NEAR Is Born
Around 2018, Alexander Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin started Near.ai, a company designed to automate programming through the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. They quickly realized that the technology they needed for their product wasn't there yet, so they began to pivot in search for a new mission.
Their advisor suggested looking into creating programs to make writing code on the blockchain, or smart contracts, easier. At the time it was very complicated and required months of setup. The most popular blockchain to build applications was called Ethereum, but it only supported 14 transactions per minute, far too low for any large business needing to send a lot of transactions constantly.
NEAR saw the limitations of existing solutions and set out to create the NEAR Blockchain, a fast, scalable, cheap, and easy to use blockchain that can support 100k transactions per second (tps).