What Is NEAR Blockchain? - Introductory guide to the next-generation blockchain


By Damian David Nov 05, 2022


Near Blockchain


What Is NEAR Blockchain? 


NEAR Blockchain is a decentralized, carbon-neutral, highly scalable, and community-governed cloud computing protocol that was built to serve as a layer-1 infinite smart contract environment for multi-chains and dApps.


NEAR was built as a direct response to the downsides of the Ethereum blockchain as it proposes similar functions but with better scalability, speed, fees, throughput, user friendliness and various other perks.


NEAR Blockchain was initially proposed in 2017 by Alexander Skidanov from Russia and Illia Polosukhin from Ukraine, and the certainty of the possibility of the Near protocol was attained in 2018.


The NEAR Foundation was created in 2019 as a non-profit organization facilitating the NEAR ecosystem at large and in April 2020, the NEAR protocol/mainnet was officially launched.


At Glance


● Near Blockchain smart contract is infinitely scalable due to a variant of the sharding technology the NEAR protocol tags as "Nightshade".


● Near Blockchain was created to be dually usable, unlike most blockchains in the sense that it is simple to use by both the developer and the end user.


● Near Blockchain was built to solve the scalability, high fee and low throughput complications of the Ethereum blockchain.


● Near Blockchain can process up to 100,000 transactions per second (TPS) but it is theoretically infinite in its processing and throughput capability.


● Near Blockchain has a native coin tagged "NEAR" that is used for governance, running validator nodes and enabling transactional fees in the ecosystem.


● Near Protocol is completely community-operated, every development or change to the NEAR Blockchain is voted upon by the community before it is passed.


● Near Blockchain uses a variant of the Proof-Of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism tagged "Doomslug" which achieves block finality after one round of communication.


● Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum which use implicit addresses, NEAR protocol makes use of human-readable addresses in the form of "yourname.near" This way you interact with a NEAR Blockchain Account ID that is easier to memorize and share.


● Near Blockchain is carbon-neutral and eco-friendly. NEAR reportedly consumes in a year the same energy Bitcoin consumes in 3 minutes.


● Near is a forerunner facilitating the adoption and further innovation of Web 3.0 as it has a Web 3.0 intended blockchain operating system on the way.



How Does NEAR Blockchain Work?


Near Blockchain uses "Nightshade", its native variant of Sharding, to make the Near Blockchain faster and capable of handling more transactions per second. Sharding in cryptocurrency is a process whereby the transactions in a blockchain network are divided into small groups called "shards" and distributed amongst nodes in the blockchain network. 


Nodes in a traditional blockchain network are tasked with the responsibility of recording or storing the transactional history of the blockchain network, this aims to make the blockchain network decentralized and secured in the sense that if one of the nodes malfunctions, the blockchain network is still practically safe as other nodes have a record of its transactional history.


This concept however has its downsides as it makes the Blockchain slower and unable to carry out large amounts of transactions per second. So what Sharding does is it takes those transactions, splits them into smaller chunks called "shards" and distributes it amongst all the nodes in parallel thus increasing the speed and throughput per second of the blockchain network.


The Near Blockchain Sharding technique is tagged "NightShade". The classical Sharding splits transactions in shards and distributes them to the nodes in the blockchain network, so basically each shard is independent of the node it was assigned to. "Nightshade" however splits the transactions into blocks representing the blockchain network, then distributes it to all the nodes in the blockchain network just like how it's done in the traditional blockchain explained above.


But Nightshade doesn't assign all the transactions in those blocks to the nodes, instead, it splits the transactions in the blocks into "chunks", these "chunks" are then distributed as shards amongst the nodes. In other words, nodes in the Near Protocol have records of the history of the blockchain in "chunks" but they're assigned processing and validation to one of those chunks that become their own "shard". 


So it's basically one chunk per shard for each of the nodes because each block contains all the transactions of the blockchain network, the blocks are then distributed to the nodes in parallel who are assigned a particular shard in the block to process and validate.


Another unique technology of the Near Blockchain is its native variant of the Proof-Of-Stake PoS consensus mechanism, tagged "Doomslug". Doomslug is a Proof-Of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism used by the Near Blockchain to produce and achieve the finality of blocks with one round of communication between all the participants.


Non-Technical Aspects Of Near


Near Learn: Everything you need to know about Web 3.0 is provided in this part of the Near ecosystem. Also, detailed and up-to-date data about popular blockchain structures and projects are provided for you to effortlessly educate yourself.


Near Use: Now you've become accustomed to the blockchain, why don't you put all that information to Use? Near Use feature carries you through a step-by-step guide on the ways you can make the best use of blockchain technology. Near Use opens up the best parts of blockchain technology for your utmost exploration and experience. 


Near Ecosystem: Communities, DAOs, projects, and networks – the most important factors in the blockchain ecosystem. These factors invest and contribute enormously to the Near Protocol as well as its growth. Opportunities are unlimited and inexhaustible in the Near ecosystem.


Near Blockchain For Developers: In this section, there is a comprehensive guide to building and deploying smart contracts on the Near Protocol using your favourite programming language. A big pool of developer tools and utilities is spawned throughout this section for you to use for free. Resources documentation and job opportunities are provided as well.


What Is NEAR Blockchain Coin (NEAR)?


NEAR is the native coin of the Near Blockchain that is built and functioning on the Near Protocol Blockchain itself. The NEAR coin is used to pay for transactional fees, staking purposes and voting on the protocol.


As of March 2023 according to CoinMarketCap, one NEAR coin is valued at $1.73 with a total market cap of $1,505,517,025. There is a total supply of 1,000,000,000 (one billion) NEAR coins and a total of 866,021,029 NEAR coins in circulation.


Is Near Blockchain Safe?


Two attempted attacks, one on May 1, 2022, and the other on August 21, 2022, respectively that were directed at a NEAR-Ethereum bridge tagged "Rainbow Bridge" were resisted with the second attack thwarted in 31 seconds and resulting in the hacker losing 5 ETH.


Putting Near Blockchain's PoS and its Sharding technique tagged "Nightshade" into consideration and the fact that it has stopped two attempted attacks it's safe to say that the Near Blockchain is a safe environment for your assets.


Why Choose NEAR Blockchain?


Near provides the functionalities of the Ethereum Blockchain in a simpler and better fashion. Some of its perks include faster transactions, lighter processing, cheap transactions and a highly secure environment for you and your assets. Near Blockchain uses a variant of Sharding that provides more security and a variant of Proof-Of-Stake (PoS) consensus that provides faster and lighter transactions. 


Near Blockchain is a hub of never-ending development, build-ups, startups, and ideas. Near Protocol is a community-driven eccentric and decentralized ecosystem that is democratic and fair for all.






Your Interest




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