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Getting Started

You’ve landed on the NEAR Wiki, thanks for coming!

This open-source, collaborative wiki connects you to information about everything from the protocol, usage, infrastructure, opportunities, and guilds.

The contributions to this Wiki have been made by the NEAR Community and members of the NEAR Foundation team. We will endeavour to ensure the NEAR Wiki is up to date with information, both evergreen and otherwise.

What is NEAR Protocol?

NEAR is a simple, scalable, and secure blockchain platform designed to provide the best possible experience for developers and users, which is necessary to bridge the gap to mainstream adoption of decentralized applications. NEAR is completely carbon neutral as certified by South Pole.

Unlike other blockchains, this network has been built from the ground up to be the easiest in the world for both developers and their end-users while still providing the scalability necessary to serve those users. Specifically, NEAR is designed to make it easier to: Build decentralized applications, even if you're only used to building with "traditional" web or app concepts. Onboard users with a smooth experience, even if they have never used crypto, tokens, keys, wallets, or other blockchain artifacts. Scale your application seamlessly - the underlying platform automatically expands capacity via sharding without additional costs or effort on your part.

What is the NEAR Token and How Can I Use It?

NEAR is the native token of the NEAR blockchain. It has a variety of use cases:

Transaction fees - All transactions which occur on the NEAR blockchain must be paid for using NEAR. Due to the proof-of-stake (PoS) and scalable nature of the chain, these transaction fees are often very low.

Staking - Fundamental to PoS ecosystems, NEAR can be delegated to validators (staked) to earn NEAR rewards.

Acquiring a validator seat - To become a validator on the NEAR blockchain a minimum amount of NEAR is required.

dApps - Those building on the NEAR ecosystem can, and have, choose to leverage the NEAR token in a number of ways expanding on its utility.

Why NEAR?

You may have heard of distributed computing, databases, or computer networks, all of which play a role in blockchains.

Currently, most web-services utilize a single server and a single database to process your request and provide information. This infrastructure is usually managed by an individual entity who treats all of their data processing like a black box: the request goes in, something happens, and the user receives an output.

While the company may rely on third parties to verify those claims, the user will never be able to verify what happened in the black box. This system relies on trust between users and companies.

NEAR is similar in principle to the “cloud-based” infrastructure that developers currently build applications on top of, except that the cloud is no longer controlled by a single company running a giant data center — that data center is actually made up of all the people around the world who are operating nodes on the decentralized network. Instead of a “company-operated cloud,” it's a “community-operated cloud.”

To set the stage, we’re building a “base-layer blockchain,” or a layer-one, meaning that it’s on the same level of the ecosystem as projects like Ethereum or Cosmos. That means everything in the ecosystem is built on top of the NEAR blockchain, including your application.

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Interested in learning more? Check out the NEAR Website.

To contribute to this wiki, see the Contributing page

This wiki is a great resource to start learning about NEAR. The next step in your NEAR journey, if you haven't yet, is to create your own NEAR Wallet. Your NEAR Wallet is your key to the world of dApps and Web3 on NEAR.