NEAR Protocol (NEAR): What is it? Is it a good investment?

NEAR Protocol is a new project, launched in 2020. Though a recent project, NEAR has already achieved great feats In the crypto market; thanks to its unique and indisputably innovative features. 

One of the achievements of NEAR, that made it attractive to many crypto investors, is that; it has entered the ranking of the top 30 cryptocurrencies by capitalization according to CoinMarketCap. That’s a beautiful one for a new generation coin.

NEAR Protocol can be a profitable investment opportunity for you. However, you need to have an understanding of what the protocol is all about first. 

In the following, we will see what NEAR is,  how this system works and other important information you need to know before investing.

NEAR Protocol in a nutshell 

NEAR protocol is a super-fast blockchain on which smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) can be programmed. The blockchain mainnet went live in October 2020, and the ecosystem has been under construction ever since. 

The development of smart contracts and DApps has of course been possible on Ethereum for years, but not nearly as efficiently. NEAR is a blockchain that can process an incredible number of transactions per second, an estimated 100,000 per second. In addition, these transactions are processed within a second. 

NEAR Protocol team

The NEAR protocol was developed by the “NEAR Collective”, which is a global community of more than 50 scientists, programmers, and tech philosophers. Together they wrote the initial code for the protocol. They also remain active within the network by implementing new upgrades and improvements. 

Although NEAR is developed by an open community, there is still a core team. These operate as the NEAR Foundation, a Swiss non-profit, and guide the development of the network. The NEAR Foundation is led by Illia Polosukhin, Alex Skidanov, and Eric Trautman.

The aim is to abolish this Foundation over time and to allow the network to function completely decentralized. All token holders are then responsible for the growth of the ecosystem and the blockchain.

NEAR Protocol technology

The NEAR network reaches consensus through a Proof of Stake system(PoS). This means that anyone with NEAR tokens can join the consensus by capturing their tokens in a smart contract. As a reward for this, users will receive freshly squeezed NEAR tokens. The most important group in this are the validators, who process the transactions and add them to the chain of blocks. 

Proof of Stake is nothing new and is used by many other blockchains. The difference with NEAR is that this protocol has implemented several innovations that make the whole process a lot faster. 

Nightshade technology

The “Nightshade” technology is the basis for the unprecedented speed of the network. This implementation ensures that all the work of the validators is distributed. Instead of reaching a consensus with the entire network, this only needs to be done among a small group, so-called shards. 

These shards all simultaneously process a small part of the total number of transactions (working in parallel), so that a total of many transactions can be executed at once. Ultimately, all transactions end up on the NEAR blockchain, where they are kept secure forever. 

Doomslug

The second innovation is “Doomslug”. This technology makes the consensus mechanism a lot faster by directly adding blocks permanently to the blockchain. This means that users do not have to wait for a few blocks before they are sure that a transaction has been processed securely, but this happens immediately. 

The NEAR token

The NEAR token is an indispensable part of the network. This is because the token functions as collateral for the security of the network through the Proof of Stake consensus system. To reward users for this, new NEAR tokens are issued by the software itself. 

Transaction costs and the launch and execution of smart contracts with the NEAR token are also paid. In addition, NEAR holders can also vote for the development of the network with their tokens. Users can do this themselves, but they can also register their tokens to a validator so that they can vote for them with it. 

The initial total supply of NEAR tokens is 1,000,000,000. However, this is not the maximum amount, because after these tokens are used up, new tokens are added to each block that is issued to security guards of the network. 

The NEAR token was used to raise money for the network. For example, about $35 million was raised through various token sales. Participants in these rounds included most of the prominent VCs, including Andreesen Horowitz, Pantera Capital, Multicoin, and Coinbase Ventures.

NEAR wallet

To keep your NEAR tokens safe yourself and to use the ecosystem, you need the NEAR wallet. This is a super user-friendly wallet that you can link to a personal account. However, three NEAR tokens are required to activate this and your NEAR account. 

The NEAR ecosystem 

Although the protocol is still relatively young, it has already attracted quite a few talents and projects. This is mainly due to the efficiency of the blockchain. Also, the network has the “ NEAR Grants Program ”, which is a committee that funds new, promising projects. 

Where can I buy the NEAR token?

It is best to go to a crypto exchange that offers NEAR on its website. Fortunately, many different exchanges offer this coin, as it is a popular cryptocurrency. This also means that liquidity is high enough on most platforms to buy and sell NEAR coins at the best price.

I recommend using Binance or Bitvavo as these exchanges are safe and can offer these coins for the best price. This is because there is high liquidity on these platforms. In addition, there has not been a major hack in the past, so you can trust that it is safe to buy your coins here.

Of course, there are plenty of other exchanges that offer NEAR. However, you have to be careful with exchanges where you have to go through more steps to get the coins in your possession, especially if you are a beginner.

NEAR Protocol contract address

Below is the NEAR Protocol contract address.

BNB Smart Chain (BEP20): 0x1fa4a73a3f0133f0025378af00236f3abdee5d63

The current worth of NEAR token 

Before you buy NEAR tokens, you naturally want to know the price. This way you can determine whether the tokens are offered for a cheap or too high price. 

After all, you want to make as much profit as possible on your investment, which is why it is best to buy NEAR for the cheapest possible price.

Currently, a NEAR token is worth $15.85 on CoinMarketCap as of the time of writing, with a 24hour trade volume of $1,159,524,796.

NEAR Protocol listing and trend

NEAR came into play in the bearish period for the cryptocurrency market, raising over $ 50 million in the first four months. At the time of its release on the main network, the coin was priced at $ 1.34, with a 24-hour trading volume of $ 2.7 million. 

Even though the NEAR token is relatively new to the cryptocurrency market, it has been tested by the market many times. Just a few months after its release on the mainstream, its price dropped to $ 0.52, setting a new all-time low for NEAR. However, the bull run of 2021 came abruptly, and NEAR began to recover; a recovery that directly affected its price.

After three fruitful months, NEAR set a new high reaching $ 7.57 in March 2021. After reaching its peak, the coin underwent a brief downtrend, which resulted in a price of $ 4.04 per coin. 

Over the year-end period, the coin broke the $ 10 barrier and reached its new all-time high of $ 20.24 on January 15, 2022. The coin subsequently faced a bearish trend before it rose to $15.85 as of today.

Is it safe to buy NEAR tokens?

Near Protocol (NEAR) can be a good investment for those looking to diversify into other Layer 1 networks. However, as is often the case in trading and in particular with cryptocurrencies, investing is not risk-free. and there is the possibility that Near Protocol could be outclassed by its competitors or could somehow fail to lead to the total loss of the invested capital.

Hence, when investing in a market like this, the keyword is diversification. Also, it is necessary to have a high-risk tolerance given the high price swings to which NEAR is subjected.

Furthermore, in recent periods there are many trading platforms created to scam those who wish to approach cryptocurrency trading for the first time. Precisely for this reason I strongly suggest that you only use secure platforms that are equipped with trading licenses issued by the supervisory bodies.

Is NEAR token a good investment?

The NEAR network hosts the creation of other DApps which makes the project a direct competitor with other Layer 1 platforms such as Ethereum, Solana, and Avalanche. 

These networks have much more credibility in the community, which gives them an edge when it comes to a potential return on investment. However, most experts seem to believe that there is room for more Layer 1 networks like NEAR within the cryptocurrency industry.

Additionally, the NEAR token has a supply of just 1,000,000,000 NEARs (1 billion), with no more than 5% of coins minted each year. The relatively low supply is one of the reasons why NEAR is a good investment, as it is immune to inflation and the NEAR price is expected to continue to rise in the future. 

The low number of NEAR tokens isn’t the only reason why experts believe it’s a good investment. Another contributing factor to the NEAR price forecast being so bullish is the high utility of the NEAR token.

NEAR tokens perform several important functions within the Near Protocol ecosystem. As explained earlier, they are used to store data, process and validate transactions, and allocate resources on the network. They can also be staked and used for governance.

While many other coins and tokens on the market have little or no use, NEAR is different – it is a multifunctional and technologically advanced digital asset. For this reason, blockchain experts agree that NEAR can be a good investment.

NEAR Protocol price prediction

Let’s take a look at some Near Protocol price predictions:

  • Experts believe that if the bullish trend continues, NEAR will reach $ 30 by the end of 2022. Reaching the price of $ 30 is undoubtedly optimistic but doable for the foreseeable future.
  • Experts say that if NEAR holds the support level firmly, buyers will have enough time and stability to bring the coin’s price to $ 50 in 2023.
  • Experts also believe that if the currency continues on this path and manages to forge more partnerships, the price of NEAR could reach the value of $ 65 by the end of 2024.

Conclusion

With NEAR’s potential to become a true competitor to Ethereum, the future certainly looks bright for Near Protocol. 

However, with the cryptocurrency sector as volatile and uncertain as it is, always have the mindset that anything can happen. This will prepare your mind against any unfortunate happenstance.

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Anthony Adewuyi

Anthony is a Content Writer with MakeMoney.ng. He is passionate about Finance, Business, and Tech related topics. He is a Digital Entrepreneur with vast experience in Data Analytics and Advanced Google Analytics

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