NEAR is here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

We’re happy to announce that we’re listing NEAR as the latest token to be on our exchange. We’re committed to supporting projects that are building at the cutting edge of Web 3 and NEAR protocol is doing just that.   

All SMART VALOR customers can now buy, sell and trade NEAR alongside their other assets, such as Bitcoin, Ether and our native token, VALOR.   

Why we’re listing NEAR 

NEAR was created as a layer 1 protocol, similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum. But unlike Bitcoin, NEAR was designed with the next stage of the internet, scaling and simplicity in mind. The majority of development still takes place on Ethereum, but as speeds slow and transaction costs creep up, solutions like NEAR become more and more attractive to developers and investors alike.  

The NEAR Protocol is a Layer 1 blockchain (L1) with a classic blockchain structure similar to Bitcoin or Ethereum. As an L1 solution, the protocol primarily aims to improve scalability, something lacking in the Bitcoin network, with long waiting times and high transaction fees as a direct result.  

NEAR’s use of sharding, where the blockchain is split up into smaller parts to allow parallel transactions, means that the blockchain can process up to 4,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest today.  

NEAR, the native token of the blockchain is used to pay transaction costs, as well as for making governance decisions and rewarding developers. When the NEAR network launched in 2020, there was an initial supply of 1 billion tokens. Each year 5% of additional supply is added as rewards, 90% of which goes to validators and 10% to the protocol treasury. 30% of transaction fees are paid out to smart contract developers and the rest is burned. With a market capitalization in the billions, NEAR is one of the largest and best-known cryptocurrencies. 

What NEAR offers 

We are living at the cusp of the next great stage of technological evolution. For most of us, that’s going to come in the form of the internet and how we use it. That’s what NEAR protocol is all about.

NEAR is a glimpse of what is yet to come in the next stage of the internet. As it stands, big companies currently own most of the most valuable infrastructure of the internet, as well as most of your data. NEAR protocol aims to serve as the infrastructure for a new, decentralized internet where no one company or individual controls or censors the internet that we use. This way, builders own their own products and every day users have control of their identity and data. It’s a win-win. 

To bring about these ambitions, NEAR protocol is setting itself apart with three separate qualities.

The first of these is speed. NEAR protocol packs a powerful technological punch. Its delegated proof of stake mechanism, which has the unusual name of Doomslug, can achieve consensus finality after one round of communication, instead of the usual 35 that is required by Ethereum. This, combined with sharding, allows for both fast block times and up to 4,000 transactions per second.  

The number two differentiating factor is simplicity. Unlike other projects which often cater to people with a very high level of technical knowledge, combined with sometimes complicated UX, NEAR places emphasis on human readability. That means that people interacting with this blockchain will find simple terms instead of long strings of numbers and code. This is because the team behind NEAR think that simplicity is key for mass adoption of crypto. We agree. 

The third factor is security. Through sharding, NEAR’s blockchain structure can store small parts of the platform’s data in each node, meaning that information is decentralized across the network and consequently more secure. In this sense, there is no chance of a single point of failure. This same decentralization is embodied in the processes of the network, where no one authority can censor or control what is built in the NEAR ecosystem. That doesn’t mean that bad actors can just get away with things, however. There are systems in place to make sure that bad actors are punished and that effective validators are rewarded. 

The emphasis on building dApps and decentralization means that NEAR is also a growing hub for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) activity. According to DefiLlama, NEAR has total value locked (TVL) of 89.84m at the time of the writing. While this is not as high as Ethereum or some of the other more well known chains, NEAR has only been operating for just under 2 years and many of the applications on its ecosystem are unique rather than copies of those found elsewhere.  

NEAR staking coming to SMART VALOR soon

At SMART VALOR, our mission is to make sure as many people as possible have access to the best digital assets. With the transition to Web 3 already well underway, we’re excited to offer our customers the chance to interact with a protocol that is driving change, as well as giving them the opportunity to earn yield through staking. 

SMART VALOR customers will soon be able to stake NEAR along with Ether, Kyber Network-and Dash. Keep an eye on our social media for more.  

Olga Feldmeier, SMART VALOR co-founder & board chair:  

Digital assets represent an evolution of money and internet. So, we’re excited to list NEAR on SMART VALOR because we share the NEAR Foundation’s goals of decentralization, scalability and simplicity in bringing about mass adoption of digital assets and creating the internet of tomorrow - today. NEAR gives investors a great opportunity to support cutting edge technology and earn yield at the same time.”  

Ready to start investing in NEAR? Head over to the SMART VALOR platform today.