NEAR Protocol (NEAR), launched in April 2020, is a decentralised application blockchain with a scalable Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus that prioritises user access.
NEAR is removing roadblocks to Web 3 adoption. Its cutting-edge sharding technology, one-of-a-kind transaction fee system, and expanding compatibility with other networks are all contributing to the protocol's rapid growth.
Unlike other blockchain-based platforms, NEAR Protocol's creators, Polosukhin and Alexander Skidanov, built the platform to be the most user-friendly in the world of developers and their end-users. To accomplish this, the blockchain has included features such as human-readable account names rather than the standard cryptographic names. Additionally, it allows new users to interact with DApps and smart contracts without the requirement for a wallet.
Let's take a look at some of NEAR Protocol's major pros and cons.
- NEAR employs a method known as sharding. It permits the network's capacity to scale up as the number of nodes in the network grows; hence there is no theoretical limit to the network's scalability.
- NEAR platform enables developers and project founders to monetize their infrastructure more securely, less invasive, and legitimate. When a contract is activated, a portion of the network's fees is instantly allotted to it, and the contract's creator can withdraw it.
This fosters the creation of early infrastructure while also enabling a financial framework for application and infrastructure developers to profit from their efforts without having to design their own ill-advised tokens.
- The NEAR platform allows developers to quickly deploy apps without worrying about how the infrastructure supporting them operates or scales. When it comes to web services, most online apps run on contemporary clouds like Google Cloud Platform, Amazon AWS, or Azure. But these are centralised organisations that have access to customer data. They have power to censor, modify, hack, and sell your user data. When a cloud platform is administered by a distributed and open community like NEAR protocol that anybody may join, decentralised apps will become really decentralised and safe.
- NEAR is a decentralised network. It has a staking technique known as Thresholded Proof of Stake (TPoS). It is reliable and fair, avoiding the pooling of powerful validators while encouraging the widespread involvement of nodes. Lowering the entrance barriers for nodes achieves more than just network decentralisation. The more nodes joining in a horizontally scaling system like Near's, the more it can scale.
- The incredible level of competition affects the NEAR protocol in the same way it affects all of the so-called Ethereum killers. To begin with, they are all in direct rivalry with Ethereum itself, Solana and the Polkadot Network. Second, the fierce rivalry among all of these blockchains is a significant problem since the blockchain with the highest adoption rate, and utility will almost certainly obliterate all others.
- In comparison to the Ethereum, Avax, and Solana communities, the existing NEAR community is still rather small. It has 59 validators, $92.14m TVL, and 23 dApps as of January 28,2022. Shortcuts may not close this gap, but its expansion may be worth anticipating.
Projects on Near Protocol
NEAR Protocol has sparked a lot of curiosity inside and outside the blockchain community, especially in the world of NFTs. The NEAR ecosystem is expanding, with many new and exciting projects joining it.
Mintbase is a comparable marketplace to Amazon. It allows anybody, including those with less technical ability, to create and distribute their own unique digital commodities using a smart contract. The cost of interacting with smart contracts was in the double digits, and that's why the Mintbase team looked for an alternative platform and came up with the NEAR Protocol.
Apart from the low gas fees offered by NEAR, the use of common programming languages like Rust and human-readable addresses feature are the main reasons Mintbase switched from Ethereum to NEAR. It made it easy for developers to write code.
Paras is a digital collectibles-focused NFT marketplace. They make a living by introducing traditional treasures to the crypto world. The platform uses the blockchain to verify ownership through quick and low-cost transactions. Newer NFT producers seek alternatives and solutions since competition for space on Ethereum is raising costs. The NEAR wallet is extremely fast (100000 tps), and transactions are virtually instantaneous. The Rainbow bridge assures that NEAR is compatible with Ethereum-based assets.
Flux is the simplest protocol for developers to create markets on almost anything. One of the goals is to create a creative, simple, and versatile open-source application for open marketplaces. The developers build it on top of the NEAR Wallet. It is a non-custodial wallet in the form of a browser extension that makes it easier and more familiar for web2 users as it allows account names for addresses.
NEAR protocol aimed to address some of the most common issues developers face in blockchain systems, such as slow throughput and high transaction costs. All these projects are an example of its success thus far.
Roadmap for The Future
NEAR's roadmap for 2022 consists primarily of technical milestones to enhance speed and lower costs, which the NEAR Protocol team hopes to complete.
NEAR Protocol is looking to increase its validators from 60 to 100 soon and have hundreds of validators by early next year and improve the decentralisation of NEAR as a whole.
Implementing the NEAR Protocol's Nightshade Sharding Mechanism also has a timeline. The team has divided it into four phases: the Nightshade (phase 0), which was released last December 2021. Before phase 0, NEAR could achieve 800-1000 TPS for token transfers on one shard. But after its launch, it increased to a minimum of 2500-3000 TPS.
NEAR Protocol will offer Chunk-Only Producers in Phase 1. This is an official term for validators that only validates one shard at a time. It is expected to be delivered in early 2022.
"Further our the hardware requirements of running a block producer without compromising speed or security," NEAR Protocol says in Phase 2 of the Nightshades rollout, which is expected to roll out in the second half of 2022.
NEAR protocol will feature Dynamic Resharding in Phase 3 of the Nightshades rollout, which will allow the NEAR blockchain to dynamically combine tiny shards and break up large shards into two new shards based on demand. The NEAR blockchain will theoretically have infinite scalability as a result of this.
These phases wrap up the major milestones NEAR platform is looking to achieve in 2022.
In the realm of cryptos, any platform with its own blockchain has witnessed tremendous development. This is because institutional investors acquire confidence in a safe blockchain network and are more willing to invest in it.
In addition to the reasons stated above, it is essential to mention that NEAR Protocol was developed by a former Wall Street man Erik Trautman with extensive entrepreneurial experience. The co-founders, Illia Poposukhin, who worked at Google, and Alexander Skidanov, who worked at Microsoft, are equally impressive.
Investors have been particularly interested in investing in the NEAR Protocol since it is led by business-minded professionals and engineers, which explains the project's enormous development since its beginning.