2020 NEAR In Review & Ecosystem Tour – NEAR Protocol

2020 NEAR In Review & Ecosystem Tour

December 23, 2020

Most of us won’t be sorry to say goodbye to 2020, but this year was a big one for NEAR. From Ready Layer One to announcing the NEAR Foundation, Hacking the Rainbow to launching the NEAR Mainnet, there are many milestones to be proud of. So, to every developer, staker, validator, builder, maker, and contributor, thank you for being a part of this community and building the Open Web with us.

Why not spend some holiday downtime trying out cool things around the NEARverse? We’ll get you started. If you’re new to the ecosystem or want a refresher, try the Beginner’s Guide deep dive. Or choose your own adventure below: Learn for watching and reading, Build for developer onboarding, Try to play around with live projects, Join for Community and Guild resources, and Give to share the love. 

Learn 👩‍💻 

Amazing projects are already taking advantage of NEAR’s building experience. Check out the use cases page for all the details on how Flux Protocol, Mintbase, and Zed.Run are leveraging NEAR’s speed and low-cost development to grow their user communities in ways that weren’t possible before.

Electric Capital released the 2020 edition of their Developer Report this month and features lots of excellent NEAR growth stats. Some highlights: NEAR grew our developer community by 3x, is one of the top 10 gainers of devs, and has about the same number of developers as Ethereum did at this point in its growth timeline! 

The NEAR Whiteboard Series features a technical leader from another protocol in casual conversation with NEAR engineers—comparing approaches, unpacking concepts, and discussing challenges. Recent episodes feature Alexey Akhunov on TurboGeth and Adrian Manning from Sigma Prime

Build 🛠️ 

To dive in and start tinkering with some example apps, head to to dive in. For a high-level overview of how applications are put together on NEAR and a suggested path you can use to learn how to build your own, head to the Building Applications page.

For more in-depth intro content and tutorials to guide you on your way, check out our educational NEAR 101 video and NEAR 102 for ETH developers. You’ll find lots of other onboarding resources on our YouTube if you fall down the rabbit hole!

Join us on Discord to reach out, ask questions, get the latest news, and find fellow builders to exchange ideas and collaborate. We’re here to help.

Try 🤳

There are tons of cool applications live on NEAR today! The OG NEAR app, Berry Club, is a yield farming app that lets you draw with pixels and earn 🥑 tokens. Start eating and climb that leaderboard. (Fun fact: the first version was built in December 2018, making Berry Club even older than the NEAR TestNet! Happy 2nd Birthday, Berry!)

Paras, now live on MainNet, is an NFT digital art card marketplace powered by NEAR and IPFS. Collectors can discover and collect art cards built with tech that prevents forgery and provides provable ownership. Artists create digital art cards and sell them on the marketplace in just a few clicks; active artists on the platform have earned thousands of NEAR in just the first two weeks!

Is Santa bringing you a new phone this year? Glyde provides buyers and sellers of used mobile phones a higher level of transparency, security, and trust – and uses NEAR smart contracts to minimize fraud.

Join 🤝

A clear 2020 highlight for NEAR has been the growth of our community. Our vibrant network of contributors building with and on NEAR has evolved into a resilient, decentralized organization in their own right. 

Our December Town Hall focused on NEAR Guilds. A guild is a community with a unique identity based on a shared purpose and goals. We have regional guilds, guilds focused around common knowledge and skills, domain-specific guilds focused on particular use cases, and more. The Town Hall featured 5 emerging Guild leaders from around the world, but there are lots more Guilds to explore on

  • Chloe gave a tour of Createbase, a guild supporting experimental art projects that contribute to the NFT ecosystem on NEAR in collaboration with Mintbase. Learn more about their funding support, education resources, and Advent Calendar on their Wiki
  • Henry AKA Blaze shared Open Shard Alliance, a network of professional validators who launched GuildNet, the first decentralized, sharded implementation of NEAR. OSA are the masterminds behind and Narwallets.
  • Jitendra presented NEAR India, a regional guild focused on growing the NEAR India community through awareness, education (including materials in regional languages from across India), and empowering local developer communities. Talk to them!
  • Ash introduced the NEAR Marketing Guild, a global group of advocates dedicated to spreading the word about NEAR initiatives and making shareable developer content. 
  • Michael AKA Ozymandius presented 4NTS, an OG guild dedicated to expanding the NEAR ecosystem and advancing the Open Web vision. 4NTS are also the maker-maintainers of the self-organized NEAR Guilds home base!

Give 🎁

To send us all off in the spirit of the season, the NEAR Foundation and a few friendly collaborators in the ecosystem decided to team up and donate to Coin Center today. Regulatory advocacy is more important than ever in the blockchain space and it’s important to support the people doing the hard work on our collective behalf. The NEAR Foundation has donated $25,000. Thanks to the projects who joined us: Celo Foundation, Solana Foundation, Interchain Foundation, and The Graph Foundation. 

If you hold NEAR and want to spread cheer, try out NearNames. It’s a fun holiday app that lets you gift NEAR accounts in an easy flow for crypto natives and newbies alike. Bring them aboard with a personalized account name (24K+ accounts are live on NEAR so far!) and then send them this post to help them get started in the ecosystem.

The Future is NEAR! ✨

Early 2021 will bring lots of exciting initiatives, so don’t forget to follow along on Twitter and our governance Forum to hear the latest. We will announce the launch of the NEAR Grants Program, debut improvements to the NEAR community governance experience, and share exciting updates about the Rainbow Bridge. And that’s just in January.

Happy holidays and see you next year!

Don’t forget to join us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter.

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