NEAR is a decentralized blockchain project that aims to provide a platform for building and deploying decentralized applications (dapps) that is scalable, secure, and easy to use. The NEAR protocol uses a unique consensus mechanism called “Nightshade” that allows for fast and efficient transactions while maintaining a high level of security.

Some potential benefits of NEAR include:

Scalability: NEAR’s consensus mechanism allows for a high throughput of transactions, making it suitable for a wide range of dapps.
Security: NEAR uses a combination of proof-of-stake and sharding to secure the network, which makes it resistant to various types of attacks.
Developer-friendly: NEAR’s smart contract programming language, called “AssemblyScript” is similar to JavaScript, making it easy for developers to learn and use.
Overall, NEAR’s aim is to provide a platform that enables the development of dapps that can be used by a wide range of people and organizations, from individuals to large businesses. With its scalability, security, and ease of use, NEAR has the potential to be a major player in the decentralized application space in the future.

There are a lot of exciting new features on the way. The core protocol team prioritized these based on a combination of: ecosystem-level strategy from NEAR Foundation and Pagoda; feedback from founders and builders; and user research on applications built on NEAR.

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the items on the roadmap:

Meta Transactions. Meta transactions allow a third party to pay for the transaction cost of any account, which means that users can be onboarded to NEAR apps without having to get NEAR tokens first.

Zero-balance Account. Allow accounts with zero balance to exist to make it easy for applications and wallets to create accounts for new users.

Secp256r1 keys. Secp256r1 key support would allow iPhone users to have an implicit account onchain. This reduces the friction of onboarding to an even lower threshold than existing Web2 approaches. An iPhone user does not have to go through the process of creating an account through some wallet.

Global Storage. In the current paradigm, if a commonly used smart contract is deployed many times, the same amount of storage staking cost has to be paid every time it is deployed. As an example, every account that deploys a multisig contract today has to pay ~3N for storage cost even though the contract is exactly the same across all those accounts and isn’t consuming more physical storage on the implementation level. Global storage addresses the problem by allowing builders to burn tokens to deploy a contract once and then every account can use it without having to pay for the storage staking cost.

Running wasm in wasm. Today smart contracts deployed within Aurora interact with each other synchronously. The same can be done for native NEAR contracts if we allow dynamically loading and executing another smart contract within the execution of a smart contract.

All of these features are designed to make NEAR a better technology base for building usable apps. Importantly, many of these features could surpass even the best of Web2 onboarding standards, empowering builders and founders to create without limits on NEAR.

Building on the 2023 strategy for NEAR Foundation and Pagoda shared here at the end of last year, the goal of this post is to share the specific objectives and target metrics that will make this vision a reality.

All NEAR ecosystem OKRs for 2023 distill to a single North Star: the goal of 10 million monthly active accounts (MAAs) by the end of the year. This is approximately 12x growth from today’s 800K MAAs (the all-time high was around 900K) and puts NEAR solidly on the path to achieve mainstream adoption in the next few years. The Foundation and Pagoda have chosen to focus on MAAs because they believe user adoption is the best indicator that NEAR is providing real value to end users today with monthly frequency and eventually weekly or daily.

During 2023, NEAR will transform from a Layer-1 blockchain into the Blockchain Operating System, connecting applications, tooling, social, earning, and developer components across the Open Web. With product development of NEAR Discovery, the bottom-up community approach, the top-down partnerships growth strategy from NEAR Foundation, and continued iteration on the best user experience and onboarding in Web3, each team in Pagoda and NEAR Foundation will contribute to overall growth in usage over the next year.

The following OKRs (objectives and key results) are the guideposts for each team in 2023.

NEAR Foundation Goals for 2023
What does success look like for NEAR Foundation at the end of this year?

NEAR is the blockchain operating system: brand, marketing
100% of content and processes running on NEAR Discovery
30% of NEAR community is using Discovery
3M Twitter followers and 2x increase in SOV (share of voice)
NEAR is a thriving decentralized ecosystem: community, legal, accelerator
NDC and 3 community DAOs set up with core contributors and legal structure
50+ NPS score from community
$250M in external capital flowing into minimum of 100 projects
NEAR is transforming the best Web2 projects: BD
5M+ MAAs added to NEAR through minimum of 3 major partnerships
12+ landmark partnership agreements
24+ tier-2 partnership agreements
By the end of 2023, NEAR Foundation will have transformed NEAR into a blockchain operating system, made possible through NEAR Discovery, fostering an even more thriving decentralized ecosystem with more MAAs, major partnerships, and external capital inflow.

NEAR has the best-in-class protocol and infrastructure: core, protocol, security
100% on-chain availability and security to support product growth
NEAR has solutions that support millions of users: solutions & product
10+ partnerships integrated with companies of 1M+ users, 100K+ MAA growth
NEAR onboards and retains millions of users: product, Discovery, DevOps
20%+ month-over-month growth in MAAs
25% 8-week retention and K-factor greater than one
20% month-over-month growth in Monthly Active Developers (MADs), with 20% growth in used components and component retention
By the end of the year, Pagoda will have created NEAR Discovery and other solutions and products for developers, while growing partnerships and monthly active developers and accounts.

Note on Metrics
Different NEAR teams have tracked various metrics to measure success at different points, but a macro goal for 2023 is to unify progress measurement across the organization. The decision to focus on Monthly Active Accounts reflects two critical points: first, that accounts will be a more accurate measure than wallets in NEAR Discovery thanks to improvements in onboarding, and second, that NEAR cannot provably track unique users because of the default privacy of Web3––many users have several accounts to handle different types of activity.

NEAR’s goal since the first NEARCON in 2021 has been to get to a billion users within five years, or in 2026. While a high number of daily active users (DAA) will be necessary for achieving a billion users, the NEAR ecosystem is not there yet––daily usage will require many successful apps and seamless user journeys between them, which is the goal for NEAR Discovery. Over time, NEAR Foundation and Pagoda expect to begin tracking more granular metrics such as Daily Active Accounts, accounts that use more than one app, and retention across apps.

2023: The Year of NEAR
NEAR is the best-positioned ecosystem in Web3 to achieve mainstream adoption in 2023 despite difficult market conditions. With NEAR Foundation, Pagoda, and the community working towards concrete, shared goals and a common vision, the ecosystem will be better aligned with clearer paths to contribution. The Foundation will continue delivering on its commitment to communicate often about its activities and progress.

Watch on Twitter and NEAR Social for progress updates on these goals in Q1 as well as a public dashboard for easier tracking of target metrics soon.

NEAR CMC: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/near-protocol/markets/

NEAR is on all top exchanges: Binance, Bitstamp, Coinbase, Kraken, Kucoin, Bitfinex, Gate, Bybit, Huobi, Poloniex, Okx

Future is NEAR! – Near.org