In order to make a mark in the world, you can either hang on the coattails of things that already have momentum, or you can create the momentum yourself.
This is the mantra of Mark Sugden, the head of business development and partnerships at NEAR Protocol. Speaking to Cryptonites‘ Alex Fazel at the Paris Blockchain Week, Sugden said he left his comfortable fintech job to join NEAR as “with blockchains, it’s good to be early.”
What attracted him to NEAR was the team’s laser focus on developing the best technology they can. While other chains are more focused on hype marketing and attracting attention and community first, the team behind NEAR protocol is taking up the opposite approach. He explained that the founders and developers at NEAR have been working hard to make sure they have a working and practical solution people can use to build dApps with confidence.
Worrying about network stability, downtime, and lags can quickly become a burden to developers who can easily migrate to another, more stable platform. To avoid this, the team at NEAR took a tech-first, no marketing approach to developing the blockchain.
“If you’ve got the tech, everything else can be built on that,” Sugden explained.
NEAR’s unique sharding mechanism is part of the technology Sugden was referring to.
Called Nightshade, the sharding mechanism enables the NEAR blockchain to separate itself into different, completely independent parts. This means that any project or enterprise can be built on a unique shard and even create a private one that won’t be affected by other dApps and projects. NEAR is currently operating on four different shards, but Sugden noted that this number is set to grow exponentially as the blockchain gains more momentum.
Sharding isn’t the only thing NEAR brings to the table, either.
Sugden said that the goal of the protocol was to create an environment that was as simple as possible — both for end-users and developers. If developers don’t find the blockchain easy to work with and build on, they won’t be able o build something users will find useful and easy to use.
However, he notes that it will take more than just good tech to get people on board. NEAR provides developers with courses and tooling they need to conquer the blockchain and its programming language. The blockchain also provides attractive incentives, offering developers a portion of their smart contracts process transaction fees.
“Our mantra is simple, scalable, secure.”
The end goal for NEAR is to create a platform that developers and creators will want to build on. By providing simple technology that’s easy to scale, they’ll give developers the confidence to build innovative and useful applications, Sugden said.