A new public blockchain just raised over $12 million in a funding round led by crypto hedge fund Metastable Capital with several backers, including Coinbase Ventures, Ripple’s Xpring and Pantera. The platform, called Near, is geared for developers to build decentralized applications in direct competition with industry leaders Ethereum, EOS and Tron.
According to the announcement, the Near team is comprised of programming veterans from Google, Facebook and other major tech firms. Their mission is to radically increase transaction throughput and remove any theoretical capacity limit.
Says CEO Alex Skidanov,
“Assembling a world-class development team and creating the technology is really just the first step – the next is launching a global movement that puts blockchain technology in the hands of the developers and entrepreneurs who will carry it to consumers everywhere via the apps and businesses they create.”
The leading platforms have been striving to achieve mainstream adoption, with gaming and gambling DApps consistently ranking as the most popular. According to DappRadar, TRONbet currently ranks number one with $8.4 million in transactional volume over the past 24 hours, significantly outperforming Dice on EOS, which ranks second with $193,000 over the same time period.
According to the Near team,
“The NEAR Protocol makes decentralized applications nearly as easy to build and use as today’s web apps while achieving global scale by using a novel sharding approach and consensus mechanism called Nightshade.”
As the blockchain and crypto industry experiences rapid growth, industry leaders are increasingly diversifying to build their brands and expand their ecosystems, moving fluidly from building crypto exchanges and fiat on-ramps to payment platforms to cross-border payment solutions to decentralized applications to stablecoins to custody services.
With heavy-hitting newcomers entering the space, such as Facebook, along with big initiatives from major tech companies such as IBM’s cross-border, Stellar-based payment platform World Wire, the avalanche of competitors is making it difficult to place bets and discern which brand will win over consumers and trigger sustained mass adoption.
Reshaping the financial system, specifically cross-border payments, is one of many potential applications that may spur billions to adopt cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based systems.
In a recent Twitter thread, Ripple’s chief technology officer David Schwartz says,
“I’m quite confident that payments are about to be severely disrupted because they are just too broken and we have the tech to fix it. I get less confident when the question is what tech will do the disruption or where we’ll end up.”
Near plans to use its new funds to recruit more developers to accelerate the development of additional tooling. The startup recently launched a beta program to support select projects that are expected to release their applications on the platform later this year.