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What is NEAR Protocol? The Blockchain Operating System (BOS)

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The NEAR Protocol is a Layer-1 blockchain platform for smart contract and decentralized application (dApp) development. It provides a secure, scalable, and user-friendly environment for building and deploying blockchain applications. 

A vital feature of the NEAR Protocol is the implementation of sharding, a process that divides the network's infrastructure into multiple segments, allowing individual computers, or nodes, to handle only a portion of the network's transactions.

By distributing segments of the blockchain to network participants rather than the entire blockchain, sharding is expected to provide a more efficient method for accessing network data and scaling the platform.

NEAR functions like data storage systems like Amazon Web Services (AWS), serving as the foundational layer for application development. However, instead of being controlled by a single entity, NEAR is managed by a distributed network of computers.

Much like AWS enables developers to deploy code in the cloud without establishing their infrastructure, NEAR Protocol offers a similar architecture centered around a network of computers and its native cryptocurrency, the NEAR token.

Who created NEAR?

The brains behind the creation of the NEAR Protocol are Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin. Before founding NEAR, Skidanov served as the director of engineering at the database company MemSQL. At the same time, Polosukhin played a pivotal role in developing artificial intelligence capabilities and search engine products at Google.

The NEAR foundation has secured over $20 million through various investment rounds, with prominent venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Pantera Capital leading the way.

Early-stage investors have snapped up approximately 35% of the initial 1 billion NEAR tokens. This solid foundation lays the groundwork for NEAR's journey toward widespread adoption and success.

How does the NEAR protocol work? 

NEAR Protocol is a Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain, positioning itself as a formidable opponent to Ethereum, all thanks to its innovative sharding solution dubbed 'Nightshade.'

Nightshade employs sharding, an architectural design within blockchain technology, allocating specific data subsets to individual participating nodes. This approach enhances scalability, accommodating a higher transaction throughput and reducing transaction fees.

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By implementing Nightshade, NEAR Protocol maintains a unified data chain while efficiently distributing the computational workload into manageable chunks.

A chunk is a part of every block generated by sharding on NEAR. Chunks help the system to scale horizontally by dividing the blockchain state into non-overlapping portions. It is a component of the data sharding system in the NEAR protocol responsible for processing and appending the information to the central chain.

A pivotal advantage of Nightshade lies in its capacity to minimize potential security vulnerabilities. This is achieved by tasking participating nodes to maintain smaller, more manageable chain segments.

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Nightshade outlook

The Rainbow Bridge application within NEAR Protocol serves as an instrumental feature. It facilitates seamless transfers of Ethereum tokens between the Ethereum and NEAR ecosystems.

To initiate the transfer from Ethereum to NEAR Protocol, users can deposit tokens into an Ethereum smart contract. These tokens are then securely locked. On NEAR's platform, new tokens are generated to mirror the original ones.

Since the initial funds remain stored within the smart contract, the process can be reversed whenever users want to retrieve their original tokens.

Aurora

Aurora is a Layer-2 scaling solution built on NEAR Protocol intended for developers to launch their Ethereum decentralized applications on NEAR's network.

Aurora is built using Ethereum's coding technology, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), and a cross-chain bridge that enables developers to link their Ethereum smart contracts and assets seamlessly.

What is the NEAR Blockchain Operating System (BOS)

The NEAR Blockchain Operating System (BOS) is a revolutionary platform that bridges the gap between Web2 and Web3 experiences. It allows for seamless onboarding with features like FastAuth, simplifying the transition for Web2 users and empowering Web3 developers with robust tools for creating composable apps and projects.

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The NEAR Blockchain Operating System (BOS) layout

Search and discovery in Web3 are greatly enhanced through the BOS, enabling users to find apps and components and connect with communities quickly. Gateways within the BOS pull front-end code from the NEAR blockchain, offering a wide range of app experiences without switching between platforms.

Moreover, the BOS introduces a decentralized content moderation framework, addressing the challenges posed by user-generated content. This system leverages community engagement and automation for transparent and legally compliant content review.

The NEAR Blockchain Operating System is designed for developers, founders, end-users, and anyone interested in exploring the web.

What makes NEAR valuable?

NEAR Protocol relies on its native token, NEAR, which covers transaction fees, powering applications, and storage costs.

For any data stored on the network and computational tasks performed, applications on NEAR must pay storage fees to the NEAR Protocol. These tokens are partially "burned," meaning they are removed from circulation, ultimately reducing the overall supply of NEAR tokens.

To ensure transaction accuracy and validation, computers running the NEAR Protocol software play a crucial role. Validators are rewarded for upholding the security and integrity of the NEAR blockchain by staking their tokens on the network.

NEAR Protocol introduces a 5% annual increase in token supply, with 90% of these newly minted tokens allocated to validators. The remaining 10% contributes to the blockchain's treasury, supporting ongoing platform development efforts.

NEARCON 2023 November 7—10

NEARCON was established as a community-driven gathering, uniting individuals through their shared enthusiasm for NEAR and a mutual aspiration for a more liberated, equitable, and transparent web. 

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Locations

The event was held at three convenient locations, providing a distinctive and specialized experience. 

  • NEARCON Palace

Nearcon HQ at Convento Do Beato, Alameda do Beato 40, 1950-042, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • NEARCON Haven: Hacker HQ

Armazem 16, R. Pereira Henriques nº1, 1950-242 Lisbon, Portugal

  • NEARCON Haven: Community HQ

Rua Pereira Henriques, 31950-242, Lisbon, Portugal

What happened at NEARCON 2023?

  • Insightful presentations

Prominent voices discussed topics such as the BOS, AI, the future of Web3, the significance of an open web, user experience, governance, sustainability, NFTs, DeFI, gaming, and much more.

  • Meaningful connections

Hosts and visitors had opportunities to network and collaborate, engaging in conversations throughout the event.

Why is NEAR an attractive Web3 project?

The NEAR Protocol may draw in potential users due to its unique application of sharding technology, which promises greater transaction capacity and security compared to alternative platforms.

Furthermore, developers might be inclined to choose its platform for creating applications that can operate more efficiently, especially those anticipating high user activity levels.

 Additionally, Ethereum developers seeking to establish connections between their applications and NEAR could be enticed by its Layer-2 solutions.

For investors, acquiring NEAR and including it in their investment portfolio could be a strategic move if they believe in the future viability of sharding as a means to scale blockchain technology.

The Tangem Wallet now supports $NEAR, allowing users to store, buy, send, and swap them directly in the app.