Ecosystem Leaders Explaining their Projects

Ecosystem Leaders Explaining their Projects

To celebrate the milestone of 1000 teams building on NEAR, we reached out to a number of them to shed some light on the people behind the projects.

Over the course of 10 weeks, you will read some personal insights of these NEAR Ecosystem leaders.

Today’s question (answers in random order):


Illia Polosukhin - Co-Founder @ NEAR ProtocolNEAR Protocol

NEAR Protocol is aimed at giving people control over their assets, data and power of governance. At the core of NEAR is a developer platform focused on usability, security and scalability. NEAR is the place where novel projects are able to build web3 experiences for the mass market without worrying about infrastructure.

Alex Shevshenko - CEO @ AuroraAurora Labs

Aurora is a modern L2 solution, aimed at scaling Ethereum through advanced tech developed by NEAR protocol (1s finality and high throughput). Aurora consists of an EVM execution environment working as a smart contract on top of NEAR, highly scalable (at least x20 in terms of performance / price of anything in the market) Web3-compatible RPC (docs), Aurora+ – a user dashboard focused on better blockchain UX (subscriptions, free txs, and planned payment on behalf of the user for txs, integration with TouchID and FaceID; see more in this launch event) with 120k registered users and a Rainbow Bridge – the fully trustless and permissionless generic (ERC-20 and arbitrary messages) bridge between Ethereum, NEAR and Aurora (a single trustless bridge in the market).

Aurora launched in May 2021, reached $2.5B in TVL and $1.5B in total token value bridged over the Rainbow bridge before market crash; with 200+ applications running and 2.5M transactions per week and lowest transaction fees among L2s in the market. Aurora base token is ETH. In the Aurora infrastructure setup one can find The Graph, Etherscan, Covalent, Infura, Flux (an oracle with Chainlink interface) and other prominent projects. Aurora protocol is governed by the Aurora DAO, which launched AURORA – a governance token – to decentralize the governance even further. The main developer of the Aurora protocol is Aurora Labs – a spin out from NEAR Inc., counting 75+ team members as of November 2022.

Louis Liu - Founder @ Octopus NetworkOctopus Network

Octopus Network, an infrastructure protocol on NEAR blockchain, provides security and interoperability to appchains.

Bowen Wang - Head of Protocol @ PagodaPagoda

Pagoda is the first-ever Web3 Startup Platform where developers and entrepreneurs can build, launch, and operate new blockchain-based products and services. As a primary builder of the NEAR Protocol, Pagoda delivers capacity, velocity, simplicity, and affordability needed to power tomorrow’s Web3 startups.

Sandi Fatić - CEO @ Calimero NetworkCalimero Network

Doing business on a public blockchain can be expensive, and it can be privacy-invasive, as all the information is visible to everyone. We are solving this problem at Calimero.

Calimero Network is a privacy and scalability sidechain built on top of NEAR. It offers an infrastructure management console that enables you to deploy your Private Shard and start developing, testing and deploying contracts in a matter of seconds.

Users can connect to private or public blockchain applications like DeFi, NFTs, on-chain KYC and more. All that without any compromise on confidentiality and privacy, as well as with minimal costs (the transactions within the Shard are free).

Utilizing private shards can be immensely beneficial for businesses, allowing them to partially or entirely migrate their operations to Calimero, bridging the gap between the private and public networks, safeguarding the data on the private network with minimal cost.


Claudio Cossio - Co-founder @ Meta PoolMeta Pool

Meta Pool is the leading liquid staking solution for $NEAR and wNEAR token holders. Users staking $NEAR and wNEAR with Meta Pool receive in exchange stNEAR ('staked NEAR') tokens.

stNEAR is a yield bearing asset, accruing in value every epoch (~12 hours) meaning that you keep earning staking rewards, while you can use stNEAR for DeFi (e.g. lending, farming, borrowing) on NEAR and Aurora.

It is the only liquid staking derivate on NEAR that is fully supported through custodial services solutions like Fireblocks, FINOA and Qredo.

Evie - Business Development Manager @ TrisolarisTrisolaris

Trisolaris is the first DEX on the Aurora Network, the EVM smart contract on the Near Protocol. After more than a year, it remains the dominant DEX with the highest liquidity, most volume and options. We are backed by grants from Near and Aurora and also prominent VCs in the space such as Electric Capital and Jump.

Fauve Altman - Marketing Lead @ Ref FinanceRef Finance

Ref Finance is the main DEX on NEAR, the one-stop shop to access all the assets on NEAR protocol and to bridge between many ecosystems. Ref Finance is a DEX, offering limit orders and smart routing to keep offering the best prices, with an angle to be a liquidity provider and access more assets. With new Lite and Pro UI, Ref Finance will be targeting more sophisticated traders to keep on growing as a trading platform.

Marko - CEO @ Tonic DEXTonic DEX

Tonic is a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) designed to bring the speed and convenience of traditional exchanges, without having to rely on centralized authorities or middlemen to trade digital assets.

Tonic offers a suite of trading products that enables users to swap tokens and to trade spot or perpetual futures.

Ran Yi - Co-Founder @ Orderly NetworkOrderly Network

Orderly Network is a permissionless trading infrastructure bolstered with high performance, deep liquidity, security, scalability, and composability, to empower Web3 builders to create innovative decentralized applications.

As we gradually roll out the roadmap, developers can tap into a wide range of products we offer, including Spot Trading, Perpetual Futures, Community Pool, Lending & Borrowing, and Cross Chain Swaps to tailor dApps to the specific needs of their users.

On the other hand, traders using any dApp within the Orderly Network ecosystem will enjoy low latency, minimum fees, deep liquidity, and great interoperability.

Uladzislau Dziarkach - CPO @ RoketoRoketo

Roketo is a recurring payments (subscriptions) service that helps Web3 products add extra utility to your token or NFT.

Thus, both the sender and the recipient can interrupt the transfer of tokens at any time, pause it, or resume it. The main feature of this type of transfer is that both the sender and the recipient return to themselves what already belongs to them.


Carolin Wend - COO @ MintbaseMintbase

Mintbase is a NFT protocol on NEAR, empowering the next wave of entrepreneurs. Any NEAR NFT contract is listed by the Mintbase indexer automatically, making it a truly interoperable environment on NEAr. With a $5million grants program, Mintbase supports fellow builders aiming to spin up their own marketplaces quickly.

Chris Gale - Co-founder @ Few and FarFew and Far

Few and Far is the next-generation platform for experiences in Web3,and working with top brands and IP owners in the digital collectible space.

Few and Far is building bleeding-edge tools to enable creators to customize, mint, and scale their projects. And, at 98% lower fees than other blockchains.

Riqi - Founder/CEO @ ParasParas

Paras is an all-in-one social NFT marketplace for creators and collectors. Paras helps users create, buy, and sell their digital collectibles in a fast and cheap blockchain infrastructure.


Oleg Fomenko - Co-Founder @ Sweat EconomySweat Economy

Sweat Economy was created to help the world to become more physically active. It started with a Web2 app, Sweatcoin, which was the most downloaded health and fitness app globally in 2022, and has a total of 130M users.

Last summer, we launched into crypto with the Sweat Wallet app and $SWEAT - our token. This was our vision to allow millions to ‘walk into crypto’, and to further reward users for their movement and begin what we are terming the ‘open economy of movement’ with $SWEAT - the principal unit of physical activity value - at the heart of it.

Sweat Wallet is consistently one of the most used DApps in the world, which is pretty incredible considering that at launch it only had staking and rewards functionality. We expect the user base to keep increasing with the new features we have just added, including a Portfolio feature to manage tokens beyond $SWEAT in the app, Learn and Earn to allow our users who are overwhelmingly new to web3 to increase their level of knowledge while earning token rewards and our new NFT game, Sweat Hero. Very soon you will also be able to do token swap without leaving our app and here are more details on our roadmap.

Jon Hook - Co-Founder @ PlayEmberPlayEmber

PlayEmber are building the critical infrastructure and gaming experiences to onboard the next billion mass casual gamers and consumers into web3. We have 100 million downloads of our mobile games, 5 million DAU and we are on a mission to bring blockchain technology to the masses and making gaming even more entertaining.


Blaze - Champion @ NEAR Digital CollectiveNDC (NEAR Digital Collective)

The NDC (NEAR Digital Collective) issues funds from the community treasury to help keep NEAR growing and thriving.

The NDC, originally envisioned by Illia Polosukhin, the co-founder of NEAR Protocol, is now a fully fledged movement led by the NEAR Community. Its goal is to establish a community treasury and governance that allows the ecosystem to collectively make decisions on everything from funding to elected representatives and more. It's a significant step towards creating a truly decentralized network.

Aliaksandr Hudzilin - Co-creator & DAO member @ Human GuildHuman Guild

Human Guild is a founder community that was established in 2021 with the mission to reward every human for bringing their creations to the world. HG initially focused on quantifying this goal by tracking the number of people earning NEAR weekly across all non DeFi farming use cases. In the summer of 2021, HG noticed a lot of interest in building games on NEAR, leading to a focus on game development through game jams and YouTube cross-promotion. By 2022, HG was working with around 75 projects, with 50 of them being games.

As of 2022, I also opened an offline space in San Francisco called Homebrew Crypto Club alongside Vlad and Alex Skidanov from early NEAR. Space is focused on Web3 collaboration in San Francisco, and includes folks from both NEAR, Ethereum and soon other ecosystems.