Korea BUIDL Week Recap: One Account to Rule Them All – NEAR Protocol

Korea BUIDL Week Recap: One Account to Rule Them All

April 3, 2024

Last week, Korea BUIDL Week was the epicenter of cutting-edge thought leadership in Web3. From cross-chain innovations to the convergence of AI and blockchain, the week brought together industry pioneers to explore the technologies shaping the decentralized future.

Chain Abstraction Day Tackles Interoperability

Chain Abstraction Day kicked Korea BUIDL Week off by tackling the need for seamless blockchain interoperability. NEAR’s Co-founder and CEO, Illia Polosukhin, made a compelling case for “Why Web3 Needs Chain Abstraction” by highlighting how abstracting away individual chains can unlock Web3’s full potential. Mike Purvis of Proximity Labs then painted a vision of “Ushering in the Era of Bridgeless Cross-Chain DeFi,” while Riqi Ras presented “Bitcoin Beyond Gold”, showcasing snippets of a testnet transaction where a NEAR account signed transactions on Bitcoin. This proof-of-concept highlighted the potential of chain signatures to not just interact with Bitcoin, but even enable trading of Bitcoin Ordinals natively using the cross-chain signing capabilities. 

Blockchain Brain Trust: Vitalik Envisions Account Abstraction, Illia Unleashes Chain Signatures

At BUIDL Asia, anticipation was high for Vitalik Buterin’s talk on “The Future of Account Abstraction.” By abstracting user accounts, he explored enabling frictionless cross-chain experiences. “The next 10 years are going to be about really upgrading the ecosystem at the user level,” Buterin said at the event. Illia Polosukhin then took center stage, announcing NEAR’s groundbreaking “Chain Signatures” for managing assets across chains via a single account. Illia demonstrated how Chain Signatures allow signing transactions on multiple chains from a single NEAR account, paving the way for seamless cross-chain dApp development.

Illia and Vitalik later joined forces for a can’t-miss fireside chat dissecting the “AI/Crypto Fact vs Fiction.” As two towering minds in their respective fields, they offered unparalleled insights into AI’s transformative potential for Web3. The lively discussion separated hype from reality, exploring how AI could enhance privacy, scalability, and usability of decentralized systems. Vitalik and Illia also examined the risks of centralized AI models and the importance of developing decentralized AI aligned with Web3’s core values.

ETH Seoul Dives Deep into Chain Signatures and Decentralized Intelligence

The event baton was then passed to ETH Seoul, where Mike Purvis expounded on “Chain Signatures: Cross-Chain Without Bridges.” Purvis explained how this technology enables secure cross-chain communication, eliminating the need for centralized bridges. He demonstrated how it could pave the way for seamless blockchain interoperability and conducted a workshop showcasing potential use cases.  Boris Polania made a case for “Decentralized Intelligence”  discussing how combining blockchain transparency with AI data analysis could revolutionize collective decision-making processes. The conference featured comprehensive developer tracks put together by DevHub, covering everything from building on NEAR to integrating Chain Signatures. ETH Seoul also hosted a hackathon where teams built innovative decentralized apps, with members of the NEAR ecosystem serving as judges to evaluate and provide feedback on the projects. 

DeFiBrain, an AI-powered DeFi investment assistant that harnesses NEAR to discover and analyze promising DeFi products, won NEAR’s Chain Signatures bounty and ETH Seoul’s first prize. DeFiBrain impressed with its advanced AI models and seamless NEAR integration. The first prize of $5,000 for the NEARDevHub’s “AI Governance is NEAR” bounty was awarded to Connor AI, which integrates AI into DAOs to automate execution processes and empower decentralized decision-making. Connor AI was commended for its novel AI-DAO approach.

Vitalik Outlines Ethereum’s Scaling Roadmap, Illia Tackles AI Misconceptions

Not to be outdone, Vitalik outlined his vision for Ethereum’s future in “Dencun: Where We Go From Here.” During his talk, he primarily focused on EIP 4844, also known as “Blobs”, which represents a significant upgrade for Ethereum scaling. This upgrade allows Layer 2 networks to post batched transactions at a much lower cost. Consequently, Vitalik issued a call-to-action, encouraging developers to build solutions for today’s needs. Closing the event, Illia Polosukhin delivered a talk cheekily titled “Secrets About AI that Web3 Doesn’t Want You To Know,” likely pulling back the curtain on AI’s game-changing implications. Illia’s provocative talk challenged misconceptions about the limitations of current AI while hinting at potential breakthroughs that could supercharge decentralized applications.

SheFi Emphasizes Cultivating Inclusive Web3 Communities

Finally, SheFi spotlighted building inclusive Web3 communities. NEAR’s Yadira Blocker led the discussion on cultivating Web3 culture and community – a critical topic as the ecosystem grows. The panel emphasized genuine communities are earned through authentic connections, not purchased. It also discussed how global Web3 communities localize efforts while valuing in-person meetups to drive progress collaboratively. Unlike Web2, community heavily influences Web3 marketing and adoption.

From multi-chain architectures to AI convergence, Korea BUIDL Week demonstrated that Web3 is rapidly evolving towards a future of seamless cross-chain functionality, enhanced intelligence, and open participation. The insights shared will undoubtedly help shape the coming decades of decentralized innovation.

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