Mar 8, 2023

NEAR Foundation is launching a partnership with METABORA, the Web3 gaming affiliate of Kakao Games, to accelerate Web3 developments in Korea's gaming market.

Video transcript

Aiming at Korea's gaming market near Foundation and Metamora. The web three gaming affiliate of games are launching a partnership to promote web three games. Joining us now with more is near Foundation Ceo Merial Meri. Thank you so much for joining us this morning, Happy International Women's Day. Uh First off, let's talk about this initiative. Tell us about what your foundation is up to. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you for having me and Happy International Women's Day to uh all listeners, but also to, to you Christine and Emily. Um so look, we are super proud to be partnering with games uh for those of you who know, actually Korea Korea always has been a very innovative gaming market. And so it's actually great to see that as a place for innovation in gaming. And when we look at actually, you know, the past in internet, innovation, gaming has always played a very, very strong part into enabling the future uh of gaming, of, of, of the future of the internet coming through. And so with that partnership, which is actually a pretty big deal because uh for, you know, those of us who are not necessarily familiar yet with Korea K A game is a little bit and is, is thinking so like what would be the Google of Korea? Uh This is quite a big deal. So we are very happy to make first tries into a market which is very focused on actually innovation in gaming, knowing that actually gaming uh is a lot of what often brings the future of internet innovation. So I don't want to interrupt, this is international in this day. I'm not interrupting today. Ok, I'll go last. Ok. Um I want to ask, you know, I hear a lot about near in terms of investors are, have been putting a lot of money into near uh and as a protocol, the Blockchain et cetera, I don't hear as much about like what are the projects that, that are the killer use cases on near and maybe you could go into that. Is it web three gaming? And what regions are you particularly focused on? So we, we announced last week in Denver that actually near is evolving as an ecosystem and building more than what we have as a, as a layer one. And the catchphrase for that is actually near is the Blockchain operating system. And what is a Blockchain operating system? Well, a Blockchain operating system is actually ultimately the front end that enable any chain to come up and to actually have the right usability. And so what we've been building uh at near over the years is actually not only a layer one protocol, which is extremely fast and extremely cheap, but it's also like other uh other necessary applications to basically be able to go up the stack. And so the announcement we made uh in Denver last week was actually extremely well received. We we had a lot of quotes such as pretty revolutionary, extremely innovative. And so the way we think about the future of web three is actually that is like uh building building multi chain, ultimately means actually having a front end in which you can actually have different chains and front end being decentralized uh and moving towards that. So back to your question around gaming, gaming is one such use case, right? But you could also think for example, coin is, is an app that is uh on, on that was the biggest airdrop that we announced in September last year. Well, if you walk to actually gain tokens in a way, it's kind of, it's a bit kind of gaming, right? So that's what we're seeing. But ultimately, we're moving away from being just a layer one to becoming much more than that and a Blockchain operating system. And that's the nemesis of actually our strategy. OK. OK. Lawrence, go ahead. OK. Fine. Thank you. Thank you for the permission. I, all right. So uh we have uh uh NYU uh one of my alma mater. Uh you guys are doing something with SPS which uh has been involved for many years in uh in some of the tech uh innovations downtown in New York uh back in the day. Uh So what is this new program that you guys are doing? Yes. So the new program is actually enabling more people to understand about Blockchain. We three, but also the sports industry and how you can actually leverage the technology and and the possibilities in Web three for sports. Because when you look at uh sports professionals, they themselves are actually an IP. And so with Web three, what you can do is flip on its head IP ownership at near, we've actually done a lot of very successful partnership in the sports industry. For example, one such partnership is with GP, uh GP is a sporting link that is for selling its reinventing formula one but completely carbon neutral and in a sustainable way. And now we have actually, we've actually enabled with the GP team to create a do that is fully owning a team. And so on that front, it's not necessarily like the technicalities that it is difficult to put together, but it's more the legal framework. Uh And so that's the first in the sports industry and it's professional sports. So we bring to NYU uh such examples and we actually think through, well, how do you reinvent loyalty brand and what does it mean for the sports industry? And so, and so that's what the students are going to be uh, studying is, is how to, uh, deal with, with sports marketing, correct it sort of, or I don't want to say sports marketing but, but applying sports into web three, and, and just sports, are, are you planning on any other programs? Well, if you look at just sports as a start, it's actually sports is a lot of entertainment, right? So you can expand a lot of what you see as best use cases in sports, in other industry. But we believe also that focusing on certain vertical actually gives much more concrete use cases. And let's face it in what three, what we need today is actually concrete use cases that solve for real, real end user problems and actually bring new solutions, right? And so that's what we aim to do here, at least to start. So is a very global community which is very impressive. I've, I've seen this with my own eyes, how you have communities all over the world and, and, and, and given that perspective, I'm curious if you could tell us where you think the most promising regions in the world are right now for crypto. And if you sort of agree with this um increasingly popular sentiment that America is just a difficult place to do crypto business. Well, you know, I was listening to the, the, the first guest that you had on and I think it's fair to say that right now, given the sentiment and, and what's going on in the US, it looks more and more increasingly like a difficult place to actually have Web three innovation. Now, the reality is that uh Web Three and the technology that are being leveraged are completely global and borderless. And so uh you mentioned Emily, for example, like a, a reflection of the new communities, what we see at our flagship conference, which is called, which we had last September, we had 76 countries represented and 38% of women. And actually what we see right now happening is that a lot of innovation and also a lot of uh regulatory, let's say, ease or innovation even is happening when we go east. And so it was really interesting actually to see some of the movement, for example of Hong Kong, but also like some of the new laws and legislation that are coming up out of Singapore or how India is starting to think about crypto. So, uh in, you know, for my perspective, when I look at how things are evolving, uh what, what it means right now is that, you know, new entrepreneurs and what through innovators are basically looking at what is the market where actually they have the more clarity and and where they don't feel necessary, they will go uphill for an uphill battle from the start. And so uh I think looking East is definitely a good place again. If we, if we look at what we are see starting to happen in Korea also uh is a lot of uh there is a lot of movement in Korea. Uh there is actually a very favorable uh president there uh that is also looking at fostering innovation. And I think a lot of governments are seeing actually uh web three and that as like a way to attract talent, a way to actually attract capital and a way to ultimately lead innovation for better uh use cases. So moving on to you mentioned um the women issue moving on to International Women's Day. Um So it's kind of a well known thing, you know, crypto Web three needs more women. We hear this all the time, but, you know, as a female leader in this space, I'm just curious, like, what do you, how do you, how would you sort of define the challenges for women? I mean, what are the challenges for women that might not be sort of the most obvious kind of sound bites like we need more women like we sort of know that already, right? So like what, what, what, what, how do you kind of characterize, what the, what the key challenges are? Well, I think one of the things that I think can be pretty much intimidating that is very specific to crypto is actually the amount of jargon that we use and that is not inclusive, right? Using jargon that makes people feel that actually they have to, you know, do their homework or actually that they have to have the courage to ask question. I think it is not something that is inclusive. And I think that's something that is still very specific to crypto because, oh my God, the amount of jargon that we use in the, in that space. And so a good way to actually lower the barrier to entry uh is to use less jargon to be OK with that. And by the way, that will mean that, you know, more and more people can use actually uh web three. The second thing I would say is usability. And if we really want to bring uh web three to mainstream usage, then we have to have interfaces that are usable, we have to have things that are actually similar, understandable. And I think that's really important. And the last point, I would just say, you know, diversity in all forms and shape actually matter because ultimately to bring technology mainstream, you need to incorporate every point of view to actually lower the the biases that each we e which each have uh individually. And so I think that's what ultimately matters. But I think, you know, one good thing that crypto could do is definitely use less jargon. Well, yeah, the New York Foundation will also launch the second annual Women in Web Three Change Makers initiative at this year's consensus by coin in Austin, Texas at the end of April. Uh maybe you can talk about that initiative. Some of the challenges and opportunities out there for women leaders in Web three. Yes. Well, look, we did the first one last year in September. And, and the idea was actually very simple is to say we have to actually showcase all the women or as many women as possible that are doing things in Web three. And by the way, don't need to necessarily be uh it can be building on anything because you know, this proverb that you can't be what you can't see. It's so true. And actually starting by showcasing great women who are doing phenomenal things is a very good way to start. And so we were actually taken back by the amount of press coverage that we had by this first edition. And so now we are doing it again. And what we actually want to show is making sure that we can have, you know, as many women uh nominated by anyone uh and women who work actually on Web three. And then the idea will have to actually have a doll that is going to be on the, on the winner of that of this year, uh you know, change maker list. And then from there, we can actually have role model that can therefore help inspire other women to get uh in the space. Excellent. Well, me, very excited to see you at consensus that was near foundation CEO me. And like I said, the near Foundation will be presenting at our Protocol Village at Consensus by Coin Desk. It's not too late to get your tickets to the biggest crypto event of the year register at consensus dot coindesk dot com.

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