Building the OS for Web3 - with NEAR Foundation

Learn how Request Finance takes the pain out of crypto payments for the NEAR Foundation


Near Foundation's financial operations, particularly crypto payments, were incredibly manual and labor-intensive. In many ways, it feels like a step back compared to the user experience of the fintech apps many people have come to expect in Web2.

Crypto payments to different wallet addresses had to be done with great care to ensure the right people were being paid. 

Fluctuating exchange rates for conversions between fiat and cryptocurrencies also proved challenging for invoices sent on one day, and paid at a later date.

The team also spent a lot of time on back and forth communications with recipients; asking them to resend invoices with edits, or sending crypto payment confirmations.


Since integrating Request Finance, Near Foundation has been able to significantly cut down the time spent on manually processing crypto payments, including the back-and-forth with payment beneficiaries. 

The team now spend a lot less time dealing with crypto invoices sent with the wrong information, thanks to the InvoiceMe feature.

The automated notifications inside the app also saves time by notifying recipients to revise invoice details; or letting them know when they have been paid. 

The Near Foundation finance team now uses Request Finance to manage many of its crypto payouts, including contractor payments, grants, community rewards, sponsorship campaigns, bounties, etc., mostly in stablecoins on NEAR or NEAR tokens.

Improved security 

Request Finance has improved the security of Near Foundation's crypto payment processes. The team can now easily see the names and contact details of who they are paying to, instead of having to copy-paste long strings of wallet addresses. 

User-friendly interface

When evaluating alternatives, Near Foundation needed a crypto payments solution with a user-friendly invoice submission process for recipients, the ability to communicate with recipients in-app, and that could reliably support NEAR-based payments - in $NEAR tokens, as well as stablecoins native on NEAR as well as wrapped on NEAR. 

Request Finance checked all these boxes, and more.

“Ever since integrating Request Finance into our operations at the Near Foundation, we now spend a lot less time dealing with crypto invoices sent with the wrong information. It has also improved the security of our crypto payment processes. We can easily see the names and contact details of who we are paying to, instead of having to copy-paste long strings of wallet addresses. The beautiful invoicing interface, and the use of live exchange rates just makes crypto payments so much easier for our organization and its counterparties.”

David Norris, Head of Finance at Near Foundation

About Near Foundation 

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”, noted the British science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke. 

In an era of sleek, digital apps and glass touchscreens, it's easy to forget that our devices are incredibly sophisticated pieces of physical machinery. Yet we hardly give a second thought to the complex processes that translate a flick of the finger, to closing an app window.

One of the things that enables this almost magical experience of using our digital devices, is something that lies at the intersection of hardware and software: an operating system, or OS. 

Operating systems (OS) are the hidden layer that enables us to run apps on devices without knowing how to write programs, or type manual commands. They are a critical part of what makes our experience of using digital devices feel like magic. From mobile phones, to our laptop computers, every computer system relies on an OS. 

Yet, Web3 applications today are notoriously clunky and difficult to use compared to their Web2 predecessors. While perhaps not as primitive as early computers, apps running on blockchain networks are plagued by high gas fees, the need to hold native tokens to pay for gas, and slow processing throughputs.

To make things worse, different blockchains don’t interact well with each other, making it difficult to develop applications across different networks.

Enter the Near Foundation.

The Near Foundation is a Swiss non-profit that supports the on-going growth and development of the Near Protocol, a carbon-neutral, Layer 1 blockchain that is designed to be super-fast, scalable and incredibly secure.

But in what seems like an endless stream of new alternative Layer 1s, and scaling solutions, the Near Foundation is taking a different approach to tackling Web3’s barriers to mass adoption.

Just as operating systems like Linux, macOS, and Windows make computers easy to use, NEAR protocol is providing a new kind of OS - but for blockchains. Called “NEAR Discovery”, the protocol’s blockchain operating system (BOS) allows individuals to create and use decentralised front-end applications on any blockchain.

The platform hopes to act as a common interface for browsing and discovering Web3 apps like crypto exchanges, non-fungible token (NFT) galleries and decentralized social networks. It simplifies building Web3 applications seamlessly across blockchains including Near, Ethereum (and other EVM networks), Cosmos, and Solana.

Since its inception in 2020, the Near Foundation has grown to over 70+ employees, with over $120m+ grants awarded, and over 2,000+ projects funded. Today, more than 1000+ active projects are built on the NEAR Protocol, which boasts almost 25 million accounts, making around 446,000 daily transactions. 

With the recent launch of the new BOS, the Foundation hopes to create the building blocks that can help Web3 apps onboard the next billion-users.

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