Building New Worlds for Artists with NFTs: Paras + NEAR

February 5, 2021

NEAR’s decentralized unrestricted MainNet continues to support a range of projects and decentralized applications across open web use cases. Paras – an NFT trading card marketplace launched in December 2020 – is the latest addition to a user-centric ecosystem of projects building on the NEAR platform.

  • 700+ transactions
  • 70+ artists earning $25K+ in 2 months
  • 80+ collectors
  • $35K+ trading volume

Empowering Digital NFT Artists on Paras with NEAR

Paras co-founders Rahmat “Riqi” Albariqi and Afiq Shofy started out  to create a decentralized social media site. After some months of experiments, they discovered NFTs, or non-fungible tokens—a cryptographic asset where each unit represents something unique and indivisible. Intrigued by the potential for provable digital ownership and sales, they decided to build a platform where digital artists could create and thrive. 

To keep up with the pace of innovation in the NFT space, one of the hottest topics in crypto today, Riqi and Afiq knew they had to develop and launch fast. Getting from the first testnet experiments to full MainNet launch took just three months, a testament to NEAR’s seamless developer experience. The pure build time of the application was four weeks, once they understood the basics of how to build on NEAR.

Launched in December 2020, Paras is a digital art card marketplace built on NEAR that offers artists more control of their creations and digital scarcity for collectors—using NEAR as the medium of exchange between creators and collectors. The name Paras (pronounced Pa-RAS) translates to “face” or “persona,” and “equal,” in Bahasa Indonesian. The vision for Paras is to create a space for artists to cultivate and act on compounded momentum.

 examples of three digital trading cards
Marketplace trading cards on

Paras’ artists have collectively made more than $25,000 (USD equivalent) already, in just two months since launching the platform. Paras has facilitated a trading volume of $35,000+ from 700+ transactions, with 80+ active collectors and 70+ artists onboarded. Because the minting fees are so low on NEAR, the barrier to entry for digital artists is very low, and an artist can mint a card without thinking about the minting cost. This means they can sell their cards for as low as $1 or $5, lowering the barrier to entry for participation in the marketplace. This opens the NFT world to new artists and collectors alike.

On Paras, Artists Can Sell Art While Creating Complex Worlds

“We are big on collector’s cards and their surrounding worlds—like YuGiOh and Pokémon. We aim to create a framework where artists can do the same in NFT format. On Paras, artists can expand their portfolios and reach new audiences.” –Riqi, Paras co-founder

On Paras, artists mint and sell limited-edition NFT trading card collections – so each NFT is part of an ever-expanding world created by each artist. NFT creators can grow their audience base directly without middlemen, test the market, and expand their collections collaboratively with the Paras community. They are looking for long-term collaborations and sustainable approaches to expanding their digital art businesses. This framework allows artists to hyperfocus on building the colorful stories behind each card’s representation. For example, artist Fetus Squid launched a batch of digital art trading cards to fund the creation of his novel.  

homepage of a digital artist with three examples of fantasy trading cards
Fetus Squid’s collection of Fantasy Trading Cards on

Paras does weekly artist invitations, so there are a limited number of artworks issued on the platform at any given time. After an artist is whitelisted, they can start minting right away. 400+ registered wallets are ready to grab the artist’s card collectibles, so they can begin building a collector fanbase by selling at low prices or in multiples and still make a profit—thanks to the very low cost of minting and storage on NEAR. The long-term hope for cultivating artist careers on Paras is that building collections will evolve into creating their own IP universes in the realm of Pokémon or YuGiOh. 

For collectors, the 3D, interactive visual representation of the art cards sets Paras apart from other NFT marketplaces. Paras’ eye-catching cards pop on the page and have an undeniably rich style even within the fixed size of the trading card art format. The native format of a Paras digital art card mimics real-world trading cards with a portrait ratio of 64:89—and Paras recently added .gif support alongside .png, .jpg, .jpeg.

Join the Lunar New Year Celebration

Excited to try Paras as an artist or an NFT collector? Starting on February 5, Paras + NEAR are running a Lunar New Year Celebration! Artists can mint a Lunar New Year-themed NFT card collection for the Year of the Ox and collectors who purchase the NFTs get a chance to win NEAR prizes. Follow along on Twitter @NearProtocol and @ParasHQ for more specifics and calls for participation.  

If you’re curious about building on NEAR, head over to our developer program and join the conversation on our Discord. Keep up to date on future releases by subscribing to our newsletter for the latest news on NEAR.

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