Token of the Week: Near Protocol (NEAR)

Near Protocol is a smart-contract capable blockchain launched to address some of the issues that have stymied digital ledger technology adoption. Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin launched the project in 2015 as a community-governed, sharded blockchain platform.

Near Protocol addresses the deficiencies of older blockchain systems by relying on a new design that’s much more flexible and adaptable.  High levels of interoperability and scalability are what sets the network apart. 

The platform is intended to be much approachable to people with little or no knowledge of the underlying blockchain technology. The use of ‘common sense onboarding’ ensures regular users can access decentralized applications on the network. Additionally, the network enables developers to reach a broader audience.

How does it work?

Near Protocol operates under a developer-friendly proof-of-stake mechanism that enhances innovation while boosting scalability and reducing costs for developers and other end users. It can compete with other platforms and offers more synergies thanks to its Sharding solution dubbed Nightshade.

Through sharding, participating nodes on the blockchain can store a small set of the platform’s data. In return, sharding allows the blockchain network to scale more efficiently while also enabling the processing of more transactions per second at some of the lowest fees.

In addition, sharding allows the Near Protocol to maintain a single data chain while distributing the much-needed computing power required to maintain the data. The nodes process the data and add any valuable information to the main chain. Nightshade stands out partly because it allows fewer potential points of failure.

NEAR Tokenomics

NEAR is the native token that powers the Near Protocol network. It acts as a medium of exchange on the blockchain platform through which transaction costs are settled. Applications on the network must pay storage fees in NEAR tokens for any data stored and for performing computations.

Market cap$4.7B
24-hour volume$130million
Total supply1,000,000,000 NEAR
Circulating supply568,210,107 NEAR
Consensus mechanismProof of stake
All Time High$13.21
Block Time1 seconds

The token is used for incentivizing nodes on the network and used for powering transactions and smart contracts. NEAR token has appreciated in value going by a 530% price gain year to date. People who stake the NEAR token can participate in the on-chain governance of the platform. In this case, holders can submit suggestions to the NEAR Enhancement Proposals repository.

Additionally, the Rainbow Bridge application makes it easy for network participants to exchange Ether for NEAR.


By tackling some of the issues that have affected the blockchain space, Near Protocol has been able to accrue a substantial edge.

For starters, NEAR Protocol is incredibly fast, capable of processing up to 100,000 transactions per second. It achieves fast transaction speeds thanks to its 1-second block cadence. Additionally, it achieves transaction fees that are 10,000x lower than what people pay on Ethereum. These advantages could help the Near Protocol capture significant market share in the years ahead. 

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