NEAR @ ETHDenver Breakdown: We Came, We Saw, We Abstracted! – NEAR Protocol

NEAR @ ETHDenver Breakdown: We Came, We Saw, We Abstracted!

March 7, 2024

NEAR’s presence at ETHDenver was nothing short of a triumph, demonstrating that collaboration is the key to success in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency. Forget about going it alone – NEAR brought the entire ecosystem to the party, and the results were epic.

Here’s A Taste Of The Near-Flavored Goodness That Went Down

The week kicked off with Altan Tutar’s insightful presentation, “The Future of DeFi: NEAR Protocol’s Role and Potential,” where he shared NEAR’s DeFi vision, addressing fragmentation and modularity. NEAR aims to become the single platform seamlessly connecting users to DeFi applications across different blockchains.

Illia Polosukhin, NEAR’s co-founder and CEO, followed suit at the Decentralized AGI Summit. His panel, “The Evolution to AGI,” explored the development of sovereign digital AGI and its ethical implications. He emphasized the need to balance centralization and decentralization to foster community ownership and innovation. Keeping AI in check is crucial, after all.

But that wasn’t his only appearance. Illia managed to be ubiquitous across ETHDenver, including an exciting main stage talk with Erik Voorhees on decentralizing AI. He also delivered a captivating presentation on Digital Self-Sovereignty in the Age of AI just before presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. took the stage for ETHDenver’s closing session.

The education continued with Kendall Cole from Proximity Labs, who provided insights into Threshold Signatures and how they unlock the magic of bridgeless cross-chain interoperability. By enabling “bridgeless” cross-chain applications, this technology empowers developers to create applications that seamlessly work across different blockchains, even those without smart contracts like Bitcoin or Dogecoin, using programmable multi-party computation (MPC). Users can interact with these applications effortlessly while security remains ensured through MPC signing nodes.

Meanwhile, Bowen Wang from Pagoda dove into Stateless validation, addressing both scalability and decentralization. This approach tackles the ever-growing state size by allowing validators to operate without storing the entire history, significantly reducing storage pressure and potentially enabling more powerful hardware and lower costs, fostering a more decentralized network over time. Furthermore, stateless validation using zero-knowledge proofs holds promise for even greater scalability and affordability – more power to the validators!

Finally, NEAR Foundation’s COO, Chris Donovan, championed chain abstraction as the key to breaking down the barriers currently fragmenting the Web3 future. The fragmented landscape of blockchains presents a hurdle to widespread adoption and collaboration within Web3. By simplifying the user experience and fostering collaboration across the industry, chain abstraction paves the way for a frictionless and prosperous Web3 future. Think of it as a universal translator for blockchains.

Phew, That was a lot! But NEAR’s impact went far beyond informative talks. The NEAR booth was ground zero for epicness, attracting big names.

The NEAR Experience: A Journey Down the Rabbit Hole

Forget the standard, white-walled conference booths – the NEAR experience was a sensory explosion. Transformed into an immersive Alice in Wonderland inspired world called “NEAR in ETHerland,” it captivated attendees with whimsical tea parties and interactive installations. Unlike the usual Web3 frustrations, NEAR offered attendees a playful sip of the future with their “NEAR Chain Abstraction Pill”, symbolizing a smooth, enjoyable blockchain experience.

Stepping into the booth was like falling down the rabbit hole into a world of infinite possibilities. The playful atmosphere sparked curiosity, fostering engaging conversations and leaving attendees buzzing with excitement. The NEAR booth wasn’t just a booth; it was a conversation starter, a community builder, and an unforgettable experience that left everyone wanting more, solidifying NEAR’s place as a creative powerhouse. 

Chain Abstraction Day: Unveiling the CAKE Framework

NEAR, in partnership with Frontier Research and Agoric, hosted Chain Abstraction Day, a massive event that attracted over 1,200 attendees. This gathering brought together the brightest minds in blockchain, including industry leaders like Sreeram Kannan from EigenLayer and Adrian Brink from Anoma. The day was filled with insightful discussions and collaboration, fostering a shared vision for the future of Web3. We even got to see a live demo showcasing the ability to pay for a transaction on the BNB chain using $SWEAT, completely abstracted from the user, providing a glimpse into the future of chain abstraction.

A cornerstone of the event was unveiling the CAKE framework (Chain Abstraction Key Elements). This framework provides a foundational understanding of chain abstraction and paves the way for further exploration. Discussions dived into cutting-edge topics like threshold signatures, multi-chain settlements, and abstracted security. The day culminated in the forming of the CAKE working group, a dedicated team committed to pushing the boundaries of chain abstraction.

AI x Web3 Hackathon

NEAR actively participated in and supported the AI x Web3 hackathon organized by Edge. This participation reflects the growing momentum and enthusiasm surrounding the convergence of artificial intelligence and Web3 technologies, even though the specific applications and direction of this space are still evolving.

Looking Ahead: Launch and Beyond

ETHDenver was just the beginning for NEAR’s Chain Abstraction vision. The momentum continues at BUIDL Asia 2024, where NEAR promises to unveil even more groundbreaking developments with the launch of Chain Signatures, Relayers, and Web Engine scheduled for the end of March. This marks a significant milestone in NEAR’s journey towards establishing itself as a leader in chain abstraction.

Till’ next time Abstractooors!

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