Aurora launches $90 million developer fund to boost DeFi on NEAR Protocol

Quick Take

  • Near’s EVM layer, Aurora, unveiled a token fund with the objective of financing new DeFi-based applications.
  • Aurora Labs said it hoped to make its network more appealing to Ethereum developers. 

Aurora, a blockchain layer on the NEAR Protocol, has launched a $90 million token fund to accelerate the development of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.

The fund was unveiled today in collaboration with Proximity Labs, NEAR Protocol’s DeFi arm. To seed the fund, Aurora Labs, the core development team behind Aurora, allocated 25 million aurora tokens (about $90 million) from its DAO treasury to Proximity Labs. 

Proximity will manage the tokens and provide grants to developers interested in building DeFi-based applications on Aurora. Such token-based funds are used as a strategy by blockchain or cryptocurrency founders to boost the overall activity of the network.

Today's funding by Aurora comes a month after NEAR Protocol's team (separate from Aurora Labs) raised $350 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global. This indicates the Near ecosystem has additional funds at its disposal for application development.


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While Aurora is part of the NEAR Protocol ecosystem, it operates as a separate blockchain layer. It's main feature is compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) — a computing environment used by Ethereum applications.

With the launch of its new developer fund, Aurora Labs said it hoped to make its EVM layer on Near more appealing to Ethereum developers. 

“Aurora DAO continues its mission to extend the Ethereum economy outside Ethereum blockchain.