23 May

NEAR Protocol's co-founder, Illia Polosukhin, has revealed ambitions to establish it as the premier ecosystem for advancing AI research and applications for the future.

Initially conceived as an AI-focused venture, NEAR Protocol transitioned towards blockchain and payment solutions during its developmental stages, aiming to capitalize on the synergies between these technologies.

The concept of user-owned AI seeks to present a collaborative alternative to the dominance of centralized entities within the Web2 landscape, which control vast amounts of data and information. Polosukhin emphasized in a blog post the imperative of not allowing a few large corporations to monopolize intelligence, advocating for a more inclusive and decentralized approach.

Following the announcement, the native token of the network, $NEAR, experienced a 3.5% surge, demonstrating a remarkable 400% increase in value over the past year.

The NEAR Foundation, under Polosukhin and fellow co-founder Alex Skidanov's leadership, will extend investment and incubation support for AI-related research and applications, alongside its ongoing research and development endeavors.

NEAR Protocol aims to attract top talent in the field of AI development to propel the user-owned AI movement globally. 

Through its equity-free accelerator program, Horizon, the foundation is currently inviting applications for its upcoming cohort, scheduled to commence in September 2024.

May 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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