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May marked a month of milestones for the NEAR Foundation and ecosystem. While there was turbulence in the crypto markets, NEAR continued to forge ahead in onboarding new users, improving its technology, and developing partnerships.
Community and education were prominent themes this past month, with the first iteration of the IRL NEAR Hacker House commencing in Miami, Florida. Community Talks were also at the forefront, with sessions hosted by the NEAR community on identity and building digital Queer awareness. But things didn’t stop there.
From breaking account growth barriers to making headlines with NEAR’s Kenya Regional Hub, here’s everything NEAR that went down in May.
NEAR surpasses 10 million wallets
The month of May marked a huge milestone for the NEAR ecosystem, as the protocol surpassed the 10 million wallets created mark. Crossing this threshold brings NEAR one step closer to fulfilling the Foundation’s vision of a creating a decentralized world where anyone can create, interact, and thrive.
NEAR Hacker House kicks off in Miami
From May 18–22, the inaugural NEAR Hacker House took place in one of the new crypto world capitols, Miami. It was a weeklong IRL event with co-working and creation taking place at the Spot Wynwood, jam-packed with technical, social, and community-driven events. The Hacker House was free to all who signed up to attend, with tracks in development, art, and marketing.
There was also in-person mentorship and guidance from key industry players in the NEAR ecosystem. Not to mention morning yoga sessions to encourage wellness and after hours social networking events.
The goal was to provide participants with a taste of Hacker Houses to come, with plans for others in Europe, Latin America, and Asia in the works.
Community Talks workshops and Queer plurality
May was also a big month for NEAR Community Talks events and thought leadership. This included a pair of community building workshops with NEAR veterans and a series of talks on Queer diversity in the digital realm.
The Community Building 101 workshop with NEAR community veterans took place during two sessions on May 7 and 15. Legedary NEAR builders like Rimberjack and Ozymandius gave a masterclass on starting communities from scratch and leveraging the right resources for success.
The latter weeks of May then saw the beginning of NEAR’s Queer Diversity in the Digital Realm talks, with the first two events taking place on May 20 and 27. Gustavo Gustrava from TibiraDAO kicked off the series with a Community Talk on the basics of gender identity, intersectionality, and inclusive language.
Gustrava hosted the second session’s panel educating the community on experiences of homophobia and lesbophobia, and will be hosting the final two sessions in June. The Queer Diversity and Community Building 101 events showed the strength of NEAR Community Talks and will generate momentum for further workshops in the coming months.
NEAR x SailGP embarks on first race
The ground-breaking partnership between SailGP and NEAR lept into action in May. Season 3 of SailGP kicked off on May 14, with Team Australia capturing first place at the Bermuda Gran Prix. As the season progresses, SailGP and NEAR will work towards the goals finalising the outline of the DAO that will eventually take over the management of a sailing team, alongside the release of SailGP NFTs.
Once the SailGP DAO is firmly established using NEAR’s AstroDAO framework, fans will get the opportunity to join, own a portion of a team, and actively participate in decision-making and governance activities with real-world, competetive implications. The next phase will involve NFTs capturing previously unavailable SailGP moments and artwork for fans and collectors.
NEAR in the News
The launch of NEAR’s Kenya Regional Hub was one of the big headlines in May. NEAR partnered with local Kenyan blockchain community Sankore to establish a presence in Nairobi, furthering the NEAR Foundation’s goal of onboarding billions onto the blockchain and empowering individuals to live and prosper as they see fit.
“We are thrilled to be working with NEAR to educate and nurture talented individuals to become world-class blockchain developers,” Sankore founder Kevin Imani told Business Insider. “Our dream is to lead the way in blockchain innovations in providing solutions to Africa’s biggest problems. This hub is the next step in turning our shared vision into reality.”
Marieke Flament, the CEO of NEAR Foundation, expressed to CoinTelegraph her excitement of the potential avenues and opportunities for the proliferation of blockchain solutions throughout Africa. Flament added that the establishment of the Kenya Regional Hub and partnership with Sankore provides NEAR with the opportunity to discover new talent within the region.
And according to the African Eye Report, the Regional Hub is already forging connections with local universities. To date, 77 students have registered for NEAR Certified Developer Workshops, seven in the NEAR Certified Analysts Workshops, and six local students have already been officially certified as NEAR developers.
In other news, Tamago, a Web3 streaming music and NFT platform built on NEAR, appeared on Billboard magazine’s website. Tamago announced that it raised a seed round of $1M from investors to help decentralize the music industry. As Billboard reported, Tamago will release exclusive NFTs and music drops from artists Felix Da Housecat, Paramida, and others.
CoinTelegraph also reported that Aurora, NEAR’s Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), will launch a $90 million fund to foster DeFi innovation on the NEAR Protocol. The fund will be launched in partnership with Proximity Labs in the form of 25 million Aurora tokens transferred from the DAO treasury to Proximity.
“Aurora DAO continues its mission to extend the Ethereum economy outside Ethereum blockchain,” said Aurora Labs founder Alex Shevchenko “This grant is a next big step in the development of the Aurora ecosystem and I’m happy that Proximity Labs accompanies us in this journey.”
May was NFT month for the NEAR Foundation, and towards that end published a 4-part series entitled “NFTs on NEAR.” The series highlighted a variety of NFT voices and experts to go beyond the hype of NFTs, educate on what makes NFT technology so powerful, and explore what the future holds.
If you want to learn more about what NFTs really mean, and exciting developments going on within the NEAR NFT ecosystem, be sure to check out May’s NFT month series below:
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