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What is NEAR Protocol?

NEAR is a decentralized development platform built on top of the NEAR Protocol (smart contract blockchain platform), which is a public, developer-friendly, proof-of-stake blockchain. NEAR uses parallel processing to scale the network. This technique, known as sharding, resembles what ETH 2.0 is aiming to achieve and Near’s proof-of-stake consensus mechanism also allows token holders to stake their coins.

NEAR is similar in principle to the “cloud-based” infrastructure that developers currently build applications on top of except the cloud is no longer controlled by a single company running a giant data center — that data center is actually made up of all the people around the world who are operating nodes of that decentralized network. Instead of a “company-operated cloud” it is a “community-operated cloud.

NEAR is created by Alexander Skidanov and Illia Polosukhi in 2018. Shortly after meeting through the famous San Francisco-based y combinator startup accelerator program. Alex is a former Microsoft software developer and the former director of engineering at Memphis equals a company specializing in distributed databases. He also won a gold medal at the ICPC in 2008 an annual programming competition involving college students from around the world. Ilya is a former engineering manager of Google’s acclaimed research division where he and his team of developers research deep learning and natural language technologies, which are now used in Google’s translation services. He was also an ICPC finalist in 2008.

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