What makes NEAR Unique

NEAR's goal is to onboard 1 billion users to web3 over the next 5 years. To achieve this, they take the unique approach of focusing on the user experience and making that as easy as possible.

  • NEAR uses usernames, such as username.near, instead of the usual hexadecimal wallet addresses that are difficult to read.

  • NEAR has a large emphasis on creating a large amount of tighknit communities. They accomplish this with guilds and DAOs.

  • Guilds are local communities in different cities to create small and powerful communities that help foster and spread the word of NEAR. They also help the developers building on NEAR.

  • DAOs stand for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. DAO's are a community-led entity with no central authority. They rely on the community to grow and are fully autonomous and transparent. NEAR helps new DAOs by giving them the tools and resources they need to grow.

  • NEAR is a sharded proof of stake blockchain. In later modules we explain exactly what this means. This allows for NEAR to be very fast, scalable, cheap, and completely carbon neutral.

Staking is a way to earn interest on your crypto by locking it away, similar to how banks give interest on your money. Banks borrow your money and lend it out, receiving interest payment from their customers. Then the bank pays you an annual percentage yield (APY). In NEAR, validators, those who run blocks and validate that transactions are accurate, must stake a certain amount of NEAR to participate in the ecosystem.

Sharding is a unique technology where a blockchain's entire network is split up, or sharded, into smaller networks. This makes it easier to scale a network and have fast transactions even as a network grows.