The growth of DeFi has brought NFTs into mainstream focus, and the growth of NFTs has also brought several problems into sharp focus. Ethereum has a monopoly over this sector, with many NFTs created on the Ethereum blockchain. So what is the problem with creating NFTs on one of the most popular platforms in the world? The issue of high gas fees. Ethereum has a big problem when it comes to fees which can potentially cross hundreds of Dollars, which makes it very impractical.
So what are the options when it comes to NFTs and NFT projects? What other choices do they have? The NEAR Protocol has several important projects on its platform and is often touted as the Ethereum killer. The NEAR Protocol is a scalable blockchain that simplifies and accelerates the development of dApps. At the moment, there are 19 decentralized platforms for the exchange of NFTs on the NEAR blockchain. The NEAR Protocol has a significant advantage over Ethereum, as it is significantly faster than Ethereum, and transactions cost next to nothing, making it an ideal platform for trading in NFTs.
What Is The NEAR Protocol?
The NEAR Protocol is a decentralized development platform that was created in 2018. It was designed to create an environment that was perfect for decentralized applications while focusing on the apparent shortcomings in other platforms in the space. NEAR operates on the NEAR Protocol, a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain that reduces costs and improves scalability by implementing several features,
NEAR also takes a different approach to Sharding by introducing a new block generation mechanism, “Doomslug.” Doomslug was proposed in 2019 and introduces practical or “Doomslug” finality, allowing blocks to receive finality in mere seconds.
NEAR functions on the same technology that powers Bitcoin and is the most accessible network for developers and end-users. Unlike NEAR, most blockchains centralize processing and limit it to high-end hardware. Through NEAR, the platform can scale linearly up to billions of transactions in a completely decentralized manner.
What Are Some Important Features Of NEAR?
NEAR is developed by a small community of developers and researchers known as the NEAR Collective. Some of the essential features are
- NEAR is an easy-to-use protocol that allows developers to build apps quickly and easily.
- NEAR allows for limitless scalability.
- Contrary to belief, NEAR is not a side-chain but a Layer-1 protocol.
- All dApps created on NEAR run on the underlying NEAR Layer.
The NEAR Collective
As mentioned earlier, NEAR is developed by a community of developers and researchers. These are part of the NEAR collective. The NEAR collective consists of organizations and individual contributors that are continuously working to ensure the NEAR Protocol’s day-to-day functioning and constantly improve it.
The NEAR Collective writes the initial code and implementation for the NEAR Network. While the collective ensures the functioning of the protocol, NEAR is entirely decentralized and operates independently. It cannot be shut down even by the team that developed it.
The NEAR Collective consists of the NEAR Foundation; a non-profit organization focused on creating a vibrant ecosystem around the NEAR blockchain. The NEAR Protocol is just one of several projects under the NEAR Collective.
NEAR Protocol And NFTs
The NEAR Protocol is the perfect platform for NFTs as it has many advantages over Ethereum. The protocol is significantly faster than Ethereum. Ethereum also has substantially higher gas fees, while NEAR allows transactions to be processed for a negligible fee. These factors make NEAR ideal for buying and selling NFTs.
As mentioned earlier, there are already several NFT projects that have been created on the NEAR blockchain. However, before taking a look at the projects, let us briefly understand the concept of NFTs.
The Meaning Of Non-Fungible
A fungible asset is an asset that can be exchanged for another identical asset. Bitcoin is an excellent example of a fungible asset, which means you can exchange one bitcoin for another bitcoin without any problems. Non-fungible assets, on the other hand, are unique assets that cannot be traded. An example of a non-fungible asset can be a unique painting or limited edition collectibles.
A non-fungible asset has a distinct property or properties that set it apart from other assets. Non-fungible tokens are based on non-fungible assets and are unique digital assets that use blockchain technology.
What Is An NFT?
NFTs are unique digital assets that have their identifying information recorded on a smart contract. The information on the smart contract is what makes an NFT unique. Fungible assets like Bitcoin can be exchanged, meaning you can send or receive bitcoin without any hitches. Fungible assets are also divisible, allowing you to send smaller amounts. Non-fungible assets are not divisible. For example, you can’t send someone a part of a painting or a ticket.
NFTs are digital certificates of ownership for digital assets. An NFT is a smart contract that is utilized for securing a digital asset. Once written, it is published into a token (ERC-721) on the blockchain. Anything can be turned into an NFT, with the most popular being videos, GIFs, or JPEGs.
Which of the following is an NFT?
NFT Projects on NEAR Protocol
Currently, there are several NFT platforms on NEAR so let us look at some of the more popular projects on the platform.
Mintbase started in 2018 and was created by Nate Geier and Calorine Wend. Nate Geier is the company’s CEO, while Caroline is the COO, utilizing her management and business development expertise. Mintbase managed to raise $1 million from a seed funding round in 2020. Sino Global led the round and also consisted of other VCs such as Block Oracle Capital, D1 Ventures, and other angel investors.
A digital blockchain platform that is used to issue and exchange non-fungible tokens, tokens on Mintbase are different from other tokens that are usually digital art tokens. The Mintbase platform allows users to create and sell assets backed by NFTs. Users can mint different digital assets as NFTs. These assets could range from event tickets to crypto art and everything in between.
Mintbase allows pretty much anyone with access to the internet to make an NFT and make it available for sale in their marketplace or on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea. Minters can create a smart contract and limit the transferability of the tokens minted, helping prevent fraud or the illegal transfer of unique items. Mintbase is focused on creating an NFT creation experience that is unique, which is why, as mentioned earlier, it supports different digital assets. This is contrary to competing platforms that focus on one specific NFT category.
Why Did Mintbase Switch To NEAR?
So why the switch from Ethereum to NEAR? The answer is Gas fees. Ethereum Gas fees had started to become ridiculously expensive. To mint NFTs on Mintbase, a user needs to create a digital store. This involves the user creating a smart contract and pay Ethereum a Gas fee. Initially, the fee was low, and users were able to deploy the store quickly. However, with increasing congestion on the Ethereum network, the fees started to get higher and higher, with store creation costing hundreds of dollars. The cost became so high that Mintbase had to tell its users to wait for Gas prices to drop before deploying a store. Ethereum quickly became untenable to buy, sell or create NFTs.
Mintbase saw NEAR as a better platform compared to Ethereum, with significantly lower Gas fees thanks to a more efficient contract execution model. It also uses Nightshade, a dynamic approach to Sharding. However, there are several other reasons why Mintbase switched to NEAR.
- The use of Rust or AssemblyScript for smart contracts on the NEAR platform makes it easy for developers to write code
- NEAR features human-readable addresses for both contracts and accounts
- Developers can onboard users quickly, thanks to NEAR Drops. They can pay for their NEAR accounts and send NEAR tokens
- Developers and users can move assets quickly thanks to the ETH-NEAR Rainbow bridge
- Other DeFi platforms such as Aave and Balancer are also on NEAR, which will make any future integration easy.
Why did Mintbase switch to NEAR?
Paras was created with a vision of providing the solution to aging traditional collectible cards. The platform validates ownership through the blockchain through fast and inexpensive transactions. The platform focuses on creating crypto-native collections which can be further diversified into more prominent mediums.
Paras is an all-in-one digital art card marketplace built on NEAR. The platform can validate ownership and give access to every purchase and mint to users. It offers quick and cheap transactions, and it differentiates itself from other marketplaces by offering collections instead of single releases. The platform differentiates itself in the following way.
- Paras reduces the maintenance burden on collectors by ensuring that their collectibles do not wear out over time. The platform removes barriers and gives artists and collectors easy access to the digital collectibles market. Thanks to the NEAR Protocol, Paras can reduce the costs incurred by artists to sell their cards
- Paras is developing the Digital Art Card vertical for future artists, gamers, and creatives and enabling artists to create a collection that links to a theme or lore. Through this method, Digital art cards in Paras are rich with stories and backgrounds.
Paras is able to take a curated approach and create an NFT community and experience. Paras ensures consistency and quality by selecting artists and formats. Artists can create new cards on Paras only after being approved, and the number of new artists approved is limited to 30 artists per week. Artists are also required to conform to the standard 64:89 aspect ratio.
What is Paras?
Since the platform’s launch, artists on Paras have already made more than $25,000, with the platform able to facilitate a trading volume of more than $35,000 from more than 700+ transactions. The platform has more than 80 active collectors and over 70 artists. The low minting fee keeps the entry barrier for digital artists pretty low, and artists can mint cards without worrying about the minting cost.
Why Is NEAR A Great Fit For Paras?
Because demand for space on Ethereum is driving up costs on the platform, newer NFT creators are looking for alternatives and solutions. NEAR is working with Ethereum on an interoperable solution. Transactions on NEAR cost only a few cents, and sometimes even less. The NEAR wallet is highly efficient, and transactions are completed almost instantly. The Rainbow bridge ensures that NEAR will be interoperable with assets based on Ethereum.
Hip Hop Heads
Hip Hop Heads marks the entry of a mainstay of American culture into the crypto space. The collaborative art series features the work of Andre LeRoy Davis, the creator of Source Magazine’s iconic The Last Word, and also features the background animation of one of The Source Magazine’s co-owners, Ed Young.
Hip Hop Heads was born out of a collaboration between the Universal Hip Hop Museum, The NEAR Protocol, and Ed Young. Together they decided to create an NFT collection that featured artists from the 70s to the present. The collection, called NFT.HipHop Heads will feature 47 of the biggest rap artists and will honor not only the artists but also mark the 47th year of the Hip Hop era. The project reconnects with the roots of rap using the latest technological advances.
Each illustration will exist as a collection of 47, signifying 47 years of the Hip Hop era. The First Edition of each Hip Hop Head is named depending on the artist’s place in the history of Hip Hop. The significance of each artist is demonstrated through an illustration created by Andre LeRoy Davis. The background animation code is a result of the most significant numbers in the history of Hip Hop that demonstrate the passage of the Hip Hop era over the course of 47 years. The NFT collection will be auctioned every day on its website until the 24th of July.
Why Did Hip-Hop Heads Choose NEAR?
The NEAR Protocol allows the Hip Hop Heads collection to be more accessible to the general population. As mentioned earlier, the collection will be auctioned daily until the 24th of August and can be purchased by credit card. This allows NEAR to make the project more viable. The auction marketplace also brings into sharp focus the NEAR Protocol’s features such as a familiar and friendly interface similar to web-2, easy and relatively cheap NFT minting, and end-user accessibility.
Because users can purchase the NFTs using a credit card, the marketplace offers a simple way of purchasing NFTs without any complicated steps that make users jump through hoops. NFT royalties on the NEAR Protocol are written into the NFT code, allowing creators to gain royalties from secondary sales, even if the NFT moves to another marketplace. This is possible thanks to NEAR’s contract-level NFT standard. NEAR gives the artists and creators control of their NFT, allowing them to benefit from their work.
NEAR is making building and deploying dApps easier, faster, and cheaper than any other blockchain protocol and is one of the most promising projects in the crypto space. It addresses several issues faced by projects on Ethereum, such as high gas fees and slow processing speeds. It also has several advantages over the Ethereum blockchain thanks to its sharded solution.
The NEAR Protocol has shown significant promise, utilizing Sharding to solve issues faced by other blockchains. Thanks to this approach, NEAR is able to increase throughput without compromising on security. The NEAR Collective ensures that engineers and developers are constantly working on the protocol.