NEAR Protocol, a decentralized application platform, released the first stage of its MainNet rollout earlier this month. This production-ready network aims to make blockchain technologies more accessible to developers by allowing them to turn any type of data, from digital currencies to gaming items, into tradable assets. This broad programmability sets NEAR Protocol apart from Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital currency household names by giving users more flexibility and control over their assets.
The company’s proof-of-stake blockchain utilizes “sharding,” a technique in which a network is partitioned into smaller packets of faster, easy-to-manage datasets. This enables multiple computations to be done simultaneously, both quickening the pace of the operation and eradicating capacity limits. NEAR’s speed, ease of use, and versatility has allegedly prompted Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin to hint that NEAR Protocol could present his company with stiff competition in the future.
A recent funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz brought in $21.6 million to launch NEAR Protocol’s MainNet network. This first stage will allow developers to begin working within the system before tokens are unlocked and transfers are available. “While there’s still lots of work to do, this means that developers can actually deploy production apps while the network gets more decentralized,” said Illia Polosukhin, Cofounder and CEO of NEAR Inc.
Funding came in from a wide range of contributors, including Electric Capital, Blockchange, Pantera Capital, and Distributed Global. The platform’s rollout is community-centric, allowing a million entrepreneurs and developers worldwide to jump right in with their tokens, which is par for the course for a company whose mission is to “enable community-driven innovation to benefit people around the world.”
NEAR’s developers hail from such giants as Google, Niantic, Microsoft, and Facebook, and bring award-winning programming experience to the company. This drive seems evident in the accelerated stride of the platform’s development and rollout, and the firm’s futuristic goals. A small company in its nascent stage, NEAR Protocol seems to be stepping up to the plate to drag digital currency out of its performance slump and up to speed with global financial markets.