NEAR Protocol is a decentralized application platform designed to make apps usable on the web. The network runs on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism called Nightshade, which aims to offer scalability and stable fees.
NEAR is the native utility token that is used for:
- Fees for processing transactions and storing data.
- Running validator nodes on the network via staking NEAR tokens.
- Used for governance votes to determine how network resources are allocated.
NEAR tools include:
- NEAR SDKs which includes standard data structures and testing tools for Rust and AssemblyScript.
- Gitpod for NEAR to create a zero time onboarding experience for developers.
- NEAR Wallet that lets application developers create streamlined user experiences.
- NEAR Explorer to aid with both debugging of contracts and the understanding of network performance.
- NEAR Command Line Tools to allow developers to deploy applications from local environments.
How Many NEAR Coins Are There in Circulation?
NEAR Protocol launched its mainnet on April 22, 2020 with 1 billion NEAR tokens created at genesis. 5% of additional supply is issued each year to support the network as epoch rewards, of which 90% goes to validators (4.5% total) and 10% to the protocol treasury (0.5% total). 30% of transaction fees are paid out as rebates to contracts which interact with a transaction, while the remaining 70% are burned.
Who Are the Founders of NEAR Protocol?
NEAR Protocol is the brainchild of developers Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin, both of whom have extensive experience in programming.
The two met while Skidanov worked at U.S. startup accelerator Y Combinator, and in July 2018 began work on a project which focused on allowing developers to build and release software with less friction.
This project became what is now the NEAR Protocol, and employs more than 40 staff, including developers with experience at Google and MemSQL.
According to NEAR Protocol’s official website, many of the developers hold prizes and nominations from competitions in coding and related fields, notably the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).
Skidanov himself worked at both MemSQL and Microsoft, while Polosukhin contributed to end-to-end open source machine learning platform TensorFlow and Google Search.