What Drives our Ecosystem Leaders to Keep on Building?

What Drives our Ecosystem Leaders to Keep on Building?

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

Opening up opportunities is always something that has driven me. Through AI or blockchain - it’s the ability for people to do more with less, to not have limits of their creativity. Giving people control provides a unique way to unlock this.

Alex Shevshenko - CEO @ AuroraAurora Labs

I want to democratize the tech and bring the control back in the user’s hands from enterprises.

Louis Liu - Founder @ Octopus NetworkOctopus Network

Most likely, Crypto/Web3 is my only chance to make an impact on the Internet evolution path, then improve both efficiency and fairness for society.

Bowen Wang - Head of Protocol @ PagodaPagoda

The work is very challenging and exciting. We encounter new challenges that have not been solved by others on a daily basis. I can truly feel that we are at the frontier of technology and build things that would push the boundary of what blockchains are capable of doing

The protocol is fundamental to NEAR’s success and I can see the direct impact of my work on the growth of the NEAR ecosystem.

Sandi Fatić - CEO @ Calimero NetworkCalimero Network

I always loved the idea of decentralization and making systems which can provide better trust between entities. Originally, I’m from Croatia which has a lot of problems with nepotism and corruption across the public and private sector which ingrained a crypto anarchy view of the world into me: “I believe some of these core problems can be solved with technology.”

That is one of the main reasons why blockchain and Web3 really resonated with me joining the industry in 2017. Back then it was too early and I got a really good offer from Facebook which I knew would look good on my CV, so I decided to join there after my short professional journey in Web3, but even during my time at Facebook I was researching and building in Web3 in my free time.

When I met the NEAR team I knew if somebody is going to build a scalable blockchain it will be them and I decided to join. I always had an entrepreneurial mindset and had 2 failed startups before. 2 years later, with Illia’s support, I got the opportunity to spinoff Calimero into a separate company to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3.

Being in the industry for a while, we have realized that there is a solution: there are common problems on bringing more Web2 use cases into Web3, blockchains are built to be transparency engines - not designed for most of the Web2 use cases on it’s own, also I don’t like the trend of declining privacy in general.

That should be better managed as privacy is one of the basic human rights in my opinion, even if you’re not aware of it at this moment - tomorrow you might regret jeopardizing your privacy, especially on a public ledger which cannot be changed. Using Calimero’s blog section, we’re working on educating everybody.


Claudio Cossio - Co-founder @ Meta PoolMeta Pool

My co-founder Lucio and myself have been building software products for more than 20 years and when the opportunity presented to build on Web3, we jumped full feet to deliver solutions around NEAR Protocol.

We are at the forefront of building technology solutions for the internet, for us is the opportunity to deliver value to everyone in emerging markets. We feel that this will be the next big opportunity for individuals and organizations to own the value they create online.

So when we launch a Liquid Staking Derivative (LSD) on NEAR, we immediately saw the opportunity to also onboard Aurora through staking wNEAR tokens through the Rainbow Bridge. Then we started to build products around LSD tokens, such as a crowdfunding platform so more projects can launch on NEAR with Meta Yield and now we are also creating a secondary bond market for those projects that are already live on mainnet and are interested in leveraging a bond to offer their project tokens at a discount.

Evie - Business Development Manager @ TrisolarisTrisolaris

Web3/crypto is a passion of mine and I would like to make a difference in the Near Protocol ecosystem – my favorite chain.

Fauve Altman - Marketing Lead @ Ref FinanceRef Finance

For many reasons, but first and foremost, because I believe in what blockchain technology has to offer to people. Technological advancements, more opportunities for more people to work and financial wise. It is highly stimulating to work in an environment where you have to brainstorm and adapt constantly and basically build new paths; it stimulates neuroplasticity!

Marko - CEO @ Tonic DEXTonic DEX

I believe strongly in building decentralized financial products for two reasons:

  1. Traditional finance is heavily centralized, with a small number of large institutions holding significant power and influence. Decentralized systems on the other hand distribute power and decision-making, reducing the risk of a single point of failure.

  2. In a centralized system, innovation can be slow and difficult to achieve, since a small number of decision-makers control the direction of the system. Decentralized systems, on the other hand, are often more open and permissionless, enabling anyone to contribute to the development of the system. This can lead to rapid innovation and the creation of new financial products and services that better meet the needs of users. We’ve experienced this at Tonic with teams building on top of us.

Ran Yi - Co-Founder @ Orderly NetworkOrderly Network

I’d say that one of the reasons that motivates me to keep building day-in day-out is my belief in decentralized finance (DeFi). I believe DeFi will eventually be bigger than CeFi in the long run.

One of the observations that prompted us to build Orderly Network, is the growing number of professional traders and market makers entering the DeFi space. We think that automated Market Makers (AMMs) are designed for retail traders and often do not facilitate a more sophisticated trading experience. There is a massive demand for Orderbook-style DEXs. However, very few of them are currently able to provide the trading experience required, falling short on liquidity, speed of transactions, and cost of trading.

The key order book infrastructure is still missing in the DeFi space, but we can build this missing piece of multi-chain infrastructure for the future by leveraging our expertise and resources in both TradFi and DeFi.

There is still a long way to go as it’s just the beginning for the industry and for Orderly Network. I am building just like most of the Web3 builders who share the same vision.

Uladzislau Dziarkach - CPO @ RoketoRoketo

Roketo's mission is to enable users to seamlessly use their common Web-2 practises in Web-3.


Carolin Wend - COO @ MintbaseMintbase

I believe that web3 and decentralization will make the world better by being more transparent.

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

I love building new tech, pushing boundaries and launching partnerships. It's what gets me up in the morning. There is so much opportunity and uncharted territory in Web3, it's hard to find time to sleep!

Riqi - Founder/CEO @ ParasParas

I believe NFTs are still in the early stage, which means there is a lot more that we can explore. NFTs, as a technology, can bring a lot of benefits to people all around the world. NFTs can change how we live in the future, and I want Paras to be part of it.


Oleg Fomenko - Co-Founder @ Sweat EconomySweat Economy

The obvious answer is to get people to become and stay more physically active, but I suppose we need to take it one step further than that. Movement is a goal in itself, because it feels great. However, it is really the consequences of healthy movement habits that we are interested in. We believe that when you begin to value your movement, you can begin to catalyze all sorts of benefits in your life - be healthier, improve your mood, become more productive, live longer. No exclusive or expensive equipment required; this is for everyone.

In addition, it does feel good that in addition to making the world more physically active we can introduce tens of millions of people to web3, educate them about the future of money and become a tool that helps them not only become healthier, but also wealthier.

Lastly, because I am having a tremendous amount of fun building something that has not been done before by anybody in the world. It does feel good to innovate, make mistakes, fix them and have positive impact on people’s lives - be it our users, our partners or our colleagues.

Jon Hook - Co-Founder @ PlayEmberPlayEmber

Simple: we love making mobile games for people to play all over the world. We have been making mobile games for years with over 1 billion downloads, multiple no1 games, and working with IP. And our team loves creating new gaming experiences leveraging the latest technology.


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

As Champion for the NDC initiative in the community, my day-to-day consists of meeting with ecosystem contributors, communities, and leaders to build awareness around the NDC and helping the Governance Working Group (GWG) with day-to-day operations.

Sasha Baksht - Founder @ Learn Near ClubLearn Near Club

Today’s world is broken.Everything seems to be set upside down.

Education is no exception. The word “education” itself got “corrupted” too. It is entirely about “Ministry of Education”, “Board of Education”, Departaments, Unions, and other organizations, you name it. Teachers and professors, led by the operational overhead from the above, are forced to pursue artificial educational plans and metrics. Getting paid pretty well, though. Learners are left somewhere at the very bottom in this educational vertical.

It is time to bring learning back to normal, back to learners.

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

I am interested in getting the economy started on top of NEAR, which means that some people need to create something of value for others, and ideally be able to get paid for it. I enjoy working with founders & trying to be helpful to them. It’s early days of web3 ecosystems, and help is important.