NEAR is a decentralized application platform which runs atop the NEAR Protocol blockchain. This blockchain, that can run across hundreds of machines around the world, is organized to be permissionless, performant and secure enough to create a strong and decentralized data layer for the new web.
Near is a platform for running applications which have access to a shared — and secure — pool of money, identity and data which is owned by their users. More technically, it combines the features of partition-resistant networking, serverless compute (developers can develop applications without managing a server) and distributed storage into a new kind of platform.
“For comparison, Amazon’s Web Service and Microsoft’s Azure operate much of the infrastructure of the web today and are two of the most common “clouds” where applications are deployed. Each of the individual servers which make up these computing and storage clouds are controlled by a single entity. This means that anything run on or stored within them is completely at the mercy of those companies or the government agencies which require them to do things against their will. Data can easily be lost, censored, altered, sold or hacked.”
NEAR provides a community-operated cloud infrastructure for deploying and running decentralized applications. It combines the features of a decentralized database with others of a serverless compute platform. The token which allows this platform to run also enables applications built on top of it to interact with each other in new ways. Together, these features allow developers to create censorship resistant back-ends for applications that deal with high stakes data like money, identity and assets and open-state components which interact seamlessly with each other.
These application back-ends and components are called “smart contracts,” though we will often refer to these all as simply “applications” here.
The infrastructure which makes up this cloud is created from a potentially infinite number of “nodes” run by individuals and organizations around the world who offer portions of their CPU and hard drive space — whether on their laptops or, more likely, professionally deployed servers. Developers write smart contracts and deploy them to this cloud as if they were deploying to a single server, which is a process that feels very similar to how applications are deployed to existing centralized clouds.
Near Protocol mainnet went live in October 2020 and it’s blockchain is under development.
Development roadmap has been published to it’s governance last June and the blockchain will be completed later this year.
Near Protocol uses a sharded (involves splitting the blockchain into multiple shards and storing them in different places) PoS protocol that can process 1000 transactions per shard. With 4 shards, means that Near can process around 4000 transactions/sec. For a better decentralization of the project, they are building a new data storage protocol called MACHINA (is a shard storage structure designed to transmit information faster and cheaper).
On Near Protocol, one shards is used to run AURORA and EVM protocol that can process 1000 transaction/sec.
On this 4 shards they have only 100 validators and as well for a better decentralization they want to bring more validators along the project.
Currently they are working in a development of Dynamic Sharding, where they can create and burn shards, based on demand. Basically, if the process will be successful, Near will become infinite scalable.
NEAR is the native coin of Near Protocol and is used for staking, to pay transaction fees(30% of this will go to smart contract creators, and the rest of 70% is burned).
Initial supply was 1billion and has no max supply. Most of the supply will be vested by the end of the year and the remain ones, by 2025. Near`s inflation rate is fixed to 5% and it is based on his current supply, not on initial supply.
With enough transactions, NEAR can become deflationary.
“The price of Near is not so much correlated with BTC, meaning that there is an organic demand on NEAR which eventually will lead to an exponential grow.”
Last October, they announced a development fund of 800 mil$, this caused a sell pressure, since this money came from NEAR token hold by Near Foundation.
Recently they announced the release of Near Pay, meaning they are pivotating to payment niche and a partnership with a Move to Earn project called SweatCoin(which has 63 mil users, although, the coin will be release lately this summer.
After BTC, ETH and DOT, NEAR is the most held cryptocurrency by the institutions.
Decentralization — To be a validator node, you need to stake 1mil$ at the current price, or even more, despite that they have a low hardware requirements for being a node validator. The founders are not in rush with decentralization, but this eventually become an issued in regards of regulations, specially in USA
Regulation — surprising lack of transparency, could be a reason that other US exchanges, except Binance US, havn’t listed NEAR and could be a red flag for institutions which present interest in investment.
Competition — SOLANA
NEAR Protocol was created in 2017 by a former Microsoft employee Alexander Skidanov and a developer Ilya Polosukhin.
Ilya holds a master degree in computer science and has been working before for tech companies including Google, where he focused on machine learning technologies which are now used as part of Google translate.
Alexander Skidanov holds as well a master degree in computer science and he developed his early carrier on Microsoft and then memSQL.
Near Protocol has been build by Near Inc, a software company based in San Francisco. Near core development is coordinated by Near Foundation, a non profit organization based in Switzerland. Ilya Polosukhin is part of the board directors of Near Foundation.
Near Protocol raised over 35 mil$ across various ICO in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and additional 150 mil$ in 2021 from various crypto VC and another 350 mil$ early this year, from different VC. This can be a good sign that institutions believe in the long term vision of the project.
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