Exchange Lists NEAR
3 min readApr 14, 2022

What Is NEAR Protocol? (NEAR)

Near Protocol is a decentralized application (DApp) platform that focuses on usability among developers and users. As a competitor of Ethereum, NearProtocol is also smart-contract capable and a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain.

Near uses sharding technology to achieve scalability, a core aspect discussed later. The native token, NEAR, is used for transaction fees and storage on the Near crypto platform. Tokens can also be used for staking by NEAR tokenholders who wish to become transaction validators and help achieve network consensus.

Near was built by the NeaCollective and conceptualized as a community-run cloud computing platform designed to host decentralized applications. It was also built to be both developer and user-friendly, hence having features such as account names that are human-readable (instead of cryptographic wallet addresses).

NEAR Protocol

How Does Near Protocol Work?

Similar to Ethereum, Cardano, and TRON, NEAR can be described as a “base-layer” blockchain, which means it is the foundation upon which other applications are built and deployed.

NEAR uses a technology known as Nightshade to achieve its massive throughput capabilities. The scaling solution sees individual sets of validators process transactions in parallel across multiple sharded chains to improve the overall transaction carrying capacity of the blockchain. This solution differs somewhat from the sharding system used by other blockchains, in that each shard produces a fraction of the next block — known as a “chunk”. These are processed and immutably stored on the NEAR blockchain to finalize transactions contained within.

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NEAR introduces a novel consensus mechanism known as Doomslug to boost efficiency, while ensuring blocks achieve finality within seconds by having validators take turns producing blocks rather than competing directly based on their stake.

It’s built to simplify things for developers, while also giving them a powerful toolkit to build next-generation applications with. Because NEAR uses a contract-based account model, developers can build advanced apps that can sign transactions on behalf of users, allowing them to execute agreements without the user needing to be physically available to confirm the action.

What is the NEAR token?

Like the vast majority of blockchains, NEAR also has its own native utility token — aptly named ‘NEAR’. It’s the token used for incentivizing nodes on the NEAR network and is also used for powering transactions and the numerous NEAR smart contracts.

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