WOO Network Announces WOOFi’s Shift from Near Protocol to Ethereum EVM

WOOFi, a leading decentralized exchange platform owned by Woo Network, has announced its strategic shift from the NEAR Protocol to Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible networks. This transition is aimed at the development of its version 2.0 omnichain DEX.

WOOFi’s decision to transition was unveiled at TOKEN 2049. Jack Tan, WOO’s Founder and CEO, emphasized that this move is indicative of a more robust offering in both centralized finance (CeFi) and decentralized finance (DeFi) sectors. Tan envisions a seamless integration between the two crypto exchange realms in the upcoming bull run. WOOFi’s objective is to amalgamate major chains, centralize liquidity, and foster a cooperative ecosystem. This will enable WOOFi Pro users to trade across their preferred applications and blockchain networks. For instance, a trader on Arbitrum can execute trades against counterparts on chains like Polygon or Optimism without exiting Arbitrum.

WOOFi Pro’s design leverages the platform’s extensive experience in developing trading products. It promises a mobile-friendly interface, allowing traders to conduct transactions seamlessly. WOO X, WOOFi’s centralized exchange counterpart, boasts a daily trading volume ranging between $150 million to $500 million. It has been at the forefront of several industry innovations, including the introduction of a live transparency dashboard. This initiative is geared towards preserving the trust of its expanding community of professional traders. One of the standout features of WOOFi Pro is its gasless orderbook trading, which eradicates transaction fees. This not only enhances accessibility for users but also negates the requirement for Know Your Customer (KYC) verification. Furthermore, users maintain complete autonomy over their funds, eliminating dependence on external custodians.

Another noteworthy integration is with Orderly Network’s institutional-grade order books. This ensures that users have consistent access to a substantial liquidity pool. Orderly Network, a decentralized liquidity network, has garnered support from notable backers such as Pantera, Dragonfly Capital, and Sequoia Capital China.

Tan highlighted the synergy between WOO X and WOOFi, stating, “The combination of WOO X and WOOFi provides users with a fully-featured off-chain or on-chain orderbook trading system.” He further observed an uptick in traders seeking both traditional and cryptocurrency trading avenues. This trend has been particularly evident in the recent cycle, with a pronounced inclination towards Real World Assets (RWAs).

WOOFi Pro is set to debut with 10 crypto trading pairs in its October mainnet launch. However, there are plans to diversify its asset offerings, potentially including cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities, and forex. To date, WOOFi has successfully facilitated over 2.9 million cross-chain swaps. With the platform’s user-friendly interface, it is anticipated that this number will surge as users can effortlessly navigate the ecosystem and diversify their asset portfolio with a single click.

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NEAR Protocol Expands Gaming Ecosystem with Vortex Gaming Partnership, Strengthening Web3 Integration

NEAR Protocol has expanded its gaming ecosystem by partnering with Vortex Gaming, a Web3 subsidiary of INVEN, Korea’s largest game media and community. This collaboration aims to attract more users and companies to the NEAR ecosystem while strengthening the NEAR game ecosystem. INVEN, with a monthly active user count of 7.2 million, brings valuable expertise and content to the partnership.

In addition to onboarding Vortex Gaming’s content onto NEAR Protocol, the NEAR Foundation and INVEN plan to support the growth of Vortex Gaming and enhance brand awareness through active collaboration, including offline hackathons and events to foster developer talent.

INVEN has been a leading company in the game industry for over 20 years, driving development as a top online game media platform. Vortex Gaming, a content-based game community optimized for Web3 games, aims to break stereotypes by offering specialized content, such as in-depth analysis of in-game economies. Leveraging their experience in building Web2 communities, Vortex Gaming plans to establish a strong user base by incorporating high-quality content and INVEN’s existing wide pool of users.

NEAR Protocol, a global Layer 1 blockchain, focuses on usability and scalability. It also serves as a Blockchain Operating System (BOS), allowing Web2 companies and developers to easily build decentralized apps and experiences for the open web. With features like FastAuth, NEAR Protocol reduces entry barriers in the Web3 gaming industry and works alongside Vortex Gaming to popularize the NEAR ecosystem.

The CEO of Vortex Gaming, Hoon Jai Lee, aims to build an integrated gamer community encompassing both Web3 and traditional Web2 gamers by providing high-quality content for both. This community-driven approach includes incentivizing gamers to create content such as character builds and game guides.

Marieke Flament, CEO of NEAR Foundation, expects the partnership with INVEN to further enhance NEAR’s sustainable game ecosystem, following the success of leading companies in the gaming industry. Scott Lee, Co-CEO of NEAR Korea, highlights the importance of community in maintaining content competitiveness and believes that onboarding Vortex Gaming will strengthen NEAR’s position as the optimal mainnet in the Web3 game ecosystem, accelerating its development.


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NEAR Protocol to Wind Down Stablecoin USN, Allocating Funds for User Protection

The NEAR Foundation, an organization, supporting the NEAR blockchain, announced on Monday that it is winding down its stablecoin, popularly known as USN.

The foundation said it is shutting down the stablecoin after the token started exhibiting risky characteristics similar to those witnessed in the TerraUSD stablecoin that terribly crashed this year and lost investors’ funds worth over 30 billion dollars.

The Near Foundation said USN recently became undercollateralized, meaning there is insufficient collateral backing the stablecoin.

In April, NEAR protocol launched its USN stablecoin issued by the DAO Decentral Bank (DCB). However, Decentral Bank recently advised the Near Foundation that the stablecoin had become undercollateralized, a condition that is associated with algorithmic stablecoins, especially in “extreme market conditions.” DCB further disclosed that there was also double-minting of USN, a condition that contributed to the under-collateralization.

In a statement issued on Monday, Decentral Bank said it would shut down the USN project. “USN has faced many headwinds over the last few months with an increased regulatory focus and changes in market perception from recent high-profile incidents,” Decentral Bank stated.

Decentral Bank said due to such issues. They have taken the difficult decision to shut down the USN project in a responsible manner that ensures USN holders are protected. The NEAR Foundation said it is using $40 million to fund a “USN Protection Programme” to protect investors as the stablecoin winds down.

When NEAR Protocol’s USN stablecoin was launched first in April, it was an algorithmic stablecoin, but it was later changed to be backed by USDT tokens — the largest stablecoin in the crypto market. Despite the update, USN became “susceptible to under-collateralization during extreme market conditions,” which could put investors at risk, the NEAR Foundation explained.

While stablecoins are considered as the backbone of the crypto economy, regulators recently have launched increased scrutiny against trading of such tokens, mainly because of TerraUSD stablecoin’s fatal collapse in May. TerraUSD was an algorithmic stablecoin not backed by anything but rather relied on code to maintain its value. This code eventually failed – leading the stablecoin to lose its peg and crash.

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Near Foundation Launches New $100m Web3.0 Fund

Near Foundation, the Switzerland-based Non-Profit in charge of the Near Protocol has launched a new $100 million Web3.0 fund.


As announced by the firm, the new fund is being floated in partnership with Caerus Ventures, a new Venture Capital fund whose primary focus is hinged on creators, talents, and IP owners.

With a plan to strengthen new protocols with seed rounds that could be as high as $100 million, the Near Foundation said it would inject the largest chunk of this targeted fund with $50 million. 

“Our cultural passions for live sport, film, or music have historically been leveraged to on-ramp billions of consumers to new technologies. The creators, talent, and franchises with reach and influence spearheaded that growth and will now drive the adoption of blockchain at scale. But this time, they and their fans will have greater access to the value created,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation.

Near Protocol is a major blockchain network currently the 23rd largest digital currency by market capitalization. At $4.97 and a market cap of $3.88 billion, the NEAR coin has been tagged as one of the most resilient cryptocurrencies since the crypto onslaught started. 

With the Near Foundation notably pushing the frontlines of the blockchain’s ecosystem, more relevance is now being attached to the protocol as a whole. While it is not immediately clear if the new Web3.0 fund spinoff will focus entirely on creators building on the Near Blockchain, the fund administrators said these and more modalities are yet to be finalized.

Earlier in April, the Near Protocol, for the second time, raised the sum of $350 million in funding from investors that was led by Tiger Global. The funding rounds were aimed at bolstering the Near ecosystem.

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Aurora-Based Liquidity Protocol Bastion Raises $9m in Series A

The decentralised money market protocol Bastion has announced its successful $9 million in Series A funding, led by the hedge fund manager, Three Arrow Capital.


This is coming a month after the Aurora-based Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocol closed a $2 million seed round. Although in both funding rounds, the protocol’s valuation remains undisclosed.

Several other prominent investors also participated in the round, including FTX Ventures, a leading blockchain investment firm – The Spartan Group, CMS holdings, and Crypto.com, amongst others.

The funding will be utilised to aggressively improve its business development, engineering, marketing, and product offerings. The firm currently operates with just five team members, and with the aid of the new liquidity, it will also enable the company to hire more talents while perfecting its partnerships. The greatest impact that will be seen as growth for Bastion is building new innovative features as well as expanding the Aurora Ecosystem. It also intends to form the liquidity foundation of Aurora, NEAR’s Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible layer.

Bastion’s Growth in the Ecosystem

Ever since the launch of Bastion by a pseudonymous founder, it has gained over $620 million in Total Value Locked (TVL), making it the biggest DeFi protocol on Aurora per data from DeFiLlama. It is ahead of other protocols sitting on the Aurora network, with over 40% of TVL on the Aurora chain.

The launch of its governance token BSTN, as unveiled by the startup, opened a new chapter for the firm as it introduced additional utility into its ecosystem. Token holders will be allowed to govern both the lending protocol and stable swap protocol. BSTN will also enable token holders to vote on proposals and shape the protocol’s future. Bastion also plans to gamify DeFi through the loyalty-based Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) it is building.

The funding of Bastion is one other move to showcase how unrelenting investors are in bootstrapping innovative protocols in the space. In a bid to power its ecosystem growth, Near Protocol also raised $350 million to back the growth of its ecosystem earlier this month.

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Near Protocol Raises $350m in Funding Led by Tiger Global

For the second time this year, Near protocol, a layer-1 blockchain network, has pulled massive funds from investors cutting across the traditional finance and crypto industries.


According to Bloomberg, the platform pulled in $350 million, which is more than double what it raised ( $150 million) back in January.

“We are delighted to have such a fantastic list of backers supporting NEAR’s mission,” says Marieke Flament, NEAR Foundation’s CEO. “We are looking forward to leveraging the funding to improve access to blockchain technology in an ever-growing list of countries across the world.”

This latest funding round was led by Tiger Global, an investment firm that caters to more traditional tech and innovation startups. Other investors who participated in the round include Republic Capital, FTX Ventures, Hashed, and Dragonfly Capital. The massive capital injection Near protocol received has outlined how deep-rooted the platform’s solutions are projected to be integrated into the growing decentralized ecosystem.

Unlike this current funding round, the previous rounds were funded mostly by crypto native investors like Three Arrows Capital, Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital, a16z, Jump, Alameda, Zee Prime, Folius, and Amber Group amongst others. Despite the diversity in its backers who may have different motives for investing in the protocol, Near has also been quite assertive about its goals, one of which is to fuel the decentralization of its growing ecosystem.

NEAR Protocol is a layer-one blockchain that was designed as a community-run cloud computing platform. That eliminates some of the limitations that have been bogging competing blockchains, such as low transaction speeds, low throughput, and poor interoperability. The protocol was designed to serve as one of the solutions to Ethereum and its congestion woes.

While the protocol has active communities in Europe, Africa, and Asia, it plans to extend into Latin America, Turkey, and India. Its goals are in tandem with other growing blockchain protocols like Avalanche and Binance Smart Chain (BSC), both of which have also launched dedicated funds to grow their ecosystem.

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Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, ETH, NEAR, MANA, LEO

Bitcoin (BTC) surged above the $40,000 psychological resistance on Feb. 4 and successfully held the level over the weekend. This boosted the total crypto market capitalization from $1.78 trillion on Feb. 3 to about $2 trillion on Feb. 6, according to data from CoinGecko.

A new financial disclosure by Senator Ted Cruz shows that he bought the recent dip in Bitcoin on Jan. 25 through River brokerage. On that day, Bitcoin traded roughly between $35,700 and $37,600. If the Texas Senator has held his purchase, he is already in the profit.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

Although the sharp recovery in Bitcoin’s price may have provided relief to the bulls, data analyst Material Scientist warned that large traders with a ticket size of over $100,000 are selling the rally.

Could Bitcoin hold or extend its gains? If that happens, could the altcoins join the party? Let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that look ready to move to the upside in the short term.