The NEAR Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit that controls the governance and development of the NEAR protocol, has opened a regional blockchain innovation center in Kenya.
The new hub, which was formed in collaboration with the blockchain community Sankore, will also oversee blockchain education and talent development across Africa.
Kenya was placed fifth in the Global Crypto Adoption Index last year, and Kenyans are already exchanging cryptocurrencies directly with one another at a higher rate than the rest of the globe. NEAR is spreading beyond Nairobi and into Kenya’s lesser-known cities, where no other Layer 1 blockchain has yet established a presence.
Kevin Imani, the founder of Sankore, will lead the hub, which will be supported by a core team of four people. The center will be a promising junction of Africa’s most skilled blockchain developers with international backing for their innovations, with events, an academy, an incubation program, and the Sankore Bounty ecosystem.
“We are thrilled to be working with NEAR to educate and nurture talented individuals to become world-class blockchain developers,” said Kevin Imani, who will lead the NEAR hub in Kenya. “Our dream is to lead the way in blockchain innovations in providing solutions to Africa’s biggest problems. The NEAR Protocol allows tomorrow’s brightest developers to build custom solutions with scalability, security, and transparency and this hub is the next step in turning our shared vision into reality.”
“We are excited by the potential avenues throughout Africa for blockchain solutions, which come from innovation in development, education, and talent,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation. “This hub represents a unique opportunity to partner with local talent not only for the opportunities that we know exist today but also for the opportunities yet to be created in the future.”
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 decentralized 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.