India's Crypto Economy
India's Crypto Economy is a brand-new weekly newsletter (delivered every Thursday) from Inc42 to help you decode the rapidly growing crypto economy and its implications on business, work and life. We launched this newsletter on the 4th anniversary of our weekly series “Crypto This Week” which completed 190 editions in May, 2021.
NEAR, an open-source platform for decentralised applications, has launched its first India-focused NEAR India Accelerator programme to support Indian startups innovating or looking to develop applications in the blockchain space. The accelerator will look to identify and back impactful products that solve real-world problems while strengthening the Indian blockchain ecosystem.
Woodstock Fund, a DLT- focussed multi-asset investment fund, and Fracton Ventures, a prominent Web3.0 focused Japanese investment and development platform, have joined the accelerator as investment partners and go-to-market access partners respectively.
NEAR is a decentralised development platform that is built on NEAR Protocol, a public, shared, developer-friendly, proof-of-stake blockchain. It is said to be a highly scalable, cost-effective platform for developers to build decentralised applications on.
NEAR’s India Accelerator will offer startups up to $200K in funding, along with mentorship from global experts in the blockchain and startup space, go-to-market access to the NEAR and Woodstock Fund’s expansive ecosystem along with marketing support to innovative startups with impactful solutions built on the NEAR protocol for real-world problems. Fracton Ventures will provide go-to-market support in Japan and will open up opportunities for the participating startups in the Japanese blockchain ecosystem.
The three-month-long programme is open to creators, innovators, startups, and developers from India working on projects that are past the proof-of-concept phase to build unique and creative products utilising digital assets and blockchain technology.
The registration window will be open from Tuesday, May 4, 2021, till June 20, 2021, which will be followed by three rounds where 50 teams will be shortlisted in the first cohort, 15 teams in the second, and finally five teams in the final cohort that will present their solutions on the final Demo Day.
Among blockchain startups in India, several are cryptocurrency exchanges. However, others are utilising the technology for governance applications such as storing land and education records or conducting elections in a corporate setup.
In December last year, India’s crypto and blockchain startups were invited to apply for the second cohort of the StartupToScaleUp accelerator, being run by The GAIN (Global Accelerator for Innovation Network) and supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Bitcoin & Ethereum Prices
At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $56,018, a 2.38% increase over the last seven days.
Ethereum was trading at $3,393, a 32.78% increase over the last week.
#StartupsVsCovid19: Indian Blockchain Community Leverage NFT Buzz To Raise Funds For Covid Relief
India’s crypto enthusiasts are continuing to find new ways to raise funds for Covid relief efforts in India. After the Crypto Relief Fund launched earlier this week, a group has come together to launch a project called Fable, which will auction digital artworks as non-fungible tokens to raise funds through cryptocurrency to back the fight against Covid in India. Read the full story here.