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Welcome to NEAR, the B.O.S – NEAR Protocol

Welcome to NEAR, the B.O.S

NEAR Foundation
July 4, 2023

The blockchain space has come a long way since its inception in 2009, when Bitcoin was released. But building mainstream blockchain applications — commonly referred to as Web3 apps, or dApps — still remains a challenge. Building Web3 apps on most chains require  learning chain-specific programming languages, or use paradigms that are completely alien to web developers. And even after building a successful Web3 app,  projects quickly find there is no simple way to onboard users, especially those that are later in the crypto adoption curve. Interacting with a Web3 app requires the download of a wallet like Metamask and converting fiat to a desired token. As a final barrier to entry, the transaction fees may be so high that the benefit of using the app becomes redundant to the user.

It’s precisely these problems that NEAR Protocol was created to address. In NEAR, web developers can build Web3 apps using languages they know and love such as Javascript and Rust. What’s even better is that these applications can then be used by simply logging in with an email — no blockchain knowledge, add-on wallets, or crypto needed! This amazing user experience is achieved thanks to a robust tech-stack built with simplicity in mind. The combination of developer-friendly smart contracts, Web3 applications, and user-friendly onboarding tools is what makes NEAR the B.O.S (Blockchain Operating System).

NEAR’s B.O.S make it easier than ever for developers to build multi-chain web applications, while providing a common layer for browsing and discovering open web experiences. You no longer have to choose between decentralization and discoverability. Whether you’re a developer new to Web3 and want to play around, or somebody looking to build in the open web, you’ll find a treasure trove of components, code, and a thriving community to help get you started. 

Read through this blog to learn how you can also be a B.O.S.

Use languages that you already know

Simplicity of use for developers is at the core of NEAR’s tech stack. With Near you can use Javascript or Rust throughout the whole development process. This includes the creation of smart contracts and their testing, using our friendly API to connect your existing frontend to the NEAR Blockchain, as well as building fully composable applications that talk with any blockchain. 

Thanks to our vast library of Javascript and Rust tools, any web developer can easily adopt NEAR technology and be onboarded into the B.O.S. 

Develop, build and deploy multi-chain Apps —‚ all in 1 day

Building a traditional web app entails a long list of needs, such as: installing an IDE (such as VSCode), setting up a development environment (e.g. node.js), then of course building the WebApp (lots of Javascript goes here). Even after finishing the application, another hurdle lies ahead — you still need to publish it! This generally means obtaining and setting up a hosting service such as Firebase or Vercel.

A powerful Web3 alternative is to join the B.O.S at near.org. NEAR offers a comprehensive set of tools and capabilities to get developers started quickly. TLDR: Code what you want, fork what you don’t! You can navigate through the component library (currently more than 10,000 components available!), choose the ones you need, and compose them into a full web application. 

Do you want to build an exchange that allows people to also have discussions? Simply fork a token-exchange component and the discussion component, and compose them into a single app. It’s that simple. What’s even better is that B.O.S is readily interoperable with multiple blockchains. If you want to build a frontend that talks with Ethereum, NEAR’s environment is set up for you, and it’s not only Ethereum — support for many other networks area always being added! 

Thanks to the B.O.S, you can focus on building what you want — simply fork, adapt, and incorporate the work of our community to speed up the process. 

Seamless onboarding for Web3

On a typical website, you arrive and login with your email. That’s it — the onboarding journey is over. Now let’s compare that with the usual Web3 onboarding. 

On Web3, you come to a blockchain-based app and are asked to install Metamask or an equivalent, which will create an account for you. But here is the catch: to use the account you’ll need to figure out where to buy crypto (and which crypto) to put in the account, at which time you will realize that your account is just a bunch of random numbers and letters. This painful onboarding has hampered Web3 adoption since cryptocurrency’s very beginnings. 

To tackle this problem, NEAR offers FastAuth, a technology that directly links your email account to a NEAR account. In this way, users can simply login to any NEAR app using their email, just as  every web application allows. Even better, the user will be able to use exactly the same NEAR account if they login into any other application using their email. 

What’s even better is that users can enjoy B.O.S apps without the need to obtain crypto! NEAR supports ‘0 balance accounts’, meaning that people do not need to hold crypto in their wallets. Instead, developers can pay for the gas of their users through what is known as a ‘Relayer’. Relayers are super simple to set up, and anyone can create their own. Thanks to the FastAuth and Relayers tech, users in B.O.S experience a simple and seamless web style onboarding. In practice, this means that developers can build Web3 apps ready for mass-adoption from the get-go.

Instantly access thousands of users and devs

The current Web3 landscape is multi-chain and therefore highly fragmented, making it hard to discover the amazing experiences Web3 has to offer. NEAR’s B.O.S fixes this problem by combining a thorough search experience with social collaborative tools. With B.O.S, you can quickly search for Web3 apps and components other developers built, as well as connect with other devs and communities. Moreover, you can leverage its social aspects to shill your application, gather feedback, and expose your work to a large audience.

Shill your project as soon as you finished just as @zhocuy did

Easily bridge Web2 and Web3

B.O.S enables developers to easily supercharge traditional web apps with Web3 experiences through what we call ‘Gateways’. Gateways are simple web apps that work as access points to the Web3 — they have the capability to read components from the B.O.S and render them for their users. The best example of a Gateway is near.org itself! Gateways makes composing React and Web3 components easier than ever, helping to bridge Web2 and web3 development. This way, developers can focus on writing an application using technologies they know (React/Next.js), and effortlessly supercharge them with Web3 components.

All supported by a fast, cheap and robust network

Everything we’ve talked about so far runs atop the NEAR Protocol: a blazing fast, cheap, and robust blockchain. Indeed, transactions can be as low as 0.0008Ⓝ — less than a thousand of dollar’s cent! 

On top of that, transactions are objectively fast, and are processed in less than 1.2 seconds (the current processing time is 1.11s). All of this runs atop of the most stable chains ever created. NEAR has enjoyed 100% uptime since its launch, recently crossing the 100 Millon block produced with the network never going down!

Build and discover apps on NEAR: the B.O.S for an Open Web

NEAR’s B.O.S tech-stack is deep yet accessible to everyone. It allows you to develop smart contracts and build composable applications using Javascript and Rust. B.O.S also allows you to easily go multi-chain, extending your reach beyond NEAR’s network and across other major blockchains such as Ethereum. Finally, its social component allows you to publish your application easily on near.org and leverage a growing community of developers and crypto enthusiasts.

Build amazing apps, deploy them, gather feedback, and interact with your community — all in the same platform.

Visit Near.org. Let’s build an open web together!


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