Here we go with the Vital Point Pulse for April - where you find out what the guild has been up to in support of the NEAR ecosystem and what it's planning to do in the coming month. Let's get to it.
Current Members: 12 (no change)
Coming up below:
NEAR-ly die doing taxes this year?
Life's certainties: death and taxes (and the reliability of the NEAR chain). I'm writing this as Solana is having major network issues and am grateful that we're building on a protocol that hasn't seen a day of downtime or any major issues that I'm aware of since it began.
I seriously do not know how people who transact on NEAR are doing their taxes. If you all have tricks I'm not aware of, please do share.
In Canada (and I'm sure its similar elsewhere), any crypto transaction is a taxable event, but it gets somewhat complicated. Staking rewards are considered business income and its necessary to track when the rewards are received and at what price so an adjusted cost basis can be used to determine total acquisition cost. It's also important later on when we might sell the NEAR or swap it for something else as the difference might invoke a capital gain or loss. And, depending on how one tracks things, it's necessary to know exactly which tokens are being sold (first in, first out). Not fun.
For Ethereum based tokens and a large number of exchanges/wallets, Koinly does a pretty good job of helping sort things out. We're not so lucky on NEAR and 95% of what we do at Vital Point AI occurs on NEAR. In short, was NEAR impossible to figure out taxes this year and we've vowed to not let this consume so much of our time next year.
Thus, we spent a large portion of April building a feature into NEAR Personas and NEAR Guilds to help people do their taxes. We were aware that Near Staking provides staking reports for NEAR accounts, but unfortunately it doesn't have data exports and we needed a way to import all our staking rewards into Quickbooks - in the right format. So we built a Quickbooks export and a CSV export feature.
It was a bit of a challenge, but pretty happy with how it turned out. We built and deployed over a hundred of the most popular validator subgraphs (and rest are coming), stored the full history of NEAR price data in all the major currencies on Ceramic that will auto update with new daily price each day into the future, and then built the UI to make it intuitive/easy to use. Includes ability to customize the accounts and journal number for Quickbooks exports.
Might be too late for you this year depending on when your taxes are due, but we've got you covered next year. Next, we'll be figuring out how to deal with the NEAR wallet transactions and the myriad of other transactions that happen on contracts all over the ecosystem. Can guarantee Catalyst is going to keep your tax reporting responsibilities front and center.
And talking about Catalyst...
Catalyst is (almost) Back
Following some UX testing on Catalyst that happened through late January to March, we've been feverishly working (inbetween taxes...) to get a much easier to use and focused Catalyst up and running.
It has full integration with NEAR Guilds and NEAR Personas and we are very hopeful you all are going to find it useful.
I'm not going to talk too much more about it for now, but will leave you with this Catalyst overview slide to tease what's coming in the very, very NEAR future.
The Subgraph Project Update
NEAR subgraphs deployed: 107 (+104)
To recap quickly (again) - Vital Point AI released a free The Graph for NEAR course (free to take) in Vital Point Academy (our NEAR education initiative). A lot of interest ensued and we started receiving requests for help building subgraphs.
Given the demand, we applied for funding and were given a grant to build a subgraph directory for NEAR subgraphs, train subgraph developers, and produce subgraphs for NEAR projects. That's right, we can build you a subgraph for your project at NO CHARGE to you. So, if you want a subgraph for your project, reach out to us and we'll add it to the list.
The tax feature mentioned above resulted in over 100 new subgraphs being deployed for the top NEAR validators.
Reminder: until we get the directory and a local graph node up and running, access the graphs from The Graph Hosted Service.
Also a reminder that we're holding facilitated courses of The Graph for NEAR. Complete the course, get validated and and you can join Vital Point AI and get paid to build subgraphs for the directory. We'd love to have you join the guild and if you want to get into development, NEAR subgraphs are a perfect starting point.
Contact us if you're interested in learning how to build subgraphs. We'll schedule the next course once we have a small group ready to go.
NEAR Guilds and NEAR Personas are on Mainnet
The NEAR Guilds program has gone through so many iterations since it started and the latest looks like its going to eliminate the term guilds from the NEAR vocabulary altogether. Well, we think Guilds and Communities can co-exist and if NEAR isn't going to support the term Guilds going forward, we are because we see guilds as being something specific and useful to the NEAR ecosystem.
To that end, we're putting effort into ensuring Guild leaders have the backend tooling and resources needed to identify and provide a product or service to those on NEAR while also bringing people and projects together to get stuff done (Catalyst).
As of end April, NEAR Guilds and NEAR Personas moved from testnet to mainnet. These are onboarding applications that we believe will simplify the process for guild leaders to start and grow guilds as well as individuals to create rich web 3 type user profiles and get recommendations for communities to join and opportunities to complete based on those profiles.
If you recall, NEAR Guilds and Personas are part of a larger picture project that is aiming to provide:
- An application to improve guild leader onboarding and engagement;
- An application improving guild management and communication;
- An application that improves individual onboarding and engagement; and
- A service to provide customized front ends for NEAR guilds that incorporate these onboarding flows.
With these moving to mainnet, we're now positioned to start working on/offering the customized front ends for other NEAR guilds who want to take advantage of the features we are building.
Don't forget - developers can easily integrate NEAR Personas into their apps - immediately adding some personality to their users. We've published a NPM package to make it even easier. See the NEAR Persona docs.
Vital Point Academy - NEAR Certified Dev Trg
At Vital Point AI we currently have a NEAR Certified Instructor and we're going to start delivering our version of NEAR Certified Developer Training very soon. It's the same necessary standard of training needed to get the NEAR Certified Developer title, but we're adding a few things to it so when you're done, you're more comfortable building full on applications with some other important web 3 integrations. That training is about 66% (+1%) complete.
Those integrations include Ceramic.Network, The Graph and some more emphasis on the front end development using React. Our reasons for doing this are selfish - we want you working on Vital Point AI projects and we tend to use all these technologies in what we build.
That said, we won't force you to work on our stuff even though you will earn NEAR for doing so... Even if you do decide to do something else, the training will be an excellent starting point for where ever you end up.
This initiative and some regular training we're running are NEAR education initiatives. We sincerely appreciate the NEAR support in helping us teach these skills to new developers. If you want to learn to develop NEAR applications, then consider joining Vital Point AI.
Vital Point Guild (VP Guild) exists to teach and spread the word about near protocol as a means to achieve widespread web 3.0 adoption...
Looking Ahead to May 2022
(Strikethroughs are done). What's on the plate for May. Well, we are aiming to:
- See some growth (2)
- Keep current members engaged with opportunities
NEAR Subgraphs Project:
- Carry over: Build and deploy the first version of the subgraph directory - so that anyone wanting to use subgraphs for NEAR projects in their own projects can easily find and do so;
- Looking to build and deploy at five new subgraphs for the directory. Looking to build and deploy five more subgraphs for the directory. If you need a subgraph for your project - please reach out and let us know. Likewise, if you are developing an app, there's some things you can do to make your contracts compatible with The Graph - let's discuss them (it's basically ensuring you emit logs that are ideally NEP-297 format).
- Run serial 002 of The Graph for NEAR training. Get your name on the waiting list if you want to make some NEAR building subgraphs.
- Continue monitoring The Graph for documentation relating to running decentralized graph node for NEAR subgraphs. When available, spool up a node to ensure availability of NEAR subgraphs.
- Post service page for people to request NEAR subgraphs from the Vital Point AI site.
- Implement recommendations from final user-testing report from Mr. Grossman with a view to a revised Catalyst launch (by end Apr May).
- Get Vital Point AI/Vital Point Academy Catalyst communities back up and running on the revised platform.
- Enable tax reporting in the platform
- Update landing page based on recent modifications
NEAR Onboarding Projects:
- develop and deploy (testnet) individual onboarding application
- extend NEAR Personas with recommendation engine
- deploy NEAR Guilds and NEAR Personas to mainnet
- extend NEAR guilds with more management features for guild leaders/guild program (messaging, reporting, analytics, staking rewards)
- continue providing input as member of the on-chain guilds management council - attend the 6 Apr meeting to find out where this is going. This seems to have fallen off - will be building our own Guild's program.
- develop and deploy (testnet) proof of concept for OWS onboarding (customized front end/onboarding)
- post project pages on Vital Point AI for both NEAR Guilds and NEAR Personas
- post service provision page for guilds to request customized frontend onboarding experiences
Vital Point Academy:
- Finalize Vital Point AI's NEAR Certified Developer Training lessons/curriculumn (approx 60%, 65% 66% complete)
- Continue lunch n learns within professional sphere (day job)
- Plan/strategize course schedules for Apr/May/June and beyond (facilitated (virtual/in-person), self-directed)
And That's a Wrap...
See you again in a month for another Pulse check. In the meantime, happy developing on NEAR.
Note - you can leave comments/ask questions below - feel free to do so/start a conversation.