Frederik Hansson: The Fashion Industry Entrepreneur Behind Swagger DAO

Creating high-quality fashion products in the blockchain space is not the most straightforward job if you are coming from the fashion industry. Yet Frederik Hansson’s innovative vision has brought him to the blockchain community – and NEAR Protocol specifically – to marry his passion for fashion with technology. 

As a life-long fashion enthusiast and entrepreneur, Frederik’s story began at the early age of 12 when he became intrigued by fashion and street culture, in the early versions of sneakers. Originally from a small town in the countryside of Denmark, fashion broke Frederik out of his bubble, and introduced him to a cosmopolitan world of design and creativity. 

“Basically I come from a small town in the countryside of Denmark. It is a super small country with below 6 million people, a honey pot fairy tale country where we found the recipe of the perfect life and solutions. But it also strangles creativity and progress.” 

Back during Frederik’s childhood, the internet was still in its infancy and streetwear media did not exist. While today we know what to expect on the shelves of a store based upon its website or online catalogue, Frederik lived at a time when he had to hunt for special products from certain regions of the world, or times of the year. He remembers google translating Japanese websites to find a specific rebrand of a product, or travelling all the way from Denmark to New York to buy a specific item in the early 2000s. Fashion was a business built around quality, scarcity, and creativity. Before ecommerce, you had to dig.

While Frederik was looking for ways to enter the fashion industry in Denmark, the ethos of streetwear was rising in the US. Kids there were all about a new sub-genre that capitalized on comfort but also culture and hip-hop music to inspire identity inclusion. 

Throughout his teens Frederik started working in a clothing store, as a way of learning more about the industry and discovering emerging fashion trends. Although the job was less exciting at the time –  counting and stocking items, managing inventory – it was an early entrance into the fashion scene. 

In the following years during business school, Frederik cut his teeth as an entrepreneur by managing a number of different side hustles: He worked at a sales service, got admitted to the business gymnasium, switched to a slightly bigger store and finally got into a fashion design school in Copenhagen. All of this was to pave his way into the Fashion Industry.

While studying business, Frederik did multiple internships and worked at some of the best contemporary clothing stores in Copenhagen. His network was quite small back then but his entrepreneurial motivation and the success of his parents in establishing their own business, made him believe that hard work pays off.

I was lucky to have a direction and a pathway from an early age. I come from parents who have built their own company as well, so I have always had great role models around me. I have had that upbringing mentality that you have to work hard for something you want. And if you treat people nicely, they will pay you back in some way – even if it is not all at once.” 

And it did. Today a lot of Frederik’s connections in Copenhagen are like-minded frontrunners in the industry that are also digitally forward thinking. Frederik has also worked his way into a highly influential position helping introduce Scandinavian brands to the industry, and bringing the industry to Denmark:

He collaborates with all of the big fashion weeks including really big institutional players. He works and collaborates with key industry players such as danish B2B sales platform Traede, and JOOR, the biggest B2B sales platform in the world that partners with ‘the big fish’ like Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo and Isabel Marant.  Both platforms take care of the product management of 1500-2000 brands. In Frederik’s entrepreneurial eyes, the fact that they are not working with anything in the crypto-verse yet is a huge window of opportunity. 

Back in 2011-2012, the Copenhagen Fashion Week, was only ramping up (today it’s one of the leading and most sustainable fashion events in the Nordics). Inspired by the ambition of bringing the industry onto a new level of sustainability, Frederik worked with a number of Scandinavian menswear brands including Samsøe Samsøe, Soulland, Norse Projects, Libertine-Libertine and doing consultancy for brands such as Levi’s and Axel Arigato through the last 10 years. In taking these brands into the mainstream fashion world, Frederik grew into a key executive position for managing Fashion Trade Shows in Copenhagen with partner projects and events in Florence, Paris and Milan. These various experiences made him an expert in different aspects of the Fashion industry.  

“I am kind of a generalist in fashion. I haven’t launched my own brand, but worked in 10 different startups and dealt with more than 500 different brands. I have seen when it works and when it is doesn’t. There are a lot of different ways of making it in the fashion business right now.” 

For the last 2 years Frederik has worked as the Director Of Operations & Concept at Revolver Copenhagen Int. Fashion Trade Show. Revolver is a unique order-platform for both mens- and women’s wear that represents the most progressive contemporary fashion brands from Scandinavia and beyond. Being an entrepreneurial creative, Frederik enjoys taking up a diverse range of responsibilities in his current position, including creating new concepts, pushing forward sales, negotiating new collaborations, and working on digital developments.

Interestingly, Revolver is already trying to impact fashion on the aspect of sustainability by using blockchain technology: Working with SBP, a Milan-based traceability company, Revolver is piloting the early stages of putting the entire value chain of a fashion company on the blockchain. To increase transparency, demonstrate product authenticity, and eventually evoke a sense of scarcity, the idea is for all consumers to be able to see how sustainable the company is by following the development of its product from fabric to final form. 

In addition to sustainability, Frederik has also expressed concern about the authenticity of specific fashion products.  It is no surprise that counterfeit fashion products are an enormous industry (approx. $1.7 trillion per year according to Forbes), specifically as it relates to luxury goods, and special limited items. In fact, counterfeit production is one of the most profound bottlenecks for many brands with international audiences. 

In such a multibillion dollar industry, Frederik sees huge potential for integrating the crypto technology stack with real-world products, to pioneer a new paradigm of ownership, scarcity, and product transparency: 

“You need a broad proofing system that takes all of the brands in and plugs it into all of the platforms. In effect we need to make a validating system that would get a company with high demand when the product goes live, like Supreme onboarded to digitally launch new products along with their physical goods. Today their drops are so anticipated – so imagine if every time Supreme made a product they minted an NFT as proof that it was a real product. This would allow you to create this comprehensive validating system that a lot of these reselling platforms like StockX and Grailed need. You can get around a lot of the problems of counterfeiting with a system like this. It’s a real solution to a huge problem in the fashion industry.” 

In short, to prove authenticity of a specific product, one might also mint an NFT every time a company releases a new unique product. 

Discovering NEAR, in this context, was the final piece of the puzzle: Swagger DAO is launching as the next chapter in Frederik’s journey, and as one of the most well-connected and cutting-edge projects at the intersection of fashion and technology.

From digitizing fashion to accept crypto payments, to tracking product materials, to creating a new fashion economy built around scarcity and NFT’s, to solving the problem of counterfeiting, Frederik Hanssen hopes to bring the fashion industry into the future on NEAR Protocol. 

OINDAO: Customizable Stable Coin Issuance on NEAR Protocol

OIN Finance recently announced grant support from the NEAR Foundation to natively build and launch OINDAO on NEAR Protocol. As a home for stable coin issuance, and a scalable platform for grounding the next-generation of DeFi applications, OIN is well-positioned to grow into the fast emerging crypto-verse on NEAR Protocol and support the rapid development of Open Financial applications! 

Introducing OIN Finance:

On a macro level, OIN Finance provides the NEAR Ecosystem with the opportunity to optimize the flow of assets and value into and between projects. Value from one Altcoin can be collateralized and issued in the form of a stablecoin, for use in another application.

OIN Finance has been built to accelerate the advent of DeFi (decentralized finance). As a platform, it consists of two key products that allow existing altcoins to ‘plug into’ the world of stablecoins, derivatives and token swaps, for use across applications on NEAR and any other L1 Chain bridged with NEAR. 

OINDAO, the first core product of OIN Finance, is described as a “A stablecoin and staking derivatives issuance platform. Different from MakerDAO, OINDAO is specially designed for Altcoins.” 

In parallel, OIN Swap is the second product of OIN Finance that is currently being built. It is described as “A stablecoin decentralized exchange for the staking derivatives on OINDAO and other stablecoins.”

Together, these two products provide a fundamental base-layer for allowing any existing altcoin to integrate itself with the emerging world of DeFi tools and products. Unlike existing solutions such as MakerDAO, that control which projects can participate in the issuance of stablecoins, the collateralization of assets, and the swapping of tokens, OIN Finance puts accessibility first: 

“MakerDAO, and other DeFi platforms like Compound, also act as gatekeepers in electing which projects are selected to become part of their pools, thereby establishing a large barrier of entry for the majority of projects. OIN is able to solve this problem and build a greater DeFi ecosystem, centered upon inclusion and permissionless engagement.”

OINDAO on NEAR: What Does It Mean? 

OINDAO is going to officially launch as a native NEAR Solution. That means, first and foremost, that NEAR will be able to be used as collateral for a ‘native NEAR-backed’ stable coin. As the OIN Team explains: 

“A stablecoin provides an excellent method to park money during trading, or to use as a base currency. A NEAR-backed Stablecoin acts as the base currency in the NEAR ecosystem, helping the NEAR community to hedge against volatility.”

Beyond $NEAR, OIN Finance is built to integrate any existing altcoin onto the platform – meaning any other token in the NEAR Ecosystem can also be collateralized to issue their own stable coin. Once issued, these stablecoins can be used for the full suite of opportunities offered by the world of DeFi: 

“They will also be able to utilize the stablecoins for ecosystem-specific utilities, as leverage to buy more tokens, or even to swap for other stablecoins such as USDC and DAI.”

As DeFi and open finance  continue to mature, unlocking and maximizing the flow of value between dapps and protocols is a crucial requirement for supporting a thriving ecosystem of open financial applications. OIN Finance, with its two core products will support and expedite the future development of DeFi on NEAR Protocol. 

There are two notable long-term benefits that OIN Finance brings to NEAR. The first relates to driving scarcity around the $NEAR Token, while the second has to do with unlocking new value across projects on the protocol: 

Driving $NEAR Scarcity: 

First, in virtue of using NEAR as collateral for a native-NEAR stablecoin that can then be utilized across DeFi projects in the ecosystem, more NEAR can be locked up over time as more stablecoins are required for different applications. As OIN explains: 

“With more ecosystem-specific utilities behind a NEAR-backed stablecoin, more NEAR-backed stablecoins can be minted. The increasing amount of locked liquidity drives the price of NEAR up, creating a closed value loop for NEAR’s token economy.”

Hence, in the long-term, a $NEAR collateralized stable coin will create positive network effects and feedback loops for $NEAR as more projects launch in the ecosystem and more stablecoins are required for participating in different applications. 

Unlocking and Streamlining Value on NEAR Protocol: 

Second, OINDAO is built to support ‘basket-yield farming’ of projects bridged to, or on top of NEAR Protocol. This means that a user can stake NEAR on OINDAO, and yield up to 20 different tokens. The smart contract executes this operation independently, thereby allowing a single user to stake one time, and simultaneously yield from many different projects. As OIN explains: 

“OINDAO’s smart contract supports multi-coin farming functionality for up to 20 different tokens. This support will create synergy between tokens on or bridged to NEAR protocol, providing a linkage between projects in the NEAR ecosystem. This means users who stake NEAR will have the opportunity to farm 20 different projects’ tokens in the NEAR ecosystem.”

A Financial Revolution on NEAR Protocol: 

OIN Finance is a huge step in the advent of a financial revolution, a global infrastructure inversion and the launch of an open-financial ecosystem on NEAR Protocol. With stablecoin issuance of any altcoin on NEAR, and built in functionality and services embedded on a smart contract level, value has the capacity to flow more efficiently between applications on NEAR, while also increasing scarcity in the underlying locked asset. Ultimately, OINDAO’s launch on NEAR helps expedite the development of a new world of inclusive and accessible finance.  

For more information about OIN Finance check out their telegram or follow them on twitter. For more documentation on OIN Finance see: 




Medium Blog:

Use Cases:

The Open Web and Africa with John Karanja: A Recap

The 4NTs research team recently began a series of events dedicated to the future of the Open-Web and crypto. The first live stream featured John Karanja, founder of BitHub Africa and Whive Protocol, an award-winning protocol for innovation in the youth and gender sector. John has been involved in the African crypto space for the past seven years. His work focuses on tackling concrete issues such as energy access, dissemination of blockchain solutions and professional skill-building. 

During an hour-long talk, John has given an insightful account of the evolution of Defi and crypto in Africa as well as a clear picture of the opportunities that the continent has to offer.

Africa: The Silicon Valley of the Future?

There is a growing awareness among investors and entrepreneurs that Africa presents a huge potential for becoming the crypto hub of the future. Human capital, resources, coupled with the desire for economic development and lack of financial structures are some of the ingredients that make the African continent particularly suited for a swift adoption of DLT solutions. African people are confronted with a lack of basic infrastructures and have a huge need for new solutions able to provide financial inclusion, access to opportunities and education, electricity and more. It is no surprise then that Bitcoin’s adoption is rising across the continent and that solutions like M-Pesa saw a rapid acceptance: 

“What makes the African continent unique is that there is a huge need. We have people living in rural areas, they leave their mothers and grandmothers behind and their cousins behind and they come to the cities to look for work. And the people back home in their villages need access to money because they are not financially included, so what MPesa did was allowing people for the first time to send money digitally through a network. I remember I used to send money to the village I put money in an envelope, gave it to my cousin, and then my cousin removed a few notes and gave the money to my grandmother. We had something called cousin tax. Now with MPesa, that problem was solved you could send money directly. The problem with MPesa is that is not really scalable beyond the Kenyan border, yet at the same time we have this problem in other parts of Africa that are sort of lagging behind, so, this is where we see bitcoin and cryptocurrencies picking up slack of what physical money cannot do” – John Karanja

The African continent has a population of 1.2 billion people, 60% of it being below 25 years of age and in dire need to access things that other people around the world already have access to. This is a huge market to tap into:

“If you ask me what’s going to happen in the next 5 years, is we are entering a place where industries worth billions of dollars will be entering Africa and reach the lives of African people, making them wealthier and a seat on the table and trade with their fellow counterparts in Europe, in China, in the US, and the rest of the world. We have a lot to offer we have a rich and vast culture that has not been tapped into, in terms of innovation that can come from that […] there are huge market opportunities here but we need people to begin to realise the need to invest in education and we need partners to come in and create value that we can all share instead of the old extractive model in which Africa is just seen as a place where you get resources and then you leave” – John Karanja

For a long time Africa has been at the outskirts of technological development, however, the African population is showing to be much more receptive to the potential of crypto and is growing more eager by the day to further experiment with it to satisfy its necessities and fill their infrastructural gaps. These trends made entrepreneurs of the calibre of Charles Hoskinson identify Africa as the most promising economic environment in the next ten years (Charles Hoskinson, 2021). And it is precisely in these early days that investors and interpreters should not hesitate to jump into a venture that will give them access to a market worth trillions.

Uniting the African Continent Through the Open Web

To take advantage of Africa’s full market potential, Africans need to pull countries together and figure out solutions to boost cooperation. Cryptocurrencies are already allowing for an increase in international trading, however, more solutions need to be built to address other impairments to collaboration:

“One huge challenge we have here is the language barrier [..]. A lot of the problems we have here are the same in Katanga in Congo, Mali, which is access to resources that these countries have in abundance. We now need to create open communities using the Open Web where we have people that can translate content and share this content with each other” – John Karanja 

The development of the Open Web will be critical to facilitate the exchange of information and cooperation. For that, scalable and user-friendly applications need to be created to stir engagement:

“The barrier remains a problem at the user interface or the user experience level. When we talk about payments and transactions you now have global monetary networks like bitcoin, you now have platforms that allow global CPU mining, we have protocols where people can build web solutions like for example the NEAR Protocol. These protocols have a common language which is digital. The digital problem has been solved […] so now we need to build applications where I can be able to translate what somebody is saying in a certain language to another language layered on top of blockchain technology. And I think when people begin to see those technologies including governments they will begin to appreciate the power of blockchain as one of the technologies that can unite the African continent and connect it intercontinentally. For me, it’s just a user experience issue where you create interoperability using applications”. – John Karanja

The necessary structures and tools to facilitate interactions and cooperation still need to be put in place. In this regard, there are plenty of opportunities for developers to unleash their creativity to build something useful and accessible.

Education and Cooperation are Key to the Open Web’s Success in Africa

The Open Web is still in its early days, and for it to succeed people will need to understand what it is and the opportunities that it offers:

“For the Open Web to succeed we do not only need innovation, but we also need education, training, and investment in youth potential. Africa is a very young continent, 60% of the people are under the age of 25 so that’s a huge resource we need to tap into to see these technologies get adopted”

– John Karanja 

Investment in educational programs and training will be essential to the fast adoption of DLT and economic growth. To contribute to that John has created Melanin Academy, a project aiming to train 2000 engineers in the next 4 years. More educational programs and training have been launched in the past years but more investment is definitely needed to speed up change.

Having been involved in the African crypto scene since the very early days, John has witnessed its rapid evolution and also shortcomings:

“Today because of our effort the community is so huge that we now have what we call silos, we have people who are exclusive on one platform, some are exclusive on Bitcoin, others on Ethereum etc…What we need to do now is to interconnect these communities because we are not fighting each other we are trying to solve these huge problems which are access to opportunities, access to resources using blockchain technology. Now that we have grown we need to identify real problems and then collaborate because collaboration is key. We do not want to have a situation where different groups are trying to do the same thing while we could work through synergy to become more cost-efficient and successful”

– John Karanja

The advancement of crypto has given rise to different entrenched cultures that are at times more focused on surpassing each other than in keeping building meaningful projects for the community. Collaboration and exchanges among different platforms, however, is what is going to determine their value and success in the long haul. 

The Rainbow Bridge Has Arrived: A Permissionless Bridge to Last 100 Years

The Rainbow Bridge is a fully permissionless and decentralized bridge connecting the NEAR and Ethereum blockchains. 

Rainbow Bridge Specs and Features: 

– Fully Decentralized and Permissionless: Anyone, Anytime, Any Asset. 

– 1000 x Cheaper Gas Fees On NEAR Than Currently On Ethereum 

– Any existing ERC20, ERC721, or NEP-21 token

– Maintain COMPLETE Custody of your assets as you move them between networks

– = A NEAR Community Built AMM is now LIVE

Fee Comparisons: NEAR & Ethereum 

For NEAR Developers: Access all current assets (ERC20, ERC721, ERC998) and decentralized financial products existing on Ethereum, on NEAR. 

For Ethereum Developers: Easily migrate to NEAR if gas fees remain unfeasible, while maintaining your Ethereum-native user base.

It’s All On NEAR Protocol: 

Stablecoins. USDT (Tether), DAI, and TUSD

Wrapped. WBTC and WETH

DEX tokens. UNI and 1INCH

Lending tokens. AAVE and COMP

Service company tokens. HT (Huobi) and CRO (

“The Rainbow Bridge allows developers to utilize Ethereum assets and smart contracts on NEAR—a fast, scalable, and low-cost environment. The Bridge has the power to accelerate community development as it allows ETH users immediate access to apps built on NEAR.”
– Alex Skidanov, Co-Founder of NEAR Protocol

Understanding the Implications of the Rainbow Bridge: What Makes It Special?

The NEAR – Ethereum Rainbow Bridge recently launched, led by NEAR Team Lead Dr. Alex Shevchenko. While the bridge providers seamless interoperability between assets and contracts on NEAR and Ethereum respectively, it also signifies a larger shift in the crypto space: 

(1) DeFi takes a step towards becoming more affordable, 

(2) A new landscape in crypto has emerged for Layer 2 protocols looking to build across Layer 1 chains,

(3) A precedent is set for building open and permissionless bridges between all L1 chains in the future. 

Breaking down these three points reveals that the successful launch of the Rainbow Bridge, coupled with the impending launch of the NEAR EVM has the potential to dramatically and permanently alter the landscape of crypto. 

Affordable DeFi + Ref.Finance Launches! 

The first point that cannot be emphasized enough, is that the Bridge creates a channel for projects to migrate assets onto NEAR so as to make them more affordable to transact and utilize. nDAI (NEAR DAI) is thus capable of being used on Flux Protocol, with minimal transaction costs (especially as compared to Ethereum). 

With the launch of ONLY the Rainbow bridge, assets on Ethereum can migrate across to NEAR to be utilized in Native NEAR solutions like Flux or Octopus Network. This is the basis for powering a native NEAR community AMM known as Ref.Finance. In the early days of interoperability between NEAR and ETH this AMM will allow for the exchange of assets and wrapped NEAR assets on NEAR protocol. 

With the launch of Aurora and the NEAR EVM, affordable DeFi will become a reality for all of crypto. As Dr. Alex Shevchenko explains in detail, any existing Ethereum DeFi project will be able to scalably migrate over to NEAR in an afternoon, and instantly enjoy low transaction costs and fast network speeds for their native ETH products. This equally applies to NFT’s from NEAR going onto ETH marketplaces, as well as visa-versa. 

All in all, this signifies a new era for scalability in the crypto-verse. For the first time, dozens of Dapps on Ethereum that have struggled to scale and grow due to high gas fees, now have a simple, cost-effective, and user-friendly alternative: NEAR Protocol. 

Development of Crypto Across Chains

An important second implication of the launch of the Rainbow Bridge is the significance it holds for current and existing Layer 2 solutions built on Ethereum. Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is with the DEX Aggregator 1inch Exchange: 1inch building its aggregator and AMM across Layer 1 chains: Ethereum, NEAR, Binance Smart Chain, and Tron. More details are explained below by 1inch Co-Founder Sergej Kunz: 

1inch is a new project — launched in late 2019 — that is familiar with the rapidly changing crypto environment. The trend that 1inch embraces – of working across Layer 1 Protocols – is a trend that the Rainbow Bridge will help accelerate into the future. In short, the future of Layer 2 Protocols are going to be across chains. 

Note: This makes the usability facet of NEAR, including its unique account model, especially unique. 

A New Bridge Precedent: The Future is Permissionless and Interoperable

Third and finally, the launch of the Rainbow Bridge is something that should be understood as the start of a trend: Bridging between Layer 1s in a truly permissionless and open fashion. While the NEAR team itself has not commented on any future plans to build further decentralized and permissionless bridges between L1 networks, it would only make sense to replicate the existing bridge development strategy with different ecosystems. Connecting L1 ecosystems in a permissionless and decentralized manner provides (1) a basis for creating positive network effects between protocols, (2) reducing transaction costs, (3) streamlining products and services, and (4) expanding access to different users. 

NEAR is Poised For Takeoff: The Train Is Leaving The Station

About eight months ago, NEAR Protocol launched its mainnet to a small community of token holders, and a number of reputable VCs — a16z, Pantera, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Coinbase Ventures. Since then it has largely flown under the radar for most of crypto in spite of exceptional fundamentals and a strong focus on user-experience. 

A New Phase For NEAR Has Arrived: 

With the launch of the Rainbow Bridge, Open Market Protocol Flux and Pulse, Decentralized exchange Ref.Finance, as well as the upcoming launch of the NEAR EVM and Mintbase on NEAR, NEAR is entering a new phase. Now before you make an instant comparison to another L1 and everything that L1 has going for it, consider the following characteristics that NEAR is positioned to dominate within crypto: 


NEAR is going to be able to scalably handle Ethereum and NEAR applications at affordable rates and with quick transaction speeds with streamlined storage and predictable fees. Once the EVM is launched, NEAR becomes a proper ‘World of dApps Protocol’ that will not only handle congested DeFi dApps on ETH, but also future Open Web solutions relating to Gaming, NFTs, Social Tokens, and the next wave of decentralized finance. 

The Multi-chain Interoperability of the Future

The Rainbow Bridge was the first product that utilizes Rainbow Protocol. Rainbow Protocol provides 80% of the needed infrastructure for replicating the rainbow bridge with other L1 Chains, such as Cosmos and Polkadot. This means, effectively, that NEAR is actually building fully permissionless and decentralized bridges to a network of other protocols. In the game of castles, that means that while other L1s might have bridges to 1 or 2 other protocols (and bridges that are not permissionless or decentralized at that), NEAR will be the hub for interoperability. 

Balaji recently explained why this matters on the Tim Ferris Podcast

“Derivatives might go to a chain that specializes in that. NFTs might go to a chain that specializes in that. Interchain operability will be a big thing. Where assets can be indexed and referenced, even if they are remote – to a particular chain. Bitcoin had no knowledge of other chains. And nowadays chains do have knowledge of other chains.

With the blossoming Sputnik DAO infrastructure on NEAR, NEAR’s focus on interoperability is extremely encouraging for streamlining the next generation of on-chain, community governed organizations that can call contracts and move assets between a universe of chains. 

Remember everything about how community and DAOs are the future of crypto? Well NEAR is building a world of dApps that will be the hub of a universe of chains. It’s happening on NEAR – Yes both, the World of dApps and the Universe of Chains.  

User Experience and the NEAR Account Model

Jumping off from these two points above, we can add the final knock-out punch with the NEAR account model. SO many projects in crypto today are entirely inaccessible for most non-crypto people. There are too many new processes, transfers, and addresses that have to be made, a process that is messy and not user-friendly. NEAR is built from the ground up to fix that problem. That is what the NEAR Account model does so well that other projects either have to try to build into their protocol at a later point, or simply ignore it altogether and limit their scope to crypto-natives. NEAR will scale to entirely new users – the next generation of gamers, existing Fintech, artists, creators, you name it.

NEAR is Future Proof: 

Why does being future proof matter? Because the tempo of innovation into the future is increasing extremely quickly. Existing projects today should enjoy the moment, but anyone interested in the future of the space needs to be asking themselves about the future in an honest manner.

How will interoperability across chains roll out in the coming years? Will that be decentralized and permissionless? Will it have to be? 

How will crypto appeal to the masses or those looking for alternatives to the existing system? Is friendly UX and easy onboarding a means of accelerating that process? 

What type of governance structure will not only be streamlined on a single Layer 1, but also across Layer 1s? How does community-based governance play out in the coming years, with existing infrastructure and silos?

Spotlight in the Open Web Sandbox: The Rainbow Bridge Has Launched!

The launch of the Rainbow Bridge is a monumental accomplishment for the NEAR Team, and a first step towards a future of interoperable and cross-chain innovation. But that is only the beginning. With the launch of the Rainbow Bridge – and the impending launch of the NEAR EVM – a host of applications will start to move onto NEAR Protocol. From DeFi, to NFTs, to Social Tokens, to entire Layer 2 solutions, NEAR is a low-cost, user-friendly solution for projects looking to scale and grow. 

The task for the NEAR Community is to take the value proposition of the Rainbow Bridge far and wide – across the crypto-verse – so that everyone wishing to run a blockchain based application without enormous gas fees can do so on NEAR. 

Rainbow Bridge Spotlight: Spread the Word Far and Wide

To mobilize the NEAR Community, a special spotlight has been created in NEAR’s Open Web Sandbox. A 20% bonus is added onto ALL activities relating to Rainbow Bridge materials, content, social media engagements, and designs. 

Now is the time to join the NEAR Ecosystem and promote the Rainbow Bridge. The Ecosystem is young. The opportunities are plentiful. There is a clear need for community members committed to the vision and mission of NEAR Protocol. 

Jump into the Sandbox and start spreading the word about the Rainbow Bridge today to earn 20% more on your NEAR Rewards! 

The Open Web Collective Batch 2 Demo Day is Coming! Here Are The Projects To Look Out For

Protocol development is a process that takes time. Metrics for success surround the number of active developers as well as the number of new applications launching on top of the protocol. To jumpstart development and build a foundation for years of robust activity, NEAR Protocol has developed its own project development funnel via the Open Web Collective. In short, the Open Web Collective incubates projects, ideas, and founders that can then thrive on top of NEAR for the long-term future. 

This structure is not only important for developing the NEAR Ecosystem and building value behind the NEAR Token, but it also plays a fundamental role in the creation of the Open Web. As the Open Web Collective goes on to describe about it’s second batch of projects, it is incubating “Mission critical infrastructure of the Open Web” including Privacy, Accessibility, Data Management, and Identity. These projects are thus not only building out a new more transparent layer of the internet – but they are also bringing innovative and high value solutions to NEAR. 

From April 13th to the 14th, the Open Web Collective will host a Demo Day featuring presentations from the different projects in the batch. To prepare for that, below is a brief outline of what kinds of emerging projects will be featured from around the globe! Sign Up Here!

Next Generation Decentralized Applications

To kick off the outline of new Open Web Collective projects, it’s important to note that some of these projects have already garnered serious traction and development. The first one of particular interest is Wifi Coin: 

Wifi Coin

The young San Francisco startup has it’s value proposition pinned to the front page of its twitter account: 

In short, Wifi Coin intends to build out one of the first decentralized applications for what is described as being a community-owned global internet provider. While Wifi Coin remains extremely young in its development, it currently has grown into the Airline industry: 

Through the Open Web Collective Wifi Coin is positioned to move beyond the Airline industry into an ever larger number of hotspots around the world. With eSim cards and a future that revolves around data this is one project that is exceptionally well positioned to thrive. 


Mintgate is a project at the intersection of social tokens and NFT’s. As it describes its vision on it’s website

Our collective vision is to create a new way to interact between creators and their audiences by giving the community a way to have a stake in the creator’s success.”

In short, Mintgate is a way for content creators to turn online content into monetizable rewards for community-backers. Only backers are able to access the content, and those backers can then choose to use, sell, or hold onto that access as the value of the content changes over time. In many ways Mintgate can be thought of as the ‘Mintbase’ for Social Tokens. Content from articles, to product blueprints, to tweets, can be locked within Mintbase, and only accessed via the link generated from possessing the token. 


Paras has been featured before on NEAR Without the Noise, and is growing into an NFT giant on NEAR in its own right. As a platform for digital collectables that is equally adding launchpad infrastructure and more tools for artists, Paras provides an exceptionally user-friendly means for minting and selling NFTs. 

Hash Rush 

Hash Rush is a NEAR based survival exploration game. As a first foray into the world of blockchain-based gaming, RUSH is already tradeable on Uniswap. 

The unique value proposition of Hash Rush, and one that will continue to develop as the game evolves over time, is that players can compete in a virtual world, for digital currencies that have real-world value. In this sense, building, fighting, and trading with other players can become a real income stream for some! 


Vetz is a music rights marketplace. Already available as an application in both the Android and iOS store, Vetz can be downloaded and used as a marketplace by artists and songwriters for sharing royalties in their creations. As Vetz describes itself on its website: 

“Vezt is the first mobile app where music fans can share royalty rights for songs and recordings by artists they love. We exist to improve the music industry by providing artists, songwriters, and producers with funding sourced directly from their fans on a global basis. In exchange, fans get the right to receive royalties earned by their favorite songs and recordings.”

Based out of Los Angeles, California, Vetz sees the current value of NFT’s in Art playing an even more important role in upending the music industry! 

Open Finance Teams

Open Finance has been touted as the future of finance, and especially relevant for the global south. Two projects from the second batch of the Open Web Collective have focused on expediting the future of open-finance in two very different ways. 


Kamix is a platform for transferring money, specifically targeted for Africa and the global African Diaspora. While it currently is live in Cameroon, it plans to launch soon in Nigeria as well. 

As a product, Kamix puts affordability and usability first, by making it quick and easy to set up and account, with 0% commission charged on transfers. In 2019, Kamix won the Africa Startup Summit Afric’ Up in Tunis. 

HEO Finance 

HEO Finance is a stable coin crowdfunding platform that intends to build in crypto-economic incentives for early crowdfunders helping to get campaigns off the ground. While crowdfunding has traditionally been plagued with gatekeepers and oversight as to what is allowed to be funded or not, HEO is the first step in revolutionizing the free flow of capital between angel investors and projects, individuals, and movements! 

Privacy for Web3 

NEAR Protocol has established itself as a haven for privacy and privacy advocates, especially after the launch and funding of the Cypherpunk Guild. On NEAR, Privacy is taken seriously as an essential requirement for a prosperous and healthy community. 


Nym describes itself as “developing the infrastructure to prevent data leakage by protecting every packet’s metadata at the network layer.” In short, Nym is a privacy juggernaut looking to not only protect existing users from surveillance capitalist companies and agencies, but to integrate such infrastructure with the rapidly emerging Web3 space. 

Well funded and with a highly qualified team, Nym convincingly compares their solution to VPN’s, TOR, I2P, and Facebook, before discussing scalability on their FAQ questions page. The full NYM whitepaper can be read here.  

For more information check out the Nym Website. Littered with references to Surveillance Capitalism, Five Eyes, the importance of privacy and anonymity, as well as a host of papers and videos, Nym putting their ideas to work in building out the next generation of privacy infrastructure. 

As Awesome NEAR details:

Nym is partnering with the stealth startup Kryptik to release a mixnet which has superior privacy properties to Tor against global passive adversaries. This mixnet is the culmination of years of academic research into surveillance proof networking by the PANORAMIX project.”


Sarcophagus is an Ecosystem built as a ‘dead-man’s switch platform’. In short, Sarcophagus provides a means for accessing the digital identity, keys, and digital materials of a person based on a pre-coded inaction that they fail to do. From political activism, to emergency communication, to will and trust management, Sarcophagus is looking to enable a future where machines will be able to act where users cannot.  

By playing to a system of incentives amongst different stakeholders Sarcophagus creates a host of new services for crypto-users, right at a time when privacy and digitization have made digital ownership a precious commodity: 

With Sarcophagus we witness the activation of code in service of human behavior. Tokenized and managed by a group of distributed stakeholders, a new future awaits with Sarcophagus embedded in our digital systems. 


Verida is a project that believes that data should be owned and managed by users first. In line with the mission of the Open Web to create a world where user owned data becomes the standard, Verida is building decentralized data management technologies for businesses, governments, and individuals to all handle the commodity of the 21st century in a better way. 

From Data Store Servers, to connecting APIs, to trusted transactions and frameworks, to schemas and single-sign on, Verida is building out the base layer infrastructure for a data management system that puts privacy and ownership first. 

Conclusion: The Open Web Collective is Bringing A New Generation of Dapps to Market 

With this second batch of projects scheduled to showcase their products and technology at the Open Web Collective Demo Day, the Open Web Collective continues its march to creating a digital future that is decentralized, open, permissionless, and user-focused. The numerous different solutions from the second batch foreshadow a future of machines, instant payments, tokenized value, and better privacy and data ownership. 

To learn more about the Open Web Collective follow them on Twitter, check out their website or listen to the podcast

The March To An Open Web: The Rainbow Bridge is Live!

The long awaited announcement for the launch of the Rainbow bridge has finally arrived: The NEAR – ETH Rainbow Bridge is live! A new era of interoperability between blockchain ecosystems has begun. Beyond the hype and the enthusiasm for seeing lots of new applications and assets move onto NEAR Protocol, the launch of the Rainbow bridge is a small progression in a much larger process: The prospect of building an Open Web. 

“We live in a vastly interconnected world and the web3 ecosystem is no different. The concept of a new, accessible open web is aimed at making everything interoperable and building a permanent, ownerless, and borderless foundation for the connected global community of which we are all a part of.”

With the successful launch of the bridge, an initial advance has been made in creating a more connected and collaborative crypto-community, specifically between the NEAR and Ethereum Ecosystems:

The Rainbow Bridge allows developers to utilize Ethereum assets and smart contracts on NEAR—a fast, scalable, and low-cost environment. The Bridge has the power to accelerate community development as it allows ETH users immediate access to apps built on NEAR.”

Notably, the real value proposition of the Bridge is that it creates win-win solutions for developers looking to build across blockchains. While in the past, crypto development has been largely focused on expanding infrastructure and solutions inside of a particular ecosystem, the Rainbow bridge inaugurates a paradigm shift for developers looking to create collaborative solutions across ecosystems. This is at the very core of the NEAR Team’s mission in building the bridge. As they originally wrote

We want to freely move our assets and data between the blockchains, or even better — run our product on several blockchains at the same time and leverage each of them…At NEAR, we do not want Ethereum developers to choose between NEAR and Ethereum and commit to only one. We want them to have the same asset on both blockchains and even have apps that seamlessly communicate across the boundary. So we are building a bridge, called Rainbow Bridge, to connect the Ethereum and NEAR blockchains.”

Building the Open Web means building Open Infrastructure for Open-Source Communities interested in collaboratively preserving open systems of money, identity management, and data. The Rainbow Bridge is a massive step towards that future. 

“So a bridge is a way to bring these assets that are originating right now on Ethereum – and bring them to NEAR and unlock all of these abilities. Obviously as this progressed, there are a lot of applications that might have originated on Ethereum but don’t fit right now in the current paradigm of financial craziness. They need a home that still connects to Ethereum because there is still more liquidity there even for non financial assets like NFT’s or some other things. So this bridge can also host arbitrary communication – sending other types of data information – which NFT’s are, and this was also in its purview. So in reality, as it progressed, we kind of realized this can become a platform to really connect with Ethereum and provide all of the functionality that people want early on especially coming from Ethereum, kind of on NEAR – while we still can develop in the Ecosystem.”

Illia Polosukhin 

The Rainbow Bridge: FAQs and Answers

Recently the NEAR Team dropped a huge announcement: 

The launch of the ETH ←→ NEAR Rainbow Bridge. 

In itself, the Bridge holds the promise of providing an interoperable channel for the transfer of assets, data, and cross-chain calls, between the NEAR and Ethereum blockchains. In context the Bridge signifies a monumental enhancement for the crypto-verse: Permissionless interoperability between two parallel blockchain ecosystems building the Open Web.

A simple review of the most common questions surrounding the Rainbow Bridge, as well as the context for its development, and its significance in the Macro Crypto environment helps contextualize this event: 

What is the Context for the Rainbow Bridge? 

What Are the Technical Components of the Rainbow Bridge? 

Is the Rainbow Bridge Decentralized? 

If I am a User What Can I Expect When Using The Bridge? 

What Operations does the bridge execute on the backend, during a Bridge Transfer? 

What is the Significance of the Bridge if I build on NEAR or Ethereum Right Now? 

What, in principle, can be Transferred Across the Bridge? 

What can currently be transferred across the bridge? 

Who Pays for the Bridge Currently? 

What is the Long Term Goal of the Bridge? 

– What is Rainbow Protocol?

What does the Faucet refer to? 

Where Can I Find Analytics Relating to the Bridge? 

What Applications Exist That Currently Utilize the Bridge? 

What is the Context for the Rainbow Bridge? 

Third generation cryptocurrency projects are building refined and enhanced blockchain ecosystems that build upon the successes and challenges of previous projects. NEAR Protocol, incorporates Dynamic Sharding using Nightshade to provide scalability to it’s next-generation platform for decentralized applications. The Rainbow Bridge has been built by the NEAR Team to connect the NEAR blockchain to the Ethereum blockchain – the most popular dApp platform to date. Ethereum, while highly successful, is indisputably suffering from high gas fees as it works to implement the long awaited Ethereum 2.0 Upgrade to its network. 

Ultimately, The Decentralized Web is evolving to the point that two massive parallel blockchain ecosystems can seamlessly interact with one another, to share assets, data transfers, and cross-chain calls. The Open Web is growing up!  

What Are the Technical Components of the Rainbow Bridge? 

– An Ethereum Light Client implemented on NEAR (Including an Ethereum to NEAR Relay Service)

– A NEAR Light Client implemented on Ethereum (Including a NEAR to Ethereum Relay Service) 

– An Ethereum Prover implemented on NEAR, to verify Ethereum Events.

– A NEAR Prover implemented on Ethereum, to verify NEAR Contract Executions.

– ‘Connectors’ enabled by Provers, for locking and minting assets on ETH and NEAR respectively (currently contracts are only available for ERC20 tokens). 

– A Watchdog Service For Challenging Headers from NEAR transactions on the NEAR Light Client in Ethereum (Due to the current latency of NEAR → ETH interactions). 

The respective relays and clients, move and maintain assets across the bridge, while the provers allow for the verification of events/contract execution results from the opposite blockchain. With this base level foundation, specific contracts can be written for different token standards to migrate back and forth between the different blockchains. In fact, Connectors use the core bridge contracts in tandem with header relays and the watchdog to prove that information coming from other blockchains is correct. In essence this is a permissionless Oracle for the movement of assets between chains! 

Is the Rainbow Bridge Decentralized? 

As explained in the release blog, the rainbow bridge “does not require special permission to deploy, maintain, or use. Anyone can deploy a new bridge, use an existing bridge, or join the maintenance of an existing bridge without getting approval from anyone else, not even NEAR Foundation.” 

However, this can be nuanced pendent upon the development and roll-out plan for the Bridge: While the final bridge release will be fully decentralized, it will be ‘rolled-out’ in different stages. Based upon the Bridge Upgradeability and Governance Plan, the bridge starts with PoA based governance and subsequently decentralizes as it upgrades over time. 

If I am a User What Can I Expect When Using The Bridge? 

For users interested in sending assets across the bridge, the experience is similar to other wallet transactions in Crypto:

1. The User Provides Credentials

2. The User Chooses a Beneficiary (address) and an Amount to send

3. The User Initiates the transfer (either using CLI Guide or Rainbow Bridge FE

4. Once the transfer has succeeded, the user is provided with visual confirmation on their interface.

Ta Da! 

What Operations does the bridge execute on the backend, during a Bridge Transfer? 

The example provided in the blog uses the classic characters of Alice and Bob. The basic idea behind the backend transfer can be summarized as follows when Alice transfers DAI to Bob from the Ethereum to the NEAR blockchain: 

1. A Token On Ethereum is Sent and Locked: The respective amount of DAI is transferred from Alice to the Tokenlocker that subsequently locks the tokens.

2. Ethereum client on NEAR blockchain syncs with Ethereum blockchain: Ethereum Client constantly receives the Ethereum block headers from relaying service, and once it receives a block with the transaction from the previous step (plus a sufficient amount of confirmations — 20 for mainnet), the client and a prover contract can be used for proving it.

3. Transfer finalization transaction: A user or any other entity calls the MintableFungibleToken contract (factory) to finalise the transfer. This contract then calls the Ethereum prover (on NEAR) which checks the transaction confirmation (on the Ethereum Client on NEAR). Once it has been verified, the MintableFungibleToken contract reads the Ethereum event and mints the respective amount of nDAI (1:1 equivalent of DAI) for Bob.

Congratulations! That is it.

What is the Significance of the Bridge if I build on NEAR or Ethereum Right Now? 

The Rainbow Bridge allows the NEAR and Ethereum blockchains to communicate with one another. Developers building on NEAR can access all existing assets and decentralized financial products existing on Ethereum. Developers on Ethereum, meanwhile, can easily migrate to NEAR if gas fees remain unfeasible, while “maintaining their Ethereum-native user base.” For more information see the thread by Alex Skidanov Here

A core NEAR developer of the Rainbow Bridge, added this interesting point as well:

What, in principle, can be Transferred Across the Bridge? 

In principle, full interoperability means that any transaction or statement from either blockchain can be verified by the other. According to Alex this “enables any asset transfers, arbitrary cross-chain calls and arbitrary data transfers”. 

What can currently be transferred across the bridge? 

In its current form, support only exists for transferring ERC20 tokens back and forth from Ethereum to NEAR. This is because different sets of contracts have to be built for different token standards (i.e. ERC721 tokens and native tokens). 

Who Pays for the Bridge Currently? 

In its current state, the Rainbow Bridge is maintained by the NEAR Foundation. The Team is carefully designing an incentive structure for those maintaining the bridge by paying for gas from header relays.

To date, the cost of maintaining the bridge rests at roughly 2 ETH per day (due to the NEAR Headers relaying transactions from Ethereum) with negligible costs on the NEAR Side. More details on the costs of transfers is explained by Dr. Alex Shevchenko: 

The costs of these three transactions can be broken down as follows:

– Approval of ERC20 Transfer = 45,000 ETH Gas

– Lock ERC20 Transfer = 35,000 ETH Gas

– Finalise Deposit Transfer Costs = 64 NEAR TGas

 What is the Long Term Goal of the Bridge? 

The Macro view here is key: The Web3 Ecosystem is developing – The Open Web is growing up with the goal of building a “Permanent, Ownerless, and Borderless Foundation” for connected people all over the world. The Rainbow Bridge is a product meant to enhance the evolution and development of Web3 in a mutually beneficial and positive manner for both the Ethereum and NEAR communities. 

What is Rainbow Protocol?

While the Rainbow Bridge refers to the NEAR – ETH Bridge that has just launched between NEAR Protocol and the Ethereum Network, Rainbow Protocol is the underlying infrastructure that will provide decentralized and permissionless bridging between NEAR and other Layer 1 Blockchains in the future. This includes potential bridges to Cosmos, Polkadot, Elrond, and NEO among others. The main components of Rainbow Protocol include Provers, Connectors, Relays, a Watchdog, and Lite Clients for the bridging chain and NEAR Protocol itself.

Figure 1: A blueprint of the Rainbow Bridge that represents the most important facets of Rainbow Protocol. 

What does the Faucet refer to? 

The Faucet refers to a tool in the NEAR Ecosystem that allows Ethereum holders to create a free Account on NEAR. Specifically, with a minimum balance of 0.05 ETH, users can connect their MetaMask account to the Faucet to create a NEAR Account with a specified Account ID. The Faucet has been created to streamline interactivity between Ethereum and NEAR for token holders interested in porting assets between the two chains. 

Where Can I Find Analytics Relating to the Bridge? 

Analytics of the Rainbow Bridge is currently displayed here. The data displayed refers to: The Total Transaction Count, The Total Assets Bridged in USD, The Number of Unique Bridged Users, as well as visualizations of Bridge assets and transaction inputs and outputs. 

What is the plan to decentralize governance of the bridge over time? 

The full bridge upgradeability and governance plan has been released on the NEAR forum by Dr. Alex Shevchenko. The plan is set out in four stages, moving from centralized management to fully decentralized and DAO based management of the bridge. These stages in brief are: 

Stage 1. Centralised governance, no fixed interfaces

Stage 2. Separate multisig governance, proxy patterns

Stage 3. Separate multisig governance, proxy patterns with freeze periods, pausability and escape hatches, fixed interfaces

Stage 4. Validator DAO, proxy patterns with freeze periods, pausability and escape hatches, fixed interfaces

What Applications Exist That Currently Utilize the Bridge? 

To date, there are two primary applications that make use of the Rainbow bridge: Flux Protocol and Flux is a decentralized predictions market protocol preparing to launch on NEAR in the coming weeks. Flux utilizes stable coins to denominate prediction markets. is a community created and governed AMM that allows for the swapping of any bridged tokens with one another. Future apps also include Artificial Exchange, and Mintbase (with the transfer of NFT’s across the bridge).