicating existing standards and innovation created elsewhere. It is enhancing and improving upon it to lay the foundation for the next generation of open-source blockchain protocols. Generally speaking, these benefits revolve around lowering transaction costs, increasing transaction speeds, adding new tools for Builders, and making it easier to build on NEAR. 

An entirely new non-fungible token standard is being created on NEAR, that will allow NFT’s to be listed on multiple marketplaces, while still maintaining ownership. Other benefits like removing storage managements from NFT contracts are also included.

NEAR Grants Are Live

The NEAR Foundation dropped a huge announcement in the last couple of days: $1 million dollars seeded into the NEAR Grant program for devs and educators to help build out the NEAR Ecosystem. Here is what NEAR’s Peter DePaulo  had to say about the announcement: 

“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.”

Sputnik DAO is Coming

We have heard that it’s been in the works for a long time, and this much is clear: Sputnik DAO is coming to launch as the premier financing machine on NEAR Protocol. Currently you can visit the early, early stages of Sputnik here. As the DAO of all DAOs on NEAR, Sputnik will allow for open community funding of all sorts of initiatives – other DAOs, new communities, Guilds, and much more. It is going to be an open and decentralized home for funding the future of the NEAR Ecosystem. 

The Sandbox is Getting Ready for Launch

Check out the forum post

A third community initiative on NEAR is preparing for first phase launch in early Quarter 2, that will provide contributors and Guilds alike with a unique opportunity within crypto: To work across Ecosystem projects, teams, and activities to earn NEAR, network, learn, and add value to the ecosystem. With the Open Web Collective Batch 2 finishing in parallel, the Sandbox is striving to become a digital hub for NEAR contributors, artists, and crypto enthusiasts – all with the goal of building out the ecosystem in as many ways as possible. To follow the development of the Sandbox you can start here

Storage Discussions Yield New Designs

Eugene mentioned this point in the above twitter thread, but its significance marked it as a separate development on its own: After much discussion the NEAR team has decided to decrease storage ‘rent’ costs on NEAR by up to 10x the current cost. 

The full discussion on the decision can be found here, and the video livestream can be found here. These storage discussions, although far from ‘hype’ remain important for the long-term health of the network and NEAR’s capacity to handle large amounts of growth in the coming months. 

What Does This Mean?

Community, cash, and code are the fundamentals of open-source ecosystems. NEAR is demonstrating an awareness of all three in fast-moving developments that are only just coming to the surface. Sputnik DAO and the Sandbox are positioned to jumpstart massive community engagement on NEAR. NEAR Grants will fuel open-source development while also speeding up small technical fixes and bugs on the core protocol. The NEAR Core Development Teams continue to build at record speed – on multiple fronts. It is evident to those inside of the Ecosystem that NEAR is building something special: The real question is when will the rest of crypto catch on?