NEAR Protocol: Community Operated Cloud

Season 1 Episode 27
  • Host

    Zach DeWitt

  • Guests

    Illia Polosukhin

    NEAR Protocol

  • Date

    August 6, 2019

  • Duration

    38 minutes

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What if launching an application on the blockchain was fast, simple, and user-friendly?

Today, we are joined by Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of NEAR Protocol, a community operated cloud platform which aims to enable developers to write, test, and deploy scalable, decentralized applications in minutes.

Listen to learn about how the protocol works, the potential use-cases and what they’re currently experimenting with, and the exciting things we can expect to see from NEAR in the future.

What is NEAR?

NEAR Protocol is a community operated, developer-friendly cloud built on a proof-of-stake public blockchain.

Their vision to move from centralized clouds and applications to a world in which developers can build applications that communicate with each other and where users control their data.

For example, if a developer builds a social app and launches it on this platform, anyone else can build new user interfaces and use the users’ data from this app for other apps with the users’ permission.


The blockchain is a core component of NEAR. What this allows you to do is start building things that are operating around money and assets, which is what blockchain is really good at right now. It provides a fully trustless system.

But the existing blockchains, as NEAR sees them, are largely unusable. So if you, as an engineer, want to build a real application, it’s extremely difficult to build, and then at launch users often struggle with usability.

NEAR wants to enable an engineer who doesn’t know anything about blockchain but wants to build an application to be able to come to the platform and build an app in one day, or ideally faster.

The future of NEAR

The potential for building on NEAR is huge, and at the moment they are focusing on games, as gamers are beginning to realize it’s possible to own their own in-game assets, and although the concept has not yet hit the mainstream, it is growing in popularity as more and more people become aware of it.

NEAR is also doing a lot of experimentation right now, so far with a lot of user-generated content, which is still in the early stages. As the protocol becomes more stable and secure, they plan on expanding to start enabling developers to build decentralized finance applications.

You can visit to see the different kinds of applications built using the protocol.

Key takeaways:

  • NEAR Protocol aims to be the most developer-friendly blockchain, with ambitions to be a community operated cloud platform;
  • NEAR is using a proof-of-stake consensus but has a sophisticated governance model;
  • NEAR plans to launch mainnet in summer 2019, and you can follow the team’s progress at

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