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Crypto of the Week: NEAR

  • October 08 2021
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Crypto of the Week: NEAR

By Fergus Halliday
October 08 2021

Near is one of the many cryptocurrencies chasing the success of ethereum. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Crypto NEAR

Crypto of the Week: NEAR

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  • October 08 2021
  • Share

Near is one of the many cryptocurrencies chasing the success of ethereum. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Crypto NEAR

Ever since ethereum popularised the concept of a blockchain that supports more than just transactions, countless other cryptocurrencies have tried to do decentralised apps better.

The NEAR Protocol is one such crypto, and if you’re considering adding the native NEAR token to your portfolio, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

What is the NEAR Protocol? 

The NEAR Protocol is a blockchain that supports both transactions and smart contracts in the same vein as something like ethereum or the popular green cryptocurrency Cardano.

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Like the latter, the NEAR Protocol relies on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. This means that it doesn’t have the carbon footprint of something like bitcoin, which uses a proof-of-work system instead.

The other way in which the NEAR Protocol differs from other blockchain is that it emphasises user-friendliness as much as it does the interests of developers.

For example, users on the NEAR Protocol aren’t just wallet numbers. They’ve got names.

If you’re more privacy conscious when it comes to cryptocurrencies, that’s not necessarily something you want. However, if you’re looking at pushing decentralised apps into the mainstream, the value of that additional accessibility is worth considering.

As opposed to ethereum, the NEAR Protocol relies on a sharded structure that promises to help with network scalability over time. In the short and long term, the promise being made to decentralised app developers is one of faster and cheaper transactions.

Last but not least, the NEAR blockchain also boasts interoperability with the ethereum blockchain via a trustless layer connecting the two networks called the Rainbow Bridge.

The simple version is that NEAR is a version of ethereum that’s more user-friendly, community-driven and efficient. 

Who made the Near (NEAR) Protocol?

The NEAR Protocol was developed by Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin, who began work on the project in 2018. The NEAR blockchain officially launched in 2020.

Today, the NEAR Collective development team employs approximately 40 staff.

What is the NEAR token used for?

The NEAR token is functionally equivalent to ETH. It is primarily used to pay for transaction fees generated by the usage of the network.

As NEAR relies on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, the token can also be staked in return for rewards.

Developers who build apps using smart contracts on the NEAR blockchain also receive a cut of the transaction fees that their applications generate.

Last but not least, NEAR is also used for governance, allowing token-holders to vote on network proposals.

How much is the NEAR Protocol (NEAR) crypto worth?

As of 6 October 2021, NEAR is priced at US$7.63 per unit.

Tallied up at that price, NEAR has a market cap of approximately US$3.6 billion.

For comparison, bitcoin (BTC) has a market cap of US$900 billion, while ethereum (ETH) sits in second place at US$377 billion. 

Where can you buy the NEAR token?

The NEAR token is available from most major and mainstream spot exchanges. This list currently includes:

  • Bitfinex
  • Binance
  • OKEx
  • Gate.io
  • Huobi Global
  • ZB.com
  • Crypto.com
Crypto of the Week: NEAR
Crypto NEAR
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About the author

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Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

About the author

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Fergus Halliday

Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

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