What Is Near Protocol?

| Updated
by Beatrice Mastropietro · 9 min read
What Is Near Protocol?
Photo: Depositphotos

If you’re looking for a way to create decentralized applications, NEAR Protocol may be the solution you’re looking for. This software incentivizes a network of computers to operate a platform for developers. This guide will take a closer look at what NEAR Protocol is and how it works.

What if there was a way to create decentralized applications without worrying about the cost and complexity of running your network? Near Protocol is a new software that allows developers to do just that. With Near, you can build decentralized applications on top of a secure and scalable network. This makes it easy for anyone to launch their dapp without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

Near Protocol Definition

Near protocol is a blockchain protocol that enables fast, scalable, and user-friendly decentralized applications. Built on a sharded Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism that allows the network to process transactions quickly and securely, the protocol also includes features such as state sharding and cross-shard communication, making it highly scalable.

The Near protocol token (NEAR) is the native currency of the Near protocol blockchain and is used to pay for transaction fees and other platform-related costs. NEAR tokens are required for staking, which allows users to earn rewards for participating in the consensus process and helps secure the network. NEAR tokens can also be used to vote on governance decisions and help shape the protocol’s future.

The Near protocol team is composed of experienced developers and researchers from various backgrounds, including blockchain, cryptography, distributed systems, and software engineering. The team is based in San Francisco and is backed by a number of well-known venture capitalists and cryptocurrency investors.

The main goal of the Near protocol is to make it easier for developers to create and launch decentralized applications. The protocol is designed to be scalable and efficient. Sharding allows the network to process multiple transactions.

Origin of Near

Near protocol is a sharded proof-of-stake blockchain protocol for open-source smart contracts. Designed by a team of experienced engineers and academics from Cornell, Google, and MIT, Near has one goal: to make it easy for anyone to build fast highly scalable decentralized applications.

The idea for Near Protocol came about in early 2017 when co-founders Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin worked on scaling solutions for Ethereum (ETH). They realized that existing blockchain protocols weren’t well suited for building large-scale applications due to their slow performance and high fees. So they set out to create a new protocol that would be more efficient and user-friendly.

After nearly two years of research and development, Near protocol was launched in April 2019. The protocol is powered by the NEAR token, which is used to pay for transaction fees and gas costs.

Near protocol is scalable, efficient, and easy to use. It uses sharding to split transactions among multiple nodes, making it much faster than other blockchain protocols. And because it’s proof-of-stake, it doesn’t require energy-intensive mining operations.

The Near team is led by co-founders Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin. Skidanov is a former engineer at Google and Facebook, while Polosukhin is a core contributor to the EOS project. The team is backed by a number of notable investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, MetaStable, and Electric Capital.

How Does Near Protocol Work?

Near protocol is powered by a novel consensus algorithm called “Adaptive Proof of Stake” (APoS), which allows for fast and secure transaction processing without energy-intensive mining. It also features state sharding, enabling horizontal scalability and making it possible to process thousands of transactions per second.

To run a dapp on Near, developers first need to create an account on the network. Once an account is created, developers can deposit NEAR tokens into their account, which they can use to pay for transaction fees or staking rewards.

Once an account is funded, developers can deploy their dapp on the network. To do so, they first need to create a “contract,” a piece of code specifying the dapp’s functionality. Once a contract is created, it can be deployed to the network and accessed by anyone with an account on the network.

Contracts on Near protocol are written in various languages, including Rust, AssemblyScript, and Solidity. However, the protocol is language-agnostic, meaning that any language can be used to develop dapps on Near protocol.

Near protocol features a built-in programming language called “Move”, which is used to write smart contracts. The move is a statically typed language designed to be secure and easy to use. It is also Turing complete, meaning it can be used to write any type of dapp.

Once a contract is created, it can be deployed to the network and accessed by anyone with an account on the network. Transactions on Near are processed in blocks created every 10 seconds.

Each block on Nearcontains a list of transactions processed by the network nodes. Nodes are divided into two types: validators and full nodes. Validators are responsible for processing transactions and maintaining the state of the network. Full nodes are responsible for storing the history of the network.

Near Protocol Technology

The Near Protocol is based on a unique consensus algorithm called “Proof of Stake” (PoS). With PoS, validators stake their tokens to secure the network. The more tokens staked, the greater the chance of becoming a block producer and earning rewards.

The Near platform is built on three key principles: accessibility, scalability, and security.

  • Accessibility. The Near platform is user-friendly and accessible to everyone, regardless of technical expertise. It features an intuitive development environment, tooling, and a vibrant community of builders.
  • Scalability. The Near platform is highly scalable, thanks to its unique consensus algorithm, which enables it to process thousands of transactions per second. This makes it ideal for building decentralized applications that require near-instant finality.
  • Security. The Near platform is secured by the Near Foundation Treasury, which funds the development of the protocol and provides financial incentives to validators who secure the network.

Projects Based on Near

As one of the newest protocols on the market, Near has been designed with flexibility in mind. This means that many projects are already being built on top of the protocol that takes advantage of its unique features and benefits.

Metabase is one such project. It is a non-fungible token (NFT) minting platform that allows users to create and sell their own NFTs. This is made possible by Near’s support for smart contracts, making it easy to create and manage these digital assets.

Flux is another project that is making use of Near’s capabilities. It is a protocol that allows developers to create markets based on assets, commodities, real-world events, and more. This is made possible by using Near’s decentralized exchange, which allows for fast and secure trading of these assets.

The third project is called Narthex. It is a decentralized application store that allows users to discover and use dapps built on Near. This is made possible by using Near’s account system, which makes it easy to manage and use these applications.

One more project that is making use of Near’s capabilities is called Locus Chain. It is a blockchain platform that allows for decentralized application development. This is made possible by using Near’s smart contract functionality, which makes it easy to create and manage these dapps.

Finally, there is the project called Bricks & Mortar. It is a decentralized marketplace that allows users to buy and sell real estate. This is made possible by using Near’s decentralized exchange, which allows for fast and secure trading of these assets.

These are just a few of the projects that are being built on top of Near. As the protocol continues to gain traction, we can expect to see more projects emerge that take advantage of its unique features and benefits.

NEAR Token

NEAR Token is the native token of the NEAR Protocol. The total supply of NEAR is 1 billion tokens, with a circulating supply of 350 million as of July 2020. The remaining 650 million are locked up in the NEAR Foundation endowment fund.

NEAR’s primary use case is to be staked by validators and nominators to secure the network and earn rewards. As such, it has a high degree of liquidity and is traded on a number of exchanges, including Binance, Kraken, and Gate.io.

NEAR is also used to pay transaction fees on the network. Fees are paid in proportion to the computational resources required to execute a transaction, making NEAR one of the most efficient blockchain protocols in terms of transaction costs.

NEAR’s key features include:

  • EVM compatibility, meaning that it can run Solidity smart contracts;
  • Scale horizontally as more nodes join the network due to sharding technology;
  • Quick transaction finality.

The Near protocol is still in development and is not yet ready for production applications. However, a number of projects are already built on Near, including Can’t be Evil, a social media platform that incentivizes users to share accurate information; 0xcert, a decentralized protocol for verifying the authenticity of digital assets; and 3box, a user data management platform.

Pros & Cons of Near Protocol

Near protocol is a blockchain protocol that enables high-performance decentralized applications. Some of the benefits of using Near protocol include:

  • Scalability. Near protocol can handle up to 10,000 transactions per second. This makes it much faster than other blockchain protocols such as Ethereum.
  • Developers friendly. Near protocol has an easy-to-use development platform that makes it easy for developers to build decentralized applications.
  • Security. Near protocol uses cryptography to secure its data and transactions. This makes it more secure than other protocols that do not use this security measure.

There are also some drawbacks to using Near protocol. These include:

  • Lack of support. Near Protocol is still a new protocol and lacks the support of major exchanges and wallets. It may be difficult to find places to buy and sell Near tokens.
  • Complexity. TheNear protocol is more complex than some other protocols. This can make it more difficult for users to understand how it works.

Overall, Near Protocol is a promising new blockchain protocol with many benefits. However, it is still early in development, and some drawbacks must be considered before using it.

Conclusion

Near protocol is a next-generation sharding protocol that enables horizontal scalability for blockchain applications. The protocol uses state sharding and blocks sharding to achieve high transaction throughput while maintaining decentralization, security, and flexibility. The Near team has created an innovative consensus algorithm called “nightshade” that allows the network to operate without requiring special hardware. In addition, Near protocol features a virtual machine that makes it easy to deploy smart contracts.

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