General FAQ

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Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions. To contribute, use the Edit button on the right.

This General FAQ is dedicated to questions about the project overall. For more specific question areas, please see the appropriate section in the sidebar menu.


When is MainNet?

Last Updated: 20200803

Phase 0 of MainNet: PoA launched on April 22nd, 2020.

The initial MainNet launches come in 3 phases, and we are currently on track to release Phase 1 and let validators from the community take over the network. The final phase of the MainNet will be determined by the community via voting, and we expect that to happen no earlier than Q3 2020, after which the token transfer would be unlocked. However, this is ultimately the decision of the community, and we cannot guarantee the exact date of the launch.

For more details and tracking of the engineering work, please refer to these two blog posts:

  1. The Road to MainNet and Beyond
  2. Announcing NEAR Protocol’s MainNet Genesis

To stay up to date with developments, please visit our Discord ( and sign up to our Newsletter. (

When is the MOON?

Last Updated: 20200803

Please check the lunar calendar yourself:

Who are NEAR’s competitors?

Last updated: 20200805

The biggest competitor for all blockchain-based projects is the existing centralized web. The only way to succeed there is to provide an experience for app users and builders which is so good they cannot ignore it.

Within the decentralized web space, NEAR is most often compared to major scalable smart contract platforms like Ethereum’s Serenity proposal or Polkadot.

Is NEAR targeting mobile devices?

Last updated: 20200803

Initially, it appeared that massive scale would be required very early on so the initial design targeted using mobile devices as nodes. This is no longer the case. We’ve since refocused on usability as the biggest hurdle to adoption since you have to have adoption in order to need that kind of scale.

So perhaps mobile devices will be used later (which state sharding does give us an ability to do) but only once it’s clear that scaling will be needed.

Did NEAR have or will it have an EIO, ICO or any other form of token sale?

Last updated: 20200803

There was never any ICO for NEAR tokens. For any queries related to future token activities, please see

Are you going to have airdrops?

Last updated: 20200604

We’re working with partners across the ecosystem to make sure tokens get in the hands of the right people to make the network successful but can’t announce anything here. Please join the mailing list to stay informed.

Is NEAR on coinmarketcap?

Last Updated 20200803

The NEAR Protocol has not done an ICO and likely would not be traded (so there will be no pricing available) until sometime after Phase 2 of MainNet is voted to begin. Thus it is unlikely that you would see the token on prior to that.


Why doesn’t NEAR just do a side chain of Ethereum?

Last Updated: 20200103

It simply doesn’t make sense from a technology perspective or a usability perspective. NEAR has a very different account model, consensus model and state transition from Ethereum, so they wouldn’t operate smoothly as a simple side chain.

Instead, it is better for NEAR to support a trustless bridge to Ethereum. This gives Ethereum users the substantial cost and scaling benefits of a side chain while also benefitting from the full security of an independent Proof of Stake system and the full ecosystem of its interoperable applications.

Why doesn’t NEAR just work with the Ethereum Foundation on Ethereum 2.0?

Last Updated: 20200103

Ethereum has done fantastic things to introduce the world to a virtual machine run atop a blockchain. Both they and NEAR are producing decentralized platforms that ideally fulfill essentially a similar vision. Fundamentally, though, the NEAR team believes that it can both:

  • Build better tech for developers
  • Ship it faster

Regarding the former, NEAR is designed specifically so developers can rapidly build and scale interoperable apps. NEAR has reimagined everything from the contract level through the transaction fees and economics to focus on providing both developers and their end-users with an incredibly good experience. This focus on usability is uniquely in our DNA and it is not part of the Ethereum 2.0 spec.

Regarding the latter, the NEAR team is the best in the world and has deep experience both launching businesses and engineering sharded systems at scale. The last several decades have shown via a Darwinian process which approaches work and which ones do not when building effective and future-proof developer platforms. The NEAR platform will get to market well ahead of what Ethereum 2.0 will do, particularly given the baggage of the existing Ethereum design and state.

So, basically, we can give the world better technology faster by operating independently.

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