When discussing the optimization of blockchains, many will look to improve on the three pillars of blockchain technology: security, scalability and decentralization. While improvements to these blockchain fundamentals may improve the capabilities of the network, it falls short of making improvements for its users.
While Ethereum recently moved to proof-of-stake (PoS) to work on its fundamentals, NEAR protocol has already set itself on a strong foundation, 10 years ahead of Ethereum’s roadmap. NEAR was designed to be fast, secure and scalable. Using Nightshade sharding, the blockchain is able to reach finality in under three seconds and maintain transaction costs of under $0.01. Through building on such a strong foundation, NEAR has been able to focus its efforts on creating an easy to use environment that is optimized for developers.
NEAR has consistently championed its developer and user communities and has uplifted its members to create lasting, impactful projects for everyone. In the read-write-own era of the internet, projects like Few and Far have provided a community-first experience that reimagines both creativity and community. NEAR has supported community-owned projects by consistently focusing its efforts on optimizing its platform for disruptive developers.
This focus on disruptive developers has enabled NEAR to become a powerhouse for decentralized applications (dapps). This has further opened up the possibilities for what can be done on the platform, setting NEAR far apart from its competition. One of the biggest differences between NEAR and other blockchain protocols is its focus on streamlining the developer experience. For Web2 developers looking to kickstart their career in Web3, differences in programming languages and development models can prove to be significant hurdles to entry. For the next generation of Web3 apps to disrupt Web2 institutions, the development experience needs to be accessible for all.
Building on a strong, inclusive environment, projects on NEAR have continued to make strides to widen its ability for adoption. One great example of a project furthering the scalability of NEAR is Octopus Network, a multichain, interoperable network providing the infrastructure for substrate-based and EVM compatible app chains. With Octopus Network, there are now more ways than ever to deploy your project on NEAR, gain interoperability with Polkadot and start growing your community.
By streamlining the developer experience and supporting those looking to build on NEAR, the protocol has created an ecosystem of disruptive Web3 projects looking to tackle Web3 head on. Take Niche for example. Developed by former Web2 social leaders at Facebook, Tinder and Bumble, Niche is a Web3 social app designed for members, not ad revenue generators. By trading the Web2 model of data harvesting and ad sales for a Web3 user-owned data model, the platform truly creates an environment for content creators, collectors and hobbyist groups to create deeper connections between communities.
SeatlabNFT is another disruptive, NEAR-based project looking to challenge a major industry leader. SeatlabNFT is an NFT event ticketing marketplace that helps artists foster closer connections with fans, eliminating fraud and reducing the impact of scaling. Platform’s like Ticketmaster have far too often taken advantage of artists and their fans, exploiting their community for profit. This couldn’t have become more evident than the recent Taylor Swift Eras tour sale, which saw $49 tickets balloon to over $22k. Through NFT tickets, SeatlabNFT lets artists, not scalpers, receive the benefit of secondary sales and further drives the connection with their fans.
Gaming is another industry that the NEAR ecosystem is primed to disrupt. The latest global video gaming report from DFC Intelligence found that there are over 3 billion active video game consumers worldwide. Put differently, nearly 40% of the world’s population are active gamers. Blockchain-based gaming saw 1.1 million UAWs in Q2, or only around 0.04% of the global gaming population. The potential for revolutionizing gaming is massive, and NEAR is well equipped to capitalize on this opportunity.
PlayEmber is an X-chain GameFi infrastructure to mass onboard Web2 gamers to Web3. Harnessing the agility of NEAR, PlayEmber offers game studios a Unity-based SDK that can be quickly implemented into projects looking to move into Web3. Through this SDK, games can better engage with their players, offering unique incentives, loyalty rewards and other unique offerings. This is all made possible through PlayEmber’s redistributed ad revenue model that allows players to redeem their community contributions directly on the platform.
Perhaps some of the most disruptive projects currently being developed on NEAR are those that look to innovate on the failures of Web2 companies. Projects like More Than Us, for example, are incubating some of the strongest communities and collectives to help further the creator economy. While Web2 projects often put up barriers for certain users, NEAR-based projects have the potential to ensure that no individual is excluded. More Than Us empowers marginalized communities and supports them in their journey into the Web3 space. By championing the user-owned ethos of Web3, NEAR protocol has created an optimized ecosystem for disruptive developers.
Interested in hearing more about disruptive developers on NEAR? Watch the NEAR 2 Impossible series, where NEAR-based project creators share how the NEAR ecosystem has created the best environment for their success.