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A16Z-Backed Blockchain Gets $350 Million Grants Vehicle for DeFi

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(Bloomberg) -- Proximity Labs, a research and development firm, announced the creation of a $350 million grants vehicle to help build decentralized-finance applications on the NEAR blockchain, where it is focusing its efforts.

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The vehicle, a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, aims to distribute the money in NEAR tokens over about four years in amounts ranging from about $5,000 to several million dollars, Proximity’s announcement said. The grants DAO is open to all DeFi projects, it said.

DeFi projects such as Curve, Sushi, Dodo and Kyber have launched or are in the process of doing so on NEAR’s blockchain, which is designed to be fast, secure and infinitely scalable. It’s backed by venture-capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz’s A16Z, Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain.com and Baidu Ventures.

There are now more than 1.3 million active accounts on the network, according to the statement. In addition, total value locked has exceeded $150 million, and includes NEAR native assets -- alongside Ethereum network assets such as Ether, USDC and Tether via its Rainbow Bridge connection.

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