The Future of Blockchain and AI: Illia Polosukhin’s Vision with Near

In a recent interview with Maria Vovchok for Encrypted, Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of Near and CEO of the Near Foundation, highlighted the issues plaguing traditional blockchains and explained how Near is crafting a future that’s faster, fairer, and full of potential. Additionally, Near is venturing into the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with its new initiative, Near AI, aiming to further transform the technological landscape.

The Blockchain Bottleneck: Overcoming Scalability Issues

Current blockchains can be likened to congested highways. As user numbers increase, transactions slow down, fees rise, and innovation grinds to a halt. This scalability issue is a major deterrent for developers and users, preventing blockchain technology from reaching its full potential.

Near Protocol aims to solve these problems with its innovative architecture. Unlike its sluggish counterparts, Near introduces stateless validation, eliminating the need for validators to store the entire blockchain history. This allows them to verify transactions at lightning speed. Furthermore, Near employs sharding, dividing the blockchain into manageable chunks, or “shards,” which distributes the workload and enables the network to handle a massive number of transactions efficiently.

The Dubai Connection: A Strategic Hub for Global Expansion

Dubai is emerging as a key location for Near’s expansion into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This move aims to foster a collaborative environment where developers and entrepreneurs can connect and build the future together. Near’s ambitions in the MENA region extend beyond establishing a regional office. They aim to empower local developers and entrepreneurs to leverage blockchain technology to tackle regional challenges and build solutions that benefit entire communities.

Despite considering Dubai as a business hub, the Near Foundation remains firmly based in Switzerland. This strategic approach allows Near to tap into Dubai’s innovative ecosystem while maintaining its Swiss roots. The goal is to foster collaboration across regions, creating a vibrant and interconnected blockchain community.

It is worth mentioning that NewTribe Capital invested in May 2022, five million USD in NEAR Protocol.

The Near Foundation: Guiding the Ecosystem

The Near Foundation plays a crucial role in the ecosystem’s development. It ensures the necessary infrastructure and talent are in place for the ecosystem to thrive. Actively promoting Near’s capabilities, the Foundation fosters growth and adoption, moving away from grants that encourage short-term gains towards strategic investments. By partnering with companies that align with Near’s infrastructure roadmap, they are building a sustainable ecosystem focused on long-term success and innovation.

The Rise of Near AI: Building a User-Owned Future

In an exciting twist, Near isn’t stopping at revolutionizing blockchain. They’re setting their sights on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the introduction of Near AI. This initiative marks a significant shift for Near, venturing beyond their core blockchain expertise.

Near AI flips the script on traditional AI development by prioritizing open-source development and user ownership. Unlike the closed-door approach of big corporations, Near AI fosters transparency, trust, and widespread participation in the AI revolution. The Near AI team is actively building and training AI models and curating high-quality data, essential for robust and unbiased AI systems. This data will be openly accessible, empowering developers to build groundbreaking applications.

Near AI’s Transformative Approach to Blockchain

Near AI isn’t just about creating powerful AI tools; it’s about building a sustainable ecosystem. They are crafting a novel economic model that incentivizes participation. Individual users and hobbyists can leverage Near AI’s models and data freely, fostering innovation and exploration. For commercial entities, using Near AI requires joining the Near ecosystem by staking NEAR tokens, contributing to the network’s security. In return, these entities gain access to advanced features and benefits such as compute power and data access.

Near AI aims to attract a diverse range of participants, from developers and researchers to entrepreneurs and everyday users. By encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing, Near AI aspires to accelerate advancements in AI research, promoting ethical and responsible AI solutions. This initiative challenges the profit-driven model of large corporations by prioritizing user ownership and community well-being.

Moreover, Near AI seeks to lower the barrier to entry for blockchain development. While it might not entirely eliminate the need for coding, it can significantly reduce it by providing pre-built AI models, user-friendly interfaces, and a supportive community. This empowerment enables individuals with little coding experience to create innovative applications on the Near blockchain.

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