The Near Protocol is a smart contract-capable blockchain that aims to address some limitations of competing systems, such as low transaction speeds, limited transaction throughput, and poor cross-compatibility. Near (NEAR) is a decentralized application platform that strives for accessibility and user-friendliness.
The protocol’s native utility token, NEAR, is an important component of the platform and powers the protocol.
Read on for our deep dive into the Near protocol and the NEAR token, learn which crypto exchanges support NEAR, and how to buy it in a few simple steps.
Let’s dive in!
What Is NEAR
The Near Protocol is a Layer 1 scalable, Proof-of-Stake network designed to boost scalability and reduce costs for developers. Its innovations include NEAR’s innovative sharding technology, unique transaction fee mechanism, and a powerful new consensus mechanism known as ‘Doomslug.’
NEAR was conceptualized as a community-run cloud computing platform designed to host dApps. Its goal was to create a scalable, decentralized, and secure blockchain focused on accessibility and user-friendliness.
Transaction fees on NEAR Protocol are very low compared to blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. As a Proof-of-Stake network, NEAR does not consume large amounts of electricity to validate its network and has been rated carbon-neutral.
NEAR is the native token of the blockchain and has a variety of applications inside the system. NEAR can be staked or delegated to a validator node to assist in the operation of the network’s Proof of Stake consensus process. Staking validators securing the network are paid in NEAR token rewards proportional to their overall stake. NEAR may also be used to pay for transaction fees and storage. It can be utilized in decentralized apps like markets where you can buy and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NEAR is also the protocol’s governance token allowing token holders to participate in the on-chain governance of the platform.
The NEAR Collective, the NEAR protocol’s community, continues to maintain the initial code and support the project by releasing updates to the ecosystem.
Since the code for NEAR is open source, anybody can join the collectible and begin contributing towards its development.
Some examples of projects built on the NEAR protocol include Flux, a protocol that allows developers to create markets based on assets, commodities, real-world events, the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Ref Finance, the decentralized autonomous organization platform Astro DAO, Paras, an NFT marketplace that focuses on high-quality works curated by select artists, and Mintbase, an NFT minting platform.
What Makes NEAR Unique
NEAR is an open-source, decentralized platform designed to accelerate the development of decentralized applications. Moreover, it aims to manage high-value assets like money and/or identity and make these apps resilient enough for the blockchain community and users. NEAR Protocol employs Nightshade technology to create a scalable, decentralized, and secure blockchain and improve transaction throughput massively. Nightshade is a variant of sharding where individual groups of validators process transactions across multiple sharding chains in parallel, increasing the overall capacity of the blockchain. Unlike “normal” sharding, Nightshade shards generate parts of the next block called “chunks.” As a result, the NEAR protocol can execute up to 100,000 transactions per second and achieves near-instant transaction finality results through one-second block speeds while simultaneously keeping transaction fees close to zero.
In its goal of making applications deployed to the platform seamless for end-users and developers, the NEAR protocol has made the process of creating a wallet much more intuitive and user-friendly than other networks. NEAR has incorporated features like human-readable account names as opposed to only cryptographic wallet addresses common to Ethereum and the ability for new users to interact with dApps and smart contracts without requiring a wallet at all.
NEAR has improved the complex onboarding process of other blockchains by having human-readable addresses and creating decentralized applications with similar registration flow to what users have already experienced. Moreover, it provides developers with modular components, helping them start projects like token contracts or NFTs more quickly.
NEAR Token Economics
The NEAR token is used as collateral to store blockchain data and pay transaction costs. NEAR tokens are also used to reward stakeholders in the blockchain. Transaction validators earn NEAR token reward every epoch that amounts to 4.5% of the total NEAR supply annually.
Furthermore, developers that construct smart contracts earn a share of the transaction fees generated by their contracts. The remaining transaction fee is burnt, increasing the NEAR token’s scarcity. NEAR has also created a protocol treasury, which gets 0.5% of the total NEAR protocol supply yearly to reinvest in the ecosystem development.
In addition to NFTs, the NEAR Protocol may support ” wrapped ” tokens from other chains. Similarly, NEAR has built a bridge with Ethereum that allows users to transfer ERC-20 tokens from Ethereum to NEAR.
NEAR is the native utility token utilized for:
- Transaction fees and data storage,
- Staking, allowing you to run validator nodes on the network,
- Governance voting to determine how to allocate network resources.
How Many NEAR Coins Are There in Circulation
The total supply of NEAR is 1 billion tokens, according to the following token distribution:
- Community Grants -17.2%
- Operation Grants – 11.4%
- Foundation Endowment – 10%
- Early Ecosystem – 11.7%
- Core Contributors – 14%
- Backers – 17.6%
- Small Backers – 6.1%
- Community Sale – 12%
The NEAR Protocol launched its main net on April 22, 2020, with 1 billion NEAR tokens issued at genesis. Each year, 5% of new supply is released to maintain the network’s epoch rewards, with 90% going to validators (4.5% overall) and 10% going to the protocol treasury (0.5% total). 30% of transaction costs are rebated to contracts that engage with a transaction, while the remaining 70% is burnt.
Who Are the Founders of NEAR Protocol
Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin are co-founders of the NEAR protocol. They are both developers with substantial programming expertise.
The pair met while working at the U.S. startup incubator Y Combinator. In July 2018, they started working on a project to make it easier for developers to build and deliver software. This initiative evolved into the NEAR Protocol, which employs more than 40 people, including developers with previous expertise at Google and MemSQL.
According to the NEAR Protocol’s official website, several creators have won or been nominated in coding and related contests, most notably the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).
Skidanov previously worked for both MemSQL and Microsoft, and Polosukhin contributed to the open-source machine learning framework for TensorFlow and Google Search.
Where You Can Buy NEAR
NEAR is available on several cryptocurrency exchanges. You need to compare them to find one with the features you want, such as low fees, a user-friendly platform, or 24-hour customer support.
Binance supports NEAR; however, it’s not available to US users. Crypto.com will probably be a good choice for US investors interested in buying NEAR. It offers a stylish and powerful app for iOS and Android.
To buy NEAR on the platform of your choice, you must register an exchange account. In the United States, this usually entails providing your address, social security number, and a photo of your driver’s license or passport. You might need to undergo verification processes such as KYC and ALM. You’ll also need to choose a private wallet to store and transfer your NEAR tokens securely. You have to choose between a hardware wallet and a software wallet. Hardware wallets are the most secure option and give you total control over your assets.
The next step will be to fund your account with a bank transfer, credit/debit card, etc., select your preferred currency, and start trading NEAR. Instant ACH deposits are the most convenient and time-efficient way to fund your Crypto.com account with US dollars. The app leads you through the steps of integrating your bank account and depositing funds. Other cryptocurrencies can also be sent to your Crypto.com account and exchanged for NEAR.
Once your account is filled, search for Near, select a trading pair, such as NEAR/tether (USDT), enter the amount you want to purchase, and click buy. After the purchase, you can withdraw your Near to your personal wallet.
Can You Buy NEAR on Coinbase
Some cryptocurrencies are more difficult to acquire than others, and NEAR is among them. The Coinbase app or Coinbase Wallet doesn’t support NEAR. But don’t worry, we’ve included some crypto exchanges that offer NEAR.
Can You Buy NEAR on Crypto.com
Users of the Crypto.com app can now buy NEAR at face value in USD, EUR, GBP, and 20+ other fiat currencies and spend it at over 60 million retailers worldwide with the Crypto.com Visa Card.
How to Buy NEAR on Crypto.com
See the steps on how to buy NEAR on Crypto.com below:
- Connect Your Defi Wallet Account to Your Crypto.com App Account
- Choose a wallet for the coins you wish to purchase.
- Connect your Crypto.com App account to the wallet. Please keep in mind that each wallet may only be linked to one Crypto.com App account at a time.
- Link the credit/debit card you intend to use on the Crypto.com App by entering the card’s information.
- Navigate to the ‘Buy’ tab in the bottom navigation bar and search for NEAR.
- After selecting NEAR from the coins section, click the ‘Buy Now’ button.
If two or more networks support the coin, you must choose the one you want (You will not see the Network Selection option if the coin is only supported on one network).
- Enter the purchase amount and the credit/debit card to be used. Please keep in mind that the purchasing limit is linked to your Crypto.com account.
- You’ll have 15 seconds to double-check the information and confirm your purchase.
- Enter the passcode for your Crypto.com App account. You may be required to undergo 3DS verification depending on your credit/debit card provider.
- Now all you have to do is wait for your coins to come!
Please remember that as your purchase is an on-chain transaction, the processing time may vary. When you receive the coins, the order status will change to ‘Completed.’ Navigate to your wallet to view your balance.
How to Buy NEAR on CoinStats
If you want to invest in cryptocurrencies, sign up for a free CoinStats trading account. It will let you buy NEAR instantly with your credit or debit card.
To buy NEAR protocol using the CoinStats app, follow the instructions outlined below:
1. Create an account with CoinStats by signing up with your email address or logging in using Coinbase; you can also enable SSO.
2. Verify your account. You must present a national ID to authenticate your identity to comply with KYC regulations (and improve account security).
3. Sign in with your credentials and type NEAR on the search bar. Click on the NEAR token.
4. You can see the NEAR protocol price and place your order for trading NEAR. CoinStats will provide you with two options in response to your query: Buy NEAR or Sell NEAR. Select Buy NEAR from the menu and enter the amount of NEAR you want to buy.
If you wish to buy directly from one of the connected cryptocurrency exchanges, choose the exchange. Alternatively, you can make a NEAR purchase in fiat currency by using the ‘Buy with Fiat’ feature at the top of the page.
5. Finally, select your desired payment method from the three options, and make your purchase.
How Is the NEAR Protocol Network Secured
NEAR uses a variation of the proof of stake consensus mechanism called Doomslug. Doomslug is based on a two-round consensus, and upon receiving the first communication round, the block is considered complete. This allows for near-instantaneous finality, where validators generate blocks in sequence rather than directly competing based on stakes.
The NEAR Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Switzerland and committed to protocol maintenance, ecosystem financing, and protocol governance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Buy Near With Cash
There is no direct method for purchasing NEAR with cash. You can, however, utilize markets such as LocalBitcoins first to acquire BTC and then complete the remaining process by moving your BTC to the appropriate AltCoin exchange.
Can I Use Alternative Platforms to Buy Near Protocol or Bitcoin With Credit Cards
Yes, you can; all you have to do is go to Changelly, a simple trading platform, especially when buying Bitcoin using credit cards. It offers an automated cryptocurrency exchange, allowing buyers to purchase cryptocurrencies with a credit card and quickly swap them. Changelly has a basic user interface and easy-to-follow instructions to make it simple for people to acquire cryptocurrencies.
High transaction fees have driven many users away from Ethereum to cheaper alternatives like Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which, however, sacrifices decentralization. The NEAR protocol prides itself on its decentralization and transparency. The entire network is open-source, and NEAR Protocol’s speed, scalability, and low fees already make it an appealing platform for both developers and users. The NEAR protocol’s emphasis on providing a pleasant user experience also contributes to removing barriers to Web 3.0 adoption, letting even those with no prior crypto experience participate in the new open financial system.
The NEAR protocol has limited supply, making it a potential long-term store of value. Furthermore, the prospect of receiving staking incentives may increase the demand for NEAR, resulting in less supply accessible on the market.
NEAR is also required to pay for transaction processing and data storage. This implies that if the number of users, dApps, and data stored on NEAR grow, so will the demand for the NEAR tokens, potentially making them more valuable.
Investment advice Disclaimer: This content, including any information contained therein, is provided to you solely for informational purposes and does not constitute a recommendation by CoinStats to buy, sell, or hold any security, financial product, or instrument mentioned in the content. Retail investor accounts should carefully consider all the aspects before investing.