Announcing a $350M Grants DAO for NEAR DeFi Projects

Announcing a $350M Grants DAO for NEAR DeFi Projects

Proximity Labs, a research and development firm targeting the NEAR ecosystem, is excited to announce the creation of a $350M grants DAO aimed at projects, organizations, and individuals building decentralized finance (DeFi) applications on the NEAR blockchain. Well-known DeFi projects Curve.Fi, Sushi, Dodo, Kyber, Woo, and NEAR native projects Ref, Burrow, Onomy and Trisolaris have, or are in the process of launching on NEAR’s secure and scalable blockchain, with more to follow.

To support the burgeoning ecosystem, the grants DAO aims to distribute up to 40M NEAR tokens over a period of 4 years, currently worth over $350M. The application process is open to all projects, with grants ranging from $5,000 to several million.

DeFi builders can express their interest in the grants DAO via this form.

The Latest on NEAR

Over the last few weeks on NEAR, several projects have launched, core infrastructure has been deployed, and total value locked (TVL) crossed the $150M mark. This TVL includes a mix of NEAR native assets such as REF, SKYWARD, and OCT alongside Ethereum assets via the Rainbow Bridge including ETH, USDC, DAI, and USDT. These launches have led to a surge in wallets using NEAR, with more than 1.3 million active accounts on the network.

NEAR and its protocol is primed to become a key layer-1 blockchain for DeFi applications, thanks to its unique design, called Nightshade. While other blockchain protocols require each node in the network to settle every transaction, Nightshade allows transactions to be executed by groups of “shards”. This approach allows different servers to store parts of the blockchain, processing transactions in parallel. As a result, NEAR’s unique design allows limitless scalability alongside fast, cheap and secure transactions.

Pairing DeFi with NEAR’s sharded blockchain means finance will further be made more inclusive for anyone thanks to fast transactions, low fees, and access to cutting-edge financial tools.

NEAR also has one of the most interoperable and versatile frameworks for developers from various backgrounds. It already attracts a mix of multi-chain projects leveraging Aurora, the EVM environment, native projects implemented in Rust, and substrate-based projects via Octopus. No other layer-1 offers this flexibility.

Initially, the DAO will consist of prominent members of the broader DeFi and NEAR ecosystems, and will expand membership over time to include as many engaged community members as possible. We will release more details regarding the DAO’s governance process over the next few weeks.

If you want to try out DeFi on NEAR now, the following products are live:

  • Rainbow Bridge: A bridge for transferring tokens between the NEAR and Ethereum blockchains.

  • Ref Finance: A native NEAR AMM written in Rust that supports multiple pool types and farming

  • Metapool: Liquid staking for NEAR. Turn your NEAR in stNEAR and earn staking rewards while providing liquidity on Ref!

  • Trisolaris: An EVM-based AMM running on Aurora. Compatible with MetaMask!