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About NEAR Protocol (NEAR)

NEAR Protocol is a decentralized application platform designed to make apps usable on the web. It utilizes blockchain technology to create a secure and user-friendly environment for developers to build and deploy scalable decentralized applications (DApps). NEAR's unique selling points include its sharding technology, which facilitates high transaction speeds and low fees, and its focus on a developer and user-friendly experience with simple onboarding processes. The protocol uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, ensuring network security and sustainability.

    NEAR Protocol Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      What is the primary purpose of the NEAR Protocol?

      The primary purpose of the NEAR Protocol is to provide a scalable and user-friendly platform for the development and deployment of decentralized applications (DApps). It aims to offer high transaction speeds, low costs, and simple onboarding processes in an effort to make blockchain technology accessible to a wider audience.

      Who are the founders of NEAR Protocol and what are their backgrounds?

      NEAR Protocol was founded by Alexander Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin. Alexander Skidanov is an ex-Microsoft, ex-MemSQL engineer with a deep background in technical engineering and software development. Illia Polosukhin has significant experience in engineering and research, previously contributing to Google’s TensorFlow project as an engineer. Both founders are adept in blockchain technology and aimed to create a more scalable and user-friendly blockchain with NEAR.

      Can you explain what makes NEAR Protocol unique in comparison to other blockchains?

      NEAR Protocol's uniqueness lies in its sharding technology called Nightshade, which enables high scalability without compromising security or decentralization. Its user-friendly approach offers simple account management and low transaction costs. NEAR also supports interoperability via Rainbow Bridge, and its progressive UX design accommodates non-technical users. Additionally, its climate-neutral blockchain status reflects a commitment to sustainability.

      How does NEAR Protocol's consensus mechanism, Doomslug, work?

      NEAR Protocol's Doomslug is a block production mechanism that operates in rounds, producing blocks quickly at a predictable pace. Validators are randomly selected to propose blocks in each round, and they broadcast their blocks along with endorsements from other validators. Blocks that receive more than half of the endorsements become 'doomed' to be finalized, ensuring blocks are finalized after just one round, reducing latency. Doomslug is designed to be adaptable, allowing for quick finality and high throughput, while providing robust security guarantees.

      What are the main features of NEAR's Nightshade technology?

      NEAR's Nightshade technology is designed for high scalability and speed. Its main features include sharding to distribute the network's load across multiple parallel blockchains, a unique version of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) for consensus, and 'chunk-only producers' to enhance validation speed and efficiency. Nightshade aims to enable linear scalability, maintaining security and decentralization as the network grows.

      What types of DApps are currently being built on NEAR Protocol?

      A wide range of decentralized applications (DApps) are currently being developed on NEAR Protocol, including decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, games, social media platforms, and various infrastructure projects that aim to enhance the ecosystem's utility and user experience.

      How does the human-readable account names feature work on NEAR Protocol?

      On NEAR Protocol, each account has a unique, human-readable name that ends with ‘.near’ (by default) or another suffix if it's a subaccount. This name serves as the account's identity on the network instead of a hexadecimal address. Users can create and register their own account names, chosen for ease and convenience, while the protocol maps these to underlying public keys. This design enhances user experience by making it easier to send and receive funds and interact with applications, as people can use memorable names instead of long, complex alphanumeric strings.

      What is the total supply of NEAR tokens and how is it distributed?

      The total supply of NEAR tokens is 1 billion at genesis with an annual inflation rate of 5%. The initial distribution is planned with 17.2% to community grants and programs, 11.7% to core contributors, and the largest portion of 40% going to the NEAR Foundation to support the ecosystem. Additionally, 14% was allocated for community sale, and 17.1% was reserved for small backers. Future releases of tokens are subject to decisions on network participation rewards, foundation endowment, and community treasury.

      How is the transaction fee model structured in NEAR Protocol?

      In NEAR Protocol, transaction fees are structured based on a model that takes into account several factors, including the computational resources used, such as CPU and bandwidth, storage costs, and a base fee for the operation. The fees are designed to be predictable and low to encourage usage and adoption of the platform. NEAR also employs dynamic rescaling of fees to accommodate network congestion, ensuring that the system remains efficient and cost-effective for users.

      What role does the NEAR Foundation play in the ecosystem?

      The NEAR Foundation serves as a steward of the NEAR ecosystem, aiming to foster its growth and development. It supports the network's infrastructure through funding, investor relations, and governance, while also promoting partnerships, educational initiatives, and community engagement to drive the adoption and success of the NEAR protocol.

      How did the NEAR Protocol Ecosystem Fund come about and what are its objectives?

      The NEAR Protocol Ecosystem Fund was established to support and accelerate the growth of the NEAR ecosystem. Envisioned by the NEAR Foundation, the fund was created in response to the need for strategic investments in projects, initiatives, and teams that contribute to the platform's development and adoption. Its primary objectives include fostering innovation, providing financial resources to promising startups, facilitating community engagement, and ensuring the long-term sustainability and success of the NEAR Protocol.

      What kind of support does NEAR Protocol offer to developers?

      NEAR Protocol offers developers a range of support including a comprehensive documentation, a developer-friendly infrastructure with easy-to-use APIs, SDKs for multiple programming languages, online tutorials and resources for learning, active community forums, and a grants program to fund promising projects. Additionally, NEAR provides various tools for testing, deployment, and monitoring applications to streamline development on its blockchain platform.

      What was the purpose of launching a JavaScript SDK for NEAR Protocol?

      The purpose of launching a JavaScript SDK for NEAR Protocol was to provide developers easy access to the features and capabilities of the NEAR blockchain through a familiar programming language. It aimed to simplify the development of decentralized applications (DApps) by offering a comprehensive set of tools, libraries, and documentation, making it more accessible for a larger developer community to build on NEAR.

      In what ways is NEAR Protocol expanding its ecosystem?

      NEAR Protocol is expanding its ecosystem through initiatives such as the NEAR Grants Program, aimed at funding innovative projects and attracting developers. It supports an array of decentralized applications in finance, gaming, and more. NEAR also actively fosters partnerships and collaborations with other blockchain protocols and entities to bolster interoperability and reach. By improving its infrastructure, offering educational resources, and hosting hackathons, NEAR constantly attracts new talent and projects, continually enhancing and diversifying its ecosystem.

      What security measures has NEAR Protocol taken to safeguard its network?

      NEAR Protocol ensures network security through a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, which requires validators to stake NEAR tokens, making it costly for malicious actors to attack the network. The protocol employs a sharding mechanism called 'Nightshade' to enhance security and scalability. It also implements rigorous smart contract testing and applies state-of-the-art cryptographic techniques. NEAR's security is further bolstered by the decentralized nature of its governance, providing resilience against attacks and promoting continuous improvement of security measures.

      How does NEAR Protocol aim to address blockchain scalability issues?

      NEAR Protocol addresses blockchain scalability through a sharded, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, allowing for parallel processing of transactions and smart contracts. This sharding approach, called 'Nightshade', divides the network into smaller, manageable pieces to increase throughput and reduce latency. Additionally, NEAR employs dynamic re-sharding to adjust the number of shards as demand changes, further enhancing scalability.