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Coin Healthcheck: Near Protocol (NEAR)

Near Protocol (NEAR) is a sharded, proof-of-stake blockchain, which can process up to 100,000 transactions per second. The layer-1 public blockchain is famous for being developer-friendly and easy to use, while still providing security and scalability.

Founded in 2017 and launched in April 2020, Near Protocol now sits at the top 20 of the biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap and has high expectations of rallying further.

State of Project:

✅ Near Protocol aims to solve the blockchain trilemma (the belief that blockchains cannot be scalable, secure, and decentralized at the same time) by implementing sharding. Because of this blockchain scaling feature, Near Protocol enables the processing of up to 100,000 transactions per second, reducing transaction costs.

✅ Near Protocol operates on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm. 

✅ The development of the protocol is coordinated by the non-profit Switzerland-based Near Foundation. The project, however, is governed by the community. 

✅ NEAR is the native cryptocurrency of Near Protocol and comes with several different use cases. NEAR is used to secure the network, reward the stakeholders, and pay the transaction fees.

✅ The Near Protocol network creates 5% of new tokens every year. 

The total value locked (TVL) on Near Protocol is $160M at the time of writing. 

 

 Whitepaper

✅ Full details on how Near blockchain operates are presented in extensive documentation.

Development Stage:

✅ Near’s mainnet was officially launched in October 2020. 

✅ Near launched its Nightshade sharding mechanism in November 2021. This allows increasing the protocol transaction throughput by 4 times.

✅ Rainbow Bridge, Near’s bridge to the Ethereum network went live in March 2021.

✅ Ethereum scaling solution Aurora was completely integrated into Near’s blockchain in May 2021. It later partnered with Consensys, opening hundreds of possibilities for dApps on Ethereum to become compatible with Near Protocol blockchain.

❌Near Protocol has two decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols built on its network, according to DeFillama. There are numerous DeFi dApps and protocols built and operating on Near’s blockchain, but their amount is not growing as fast compared with other layer-1 solutions.

✅ Near Protocol announced $800 million in funding initiatives to support ecosystem growth.

✅ Grayscale named Near protocol as a candidate currency for its new cryptocurrency trust. 

✅ Terra’s UST stablecoin was integrated with Near Protocol during the last days of 2021.

 Near raised $150M to become a Web3 development hub in January 2022.

 

Partnerships:

✅Partnership with Cardano for a cross-chain bridge between blockchains. 

✅ Partnership with The Graph that enables developers to use Graph technologies for developing applications on Near.

✅ Near Protocol has had one of the biggest venture capital companies in the crypto space, DragonFly Capital, on its validator advisory board since January 2021.

✅ The project is backed by many venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, crypto, Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Fundamental Labs, Coinfund, Blockchain.com Ventures, and Xpring.

Fundraising

✅  Raised around $50 million around various token sales prior to launching mainnet in 2020. 

Team:

✅ Near Protocol was founded by Alexander Skidanov a computer scientist who previously worked as a software developer and director of engineering at SingleStore, and Ilya Polosukhin, who has more than ten years of industry experience, including three years at Google.

Marieke Flament is the newly appointed CEO of Near Foundation. She is a fintech veteran, and former exec at Mettle and Circle. 

✅ The protocol’s team includes over 90 top-level developers.

 

Community:

✅ Social media accounts: Twitter (276.6K), Discord (41.5K), Telegram (1.2K), Medium.

✅High engagement with the community, and vice versa. 

✅ Has a huge ecosystem of decentralized native communities (Guilds) that support the development of the Near protocol and the projects built on it.

Key Metrics

Maximum  supply: 1 billion NEAR

Circulating supply: 608 million NEAR

Market Cap: $11.74 billion

 

Exchange listings:

✅ Listed on over 60 cryptocurrency exchanges (the full list is here).

 

Wallets:

Ledger, Trezor, MetaMask, Math Wallet, Trust Wallet

 

Token allocation:

✅ NEAR tokens are dedicated to the project’s backers (17.6%), to community grants and programs (17.2%), core contributors (14%), community sale (12%), early ecosystem (11.7%), operations grants (11.4%), foundation endowment (10%), and small bakers (6.1%). 

 

Price action:

✅ All-time High (ATH): $19.50 (January 2022)

✅ All-time Low (ATL): $0.526762  (November 2020) 

Verdict

  • NEAR protocol is the top 16 crypto with an $11.5 billion market cap at the time of writing. The project has entered the territory of large-cap coins. 
  • There have not been as many projects launching on NEAR compared with other layer-1 blockchains. This means that there is a lot of potential and room to grow. Especially with these hundreds of millions of dollars worth of initiatives dedicated to growing NEAR’s ecosystem. 
  • The project has one of the strongest teams of experienced leads, engineers, and developers, and has the financial support of venture capital investors. 
  • NEAR Protocol is the fifth among the most commonly held liquid assets across crypto-focused venture firms and hedge fund portfolios. 
  • NEAR Foundation has plans to move toward the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) working model, where NEAR token holders would be the main governing power of the protocol. 

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