After Kenya, Near Foundation to Launch Web3 Hub in India


Near Foundation is looking to play its part in uplifting the promising Web3 projects in India. The Switzerland-based non-profit organisation that governs the Near Protocol announced the launch of a regional hub in India, dedicated to find and support talent in blockchain technology, which makes for the backbone of the Web3 sector. With this, the Near Foundation has recognised India as the country with the largest startup and entrepreneur communities in the world that also houses some of the “most talented developers and Web3 creators.”

The India hub of the Near Foundation will identify and support entrepreneurs who plan to solve specific public problems via Web3 elements like the metaverse, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies.

GameFi and DeFi are the two focus areas for the hub in India.

Play-to-earn in nature, ‘gameFi’ refers to the financialisation of video gaming — that, as a sector, reportedly touched the market cap of $55.38 billion (roughly Rs. 4,38,500 crore) as of February 2022

Meanwhile DeFi, or decentralised finance is in itself emerging as a sector of fintech that is reliant on virtual assets like cryptocurrencies and does not rely on central banks and centralised intermediaries. As per CoinMarketCap, the DeFi crypto’s market cap currently stands at $45.83 billion (roughly Rs. 3,63,000 crore).

In the first year, the Near India hub aims to onboard 15 to 20 high-quality projects to its ecosystem.

“We are extremely excited to be supporting the rich and exciting developments taking shape in India — and with our new hub, there will be an incredible opportunity for developers and creators to come together to learn, educate and further their talent and build on our blockchain. This hub gives us the chance to nurture the local talent that will have global opportunities in the near future – and we look forward to seeing the amazing applications and initiatives that will come out of this ecosystem,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of the Near Foundation.

Aayush Gupta and Yash Kanchan, the former leads on India strategy for Terraform Labs, have been tasked with the responsibility for leading the Near India hub in Bengaluru city.

India is currently awaiting elaborate crypto rules to safeguard the sector against loopholes and scams. While the trading, exchange, and holding of virtual assets are taxed and allowed activities in the country, India still has not clarified future use cases of these digital assets that could be permitted.

Just earlier this month, the Near foundation launched a regional hub in Kenya to accelerate Web3 projects across the continent. The platform is looking to nurture and educate talented individuals in the country.

In fact, this week itself, the platform partnered with Caerus Ventures to launch a fund of $100 million (roughly Rs. 700 crore) in order to support promising projects in the Web3 space.

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