Hey NEAR and Hip Hop Heads!

Get ready for our first consumer-facing NFT pop-up shop! This project sprang from the mind of Ed Young, one of the co-founders of the bible of hip-hop: The Source Magazine. He had this crazy idea, our team thought it was rad, and so we built it with him. What did we build? An epic collection of hip hop icons that you can own: Hip Hop Heads.

The Hip Hop Heads First Edition NFT Collection is a tribute to the history and culture of hip hop, 47 years after its inception in the Bronx, New York City. The collection features 103 animated portraits of famous figures from Hip Hop created by André LeRoy Davis for “The Last Word” feature of The Source over the last few decades.

The marketplace auction is officially live! Check out the entire collection at Every day from now, Juneteenth, until July 25, one new edition of each Hip-Hop Head will be added to the auction. Each Hip-Hop Head will start with a reserve price and the current bid is bonded with the item until it is outbid or the auction closes. If a bid is returned, fans can immediately use the returned credits to bid again.

Here’s the best part: cash rules everything around me. Fans can purchase these NFTs with a credit card. The marketplace offers an easier way to buy NFTs than ever before: no complicated onboarding, no passing through an exchange, just a simple, familiar purchasing experience made possible on NEAR. Check out the auction flow in the graphic below. And at the end of the auction on day 37, each winning buyer’s NFTs will display right in their NEAR wallet. Boom. It’s radical.

Another cool part: NFT royalties on NEAR are written right into the NFT code, which means that any secondary sales will automatically distribute royalties back to the creators, even if the NFT moves into different marketplaces. This is uniquely possible on NEAR thanks to the protocol’s contract-level NFT standard. On-chain, programmable royalties at the smart contract level put creative and financial power back in the hands of artists, and when you buy a NEAR NFT, you can be certain that the creators you love will continue to benefit from their work. A percentage of the royalties from the Hip Hop Heads NFT auctions and secondary sales will be gifted in perpetuity to the artists depicted or to their estates by Ed Young and André LeRoy Davis.

I’m so pumped to announce this launch. This carries a lot of personal weight for me. I remember the very first time I listened to “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).” Hip hop never let me go after that. It’s funny in some ways; imagine an angsty, small-town white kid, chasing his older brother and his surfer punk friends to the beach and singing every word to “C.R.E.A.M.” But in other ways, this was destined to happen because of the work of Ed Young at The Source. Hip hop has been a force pushing culture for almost 50 years, and now it is bridging into what’s been a somewhat fringe technology for the last five. This remix of crypto and hip hop is the first of what I’m sure will be many: a brand-new blend of culture and technology is now becoming possible.

We built this for people – fans – who know the feeling. Hip hop is so much more than music, and if you want to truly own a piece of its history, you should get on this! Try it out, start bidding, and let us know what you think. You only have 36 chambers…I mean days.

Bid on your favorite Hip Hop Head at!

After the boom of decentralized finance in 2020, the blockchain industry has turned its attention to NFTs. Artists, celebrities, and blockchain enthusiasts alike are minting, buying, and selling NFTs. But NFTs aren’t without controversy. Many people are against them because:

  • Minting an NFT costs so much gas it becomes unviable for smaller artists.
  • NFTs run on technology that has a large, negative impact on the environment.

These are concerns that can both be addressed. The NEAR Foundation is excited to announce Green NFTs, a project where several environmentally conscious artists create art that will be put up for sale in a South Pole store on Mintbase. Half of the proceeds from these artworks will go to the artist and the other half will go to a selection of certified climate action projects developed by South Pole, an award-winning project developer.

View the Green NFT Project on Mintbase

South Pole projects range from protecting a strategic wildlife corridor in Zimbabwe and empowering local communities to generating renewable energy and helping create the circular economy with efficient waste disposal. While cutting carbon is the science underpinning their projects, building a socially just world is at the heart of what they do.

“We need to think about our impact on nature and take decisions that offset our impact. There aren’t that many crypto-art initiatives that are ethical and green, but NEAR and Mintbase fit the bill.” – Barbara Tosti, artist

Collaborating For the Greater Good

Because Mintbase is built on NEAR, creating a store and minting NFTs is affordable, fast, and scalable. Anyone can mint NFTs and sell them for whatever price they want, even if that’s less than ten dollars. Previously, gas fees would have made that economically unviable, but NFTs shouldn’t be a rich people’s game.

That’s not all. Artist collaborations have become much easier, because Mintbase allows anyone to easily split both the revenue and royalties of a piece of art. All you need to do is define who gets what percentage. The smart contract will do the rest. Consider how this encourages novelists to write a book together, musicians to compose music together, and artists to work together with climate organizations for the greater good.

Built on Carbon-Neutral Technology

Green NFTs are only possible because the underlying infrastructure is carbon-neutral. The NEAR Foundation has been working together with South Pole to measure and offset its carbon footprint, and South Pole recently awarded the NEAR protocol its climate-neutral product label.

NEAR purchased carbon offsets from South Pole’s certified climate action projects to compensate for all direct and indirect emissions associated with the blockchain. Importantly, the NEAR protocol uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism instead of a proof-of-work consensus mechanism, which means that the NEAR protocol’s carbon emissions only amount to a fraction of any proof-of-work blockchain.

Measuring the carbon footprint of any blockchain is still a new field with many gray areas. Developments and changes to current methodologies can be expected as the field develops over time. But it’s important to start measuring today and iterate until we get it right instead of waiting for the perfect solution.

“The environment should be at the core of any technological product. I lost interest in crypto-art when I learned about its environmental impact, but NEAR is on the right path to dealing with this problem.” – Riccardo Torresi, artist

A Step in the Right Direction

NFTs needn’t be expensive to create and they needn’t be bad for the climate. Instead, when the infrastructure is clean and when the incentives are aligned properly, they can be a force for good. Linking NFT art and their proceeds to real projects with measurable climate benefits can nudge NFT creators and buyers toward valuable social and environmental causes.

The Green NFT project is one of the first examples of how this can be made possible. We believe it’s a step in the right direction, and hope to see many other projects contributing in similar ways for the greater good in the NEAR future. Keep your eyes out on our social media channels for an announcement on where you’ll be able to see and buy art from the Green NFT project.

“Nobody is without sin when it comes to their carbon footprint. But, while I don’t think anybody can be perfect, you can try to make better individual choices, particularly when the right solutions are already out there.” – Zeitwarp, artist

View the Green NFT Project on Mintbase

As well as storing carbon, forests provide innumerable benefits to humans and wildlife alike. This picture shows a sunset over the Kariba Forest Protection project.  | Credit: South Pole

Partnership with Ceramic brings streaming data and cross-chain identity protocols to NEAR developers.

Developers building on NEAR Protocol now have a powerful way to manage user identities and dynamic off-chain data in their applications. Ceramic, the decentralized network for data stream processing, now supports NEAR wallets.

NEAR is currently hosting an Open Web Community Hackathon with a prize for integrating IDX profiles on Ceramic with a NEAR Sputnik DAO. To participate, check out the hackathon prize!

Blockchain, Data, & Identity: a full stack for Web3 developers

NEAR offers developers the most dev-friendly and end-user accessible infrastructure for building decentralized apps and services. Great Web3 and DeFi apps require more than a smart contract platform. They also need sophisticated, scalable, and dependable data management infrastructure for app builders using smart contracts. Ceramic provides advanced database-like features such as mutability, version control, access control, and programmable logic. It is also the foundation for IDX, Web3’s first cross-chain identity model.

With the integration of Ceramic on NEAR Protocol, developers on NEAR can: 

  • Build data-rich user experiences and social features on fully decentralized tech
  • Give users cloud-like backup, sync, and recovery without running a centralized server
  • Publish content on the open web without the need to anchor IPFS hashes on-chain
  • Leverage interoperable profiles, social graphs and reputations across the Web3 ecosystem

Ceramic now supports NEAR wallets

Starting today, developers building applications on NEAR can easily add support for Ceramic and IDX in their application with a seamless user experience. NEAR key pairs have been added as a supported signing and authentication method for Ceramic’s data streams, so users can now perform transactions on Ceramic with their existing NEAR wallets. 

Developers have already started combining NEAR and Ceramic to create new applications such as NEAR Personas, which links a NEAR wallet to a DID.

About Ceramic: Decentralized data streams

Ceramic provides developers with database-like functionality for storing all kinds of dynamic, mutable content. This finally gives developers a Web3 native way to add critical features like rich identities (profiles, reputation, social graphs), user-generated content (posts, interactions), dynamic application-data, and much more.

Ceramic’s unique stream-based architecture is designed to handle any type of data model at web-scale volume and latency. Built on top of open standards including IPFS, libp2p, and DIDs and compatible with any raw storage protocol like Filecoin or Arweave, all information stored on Ceramic exists within a permissionless cross-chain network that lets developers tap into an ever growing library of identities and data while using their preferred stack.

IDX: Cross-chain identity and user-centric data

Identity is the first use case enabled by Ceramic’s building blocks for open source information. IDX (identity index) is a cross-chain identity protocol that inherits Ceramic’s properties to provide developers with a user-centric replacement for server-siloed user tables. By making it easy to structure and associate data to a user’s personal index, IDX lets applications save, discover, and route to users’ data.

The IDX SDK makes it simple to manage users and deliver great data-driven experiences using the same NEAR keys and wallets as developers and users are already relying on. Users can also link multiple keys, from any wallet and multiple blockchains, to the same identity. This is essential to developers who want to serve users over time, as it enables key rotation, data interoperability across accounts, and rich cross-chain profiles, reputations and experiences.

Getting started with Ceramic on NEAR

  • NEAR is currently hosting an Open Web Community hackathon! There is a prize for integrating IDX profiles on Ceramic with theSputnik DAO platform, built on NEAR. For more information, head to the NEAR Forum.
  • To install NEAR, start with our documentation.
  • To add IDX to your project, follow this installation guide.
  • To use Ceramic for streams without IDX, follow this installation guide.
  • Regardless of which option you choose, you should also select 3ID Connect as your DID wallet during the authentication process which handles the integration with NEAR wallets.
  • For questions or support, join the Ceramic Discord and the NEAR Discord.

Aurora Provides an Ethereum Layer-2 Experience

The explosive growth of DeFi and NFTs frequently causes surges in Ethereum gas prices––a problem that economically limits the participation of many users, and prevents dApp developers from scaling their businesses to their full potential. To address these challenges, we’re proud to announce the mainnet release of Aurora, a turnkey solution for developers seeking to extend their dApps to reach additional markets.

Aurora runs on NEAR Protocol and takes advantage of its many unique features, including sharding and developer gas fee remuneration. Aurora consists of two core components: the Aurora Engine runtime, which allows for the seamless deployment of Solidity and Vyper smart contracts, and the Aurora Bridge (based on the Rainbow Bridge technology), providing for the permissionless transfer of tokens and data between Ethereum and Aurora. 

Aurora provides a number of enhancements for developers:

  1. Aurora fees are up to 1,000x lower than Ethereum’s. For example, the cost of transferring a ERC-20 token is below $0.01, while for Ethereum (at 50 Gwei and an ETH price of $3,000), it’s around $5.40.
  2. Aurora is able to host thousands of transactions per second, representing an increase of 50x compared to Ethereum 1.0. 
  3. Aurora transaction finality inherits from the underlying NEAR Protocol, i.e. two NEAR blocks, or approximately two seconds—substantially lower even than a single block confirmation time of 13 seconds in Ethereum (which is not enough for transaction finality). Also, fast finality of NEAR blockchain reduces significantly the risk of frontrunning attacks.
  4. Ecosystem growth on Aurora is future-proof: the sharding approach of the underlying NEAR Protocol provides for horizontal EVM scaling, with asynchronous communication between multiple Aurora shards.
  5. Aurora offers a greener option for Ethereum users: full, uncompromising Ethereum compatibility on top of the decentralised and climate-neutral Proof-of-Stake L1 NEAR Protocol.

Aurora solves the current and future computational challenges of the Ethereum ecosystem, while preserving the existing engineering investment in both smart contracts and front-end code.

Aurora architecture

Aurora is implemented as a smart contract on the NEAR blockchain. What does this mean?

  1. Aurora can benefit from all current and future advantages of NEAR blockchain
  2. Simplification of the early-stage maintenance, upgrade, and governance of Aurora, enabling rapid response times in case of emergency such as the discovery of security vulnerabilities. 
  3. Soon after launch, the plan is to make use of SputnikDAO version 2, a customizable DAO-based governance framework on NEAR, to launch AuroraDAO for ecosystem governance.

The current architecture of Aurora looks as follows:

Aurora Engine Diagram

The Aurora smart contract implements two main interfaces: Execution and Token. The Execution interface allows users to send ordinary Ethereum transactions (for example, created with MetaMask, ethers.js or Underneath, these transactions get decoded (RLP), verified (secp256k1), and executed in the EVM runtime (Sputnik VM).

Some operations allowed in the EVM runtime may be moved to the NEAR Protocol level (and thus become precompiles) in case a smart contract does not deliver the target performance. For example, there is currently  a scheduled NEAR Protocol upgrade, which will include an extended Math API.

Aurora also allows for permissionless token bridging. It uses the Rainbow Bridge technology for transfers from Ethereum and internal NEAR token transfers to allow for NEAR-native assets to be transferred to Aurora. Thus Aurora becomes a point of connection for Ethereum and NEAR economies.

Aurora Workflow


In case of the need for additional precompiles, a protocol upgrade will be proposed to NEAR validators. The information on the required precompiles will be collected once sufficient load testing has been performed.

As per the outcome of the discussion on the Aurora base token, the EVM runtime will maintain native balances in Ether (ETH). This means that a user should move their ETH over the Aurora Bridge before sending any other transactions.

In order not to confuse users, the team decided that the Aurora contract will implement a fungible token interface, which will represent the user’s ETH balance in both the NEAR base runtime and the Aurora runtime. Users should be able to withdraw and deposit ETH to NEAR, and this will be implemented as a separate bridge connector interface, which underneath will speak to the core bridge contracts. This became possible due to the extensible and permissionless nature of the Rainbow Bridge protocol (see more on the bridge architecture here).

The code for the Aurora contract and adjacent tools can be found in the Aurora organisation on Github.

Using ETH to pay for gas fees on Aurora

One of the most notable design decisions is the use of ETH as the base currency within Aurora, for the payment of transaction fees. While a lot of the Ethereum layer 2s require users and developers to acquire the L2’s native tokens, Aurora wants to offer a straightforward, seamless experience for users and developers from the Ethereum community.

The approach is the following:

  1. To understand the ETH gas price in the Aurora runtime, a standard JSON-RPC endpoint `eth_gasPrice` is used. The returned value will be used for the future ETH payment to the RPC node (see step 6).
  2. A user signs an ordinary Ethereum transaction with their familiar tools (MetaMask, Wallet Connect compatible wallet, CLI, JS libraries, etc.) and sends it to the RPC.
  3. The RPC wraps the Ethereum transaction into a NEAR transaction and sends it to the Aurora contract.
  4. On the protocol level, the RPC signature is verified and the initial Ethereum transaction is passed to the Aurora Engine contract.
  5. The Aurora Engine contract parses the Ethereum transaction and executes it, calculating the EVM gas usage on the way. By the end of the Ethereum transaction execution, some NEAR gas is already burned (according to the rules of NEAR Protocol), while ETH gas is just a calculated number in the Aurora contract.
  6. In order to pay for the NEAR gas fee, ETH is used: the Aurora contract calculates the transaction fee and transfers it from the user account to the RPC account.

This approach is viewed from the user side as just paying ETH to the protocol, while in fact it is the $NEAR token which is used for the fees, and RPC nodes acting as proxies/relayers between the user and the NEAR blockchain.

As the first step, the RPC would be able to provide the ETH gas price that will be sufficient for paying for the relaying service. Moreover, based on the responses from the multiple RPC nodes, users would be able to decide which one to use. In the future, relaying services may be structured similarly to OpenGSN.

Find more information on ETH as the base token in this governance forum discussion.

Aurora Roadmap

Besides hotfixing Aurora after its release, the team has the following major milestones in mind:

  • Summer 2021:
    • Uncompromising Ethereum compatibility. At the moment there are several minor updates to the NEAR Protocol that are going to be included in the next protocol upgrade, so as to enable Aurora to achieve 100% compatibility with Ethereum 1.0.
    • DAO formation. We believe that the only way forward with projects like Aurora is to implement a truly decentralised governance and upgradability approach. Accordingly, we’re going to establish a DAO to govern Aurora.
    • [Potential] token inception. Once the DAO forms, there will be a decision regarding the creation of an Aurora token. Discussions will happen over the summer.
  • Autumn 2021:
    • Fast token transfers. Because of the limitations of the Ethereum blockchain (high transaction fees, slow finality of transactions, and the absence of EIP-665), transfers over the Rainbow Bridge in the direction of Ethereum are currently slow: it can take up to 16 hours for a transfer from NEAR to Ethereum. We are going to solve this problem for fungible token transfers.
    • Simplified “Hide the Blockchain” Experience. The advanced account model of NEAR Protocol enables seamless interaction with the blockchain even for users who aren’t familiar with crypto UX elements like  wallets and additional software. In fact, there’s a way to completely hide the blockchain details from the end user. We plan to introduce a similar logic to Aurora.
    • Gas fee denominated in ERC-20s. The way the Aurora RPC works gives us an ability to naturally propose to the user to pay the transaction fee with any ERC-20 token. In other words, users could pay their transaction fee in USDT or DAI.
  • 2022:
    • Horizontal scaling. The major feature of the NEAR Protocol is sharding and the ability to dynamically scale the blockchain. Our end goal is to deliver this functionality to the Ethereum ecosystem through enabling sharding for Aurora.

Try Aurora Today 

With low costs, best-in-class transaction finality, and scalability, Aurora redefines what is possible in the Ethereum ecosystem while also expanding NEAR’s ecosystem to welcome and accommodate EVM-based applications.

With Aurora, Ethereum users can work with familiar applications while benefiting from the efficiency of NEAR; as the transaction cost is several orders of magnitude cheaper than that of Ethereum, Aurora removes a steep financial barrier to entry for users and developers––especially newcomers to the ecosystem. Our goal is to create an interoperable future where the gaps between blockchains, developers, and users are bridged. Aurora does just that by allowing for a seamless user experience and allowing assets to pass uninterrupted between the Ethereum and NEAR blockchains. Merging crypto-economies can facilitate the development of creator communities that will bring this technology to the mainstream.

Aurora is fully compatible with Ethereum 1.0, including base fees paid in ETH and out-of-the-box operability with all existing wallets and other tools. To start using Aurora, please visit

Join the Aurora community via our official Telegram group, Developer Telegram group,  Support Telegram group, and follow us on Twitter

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Post by Yessin Schiegg

Builders on NEAR, join us and offset your carbon footprint! How can a decentralized blockchain that uses energy be climate neutral? – It can, by a commitment to measure, reduce, and offset its carbon footprint with green projects. NEAR Protocol has been awarded the Climate Neutral Product Label from South Pole.

We, as human beings, are inherently a threat to our planet’s climate by emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. However, by making the right choices, we can create systems that reduce and even remove emissions and preserve a healthy environment. A tribe that plants more trees than it chops down may claim climate neutrality, even though its members are making fires. To sustain a healthy climate, we need to reach a net-zero level of emissions which involves reducing emissions as much as possible and then removing the remaining emissions either through nature-based solutions or technological solutions that draw CO2 out of the air. Otherwise, the level of greenhouse gases in the world’s atmosphere continues to increase, leading to global warming.

Technical carbon-capturing solutions are still rare and expensive. Currently, nature offers the only reasonably cost-effective carbon-capturing mechanism. Chlorophyll is the molecule that is vital for photosynthesis and renders our world green. It allows plants to absorb energy from light by capturing CO2 and emitting oxygen into the atmosphere. 

Planting trees is a great solution, but it is wiser and less expensive to reduce carbon emission in the first place. Significant areas to start reducing carbon emissions are the systems that we control ourselves. If we cannot reduce our own carbon footprints, we can reduce the carbon footprint in other systems. For example, an airline can’t eliminate its carbon footprint with today’s technologies. Therefore, the airline could reduce the CO2 production by replacing the combustion engine-powered shuttle systems of its airports with green alternatives powered by renewable energy. If it becomes prohibitively expensive to reduce the carbon emissions in a particular system, resources can be transferred to another system to pay for the necessary reduction. This is essentially how carbon offsetting functions.

Saving the climate is not a matter of faith, as many believe in error. It’s a matter of science and commitment. Science helps us set the necessary targets, which we reach by measuring, reducing, removing, and offsetting carbon emissions. Measuring a company’s carbon footprint is not easy and never perfect. It’s nevertheless a great start to begin to understand the impact of your company on nature. The commitment to improve our situation then helps deploy the resources required to bring an emissions balance to our planet. 

For a decentralized protocol like NEAR, it does not matter that not every participant is carbon neutral, but the network should be carbon neutral as a whole. NEAR Foundation engaged South Pole, the leading low-carbon project developer, and climate solutions provider, to measure NEAR Protocol’s carbon footprint and meet its climate neutrality commitment. By offsetting the first year’s emissions by supporting tree-planting projects and seeking to reduce avoidable emissions until the second accounting year, NEAR achieved South Pole’s Carbon Neutral Product Label 2021. The three green projects supported by NEAR are Kariba Forest Protection, Vegachi Forest Restoration, and Afognak Forest Carbon, as listed here.

South Pole assessed NEAR Protocol’s carbon footprint by considering the emissions of NEAR Foundation, the Members of NEAR’s Core Collective, the NEAR Validators, and the use phase of the Protocol (NEAR users initiating transactions). Following the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Standard, the scope of the footprint accounting encompassed both direct and indirect emissions associated with the NEAR Protocol: everything from electricity use, heating, and cooling, to purchased goods and services such as hardware and cloud services, to generated waste as well as travel, commuting and teleworking activities. Data that was not centrally available was surveyed, and South Pole critically reviewed the feedback and data before NEAR’s carbon footprint was calculated from these inputs. A surprise was that business travel and commuting by the Core Collective Members accounted for most of NEAR Protocol’s carbon emissions.

Simultaneously, the use phase, namely the online activity around transaction initiation, constitutes only a tiny fraction of the footprint. The emissions from validator activity play a significant role for NEAR’s indirect emissions relative to other categories. However, this needs to be understood in the light of an overall small footprint due to the advantages of a proof-of-stake protocol instead of proof-of-work. While NEAR’s footprint can be expected to increase with future scaling, both validator activity and use phase can be expected to stay by far below the enormous climate footprint of proof-of-work networks. This finding, therefore, supports the notion that proof-of-stake offers a more climate-friendly alternative to proof-of-work. The quantification of NEAR’s first footprint was done to the best available methodological knowledge. Due to the early stage of performing this for proof-of-stake blockchains, some future changes can be anticipated, and to be on the safe side, NEAR decided to compensate a bit more than was calculated by South Pole.

By pioneering climate-friendly solutions, NEAR Protocol attracts like-minded people who are seeking to commit to improving the climate too. While doing your transactions on the NEAR Protocol is offsetting CO2 already. But we are looking at innovative ways to take it a step further so that every project building on NEAR can easily measure and offset its carbon footprint! Plenty of ideas are emerging, and separate projects are currently being formalized. One of them could be very positive for the climate: With the upcoming release of the NFT platform Mintbase on NEAR, crypto artists will create NFT art pieces that thematize South Pole projects. The artists will then auction the NFTs off, and a large part of the proceeds will go directly to the CO2 compensation projects in developing countries. These projects are results-based, so a project only gets paid for its emission reduction once measured and verified by an independent 3rd party auditor.

If you would like to build on NEAR Protocol while offsetting your CO2 footprint, participate as an artist in the NFT project, or have an idea for any climate-friendly initiative, please reach us at We look forward to discussing with you how blockchain technology can help improve the world.

Arroz Estúdios is a Lisbon based Art Studio that has been open for more than two and a half years. With more than eight thousand members, the studio space boasts a physical area of fourteen Estúdios, two galleries, a co-working space, an outdoor bar and pizzeria, a garden and a venue capable of fitting more than 500 people. Arroz Estúdios is the future of the creator economy, and a fast learner of all things relating to the intersection of Art and Crypto. 

As one of the biggest projects of its kind in the city of Lisbon, Arroz started experimenting with Createbase, Digital Art and Non-Fungible Tokens in the fall of 2020. After successfully having launched a physical / digital art exhibition earlier this year, Arroz Estúdios has partnered up with the NEAR Foundation to host another exhibition for aspiring artists – this time with studio space available for low income artists! 

Planting A.I.R. (Artists in Residence)! 

Having secured funding from the NEAR Foundation, Arroz Estúdios is hosting a first-of-its kind event that will provide five artists with a four to eight week residency. 

During this time, the artists will not only have the opportunity to dive into the emerging world of digital art,  they will also be documenting their journey for the NEAR community of creators to follow along. As stated in the proposal, Arroz Estúdios offers the following as part of the program: 

  • Studio space
  • Learning resources
  • Equipment & Materials
  • Career support & development
  • Workshops (with our studio holders Art Progression Now)
  • Exhibition opportunities (inside the Estúdios and with Art Progression Now)

How To Apply?

A three week open call was launched last week. Interested artists can submit past work, their educational background, their artistic field of interest, existing portfolio, project proposal, detailed project schedule, CV and motivational letter. 

For more information in Portuguese click here. If you are ready to apply, the Open Call Submission Form can be filled out here

“We have had about 50 people already apply to exhibit with us for the next Rare Effect Exhibition, which is a huge uptake relative to the last one. The NFT space is changing so rapidly: Reaching out to people now compared to 6 months ago – everyone knows what an NFT is which means we can reach out to more artists, while also putting forward a great opportunity for Portuguese Artists!”  – Steven 

A New Frontier For Artists: The Creator Economy

Createbase is a community for creators/projects on Mintbase, an NFT minting platform on NEAR which is also based out of Lisbon- a growing hub for crypto and tech. 

With artists from all over the world familiarizing themselves with NFTs and the future of creator owned, creator distributed art, Arroz Estúdios is pioneering one of the first physical spaces for jumpstarting a creator economy in Lisbon. The goal of the initiative aligns with the fundamental values grounding the original development and growth of Arroz Estúdios:

  1. To promote freedom of expression. To provide a safe space for anyone coming to the studio to create anything they would like to express or imagine. 
  2. To integrate with local communities and to promote Portuguese art on an international level. In the context of the Planting A.I.R. event, this will provide low-income artists in Portugal with a platform to showcase their art to the world. 
  3. To bring international artists to Lisbon and Portugal for both events and learning purposes. 

As with previous events, Arroz Estúdios will be using the upcoming Planting A.I.R. project launch to attract musicians and artists from around the world to the growing creative hub in Lisbon. 

To find out more about the Arroz Studio event check out their approved proposal here. To join the growing community of Artists on NEAR Protocol, jump into the Createbase telegram chat! 


If you’re a developer who wants to see what building on NEAR is all about, check out the NEAR documentation to get started. If you want to be part of the NEAR community, join our Discord or Telegram channels or follow NEAR on Twitter.

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