Author: Garet Johan, CoinEx Ambassador

Based on San Francisco, California, United States

Founded Date July 1, 2018

NEAR is a sharded, developer-friendly, proof-of-stake blockchain. Put another way, it is like a public community-run cloud platform. That means it is a highly scalable, low cost platform for developers to create decentralized apps on top of.

Functions:

Allow developers to build blockchain native mobile dApps and run it where the users are (mobile phones), giving developers a key onramp into dApps.

Through sharding by state, allow the blockchain to scale close to linearly with the number of nodes in a network.

Allow blockchain entrepreneurs to quickly iterate and come up with successful business models since they both have scalable blockchain and easy access to users via first mobile-native blockchain.

Problems to be solved:

Building better tools for developers

High transactions per second trough sharding technology

More decentralization

Business:

Fundamentally, the NEAR platform is a marketplace between willing participants. On the supply side, operators of the validator nodes and other fundamental infrastructure need to be incentivized to provide these services which make up the “community cloud.” On the demand side, the developers and end-users of the platform who are paying for its use need to be able to do so in a way which is simple, clear and consistent so it helps them.

Micro level to create new business models by directly compensating the developers who create its most useful applications.

Macro level by coordinating the efforts of a broader set of ecosystem participants who participate in everything from education to governance.

Business Model:

NEAR is a protocol and also a platform that uses the blockchain to create a place where developers can use the blockchain where the token has the use of staking and making the governance possible and paid for transaction fees, amongst other things.

Epoch Rewards

Node operators are paid for their service a fixed percentage of total supply as a “security” fee of roughly 4.5% annualized.

Protocol treasury: In addition to validators, the protocol treasury receives 0.5% of total supply annually to continuously re-invest into ecosystem development.

Transaction Costs:

Usage of the network consumes two separate kinds of resources — instantaneous and long term. Instantaneous costs are generated by every transaction because each transaction requires the usage of both the network itself and some of its computation resources. These are priced together as a mostly-predictable cost per transaction, which is paid in NEAR tokens.

COMPUTE AND BANDWIDTH (“GAS”)

Compute (CPU) is a momentary resource spent on executing a transaction. The cost of each CPU instruction is denominated in “gas” units and its price is determined based on the slowly adjusted price of gas (denominated in NEAR tokens)

Storage Costs:

Storage is a long term cost because storing data represents an ongoing burden to the nodes of the network. Storage costs are covered by maintaining minimum balance of NEAR tokens on the account or contract. This provides an indirect mechanism of payment via inflation to validators for maintaining contract and account state on their nodes.

Inflation:

Inflation is the combination of payouts to validators and the protocol treasury minus the collected transaction fees (and a few other NEAR burning mechanics like the name auction. Overall, the maximum inflation is 5%, which can go down over time as network gets more usage and more transactions fees are burned. It’s possible that inflation becomes negative (total supply decreases) if there are enough fees burned.

Security Thresholds:

Some thresholds which provide for good behavior among participants are set using economic incentives.

Economic Stakeholders

Validators: Provide the computational resource and security for the network by running nodes.

Developers: Create the applications which run atop the network

Token Holders: Accounts or applications which maintain token balances

NEAR Foundation: An independent entity which coordinates the governance and technical evolution efforts of the network participants.

Third Party Observers: The observers of the chain who provide extra fraud and bad behavior protection.

Users: Users of applications on the network who do not maintain token balances.

Team Information

The Near team is comprised of competitive programming champions and veterans from several major tech companies, such as Google, Facebook and Niantic. YC alum and CEO Alex Skidanov was the first employee at the sharded database company MemSQL and CTO Illia Polosukhin was a core contributor to Google’s TensorFlow machine learning library while working in their prestigious research division. The Near engineering team includes a 2-time ICPC world champion, 3 gold medalists and multiple finalists plus the business team has deep experience building and scaling technical startups.

Core Members

Based on https://near.org/team/ currently there are 44 members mostly European and American

Roadmap

The only thing related with project Roadmap is from this year 2020.

There were 1,000,000,000 NEAR tokens created at Genesis on April 22, 2020. This will be allocated in the following way, where each category is described in greater detail in the following sections:

Achievements

2019 Achievements

Content

We launched our Whiteboard Series, which features a collection of over 30 deep-dives into various blockchain protocols.

With finalising NEAR’s design, we started our Lunch & Learn Series on YouTube, providing a deep dive into the underlying mechanisms of NEAR protocol.

Alex was live coding core features of the NEAR Protocol in October.

Research

Nightshade: Near Protocol Sharding Design

Near Protocol Randomness Beacon

Fast Finality and Resilience to Long Range Attacks with Proof of Space-Time and

Casper-like Finality Gadget

Doomslug: block confirmation with single round of communication, and a finality gadget with guaranteed liveness

The NEAR Foundation (https://near.foundation) is, at the broadest level, the steward of the *full* NEAR purpose. This foundation is an independent nonprofit entity based in Switzerland whose charter directly contains the words of that Purpose. To fulfill it, the Foundation plays a supporting and coordinating role between the players of the ecosystem. It is the lighthouse which helps keep the ecosystem oriented towards the North Star of that Purpose.

2020

Near`s Protocol MainNet Genesis

MAY 4, 2020

https://near.org/blog/near-mainnet-genesis/

Transaction Data

There isn’t any information about that since NEAR no has any listing exchange

information. But there is the explorer https://explorer.near.org/

Governance Model

Governance defines how the protocol is updated (“Technical Governance”) and how its resources are allocated (“Resource Governance”).

NEAR’s governance defines a Reference Maintainer, which is an entity responsible for technical upgrades to the NEAR network. This entity has been selected to maintain the Reference Implementation and continue to suggest improvements on the specification. All major releases will be protected with community discussion and a veto process (a 2 week challenge period), while smaller bug fixes can be rolled out fast and delivered to node operators.

Resources provided by the network itself to the Protocol Treasury are governed and distributed by the NEAR Foundation. This foundation operates independently and will provide structured and transparent funding for projects and activities that are deemed to be most helpful to the ongoing health of the protocol’s ecosystem. This may include technical projects (like the Reference Maintainer) and nontechnical projects or initiatives that support the commons and the community at large.

Technical Solution

It is well-known that Ethereum, the most used general purpose blockchain at the time of this writing, can only process less than 20 transactions per second on the main chain. This limitation, coupled with the popularity of the network, leads to high gas prices (the cost of executing a transaction on the network) and long confirmation times;

The latter approach, in which the work is split among all the participating nodes, is called sharding. This is how Ethereum Foundation currently plans to scale Ethereum.

In Nightshade we model the system as a single blockchain, in which each block logically contains all the transactions for all the shards, and changes the whole state of all the shards. Physically, however, no participant downloads the full state or the full logical block. Instead, each participant of the network only maintains the state that corresponds to the shards that they validate transactions for, and the list of all the transactions in the block is split into physical chunks, one chunks per shard.

GitHub Activity

Community Situation

Telegram

Community Channel 2996 members

https://t.me/cryptonear

Medium

There are several writers, so i`ts difficult to precise an exact amount of followers. The

Near`s Blog is more active than Medium

https://medium.com/nearprotocol

Discord

3141 members

Usually 10% members are online

https://discord.com/channels/490367152054992913/504354607838003221

Twitter

https://twitter.com/nearprotocol

Following 751 Followers 25K

WeChat

https://near.org/wechat

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/NEARProtocol/

Low engagement

Only 333 followers

Competition Analysis

There are several companies that use sharding technology in the table below showing the most relevant projects that use them. Near in comparison with their competitors offers a more perfected sharding solution to avoid hash attacks.

Risk Evaluation

The main risk is that since its foundation in 2018 it has only had institutional and private investors. It is not listed on any exchange, so it has not been tested to market conditions.

It is focused on the flexible development of Dapps with a developer-friendly approach, which in the long run may attract more speed in the development of the project.

The most attractive aspect of the project lies in the possibility of attracting more new developers or developers from other companies related to blockchain technology.

Recently in May they partnered with the University of Washington to hold a Hackathon and collaborated as sponsors for the Future of Blockchain that is a long-form competition for those at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, London, Berlin and others to build a blockchain project over 3 months.

https://medium.com/future-of-blockchain-competition/future-of-blockchain-2-summary-and-prizes-e87f3c6f392f

Sources:

https://near.org/downloads/Nightshade.pdf

https://medium.com/quarkchain-official/how-heterogeneous-sharding-empowers-enterprise-e1ca05131009

https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/near-0565#section-overview

https://medium.com/nearprotocol/near-ai-near-protocol-8785c9d32096

https://near.org/papers/the-official-near-white-paper/#the-future

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190710005723/en/Protocol-Developers-Raise-12.1M-led-Metastable-Accomplice

https://near.org/blog/near-token-supply-and-distribution/

https://near.org/blog/mainnet-roadmap/

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