Chain Abstraction is NEAR | Illia Polosukhin, Co-Founder

On today's episode we dive into Near Protocol with Co-founder and Near Foundation CEO Illia Polosukhin. Illia details key innovations, like account aggregation, sharding, and chain abstraction, that are aimed at bringing blockchain to a mass consumer base. We also discuss Near's strategic partnerships, challenges in onboarding Web 2.0 companies, and their impressive vision of a decade with over a hundred million monthly users. We then shift focus to AI as we explore user-owned AI, software generation replacing traditional SaaS companies, and the intriguing concept of an 'AI president' in forward-thinking governance. Stay tuned for all of this and much more!

- -

Follow Illia: https://twitter.com/ilblackdragon

Follow Spencer: https://twitter.com/0xpibblez

Follow Jason: https://twitter.com/JasonYanowitz

Follow Santiago: https://twitter.com/santiagoroel

Follow Empire: https://twitter.com/theempirepod

Subscribe on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/4fdhhb2j

Subscribe on Apple: https://tinyurl.com/mv4frfv7

Subscribe on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/wbaypprw

Get top market insights and the latest in crypto news. Subscribe to Blockworks Daily Newsletter: blockworks.co/newsletter/

- -

Wormhole is a decentralized interoperability platform powering multi-chain applications and bridges. It provides developers with access to liquidity and users on over 30 leading blockchain networks, enabling use cases in DeFi, data queries, and governance. The platform is trusted by teams like Uniswap and Circle and, to date, the platform has facilitated the transfer of over 35 billion dollars through over 850 million cross-chain messages.

Claim your unique Wormhole NFT at


- -

Send your crypto to your PayPal account, swap it for PYUSD, and use it to checkout at millions of stores.

Pay how you want by getting started at:


- -

Join us at DAS (Digital Asset Summit) in London this March! DAS is the #1 institutional conference in crypto, hosted by Blockworks.

Use the link below to learn more, and use EMPIRE10 to get 10% off your ticket! Sign up now because the price goes up every month. See you there!

Learn more + get your ticket here: https://blockworks.co/event/digital-asset-summit-2024-london/home

- -


(01:58) Illia's Return to CEO & NEAR's Recap

(05:55) Focus on Chain Abstraction

(09:41) Evolution of NEAR Sharding

(18:57) Account Aggregation Thesis

(30:11) Modular vs Monolothic Approach

(35:04) DA Landscape

(39:41) Record Consumer Usage

(43:06) Wormhole Ad

(44:32) Paypal Ad

(45:31) Owning Your Data & AI Usecase

(49:43) Onboarding Web2 Companies

(51:58) The Account Aggregation Flow

(57:51) NEAR BD Strategy

(01:04:45) Why does AI matter?

- -

Disclaimer: Nothing said on Empire is a recommendation to buy or sell securities or tokens. This podcast is for informational purposes only, and any views expressed by anyone on the show are solely our opinions, not financial advice. Santiago, Jason, and our guests may hold positions in the companies, funds, or projects discussed.

Other Podcasts from our Network