NEAR Protocol, a decentralized application platform has completed a $21.6M funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund and the early launch of their production MainNet network so developers can begin deploying applications to the platform immediately.
NEAR is a decentralized application platform backed by a public blockchain which is optimized for programmability so developers can easily build, test and deploy applications which permissionlessly handle a wide range of digital assets. “NEAR’s technology allows Stardust to scale to millions of users without having to worry about infrastructure limitations or costs. Without NEAR, Stardust’s business model could not work,” said Canaan Linder, founder and CEO of Stardust, a project built on NEAR which allows game developers to quickly add revenue-generating economies for their apps.
Where Bitcoin introduced the idea of digital money and Ethereum provided a proof-of-concept for how that money can be programmed to create open financial networks, NEAR provides the scale and programmability to allow *any* data — whether digital currency, karma, gaming items or stock certificates — to become a fully portable, programmable and tradable asset. The resulting ecosystem of permissionlessly composable components, called the Open Web, allows the blockchain technology to finally realize its full potential to change the way the Web operates.
As detailed in a post on the NEAR Protocol blog, this release is the first stage of the MainNet rollout, which is intended to allow developers to begin building on the network while it is scaled out to a broader group of validators and before tokens are unlocked for transfers.
“Genesis occurred at 2020-04-22 18:00:00 UTC and, while there’s still lots of work to do, this means that developers can actually deploy production apps while the network gets more decentralized and is ultimately handed off completely to the community over the next several months” said Illia Polosukhin, Cofounder and CEO of Near Inc, one of the organizations behind the NEAR Protocol.
The fundraise also included participation from Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Blockchange, Libertus Capital and Distributed Global. The new funds will be used to drive an ambitious rollout strategy which will result in the platform becoming community-governed by putting tokens into the hands of a million developers and entrepreneurs around the world.
Developers who are interested in building applications on MainNet should get their accounts at near.org/developer-program and follow the quickstart at docs.near.org. Teams who are ready to build should join the Open Web Collective, a platform-agnostic program that helps teams building the decentralized web to accelerate their progress and get funding.