NEAR Announces $800 Million Funding Initiative Towards Firing Up Ecosystem Growth
The NEAR Protocol announced that it was launching an $800 million funding initiative. The funds would be earmarked towards the growth and development of the NEAR ecosystem, with the largest allocation from the fund set to go towards the protocol’s DeFi sector.
As a result of the announcement, the price of the NEAR token has skyrocketed, pushing up by almost 30%.
A Monumental Announcement
NEAR’s announcement that it is launching its $800 million funding initiative is a record of sorts and includes $350 million in funding that Proximity Labs announced during the previous week. The announcement strongly boosts the already high momentum that the NEAR ecosystem has been undergoing over the past year. The NEAR Protocol will look at giving all communities access to the funding, with a stronger focus on decentralized Finance (DeFi).
DeFi On NEAR
With NEAR’s focus on DeFi, it is important to acknowledge that DeFi and DeFi projects on NEAR have hit a significant milestone, with over $150 million in Total Value Locked (TVL). NEAR hopes that with the current funding, it can grow DeFi and the TVL quickly and securely, with the protocol also focusing on NFT, Gaming, and DAO-focused projects.
Breakup Of The Funding Initiative
NEAR has also shared details of how the funds from the funding initiative will be allocated. Out of the $800 million, $250 million have been earmarked for already existing projects and will be distributed over a period of four years. $100 million will be distributed amongst a group of 20 startups, while a further $100 million will be allocated towards the development of the NEAR Protocol’s international communities.
The most substantial allocation of $350 million would go towards a new DeFi development DAO. NEAR has secured the backing of the biggest names in the industry, with backers including the likes of Coinbase, a16z, and Pantera. It also includes a project that Y Combinator incubates. Prior to the current announcement, the NEAR protocol already had allocated $45 million across over 120 projects.
The Next Sharding Phase
NEAR’s grant announcement comes a day before #NEARCON, The NEAR Protocol’s conference to be held in Lisbon. The NEAR Protocol will also be launching its next sharding phase later in the year. The launch will see the protocol go from one shard to four shards, significantly increasing scalability without compromising security.
Focus On NFTs And DAOs
NEAR’s ecosystem is also looking at including NFTs and video games, with 10,000 NEARNaut NFTs that will be launched in December. Additionally, 25,000 NEAR tokens were awarded to Vorto-Gaming, a play-to-earn project backed by ConsenSys.
NEAR has also launched the On-Chain Communities (OCC) platform Astro. The launch of Astro will reinvigorate DAO communities. As a result of these announcements, the NEAR token has shot up by nearly 30%.