What Value Does the NEAR Protocol Have?

The NEAR Protocol (NEAR) is an effort to bridge the gap between the gap between the creator economy and the blockchain.

The hope at NEAR is to create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOS) to help creators finance their activities with open finance and liquidity and cash in on nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Open Finance is NEAR’s term for DeFi or decentralized finance.

Hence, the plan at NEAR is to build a defi ecosystem for the creator economy. To power that economy, the NEAR Protocol runs on several blockchains including Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), and Cosmos. Creators can use the NEAR Protocol to build defi apps that operate several blockchains.

NEAR itself is a sharded proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain that emphasizes scalability and usability. That means they build the NEAR blockchain to grow fast (scale) and be easy to use.

A DeFi Ecosystem for the Creator Economy

One hope at NEAR is to create defi communities for creators. For example, an NFT marketplace for art that extends across several blockchains.

To that end, NEAR offers several connectivity apps. For instance, the Aurora Protocol is an Ethereum Bridge and Ethereum Virtual Machine that allows users to scale NEAR Protocol apps on the Ethereum blockchain.

In contrast, the Octopus Network is a NEAR-based multichain crypto network. The purpose of the Octopus Network is to launch and run Web 3.0 substrate, EVM compatible application specific blockchains or appchains.  

Substrate is an open-source development framework for building blockchain technologies. That allows developers to build apps on standalone chains, Polkadot parachains, or Octopus Network Appchains.

The Octopus Network

Hence, the purpose of the Octopus Network is to build apps that function as blockchains. Each Octopus Network app has its own application specific blockchain. They can customize those blockchains for specific apps.

They claim the appchains are fast, capable of processing 1,000 transactions per second (TPS). Each appchain is a self-governing economy with code-defined processes.

The hope is that developers can build solutions for the creator economy, such as NFT marketplaces on the Octopus Network and NEAR. The Octopus Network allows NEAR users to build appchains for the creator economy.

The NEAR Rainbow Bridge

The NEAR Rainbow Bridge is a protocol that allows developers to move assets to NEAR’s platform. Ethereum users can access NEAR through the ETH Faucet hosted by the MetaMask wallet. The Rainbow Bridge allows Ethereum (ERC-20) tokens to operate on NEAR.

They claim the Rainbow Bridge brings stablecoins such as Tether (USDT), DAI, and TrueUSD (TUSD), wrapped assets such as WBTC and WETH, DEX tokens, lending tokens such as Aaave (AAVE), and service company tokens to NEAR.

They claim the Rainbow Bridge allows NEAR transactions that will take one to two seconds and cost under $1. However, Ethereum to NEAR transactions could take six minutes and cost around $10. Conversely, NEAR to Ethereum transactions will cost around $60 and take around 16 hours with Rainbow Bridge.

NEAR Transaction Machines

They claim NEAR can offer users transaction fees that are 1,000 times lower than competitors. They also claim NEAR developers can earn 30% of transaction fees.

NEAR offers several software development kits (SDKs) that allow develoeprs to build NEAR into many apps. For example, they offer a JavaScript SDK, a RUST SDK, and an AssemblyScript SDK.

There are many NEAR communities, including the Sputnik DAO, which serves as a DAO launchpad and Guilds. The Guilds are DAO-powered communities that comprise the NEAR community.

What Value Does NEAR Offer?

Mr. Market thinks the NEAR Protocol (NEAR) even though there is no proof NEAR has any DAOs or appchains up and running. For example, CoinMarketCap estimates NEAR was the second most trending cryptocurrency on 15 April 2022.

CoinMarketCap gave NEAR a $15.92 Coin Price, a $10.746 billion Market Cap, a $15.921billion Fully Diluted Market Cap, and a $1.115 billion 24-Hour Market Volume on 18 April 2022. They based those numbers on a Circulating Supply of 674.853 million NEAR. NEAR was CoinMarketCap’s 18th largest cryptocurrency on 18 April 2022.

Conversely, CoinBase gave NEAR a $15.92 Coin Price, a $10.8 billion Market Capitalization, and a $1.1 billion 24-Hour Market Cap on 18 April 2022. They based those numbers on a 674.9 million NEAR Circulating Supply. CoinBase gave NEAR an all-time high Coin Price of $20.42.

I think NEAR is an interesting blockchain that could find wide use if it works. However, there is no evidence creators are using NEAR in the creator economy. I advise speculators to avoid NEAR until they show it can create lucrative creator economy solutions.