- NEAR Protocol is an open-source technology hub that allows users to develop web apps.
- The blockchain network runs on Nightshade, a proof-of-stake mechanism that focuses on scalability and stable fees.
- NEAR Protocol launched the NEAR coin on 22nd April, 2020, with 1 billion tokens created at the start, and 5% additional supply issued annually.
- The platform has been expanding its product offerings and recently launched ‘Shroom Kingdom,’ a play-to-earn video game.
The NEAR Protocol is a decentralized, developer-friendly platform running on the proof-of-stake mechanism. It became the first fully trustless bridge to Ethereum in April 2021 after launching the Ethereum <> NEAR Bridge, a universal protocol that unlocks communication and interoperability between smart contract chains.
The NEAR Protocol allows users to create scalable decentralized web apps at relatively stable fees. Innovation around the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has resulted in skyrocketing fees on the Ethereum network. But the NEAR Protocol creating a direct bridge to the network could help stabilize project fees significantly.
The NEAR coin is listed across multiple crypto exchange platforms, illustrating its growing popularity. The company has also made key developments this year.
On May 28th, NEAR announced its partnership with Ceramic on cross-chain identity and dynamic data storage, allowing NEAR developers to use data streaming and identity protocols to manage user identities.
On June 19th, the platform launched an NFT marketplace for hip-hop heads. The first edition of the hip hop heads collection is a tribute to the history and culture of hip hop covering the 47-year history since its inception at the Bronx, New York.
On August 10th, the NEAR Protocol entered into a collaboration with Filecoin to accelerate the growth of the Web3 stack. The Filecoin <> NEAR bridge, allowing the permissionless storage of smart contracts.
On September 14th, NEAR announced ‘Shroom Kingdom’ as the latest play-to-earn video game to be added to the platform.
The company has also joined hands with several other crypto players to back the upcoming Rust conference. Rust is the fastest-growing coding language that cryptographers have grown fond of. The NEAR Protocol joined as one of the diamond sponsors for the conference.
NEAR has some exciting events lined up, with some having been part of its recent announcements. Following the launch of ‘Shroom Kingdom’ on the platform, NEAR users will be able to ready themselves for an Airdrop.
‘Shroom Kingdom’ was announced on September 6th, asking players to be ready to capitalize on an Airdrop, as it would only be available for those online at launches.
On The Flipside
- One of NEAR Protocol’s biggest drawbacks comes from governance centralization. Unfortunately, only validators can vote on proposals, meaning that it has some way to go, in order to be fully recognized as a decentralized network.
- Another potential drawback is the fact that 35% of the token supply is kept by insiders, once again overshadowing decentralization.
NEAR Protocol (NEAR) Price Updates
Although cryptocurrency prices continued to experience high levels of volatility this year, the NEAR coin barely dipped below last year’s levels. It has gained more than 24% in value over the last 7 days, and more than 480% this year.
The 24 hours price chart for NEAR. Source: CoinMarketCap
In the last 24 hours, NEAR reached a high of $9.16, and traded at a low of $8.04. It had a 24-hour trading volume of more than $340 million, while its fully diluted market cap stood at $8.95 billion, as of the time of writing.
The NEAR Protocol has one of the fastest-growing communities in the crypto market due to its ability to link users from different networks. As a result, users have been upbeat about NEAR coin, with some showing excitement about upcoming events.
Reacting to the news that NEAR coin would soon be listed in Coinbene global, Twitter user Eli posted:
Another user was very excited when NEAR hit a new all-time high last week. User Blazej posted:
Why You Should Care?
Although NEAR has a couple of notable drawbacks, the platform seems dedicated to making it as user-friendly as possible for developer apps.
In addition, NEAR’s unbonding period of 36-48 hours is considerably shorter compared to its peers, such as Polkadot’s 4 weeks and Cosmos’ 3 weeks. Moreover, its trustless bridge to Ethereum can later be scaled to become an alternative to various layer 2 solutions.