NEAR to Focus on User-Owned AI

Layer 1 blockchain NEAR has launched an initiative to incubate and invest in native AI infrastructure.

By: Squiffs Loading...

circuits and digital brains, connected to abstract human figures

NEAR Protocol co-founder Illia Polosukhin has unveiled plans to make it “the best ecosystem for the next generation of AI research and applications”.

NEAR Protocol is a decentralized, high-throughput, layer 1 blockchain that aims to be the home of user-owned AI and machine learning. Originally launched as an AI company, NEAR pivoted towards blockchain and payments solutions early on in development and is now focusing on synergies between the two technologies.

Tweet from NEAR screenshot
Tweet from NEAR

User-owned AI is meant to provide a collaborative alternative to the centralized and closed industry that controls most of Web2's data and information. In the blog post, Polosukhin stated, “We do not want to live in a world where a few mega-corporations control the most powerful human resource: intelligence.”

The chain's native token, $NEAR, rallied 3.5% after the blog post and is now up 400% over the last year.

NEAR Price chart
NEAR Price

The NEAR Foundation will provide investment and incubation services for AI-related research and applications alongside its research and development unit, led by Polosukhin and fellow co-founder Alex Skidanov.

NEAR aims to attract the top builders in AI development in order to bring the user-owned AI movement to a global scale. The foundation’s equity-free accelerator, Horizon, is currently accepting applications for its next cohort, set to begin in September 2024.