Building an inclusive and continuously engaged community that can fully leverage the infinite scalability and usability that NEAR offers requires effective decentralisation; enter NEAR Regional Hubs. NEAR Regional Hubs are region-specific communities led by local Web3 natives, entrepreneurs, and early adopters that help individuals and projects connect, learn, and onboard into the NEAR ecosystem. NEAR India Hub is the latest addition to a growing list of regional hubs helping NEAR achieve its mission around the world.

NEARWEEK had a chance to catch up with the NEAR India Hub team and talk about India’s budding developer space, the hub’s activities, and how it is helping NEAR forward its broader mission for Web3.


- The NEAR India Hub is barely a few months old, but its massive potential in a digital-first environment and vibrant developer community makes it ideally positioned to accelerate the mission and vision of NEAR and Web3.

- The founding team behind the hub has over a decade of combined experience in both traditional finance and Web3.

- Primarily a ramp for entrepreneurs and developers looking to build on NEAR, the hub is also an education portal for enthusiasts wanting to learn about NEAR and Web3.

- If you are a developer/entrepreneur in India, look forward to in-person events, hackathons, and entrepreneur residencies.

A Regional Hub in India Makes Complete Sense

India has seen exponential growth in its software technology and developer community over the last decade. Leapfrogging from 81st in 2015 to 40th in 2022 on the Global Innovation index and contributing 7.7% to the country’s GDP are just a few of the exploits of the software technology and engineering industry. But the most impressive of all is that the number of software developers in India is set to overtake the top spot in the world by 2024, currently trailing only the US (approx. 4.4 million). This rapidly growing developer workforce coincides with NEAR’s vision to onboard one billion users to Web3, making it a potentially mutually beneficial partnership.

As developers branch out into new and innovative technologies or applications that solve everyday problems in their community, NEAR India Hub is ideally positioned as the perfect ramp into a thriving Web3 ecosystem, acting as a connective tissue between the developers/entrepreneurs and an active community of users. According to Aayush Gupta, co-founder of the NEAR India Hub, the mission of the hub is centred around “Empowering developers, empowering entrepreneurs to create useful applications on Web3,” and giving direction to a large and eager developer/entrepreneur market in India to push the envelope of innovation.

Banking on UX & Interoperability

The NEAR India Hub is primarily focused on incubating and supporting local projects that want to build on NEAR or, at the very least, explore the world of Web3. But the team knows their work goes even further, in what Gupta describes as “raising awareness” of NEAR in India. The hub is modelled as a ramp into the NEAR ecosystem by supporting projects with resources such as grants, connections to ecosystem partners, and venture support. In-house, the hub will organise hackathons, meet-up events, and entrepreneur residencies to actively engage and interact with local innovators who want to build on NEAR. In addition, the hub has an education portal for anyone who wants to take their first steps into Web3 and the NEAR ecosystems.

Discussing their objectives, Gupta highlights two unique features that give NEAR an advantage and attractiveness over other L1 ecosystems and will make building on NEAR (and Web3 in general) exciting for developers and entrepreneurs in India; NEAR’s interoperability and the user experience on both the developer and user side.

‘This is exactly how we think that NEAR is going to onboard the next billion users, basically simplifying it for both users and developers… I feel like NEAR is better equipped than most of the other ecosystems because we are focused fundamentally on the user experience part.’

Regarding interoperability, Gupta believes NEAR gives project builders the convenience of multiple options within one ecosystem. For example, leveraging the Aurora EVM to build Ethereum-friendly projects. And to make it even better, the developer-side user experience makes it super comfortable for Web2-native developers to seamlessly transition into Web3 by building with languages they are familiar with (JavaScript) or can quickly learn on the fly (Rust) or for developers used to legacy Web3 stacks like Ethereum to feel right at home by building with Solidity.

Getting busy from day one

Despite being in its nascent stage, the NEAR India Hub team rolled its sleeves from day one and already has a project in active beta, Binocs, a crypto taxation platform that allows users to comprehensively comply with crypto-related tax obligations. Outside of Binocs, Gupta says the team has been working closely with at least five other projects and is hopeful they will go live in the coming months. However, he notes a significant challenge in the current state of the crypto market and the dissuasive effect it has on developers and entrepreneurs. But this challenge has a silver lining: it provides the perfect environment to work with builders with a strong vision and who are in it for the long haul.

‘Traditionally, the enthusiasm of the users in this space also moves at random with the price action of the market… But in terms of our efforts. I think this is the time to get the more serious entrepreneurs and developers on board.’

As a budding hub in charge of nurturing immense potential that has to find the right balance between regulations, navigating a challenging market situation, and curating the right projects, the team has its work cut out. But this is where experience comes in, and the team happens to have a lot of it. Co-founders Aayush Gupta and Yash Kanchan both have an extensive background in finance and have been around Web3 for 7+ years.

Looking Forward; Sustainability & The Next Five Years

Well aware of the opportunity at hand to build something massive for India, NEAR, and the world, the NEAR India Hub team is unfazed by the challenge. Still, it is tempering ambition with a realistic eye. Gupta believes the hub can have success stories and solid projects in its portfolio within a year but will only go as far as projecting the first few years because of how unpredictable the world of crypto is.

‘Five years is extremely long when it comes to the technology cycle for a Web3 for the crypto ecosystem as a whole, right? So, I think we will go step by step and probably be focused on the first couple of years.

Sustainability is one of the critical questions that every hub has to answer and work out for themselves. For Gupta, finding mutually beneficial ways of being intricately linked to projects can guarantee minimal sustainability.

‘I think a model where the Regional Hub has skin in the game, and receives benefits from a project’s success can be a great recipe for sustainability… that’s what will lead to sustainability for us in the long term.’

The willingness to support and invest in a project, taking a chance on its risks, implies great trust in the projects and can be a huge confidence boost for innovators knowing that the hub is willing to go that extra mile with them.

The NEAR India Hub is still settling in, but the team is highly ambitious and firmly believes in what they can achieve as a community. With the obvious potential in India and how experienced the team is, it is easy to see why.

Connect and stay up to date with the NEAR India Hub here.

Written by Beet

About NEAR Protocol

NEAR is a dynamically sharded Proof-of-Stake, carbon-neutral blockchain built for usability and scalability. NEAR combines the power of both PoS and sharding in a technology called Nightshade, making the chain infinitely scalable without compromising security and decentralization.


NEARWEEK is one of the first decentralized news sources within the NEAR ecosystem. Through the production of quality content, news, and promotional support, NEARWEEK unleashes the full potential of its promotional channels with the aim of becoming the social epicenter of the NEAR ecosystem.

DELVING DEEPER : NEAR INDIA was originally published in NEAR Protocol on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.