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Daily highlights & impressions of NEARCON 2022: day two 

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on Sep 14, 2022
Updated: Nov 9, 2022
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  • Major exchanges list SWEAT
  • Onboarding 1 billion Web3 users will require breakthrough ideas
  • UX and infrastructure for Web3 need to be significantly improved

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There was no shortage of inspiring NEAR projects and people on the second day of NEARCON. While the previous day (read our review of day zero here and day one here) of the conference provided an overview of projects and the foundation of the ecosystem, the second day offered more insight into what is being built. There was a clear message that the open web is more than just financial products; it covers gaming, NFTs, DAOs, DeFi, etc.

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My day began with a side-event organized by Kikimora Labs, where people could discuss a range of topics over breakfast. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to many interesting people in an informal setting.

Outlining the future of Web3

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The conference sessions began with a series of talks that explored Web3 construction from a variety of perspectives, highlighting challenges and identifying achievable goals for attracting new users, building tools and infrastructure, and democratizing access for users.

Co-founder of SWEAT, Oleg Fomenko, shared updates, insights, and opinions on Sweat Economy and the move-to-earn trend in the NEAR ecosystem. OKX, Bitfinex, FTX, Kucoin, and Bybit are among the notable exchanges that have listed SWEAT so far.

In a discussion on “Backing the Builders Onboard the Next Billion” Richard Muirhead, CEE in Fabric Ventures addressed the current challenges: 

“What are we actually using Web3 for? If you speak to anybody in the mainstream press, they are pretty skeptical that there is anything beyond some sort of big casino-like DeFi. In this area, the way we can continue, is to think not about what is slightly better, but what is 10 times better. It should be something that was impossible in the Web 2.0 paradigm. So, addressing the question of how do we onboard the next billion — we need to build things that are fundamentally innovative. The ideas have to keep coming, but we need to think very acutely for the really breakthrough ideas to rise to the top,” he said. 

The solution to this challenge was offered by Baek Kim from Hashed, who addressed the UX prospects that would complement the quality of the NEAR blockchain: “I think as the NEAR community we need to start thinking about what customers really need and what they are going through. NEAR has built a lot of great tools and infrastructure that ask for much better UX and speed. In our studio we build games and web apps, and we started building more on NEAR. And now we are noticing that technology is by far ahead of a lot of other chains. But we didn’t realize that until we started building. So, I am pretty excited about the next steps to improve user experience,” he explained. 

Next, talks showed how NEAR can be used in the context of a variety of existing practices such as professional sport, sci-fi writing, and social networking sites.

According to Chris Gulczynski, Tinder co-founder, who is in the process of building a new project on NEAR called Niche, a key feature of Web 3.0 is ownership:

“You own your content, your networks. It was almost a promise of Web 2.0, but the only way to find out how to make it work is to sell ads. It is a let down that we connected the entire world and it came down to selling ads. We think that Web 3.0 is about organizing people online in a democratic way. It democratizes access to things you wouldn’t normally have access to.”  

Impressions 

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“This is an important time for the NEAR protocol because it has two major challenges to overcome: the crypto winter and the increased competition between blockchains. The strongest will win – NEAR will be among them. Why? Just feel NEARCON’s vibe, people come together to win,” Dmitry Grebenyuk, CPO at MyNearWallet, said. 

“NEARCON is an excellent opportunity to build and strengthen connections within the NEAR ecosystem. There is no doubt that Web3 will become something massive in the near future, and NEAR is taking concrete steps right now to ensure that happens. Events like this are the essence of opportunities, gathered in one place, and it lets us all feel that the future is in our hands,” said Kikimora Labs co-founder Eugene Rid.

Later in the evening, my new friends, Rocketo, invited me to an after party sponsored by them. I made great new acquaintances and had a lot of fun there.

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