NEAR Protocol: The Software-First Crypto Project
As the crypto world continues to evolve rapidly, it becomes increasingly important for us to evolve the way we look at it. This means looking beyond the coins and tokens and seeing them as software-based projects. Bitcoin, for instance, is more than just a cryptocurrency; it is open-source computer software. In this video, we will explore NEAR Protocol, a project that takes the software-first approach to crypto.
NEAR Protocol: A Brief Overview
NEAR Protocol is a layer-1 blockchain protocol launched in October 2020. According to their Twitter, they describe themselves as a climate-neutral, high-speed, low transaction fee blockchain. The project has taken a unique approach to building infrastructure for the new internet with higher security and privacy.
Why NEAR Protocol is Unique
NEAR has several unique approaches to blockchain technology that sets it apart from its competitors. One of its key features is its use of sharding, which is a technique that Ethereum has been planning to implement for some time now. In sharding, the total load of the network is broken into sections or shards, and each shard handles a fraction of the load.
NEAR’s network runs on Nightshade, which is its proof-of-stake and sharding mechanism. Thanks to sharding, NEAR can already process up to 100,000 transactions per second and at a cost of less than a penny each. NEAR’s transaction count is three times lower than ETH right now, but they’re done five times as fast.
NEAR also has its own layer-2 scaling solution called Aurora, which is like MATIC for Ethereum. This technology allows developers to easily copy and paste Ethereum dApps onto NEAR. And, since Aurora is a smart contract for the mainnet, meaning it also taps sharding for scaling, it adds to NEAR’s unique features.
The NEAR Protocol Community and Team
NEAR has 916 projects building on the ecosystem, and their team is comprised of heavy hitters from tech giants such as Google and Microsoft. In addition, the team has several individuals who won the International Collegiate Programming Contest, and they claim to have built the only real-world sharding system at scale.
NEAR also has excellent funding, having raised $50 million with no product thanks to venture capital firm Y Combinator. As of the time of the video, VCs have backed NEAR to the tune of $566 million, including Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase Ventures.
NEAR’s native token, NEAR, is the governance token of the platform. With a 5% inflation reward to incentivize network security, the coin also adds a deflationary mechanism by burning 70% of transaction fees. The total supply of NEAR is one billion, with around 821 million in circulation at the time of writing.
NEAR Protocol has a lot going for it, from its use of sharding to its more accessible programming languages. The project is making strides to be more environmentally conscious, which is increasingly important to crypto users. NEAR Protocol has a strong team and excellent funding, making it promising for future growth. Whether it can reach its all-time high of $21 depends on several factors, but it’s certainly a project worth keeping an eye on in the software-first crypto world.