Proof-of-stake blockchain NEAR Protocol has raised $150 million in seed funding to accelerate the adoption of Web3 technologies.
NEAR Protocol has closed $150 million in funding
Three-Arrows Capital led the token sale with Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital, a16z, Jump, Alameda, Zee Prime, Folius, Amber Group, 6th Man Ventures, and Circle Ventures. The NEAR ecosystem fund also participated in the seed round, and angels Alan Howard, Santiago Santos, and Aave founder Stani Kulechov joined the funding. NEAR Protocol plans to use the fresh funding to drive the adoption of Web3. According to the announcement, the funding will be used to “help billions of people learn and use blockchain.”
The NEAR Foundation was founded in 2020 following a $21 million token sale and with the help of backers including a16z and Pantera Capital. The nonprofit platform oversees the development and governance of the proof-of-stake blockchain. In 2021, it allocated $800 million in funding for new initiatives to accelerate decentralized finance.
What is NEAR Protocol?
NEAR Protocol is a sharded Layer 1 blockchain that uses proof-of-stake. In April 2020, the network was the brainchild of former Google engineer Illia Polosukhin and Microsoft developer Alexander Skidanov. Like many other Layer 1 blockchains, NEAR’s technology aims to solve the “blockchain trilemma,” which is the proposition that it is challenging to create a scalable, decentralized, and secure blockchain without compromising on one of the facets.
NEAR Protocol’s approach to solving the blockchain trilemma is implementing a horizontal scaling feature called sharding. This involves dividing a blockchain node network into smaller partitions called “shards.” Each shard consists of its data and can be used to process transactions jointly with other shards, increasing the overall throughput of the network. Another focus of the NEAR protocol is to make the network as accessible and user-friendly as possible.