NEAR launches Web3 regional hub in Vietnam
NEAR Foundation, the Swiss non-profit that oversees the governance and development of the NEAR protocol, today announced it has partnered with premier venture capital fund GFS Ventures to launch a regional hub in Vietnam dedicated to ongoing blockchain innovation, education and talent development throughout the region.
Vietnam’s digital economy is booming with the pandemic seeing eight million new digital consumers and a doubling of new startups in the country. The nation is actively promoting digital transformation and development and also ranks 5th out of 154 countries in the Global Cryptocurrency Acceptance Index. However, Vietnam tops global rankings when it comes to the percentage of crypto ownership, as one in five of its people (or 20.3 per cent) own crypto.
The hub will be led by GFS Ventures, which includes GFS blockchain and VBI. GFS Blockchain is a media division directly under GFS Group (Golden Finance Solutions Group), while VBI includes VBI Academy and VBI Lab. VBI Academy is a research institute specialising in training, researching, and developing blockchain technology.
Meanwhile, VBI Lab has 300 members who are professors, PhD, researchers, experienced developers and IT students from top universities. VBI established the NEAR Vietnam Hub with the goal of training the NEAR Developer community throughout the country, forming Blockchain Labs at universities and researching and developing Blockchain technology applications in digital transformation.
“It is exciting to be helping some of the country’s brightest minds become world-class blockchain developers,” said Riley Tran, who will lead the NEAR hub in Vietnam. “We believe that in the industrial revolution 4.0, Vietnam is an exciting emerging market and has the best growth potential in Southeast Asia. The NEAR Protocol can help tomorrow’s society create blockchain solutions that change the world, and this hub is a crucial step in achieving that.”
NEAR Vietnam is already one of the largest local NEAR communities, with over 14,000 members in the NEAR Vietnam Telegram Group. While there are over 18 million active NEAR wallets, Vietnam ranks in the top two, making up 20 per cent of the total number of NEAR wallets. There have been eight hundred contracts from Vietnam deployed on Near mainnet, with the number of contracts deployed on testnet much higher.
As for the education arm, through the five NEAR Protocol programming courses at the VBI Developer Training, over 1500 developers have already registered for the course. More than a hundred have graduated and subsequently formed more than 22 teams currently building and developing projects on the NEAR ecosystem.
Notable projects include Akather, a Metaverse platform that aims to build a virtual reality environment specifically for the education sector. There is also Plats Network, which builds a community-owned marketing model on Web3, bringing together users, influencers, and customers to provide access to public users and key influencers of the crypto industry.
Another example is NEARlend DAO which is building an aggregator platform providing borrowing/lending solutions in the world of DeFi and NFTFi on the NEAR ecosystem. NEARlend products include Lending 2.0, which collateralised assets like ETH, BTC, NEAR, and NFT to borrow other tokens.
This fast-growing Blockchain Dev community will be built in major cities of several regions, including Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh. Each month, 40-60 developers are set to be trained through the course. There will also be international blockchain hackathon competitions with investment funds organised twice a year to engage and attract developers.
“We are thrilled to see new blockchain developments in Vietnam as many exciting projects continue to emerge from the local ecosystem,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation. “This new hub demonstrates an unparalleled opportunity to develop local talent and to provide them with opportunities for further technological and commercial growth.”
Internationally, the excitement continues to build around the potential of the NEAR blockchain. Unlike other networks, NEAR gives software developers easy access to create new crypto applications, from Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to decentralised finance products and launching new business models and consumer products.
The NEAR blockchain is also much faster than Ethereum, the world’s most used blockchain. It acts as a bridge to other blockchains, allowing for the free flow of assets and communication between networks for the betterment of all.
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