Our goal at Pocket Network is to roll out support for as many crypto networks as possible, opening the door to more chains. Thus, it gives us great pleasure to add support for NEAR Protocol, a network that’s been on our “must-add” list for a while now.
NEAR, a sharded, layer-one blockchain, which runs on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism called Nightshade, connects to Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos, and more, allowing data and assets to flow freely through the blockchain ecosystem. One of the main benefits of Nightshade is that its architecture allows for fewer potential points of failure when it comes to security, as participating nodes are only responsible for maintaining smaller sections of the chain. The NEARverse is growing rapidly, and will ultimately support millions of users within a fast, low-fee environment. By adding RPC support for NEAR, we’re able to serve the needs of its developers who can now access reliable and highly decentralized blockchain data on demand.
A Decentralized Future Is Nearer Than It Seems
Having whitelisted the NEAR network with the 0052 Relay Chain ID (RCI), Pocket has now turned on $POKT revenue-generation for NEAR full-node operators. This means that NEAR Pocket nodes will be able to earn POKT in exchange for performing the role of serving NEAR traffic (requests/relays) from an assortment of applications, tools, services, and protocols.
Incorporating NEAR into the growing Pocket family of supported networks enables us to provide substantial network bandwidth to meet the needs of NEAR app developers and users. Pocket Network is now relaying NEAR traffic (reads & writes) autonomously through the protocol. Pocket Network reduces the friction of connecting DApps to NEAR by providing a simple 3-click process for developers to mint RPC endpoints through the Pocket Portal. This essentially provides a layer 2 product that sits atop the Pocket Network protocol.
While the primary benefits of adding Pocket Network support for NEAR are performance based, there’s also a more ideological reason for doing so. Pocket’s far-reaching network of nodes reduces reliance on centralized RPC providers that represent a single point of failure and a potential source of censorship. With Pocket Network providing reliable RPC endpoints on demand, NEAR devs can focus on their core business: creating kick-ass apps that will service the next million crypto users.
Cameron Dennis, Head of Ecosystems at NEAR Foundation, emphasizes:
“To me, Web 3 is about the choice to exit centralized systems, so I’m thrilled NEAR developers will now have the opportunity to choose between Pokt’s decentralized network of RPC endpoints and other centralized solutions.”
For DApp developers, the benefits of Pocket Network support are immediately manifest. Devs can now mint up to two NEAR endpoints per Pocket Portal account, each of which can handle up to 1M requests per day. This should provide more than enough bandwidth to handle the demands of end users, even in the event of a team creating the next Aave or Stepn.
Devs can get started today by signing up and verifying your email in the Pocket Portal, and can read our end point set up guide for additional information.
For node operators, meanwhile, getting started is a case of spinning up a staked POKT node to NEAR full-node. Once operational, node runners will be able to earn POKT tokens every time they service a NEAR DApp. Every request validated from a NEAR DApp or service will earn the node operator 0.002109 POKT – which can quickly add up.
You can get information on running a Pocket node here.
If we’ve suitably whetted your appetite and you think you’ve got what it takes – skills and character – then we’re happy to have you here. Welcome!
Why NEAR Needs Pocket
As the original NEAR whitepaper acknowledges, the more nodes that join the network, the more it can scale. This ability is particularly crucial in a horizontally scaling system like NEAR (and Pocket Network). The secondary layer of $POKT full-node incentives do just that. POKT stimulates the proliferation of full nodes for every blockchain, including NEAR, by rewarding node operators for the valuable work that isn’t accounted for on base layer blockchains.
While there are compelling technical reasons for picking NEAR as our next supported network, other factors also influenced our decision:
- NEAR has demonstrated largely organic growth which is sustainable in the mid to long term. Pocket has an opportunity to ride this growth trend for the benefit of both sides of the marketplace (apps & nodes).
- NEAR has demonstrated over 3x TVL growth relative to other EVM-compatible ecosystems. This illustrates higher activity, which translates to more relays for node runners to serve and earn POKT.
- Daily volume of the NEAR Rainbow Bridge has been trending upwards over the last two months which indicates that users (and capital) are migrating at an accelerated rate to the NEAR ecosystem.
- Developer activity on NEAR has been steadily increasing in NEAR over the past 4 years, and doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
- NEAR native active contracts are climbing to new all-time-highs (~1.5k), consistently outpacing Solana (~1k), another non-EVM L1. Higher active smart contracts implies a growing number of existing contracts are being utilized by its users. NEAR has 50% more daily active contracts than Solana while only having ~7% of Solana’s TVL.
Alberto Jauregui, Ecosystems Developer at Pocket Network, said:
“Supporting NEAR, the fastest-growing non-EVM L1, is a testament to Pocket’s chain-agnostic mission to support 100 blockchain networks by the end of the year!”
We’re confident that with Pocket Network providing the infrastructure support, NEAR will continue to break new records and set new benchmarks, even as the crypto market enters a challenging time. NEAR’s best years are still to come, and Pocket Network will be alongside NEAR’s army of developers and users every step of the way.
About Pocket Network
Pocket Network is a two-way marketplace that matches blockchain application developers seeking unstoppable node infrastructure with RPC infrastructure providers and node runners who are incentivized via the POKT token to run full nodes through its decentralized protocol.
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NEAR Protocol is a decentralized application (DApp) platform that focuses on usability among developers and users. NEAR is a sharded, proof-of-stake, layer-one blockchain that is simple to use, secure and scalable. The network runs on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism called Nightshade, which aims to provide dynamic scalability and stabilizes fees.