A Deep Dive Into NEAR Protocol: The Protocol Of the Future

A Deep Dive Into NEAR Protocol: The Protocol Of the Future

NEAR Protocol

NEAR Protocol has been developed with the objective of making the process of creation, ownership and exchange of value on the internet as accessible and user friendly as possible. In this post, we are going to discuss the features that make NEAR the most user friendly protocol in the crypto space, as well as the facets of NEAR that make it well positioned to become the protocol of the future.

Here are the most important questions when it comes to getting familiar with NEAR Protocol:

  • What makes NEAR Protocol the most User-friendly Protocol in the crypto space?
  • Which wallets support NEAR?
  • How do you stake on NEAR Protocol?
  • What is the staking return?
  • What makes it so easy for developers to build on NEAR?
  • Which tools does NEAR provide to Developers?
  • What opportunities does NEAR offer to Developers?
  • What makes NEAR eco-friendly?
  • What is the cost and speed of transactions?
  • How does NEAR promote sustainable decentralisation?
  • How does the community get involved and earn NEAR?
  • What makes NEAR Protocol the best platform for minting NFTs and digital assets?
  • What is the difference between NEAR and Polkadot?
  • What is the difference between Octopus and NEAR?
  • What is the state of DeFi on NEAR?
  • What is the purpose of Aurora and how it can grow the NEAR ecosystem?

What makes NEAR Protocol the most User-friendly Protocol in the crypto space?

NEAR Protocol

NEAR Protocol’s design has been created to ensure that any newcomer from Web 2.0 or Crypto can quickly and easily get set up in the Ecosystem. There are various features that allow end-users to engage with different actions in a simple and intuitive way.

  1. Human Readable Account ID: One of the most unique features of NEAR is that it uses human readable account IDs instead of a public key hash. This significantly improves the user experience as they provide a sense of familiarity and they are easier to remember.
  2. Users can Stake directly from the Native Web Wallet: Staking on NEAR is extremely simple and can be done directly from one’s Wallet. To provide additional comfort, NEAR wallet is mobile friendly.
  3. One-Click Integration of the NEAR Wallet with NEAR Dapps: For all Dapps built on top of NEAR, the NEAR Wallet is built to integrate in one-click.

Which Wallets support NEAR?

NEAR Protocol
View of the Official NEAR Wallet

The following wallets all support NEAR:

  • The Official NEAR Wallet
  • Ledger is supported
  • Coin98 Wallet
  • Liquality
  • Math Wallet
  • Guarda
  • Trust Wallet
  • Portis
  • Narwallets

How do you stake?

NEAR Protocol
Top validators from NEAR-staking.com

Staking on NEAR is super easy. On the NEAR Wallet homepage you can find a “Staking” tab. Once you click on it you need to choose the amount of NEAR you would like to stake, and pick the validator to whom you will delegate the tokens. You can choose your validator from the list of validators, by clicking on “Select” you will be shown the validator’s fee. Once you have selected your validator you click on “Stake with validator”, specify the amount of tokens you want to stake, or select “Use Max” to stake all the tokens in your Wallet. To finish, click on “Submit stake”. It is really that simple! For a more detailed guide consult here.

What is the staking return?

The staking return on NEAR is 11.28% (11 May 2021). This percentage may fluctuate, to get the most recent updates consult NEARstaking.com.

What makes it so easy for developers to build on NEAR?

NEAR Protocol
Start building! Check out the Developers Page on near.org

NEAR uses Rust and AssemblyScript as the main programming languages on the protocol. Moreover, NEAR provides a number tools and existing documentation available to help developers to build applications and smart contracts. Examples include NEAR Academy as well as the NEAR Developer Certified Program. All of these features make NEAR especially appealing to programmers that don’t want to learn Solidity or do not want to stick to blockchain-specific languages.

Which tools does NEAR provide to developers?

NEAR created, in an open-source fashion, a set of tools and references implementations aimed at helping developers to design and deploy smart contracts and applications easily.

  1. NEAR SDKs: NEAR has created standard data structure, examples and testing tools for Rust and Assembly Java Script that help developers to write smart contracts.
  2. Gitpod for NEAR: NEAR customised Gitpod’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to allow developers to write, test and deploy smart contracts from a web browser.
  3. NEAR Examples: NEAR Examples is a website containing templates that can be used by developers to build more quickly and easily on NEAR.
  4. NEAR Command-Line Tools: The NEAR team provides a set of command line tools to allow developers to easily create, test and deploy applications from their local environments.

What opportunities does NEAR offer to Developers?

NEAR Protocol
The pathway to deploying your own dApp on NEAR with NEAR Academy

Another feature that makes NEAR particularly appealing to developers are the numerous opportunities that the platform offers to learn new skills, get access to funding and get fairly rewarded for their work.

  1. NEAR AcademyNEAR has designed a free interactive course for web developers to learn how to integrate blockchain solutions to their Apps. At the end of the course a certificate of completion is awarded to the participants. This is a great tool for onboarding new developers and to make it easier for developers coming from Web2 to transition into Web3.
  2. NEAR Certified Developer Program: NEAR has launched a program for developers (suitable for both advanced and entry level developers) to learn how to design, develop, and deploy smart contracts. On top of earning a certificate, developers also get paid for their effort into learning new skills.
  3. $1 million dollars in Grants Available: NEAR has open funding opportunities for OSS, tools, APIS, contracts and more.
  4. 30% of Fees from Smart Contracts go to Developers: On NEAR developers are highly rewarded for their work and get 30% of the fees generated from the smart contracts they deploy.
NEAR Protocol

What is the cost and speed of transactions?

Transaction finality on NEAR is 2–3 seconds, while transactions cost on average <$0.01.

How does NEAR promote sustainable decentralisation?

NEAR Protocol implemented three levels of governance to allow for practical iteration and avoid any single party from dominating the governance process:

  1. Community Governance: Each stakeholder’s voice in the NEAR community is valued. To guarantee their proper representation NEAR instituted a Reference Maintainer to facilitate the processes of deliberation and discussion without slowing down the protocol’s evolution. The Reference Maintainer is selected and overseen by the community and its role consists in supporting the build up of the governance coordination tools, certain token distributions and laying the groundwork for community operated governance.
  2. Technical Governance: As with community governance, NEAR’s technical governance selects a Reference Maintainer, an entity responsible for technical upgrades of the network. Initially, the Maintainer is selected by the Foundation Board and serves until the board votes to replace them. Over time, oversight of the Maintainer will be performed through a community-representing election process (NEAR White Paper). Importantly, all the suggestions for change put forward by the Reference Maintainer are discussed by the community and need to go through a veto process lasting two weeks.
  3. Resource Governance: The NEAR Foundation is in charge of distributing and governing the resources provided by the network to the Protocol Treasury. This foundation operates independently and provides structured and transparent funding for projects and activities that are deemed to be most helpful to the ongoing health of the protocol’s ecosystem (NEAR White Paper).

How does the community get involved and earn $NEAR tokens?

NEAR Protocol
Participate in the NEAR Ecosystem and earn rewards in the Open Web Sandbox (April 2021)

NEAR offers multiple pathways to the community to get access to rewards.

  1. NEAR Crowd: NEAR Crowd is a decentralised crowdsourcing platform that allows users to earn NEAR tokens by performing simple tasks (NEAR Crowd). Being a decentralised platform it does not feature any fees besides gas fees that are required by the NEAR Protocol, which are under 0.002 per task completed. Tasks correctness is evaluated by the community itself which uses a game-theoretic set of checks and balances.
  2. The Open Web SandboxThe Open Web Sandbox is a hub that connects service providers with those that need their services. NEAR teams can post their project, what they need, and the right profile for the job. Service providers can then get in touch directly with the contact person indicated on the project description and can post their profile on the contributor profile section. At the end of the month the rewards are granted on the basis of the actions performed. Moreover, a specific bonus is given for consistently contributing to the sandbox.
  3. The NEAR Guilds Program: The NEAR Guilds program allows community members with common interest to work together and get rewarded for supporting the open web ecosystem. For more information check here.

What Makes NEAR Protocol the best platform for minting NFTs and digital assets?

NEAR Protocol
Check out the landscape of the NEAR Ecosystem at awesomenear.com

NEAR Protocol is hundreds of times faster than Ethereum and transactions cost is less than a cent; these features are what attracts developers to build their applications for selling NFTs on NEAR, or to migrate from Ethereum. There are already nine decentralised dApps on NEAR related to the fast emerging creator economy. Most of them are marketplaces that are used for the exchange of NFTs.

What makes NEAR eco-friendly?

NEAR Protocol

South Pole, a leading project developer and global climate solution provider, assessed NEAR’s carbon footprint showing that NEAR Protocol is more than 200,000 times more carbon efficient than Bitcoin, mainly by applying PoS instead of PoW (NEAR Team). As NEAR will continue to scale the carbon footprint will only marginally grow thanks to PoS. Moreover, together with South Pole, NEAR committed to compensating its CO2 emissions with reforestation projects.

What is the difference between NEAR and Polkadot?

While both NEAR and Polkadot are Layer 1 blockchains, they have significant differences in their design. NEAR Protocol is an open-source platform for building decentralized applications on top of. Polkadot is a network of blockchains that are all connected to a relay chain that provides security and interoperability between chains (or “parachains”). NEAR and Polkadot symbolize the design tradeoff between building a World of Dapps protocol (NEAR) vs. a Universe of Chains Protocol (DOT).

What is the difference between Octopus Network and NEAR?

NEAR Protocol

NEAR Protocol is an open-source platform for building decentralized applications on top of. Octopus Network meanwhile, is a platform built for hosting application-specific blockchains known as appchains on top of NEAR. Appchains provide developers with the freedom to design their own dApp that is hosted on their own blockchain. Octopus Network uses NEAR Protocol as a motherchain to implement it’s relay as smart contracts to take advantage of NEAR’s security, to lower costs for appchain developers, and utilize NEAR’s interoperability with Ethereum.

What is the state of DeFi on NEAR?

NEAR Protocol
Pulse is a fair launch open-source app for prediction markets built on Flux Protocol.

Ref.finance is the first DeFi protocol on NEAR. As a native NEAR AMM, Ref shares some similarities with Uniswap V2, with support for more pool types, multi-hop pools (all pools are in a single contract), configurable fees, and it is entirely community-owned. Explore the Ref beta here, and join the Discord for updates.

Pulse, a community-owned and operated application, is the first to be powered by the Flux Oracle. Using Pulse, users can forecast and submit predictions on a variety of events (including whether or not a vulnerability will be discovered in the NEAR Rainbow Bridge!). Pulse is live, and already has thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquidity.

Recently, NEAR announced a number of Open Finance initiatives largely focused on jumpstarting the development of DeFi on the protocol. A map of the fast growing DeFi ecosystem on NEAR can be found below:

NEAR Protocol
The growing DeFi Ecosystem on NEAR Protocol.

What is the purpose of Aurora and how it can grow the NEAR ecosystem?

NEAR Protocol
From the Aurora Twitter

Aurora is an Ethereum Layer-2 protocol that provides developers and users the experience of Ethereum on top of NEAR Protocol. Aurora combines two pieces of technology to create a seamless experience: a full-featured Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and a powerful cross-chain bridge. Aurora will allow ETH smart contracts to be deployed onto NEAR Protocol, providing a ‘best of both worlds’ for our developers.

More questions? Hop in the Official NEAR Telegram!

Be sure to follow the NEAR Protocol Community Twitter to keep up with the latest updates in the ecosystem!

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