NEAR blockchain is built around a new consensus algorithm called Doomslug and employs sharding to achieve scalability.
Co-founder Illia Polosukhin says that what makes NEAR different from a lot of other blockchains is user-friendliness; development environment and end-user interface are often challenging and cumbersome.
“So if you think of gaming applications, many of them have not managed to get to the market because users cannot figure out how to even start playing right now. They need to install stuff and to buy stuff, etc. So we are really focused on building a full stack of tools, but also making sure the developer can really easily onboard users into the platform.”
Currently, there are not many decentralized apps using NEAR and its token is still locked.
Polosukhin said that the token is expected to be listed on exchanges in August. There are also going to be some major announcements in between then and now.
Polosukhin do think that some of the initial use cases for Chainlink’s data oracles may come from the DeFi space.
NEAR may also be using Chainlink’s verifiable randomness function in the coming future.
Polosukhin believes that gaming applications present the most immediate use case. He pointed out the trouble that the Gods Unchained experienced because Ethereum at the time lacked this functionality.
According to Polosukhin, though Eth 2.0 may become a competitor to NEAR, in its current incarnation they have more of a peaceful coexistence than direct competition.
Discussing on the upcoming fifth anniversary of Ethereum, Polosukhin adds:
“I think Ethereum proved that the idea of a Turning machine secured by Blockchain is possible and needed. From our perspective, we are part of the Ethereum community, so we are celebrating it with them.”