There was no shortage of inspiring NEAR projects and people on the second day of NEARCON. While the previous day of the conference provided an overview of projects and the foundation of the ecosystem, the second day offered more insight into what is being built. There was a clear message that the open web is more than just financial products; it covers gaming, NFTs, DAOs, DeFi, etc.
My day began with a side-event organized by Kikimora Labs, where people could discuss a range of topics over breakfast. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to many interesting people in an informal setting.
As the conference sessions began, a series of talks explored decentralization from different perspectives, highlighting challenges and offering achievable goals in terms of privacy, governance, and community management.
Co-founder of SWEAT, Oleg Fomenko, shared updates, insights, and opinions on Sweat Economy and the move-to-earn trend in the NEAR ecosystem. The notable exchanges have listed SWEAT so far, including OKX, Bitfinex, FTX, Kucoin, and Bybit.
In the words of Erik Trautman, Author at NEAR Protocol, the core principle of NEAR is to help others to make something people want. The core principle defines a number of subcomponents, including:
- It’s about ecosystem first, not individuals
- It’s about being open and pragmatic, not dogmatic or closed
- It’s about growing and evolving constantly, not settling into today’s solution.
- It’s about making it feel simple to build and use
“Why are we decentralizing? In the Foundation our main question is: how do we accomplish things indirectly? Our goal is certainly not to drive the ecosystem, we want to make ourselves irrelevant over time. Here is where decentralization becomes relevant. In terms of the journey, we have to start with the core team and a core idea, but at one point we take off the rocket booster and hopefully, something is in orbit. This is the design goal we are going for. How over five years can we come to the point where an ecosystem can exist without Foundation?” Erik Trautman said.
Vasilya Rafikova and Sofia Kachula from Open Web Sandbox spoke about decentralized leadership within the NEAR community, where everyone contributes to collective decision-making:
“Technologies are just a tool. People must be empowered by external factors to take initiative, be active and deploy these opportunities. To enable collaboration between projects and individual contributors, the initial plan for Open Web Sandbox was to be a playground. A free space where everyone can learn about NEAR Protocol, create something valuable and get rewarded for contribution.”
Anoma Co-Founder Adrian Brink discussed resilience, sovereignty, and privacy:
“We see that democracies everywhere around the Western world are slowly decaying, and they won’t be around forever to protect us throughout the open market. By controlling what can be known about us and done to us, we are protecting us from those who aim to exact control of our data and ultimately of all aspects of our life. Privacy is what allows people in falling regimes to protect themselves against an overreaching power of that nation state. The financial data we hold is some of the most important data to us. Because it fundamentally reveals what books you buy, what movies you watch, what health insurance you use and even where you live. Now we can build privacy solutions on NEAR,” he said.
The co-founder of NEAR Protocol, Illia Polosukhin, echoed these remarks:
“One of the pitfalls of democracy is that some people don’t want to participate in democracy, while those who are more active end up more represented because they do more work, they go, they vote, and they put more effort into elections. But we have tools to coordinate people to come together, and DAOs are one of the tools,” he said.
“This is an important time for the NEAR protocol because it has two major challenges to overcome: the crypto winter and the increased competition between blockchains. The strongest will win – NEAR will be among them. Why? Just feel NEARCON’s vibe, people come together to win,” Dmitry Grebenyuk, CPO at MyNearWallet, said.
“NEARCON is an excellent opportunity to build and strengthen connections within the NEAR ecosystem. There is no doubt that Web3 will become something massive in the near future, and NEAR is taking concrete steps right now to ensure that happens. Events like this are the essence of opportunities, gathered in one place, and it lets us all feel that the future is in our hands,” said Kikimora Labs co-founder Eugene Rid.
Later in the evening, my new friends, Rocketo, invited me to an after party sponsored by them. I made great new acquaintances and had a lot of fun there.
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