NEAR Ramps Up Asia Expansion with Web3 Gaming Hub in Korea

NEAR is inviting local web3 developers and creators to build on its blockchain network in a bid to boost growth in Asia.
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Quick take:

  • Near Foundation the organisation behind Near Protocol is opening a regional hub in South Korea.
  • The Layer1 blockchain network said the hub will team up with local blockchain companies to boost the web3 gaming ecosystem.
  • The new venture will also focus on promoting web3 projects through hackathons, investor meet-ups and holding blockchain events in universities.

NEAR Foundation the organisation behind Layer 1 blockchain network NEAR Protocol is accelerating its web3 strategy in Asia with a regional hub in South Korea.

According to the announcement published on the NEAR Foundation website, the company is looking to collaborate with local gaming projects to expand its web3 gaming ecosystem. 

NEAR Protocol is one of the leading Layer 1 blockchain networks offering web3 builders a platform to build decentralised apps for various projects including blockchain games, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralised finance (DeFi) and more.

The NEAR Regional Hub will be dedicated to Web3  innovation, business development, education, and talent throughout the country. The company is inviting local blockchain projects and professionals to build on NEAR Protocol.

The plan includes “tapping into the country’s active gaming community, bringing more amazing projects and creators to the NEAR ecosystem,” NEAR wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

The hub will also be holding events to accelerate the adoption of web3 in the region through hackathons, investor meet-ups, and other events supporting local blockchain communities and universities.

NEAR has appointed Scott Lee and Ben Kang, popular blockchain figures in the region, to its regional hub.

Commenting on his appointment, Scott Lee said: “We want to use the hub to leverage [the rapid adoption of web3 in Korea] and to attract an even bigger audience of builders by giving them the funding and the tools to create an inclusive and sustainable Web3 future for Korea.”

Lee was previously head of Business Development at a subsidiary of KAKAO Entertainment, while Kang co-founded Klaytn, Kakao’s blockchain unit. He also worked at the South Korea stock exchange and Merrill Lynch in previous roles.

NEAR wants to onboard the rising number of JavaScript developers in Korea to build on NEAR Protocol.

“We will focus on enhancing the overall NEAR ecosystem and attracting Web3 projects to onboard – and also value campus blockchain communities, which will be the fundamentals of the NEAR Protocol,” said Ben Kang. “In order to do this we will work closely with the community to raise the profile of the NEAR and to shine a spotlight on the high level of scalability and useability that the protocol can offer creators.”

NEAR Foundation is backed by some of the leading web3 venture funds including A16z Crypto, FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and Korean venture capital firm Hashed, among others. The company has raised more than $800 million to invest in the web3 ecosystem.

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