NEAR Asia: Business and Development Update
It’s been a quick three months since 4NTS has had the opportunity to sit down and catch up with the NEAR Asia team. While much talk of Mintbase, the Bridge and EVM has kept the attention of many in the NEAR community, it is easy to forget the size and accomplishments of NEAR’s team in the Asia region! In this update, the NEAR Asia team breaks down their focus and future plans. What becomes clear is that NEAR’s Asia team is not only laying a foundation for future growth across multiple countries in Asia, but they are also pioneering new use-cases and solutions on top of the protocol itself.
NEAR Mainnet Joins the BSN Ecosystem
Top of the agenda is the highly relevant announcement that NEAR has been accepted to join the BSN Ecosystem for public chain integration. In context, this means that NEAR will integrate with official Chinese blockchain infrastructure, to streamline access to the protocol for interested developers across China.
NEAR’s Amos Zhang added the following to the announcement:
“BSN is essentially set up to be the infrastructure of blockchains in China and possibly beyond. If you go to the website, some of the largest companies in China including Chinese telecom and mobile, as well as some of the largest banks in China want to make it as easy as possible for developers to build on blockchain.”
The NEAR Integration with the BSN network means that NEAR is on the shortlist for both companies and individuals in China looking to quickly build blockchain applications. The long-term value of this integration is closely connected to the development of private shards on NEAR for businesses specifically:
“In the long term, NEAR has something called a Private shard, which is a permissioned part of NEAR’s blockchain which is also interoperable with other permissioned blockchains. This is for organizations, enterprises or government organizations who need to handle private — permissioned transactions on the blockchain – that is not exposed to the public. That is something we look to further explore with BSN.”
Pioneering private shards with BSN would allow users and companies to combine data immutability with a permissioned blockchain infrastructure, all connected to NEAR’s public network. While still under development, private shards represent a key avenue of innovation and development on NEAR that would provide companies with the same benefits of existing permissioned chains, but with more flexibility.
NEAR Remains A Top Crypto In Asia
China remains at the forefront of the crypto industry in terms of both development and token interest. NEAR remains entrenched as a Top 10 Crypto in China, with a number of new initiatives and Guilds launching. Some quick updates include:
– NEAR’s Chinese community maintains between 30 – 40 guilds alone, that focus on both fostering token and exchange communities as well as building dApps on NEAR.
– A new Korean community is launching soon, in collaboration with validators and other high profile crypto teams.
– The NEAR Vietnam community continues to expand, with over 8,000 members in its community channel.
– NEAR is opening up a Shanghai Headquarters Coworking Space in the coming months. Stand by for more updates as the date gets closer.
NEAR’s Asia Team is Focusing on Integration and Development
The final and perhaps most notable update from NEAR’s Asia team revolves around their approach to growing the NEAR Ecosystem in partnership with both existing crypto projects, as well as legacy Web2 agencies. As Amos explains:
“We are in contact with most of the top DeFi projects on ETH right now. Most of them are definitely interested in deploying on NEAR once the interoperability is complete, as they can just redeploy a version of their contracts on NEAR with minimum efforts”
Among other projects planning to launch on NEAR in the coming months, the integration of existing DeFi initiatives from Ethereum will radically expedite NEAR’s development trajectory – both in terms of interest from the crypto community as well as tooling and infrastructure available for building new projects.
Beyond native crypto apps and integrations, the NEAR Asia team has been able to leverage the size of the Asia user base, to appeal to a completely new client for the Ecosystem: Web2 Development Agencies.
“There is an interesting angle for a lot of Web2 startups to start utilizing blockchain. With just the general promotion of blockchain in China as a transformative technology — we have seen an uptake in interest in China specifically for exploring blockchain based applications. For these types of companies NEAR is a great choice: We usually have between 500k – 2 – 3 million users, and these Web2 companies – large from Western perspectives — are not too big for Chinese markets. So while these stakeholders have a decent amount of usage and clientele, they are also small and nimble enough to try something in crypto.”
Concretely, this means that as NEAR Protocol continues to mature, with more enterprise blockchain offerings, the NEAR Asia team is actively cultivating interest from existing software development companies with client bases. This blueprint may be a foreshadowing of one of the next big waves of adoption in crypto: Enterprise and emerging technology integration with public or private blockchain networks.
In the coming months, the NEAR Asia team will be focusing on helping existing and new dApps from the region expand and scale on the protocol. Planning has already started for a formal NEAR Japanese Community Hub, as well as further development in Korea. With the number of projects actively building on NEAR, as well as the impending Bridge + EVM Combo release, the coming months promise to be both exciting and important for the long term development of NEAR in the Asia region.