$100M fund to boost the growth of Metaverse, Gaming, and NFT for NEAR
In the past 2 weeks, Near has had many important updates which signal the potential growth of the ecosystem in the upcoming periods. If you want to be kept informed about every movement of Near, you should not miss this “Near Panorama” series - where you can see the big picture of Near and also deep insights into each segment in the ecosystem.
Near Ecosystem Overview
NearCon - Near’s conference, has been held as a chance for the builders of various Near projects to come together and exchange ideas. This can lead to many collaborations in the future, which benefits the Near ecosystem as a whole.
The first lending project will be deployed on Near soon. Lending - one of the most important legos in an ecosystem is the sector that Near is now missing. The arrival of Burrow - a lending protocol, is expected to be an important milestone for Near.
The expansion of Metaverse, Gaming, and NFT on Near is accelerated by a $100M investment from NEAR and the partnering VCs. This fund shows the commitment of the Near Foundation to the development of this sector on Near.
Aurora - the EVM compatible chain built on Near, showed a clear sign of an aggressive expansion in no time. The IDO of Aurora has received huge attention from the community and many key protocols will be deployed on Aurora soon.
NEAR will launch Simple Nightshade on November 15th. This is the 1st phase in the 4 sharding phases of Near, promising a better experience for users on Near through the ultra-fast transaction speed and robust security.
Burrow - a new lending project on Near will be launched soon.
Near TVL reached a new ATH of $158.52M on November 12th.
The number of daily transactions on Near is kept at a high level of around 300,00 txns in the first half of November 2021.
The increase in TVL and daily transactions shows that Near is trying to create more activities (staking, farming, participating in IDO,...) on different protocols to keep users staying in the ecosystem.
The number of stablecoin bridged via Rainbow Bridge still records a steady growth. The quantity of USDT and DAI transferred to Near has reached 8.2M and 6.6M respectively.
Whereas, Oin Finance, the project that promised to bring the native stablecoin to Near by allowing staking stNear to mint the stablecoin stUSD, has not come into operation yet.
Stablecoin is an essential factor to facilitate economic activities in an ecosystem. It acts as a store of value, and an effective collateral asset for lending and borrowing. Therefore, a native stablecoin plays a vital role in encouraging more transactions in the ecosystem when users can save time bridging and directly use the Near-native stablecoin for their economic activities.
Lending & Borrowing
As I mentioned before, the most important update in this sector is the arrival of the first lending protocol on Near - Burrow.
Burrow is a project granted by Proximity Labs, the lab behind many key projects on Near such as Ref Finance, Meta Pool, Skyward Finance,... Therefore, we can expect that Burrow will be the next key protocol in the Near ecosystem together with the above-mentioned projects by Proximity Labs.
Burrow can bootstrap high liquidity for the Near ecosystem. Burrow enables users to borrow against NEAR, stNEAR, stETH,... to mint stablecoins. This unlocks the full potential of assets on Near by allowing users to leverage their positions and increase capital efficiency.
Ref Finance had supported the launch of Burrow by increasing incentives for 2 pairs of stablecoins (USDT and DAI). As a result, more stablecoins were transferred to Near, which has generated enough liquidity for the money market on Burrow at launch.
Burrow has announced that the testnet will be released soon, so we will wait for the initial launch of this next important lego on Near to see how Burrow can capture more value for the ecosystem.
The TVL of Ref Finance reached a new ATH of 123M on November 12th. This may partially be explained by the fact that Ref Finance has been really active in attracting users to the platform. Its UI has been updated and a new triple reward farm has been announced, allowing users to earn 3 tokens (PULSE, REF, NEAR) simultaneously.
Up to this date, Ref Finance is the leading AMM protocol on Near, so by tracking the growth of Ref Finance we can also spot the growth of the whole ecosystem.
Gaming, NFT, Metaverse
Gaming, NFT, and Metaverse have received a $100M investment from Near Foundation to accelerate the development of this sector. Top 10 projects in this field are announced with the appearance of the 2 familiar names (Paras, Mintbase) and many other names such as TaoBao Maker Festival (“Too Rich City” collection on Paras); Reality Chain (metaverse built on Octopus Network); OP Games (Web3 gaming platform has raised $8 million in the seed round),...
This sector on Near is still in the first stage and does not have many notable projects. This fund can be a catalyst for the development of this sector. However, I think that this will not happen in the short term as Near needs time to develop its NFTs and games before it can truly build a metaverse.
Aurora (EVM compatible chain built on Near)
The IDO of Aurora received a huge amount of attention from the community. The community interest was so significant that NEAR RPC had experienced certain congestion due to high incoming requests. Up to this date, Aurora IDO had completed ⅔ rounds on 2 platforms SmartPad and BocaChica with the total amount raised in the first platform of 695.5 ETH ~ $3M.
Aurora has shown clear signs of a boom in its DeFi ecosystem. This is represented in the arrival of new projects on Aurora together with their incentive programs and the near future of the deployment of many key protocols (SushiSwap, 1Inch,..) on this chain.
NearPad DEX has been deployed on Aurora and users can bridge assets from Near/ Ethereum to Aurora and enjoy 0 gas fee when trading in this ecosystem. NearPad is offering high APYs (~1,000%) to bootstrap liquidity so you can deposit some assets from Near to earn an attractive amount on this platform.
With regard to DEXs, you can also seek another earning opportunity from the native DEX of Aurora - TriSolaris. This project is granted by Proximity Labs, so it can be considered quite legit. TriSolaris has not launched its tokens yet, whereas 70% of $TRI tokens will be allocated to “Community and Incentives”. Therefore you can try to “skin in the game” and wait for possible retroactive programs from the projects.
In addition, you can now easily track the development of Aurora on DeFi Llama. The TVL of Aurora is currently ~$613,000, solely from TriSolaris. More protocols may be added in the future when they are officially launched on Aurora.
This week, Rainbow Bridge has released its 2.0 design to improve users' experience, which can encourage more transactions via this bridge and bring more assets to Near.
Statistically, the total value of assets via Rainbow Bridge is still increasing steadily and has reached 77M. This indicates that Near continues to attract outflow capital to the ecosystem.However, besides Aurora, Rainbow Bridge only allows transferring assets from Ethereum to Near, which means that users must bear significantly high gas fees. In the future, Allbridge will support bridging to Near from other chains having lower gas fees: Polygon, Solana,... to encourage more capital flow to the ecosystem.
The first appchain on Octopus Network DeBio Network has launched IDO on SkyWard Finance with a total of 6.5M $DBIO distributed. Participants deposited $NEAR from November 7th to November 13th, which will start to be converted into $DBIO on November 14th and the sales will end on November 20th. Octopus Network has supported the launch of its first appchain by offering a total of 200k $OCT for participants in this IDO.
To sum up, here are some highlights of the Near ecosystem recently:
- Burrow - the first lending protocol will be launched on Near soon.
- Aurora - the EVM chain built on Near, has shown clear signs of an aggressive expansion.
- Gaming, NFT, and Metaverse are expected to have many updates soon.
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