NEAR Protocol: Guiding Values and Long Term Goals
Updated: Aug 31
“The measure of success to me is keeping the principles - remaining free, open, decentralized, neutral, and censorship resistant - while becoming available to the people who need it around the world. That’s my measure of success.” - Andreas Antonopolous, The Internet of Money: Volume 3.
Every project begins with a certain vision of the future, grounded in reality by underlying values and core principles. Such values and principles work as both a guide and foundation for the project’s successful development and realization. For NEAR Protocol, the prospect of an Open Web that is secure, transparent, censorship resistant and easily-accessible, provides a vision for a better future that has been hitherto unimaginable. Centered upon the NEAR blockchain, this future extends into the hundreds of dApps and verticals building on NEAR, that have the potential to recreate entire industries and offer bold new services - to anyone.
Chapter 1 begins as an introduction with a brief overview of NEAR Protocol and its core features. It then proceeds, in chapter 2, to expand upon the core values that sustain the development of NEAR. In chapter 3, these values are complimented by the long-term goals of the NEAR Ecosystem with reference to the numerous prospects of a more engaged, transparent, and user-friendly world. To conclude, the article emphasizes that the time to build is now.
1. What is NEAR Protocol?
A Community-Run Cloud Platform for Decentralized Applications
NEAR is first and foremost, a community-run cloud platform for decentralized applications. Its community - NEAR Validators, dApp developers, and Entrepreneurs - interact and participate with one another to govern the direction and development of the NEAR Protocol. As a cloud-platform, NEAR is the technical bedrock of decentralized applications sustained by the NEAR token or other tokens/currencies launched on top of NEAR.
“It uses the same core underlying technology that made Bitcoin an unkillable currency and it combines it with cutting edge advances in community consensus, database sharding, and usability. On this web, everything from new currencies, to new industries can be created, opening the door to a brand new future.” - NEAR Whitepaper
A Secure, Scalable, and User-Friendly Blockchain Ecosystem
More technically, NEAR is a Thresholded Proof of Stake Blockchain Ecosystem that incorporates dynamic sharding from the Nightshade algorithm to provide a scalable, secure, and robust infrastructure for managing and storing data. Unlike many other blockchain ecosystems, NEAR’s crypto-economic model and Account Design Structure makes it easy and intuitive for users and developers to interact and build on the platform.
2. The Values Grounding NEAR Protocol
“There are no restrictive rules for accessing platform services, running a validator node, or building an application.”
More important than any technical feature, token valuation, or single dApp, are the values and principles underlying the development of the NEAR Ecosystem. At a time when surveillance capitalism has created exploitative data models and deep-seated privacy concerns, NEAR aspires to remake the Web according to the following principles.
Distributed consensus among a network of validators means that no single party or authority has control over the expression, activities, and individual access to the solutions and applications developed on top of NEAR. No government, company, or wealthy individual has the power to decide what is or is not allowed. Instead, the NEAR community maintains ownership over the free, open, and censorship resistant platform.
Open state components and self-executing software, allows developers to build open-source applications on NEAR that are honest, transparent and collaborative in nature. Users are able to have complete visibility over what happens to their money, data, and behavior.
NEAR Protocol is made by and for the people. There are no restrictive rules for accessing platform services, running a validator node, or building an application. The public permissionless nature of the NEAR blockchain means that all data, value, and currency can be acquired and managed by anyone interested in creating a wallet and jumping onto the network.
Network decisions for the future development and growth of NEAR Protocol are made by the public community of validators invested in the future security and durability of the Ecosystem. Without pooling tokens, each and every validator has a say in the future of the network in proportion to the number of tokens they are willing to stake in the system.
Easy and Intuitive Accessibility
Human readable account ID’s transform the convoluted world of Hashes and public keys into a more familiar and personal transactory experience. Single Sign On (SSO) functionality combined with the option to prepay gas fees for first time users makes the NEAR Experience similar to existing web paradigms in its intuitive ease, and untechnical management.
On NEAR, developers have complete control over what kind of an application they build - without infringing rules or policies from the network weighing down upon them. Additionally, unique NEAR features such as Progressive Security, Easy Subscriptions, Hiding the Cost of Infrastructure, and Predictable Transaction Pricing, makes building and managing dApps a seamless experience.
3. The Long Term Goals for the NEAR Ecosystem
“We have the opportunity to drive the greatest wealth creation since the original Internet by helping Developers and Entrepreneurs everywhere access new markets and build new kinds of businesses on top of the NEAR Protocol.”
The Foundation of the Open Web
“The web is no longer a level playing field — it’s a platform controlled by a select few.” NEAR exists to re-imagine the Web in a manner that is inclusive, open, and shared among a collective group of equal participants. As the foundation of the Open Web, NEAR protocol aspires to provide the bedrock technology and infrastructure for scalably managing decentralized applications, markets, and industry verticals, across the global economy.
A Hub For Decentralized Business Solutions and Open-Source Innovation
Beyond the specific benefits of the core technology underpinning the NEAR protocol, the NEAR Ecosystem aspires to become a vibrant and creative hub for decentralized business solutions and open-source innovation, propelled by developers, entrepreneurs, individual contributors and hundreds of different Guilds! As a single digital platform for different currencies, tokens, non-fungible tokens, and a community of curious entrepreneurs NEAR is primed to jumpstart the next generation of digital innovation.
The Go-To Scalable, Developer Friendly, User-First Platform for Decentralized Applications
More so than any other existing blockchain ecosystem, NEAR aspires to provide developers of the Open Web with libraries of tools, low transaction fees, and constant support from the NEAR Foundation. With 30% of existing transaction fees recycled back into application contract rewards, and a number of network features designed to make application deployment intuitive and user friendly, NEAR is prepared to attract thousands of developers and projects from across the globe!
Conclusion: Now Is the Time To Build
With 10% of epoch rewards allocated to the Protocol Treasury for ecosystem development purposes, and decades of startup and business experience from the NEAR Core Team, there is no better time to start building your application or scaling your startup. Now is the time to build.
With new emerging technologies looming on the horizon, NEAR is prepared to embrace an interconnected and digitized future with decentralised and autonomous computing at its core. As a value-based Ecosystem, NEAR offers entrepreneurs and developers alike an opportunity to build on the Open Web in a transparent, censorship resistant, privacy-oriented, user-first environment.