Community Update: ZEST & Flux on MainNet, Hack the Rainbow, EDU@NEAR

September 1, 2020

Hello citizens of NEARverse! This is NiMA coming to you from a NEARby planet in the Milky Chain …

(you can listen to an audio version of this update below, featuring Peter, head of devX at NEAR)

NEAR collective is hard at work to deliver the next phase of our roadmap which will also allow us to onboard thousands of new community members and token holders to the NEAR network. In parallel, our middleware team is working towards bridging NEAR to Ethereum with the Rainbow Bridge 🌈

If you’re curious about the bridge and want to start BUIDLing on top of NEAR we invite you to join Hack the Rainbow 🌈hackathon. Hack the Rainbow is going to be hosted on Gitcoin from Sep 15-30th and will come with a primary prize pool of $50,000 in $NEAR tokens and $DAI. More bounties and incentives will be announced in the coming weeks in collaboration with our community and ecosystem partners! 

Rainbow Bridge 🌈 101 

The Open Web could not be truly open without building bridges and breaking silos. This is why we are launching the Rainbow Bridge which will connect the Ethereum and NEAR blockchains while maintaining the trustless and permissionless nature of both blockchains. 

In practice this means users and developers of the bridge will only have to make the same security and trust assumptions as they would if their contracts were running on either side of the bridge. They only need to trust the blockchains themselves. 

Furthermore, the bridge is designed and built to be both rapid and generic. Interactions across the bridge could happen within minutes and seconds in contrast to days or weeks that are commonplace with existing solutions. 

“Rainbow Bridge is also generic. Any information that is cryptographically provable on NEAR is usable in Ethereum contracts and the other way around.” To dive deeper into the technical architecture of the bridge read this in-depth blog post from Max, Middleware engineering lead at NEAR. The Block also covered the rainbow bridge here. (paywall) 

NEAR Ecosystem Updates


We are excited to welcome more projects launching on NEAR MainNet. Flux, an open scalable platform for prediction markets, is the first protocol to launch on NEAR’s mainnet. The team from VHS have launched their ZEST Play Platform and digital horse racing game ZedRun, the first gaming DApp to launch on NEAR’s mainnet.

Scaling Mintbase with NEAR 

Nate (founder/dev of Mintbase) published a very candid blog post about their journey and thought process around scaling Mintbase and how they landed on NEAR as the best solution!

You can read the whole story on Medium, but I wanted to share this paragraph with you about Nate’s love-hate relationship with Solidity & EVM 👀 : 

“I’m tired of solidity, rust has been a pretty refreshing transition and is insanely good about memory and types ❤️, potentially the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) might not be as attractive to new developers in the future. Sometimes it’s easiest to just start over fresh rather than duck taping solutions.” 

Engineering Updates:

Edu updates

  • NEAR 101, “NEAR for Web Developers”, recorded 3 times with some changes and improvements along the way.
  • NEAR 102, “NEAR for Ethereum Developers”, in progress with help from community members
  • Educational bounties program designed with 2 sample bounties written here and here. More to come … 
  • Workshop for facilitators invitation shared with community — we are inviting capable community members to deliver existing NEAR 101 content based on studying the recordings (and with our support, mentorship and guidance of course)
  • Looking for YOUR input to our educational priorities. If you have any suggestions, ideas or preferences and would like them to be heard, email Sherif directly at [email protected] or find him on Telegram (amgando) or Discord (Sherif#5201) 

Our friends from Blockchain at Berkeley did a NEAR white paper deep dive, check out their presentation here: 

Aaron, Vitalpoint AI Guild lead and  NEAR community hero, published an in-depth course on his Guild website.  The course covers building and issuance of Fungible Tokens on NEAR and shows learners how to add a few additional features on top of the standard implementation.

CTA: register for Hack the Rainbow on Gitcoin

Here’s a quick break down of prizes:

Prizes are 80% $NEAR tokens and 20% DAI (here expressed in $ equivalent)

– 20x 500$ for projects using ETH<>NEAR Rainbow Bridge
– 1x 5K overall winner
– 5x 3K runner ups
– 20x 1k top 20 submissions

There will be additional bounties and boosted ideas from other hackathon partners. All submissions qualify for the main NEAR prize pool and additionally partner bounties if they qualify.


This week we are watching, reading, and listening to  … 

Open Web Collective released several amazing episodes of their podcast. The latest episode is with Sergey Nazarov  who is telling us the story behind Chainlink. Truly fascinating OG blockchain journey from circa 2012 to 2020!  You can subscribe to the podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts .

The Open Web Collective invites you to their demo day on Crowdcast! Sign up and join us to see what the projects have been cooking up in the latest cohort! 

That’s it for this update. See you in the next one! 


Your friends,

NiMA and the NEAR team 

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