The Near Protocol smart contract ecosystem has earmarked USD 800 million for new financing initiatives aimed at increasing its decentralized financial capabilities, offering the latest evidence that the lucrative DeFi market is still in its infancy.

The new financing, which includes the $ 350 million program announced by Proximity Labs last week, gives ecosystem developers an added incentive to create new product offerings in Near, the company announced Monday.

Approximately USD 250 million will be allocated to existing ecosystem developers; another USD 100 million are destined to financing programs for startups, and Near plans to fund more than 20 startups at a rate of $ 5 million each. The remaining $ 100 million will be spent on so-called regional funds in Asia, Europe and the United States.

The value locked in DeFi protocols has risen 936% over the past year, and Ethereum’s competitors such as Binance Smart Chain, Solana and Avalanche saw considerable acceptance, according to data from DappRadar. Ethereum projects account for about 66% of the total value locked in DeFi, according to industry sources.

Despite Ethereum’s overwhelming dominance, the DeFi market is growing at a dizzying rate and is currently valued at over $ 247 billion, leaving plenty of room for competing platforms to capitalize on it. A year ago, the total value locked in DeFi projects was less than $ 13 billion.

Near represents a small portion of the total DeFi market, but that could change soon as more developers take advantage of new funding campaigns and users continue to seek alternatives to Ethereum-based protocols. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Ethereum’s competitors have seen an influx of users fleeing high fees on the ETH network.

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