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NEAR's Account Abstraction Is Leading to TONS of Users

By Michael @ CryptoEQ | CryptoEQ | 27 Feb 2024


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Intro

In the rapidly evolving landscape of blockchain technology, the proliferation of chains and decentralized applications (DApps) has led to a fragmented ecosystem, complicating the user experience and hindering widespread adoption. The NEAR Protocol, with its innovative approach to Chain Abstraction, is at the forefront of addressing these challenges, aiming to unify this fragmented landscape and streamline the user and developer experience.

Chain Abstraction, as conceptualized by NEAR Protocol, seeks to eliminate the complexities created by the multitude of existing blockchains and DApps. The current state of the blockchain ecosystem is characterized by its lack of unity; with an ever-increasing number of chains and DApps, the environment appears disjointed and continues to grow more so. This fragmentation significantly detracts from the user experience, making it difficult for users to navigate the ecosystem seamlessly. Moreover, the ease of creating rollups has led to a surge in their number, with the expectation that thousands more will emerge, each hosting countless DApps. However, without a unified layer to integrate these components, the potential for widespread adoption remains unfulfilled.

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The NEAR Protocol's solution to this issue is the implementation of Chain Abstraction through its Blockchain Operating System (BOS) concept. This approach not only simplifies the user experience by allowing users to interact with various blockchains without needing to understand the underlying technology but also enables developers to create cross-chain products without relying on bridges. This is achieved through several key features:

  1. NEAR Account: This feature facilitates seamless onboarding and account recovery, integrating Chain Abstraction with Account Abstraction. It leverages Fast Auth, which employs passkeys and biometrics to replace traditional passwords and phrases, enhancing security and convenience. Additionally, the MPC recovery service allows for account recovery using email, further simplifying the user experience.

  2. Chain Signature: Utilizing MPC nodes, this feature enables NEAR to sign transactions and send messages across different blockchains, streamlining the process of cross-chain interactions.

  3. Intent Relayers: Acting as a third party, intent relayers fulfill users' intentions in a manner centered around the user's specific requests, further enhancing the user-centric approach of the NEAR Protocol.

Adoption

Despite a slowdown in DeFi activities, Near protocol made significant strides in 2023 through three major developments: increased network usage driven by consumer adoption, growth in its Blockchain Operating System (BOS), and a strategic shift towards becoming a data availability layer. Near also rolled out updates to enhance both developer and user experiences. Notable among these was the introduction of meta transaction support, analogous to Ethereum's account abstraction, and FastAuth, an innovative onboarding mechanism. FastAuth allows users to create wallets using email and phone-based authentication, like iPhone’s Face ID or a passcode, bypassing the complexity of managing seed phrases or long number strings. These improvements significantly streamlined the user onboarding process, facilitating the adoption of popular dApps.

near active addresses 2023 growth

Two of Near’s most successful dApps are Sweatcoin and KaiKai. Sweatcoin, Near's inaugural consumer-facing dApp, rewards physical activity with SWEAT tokens redeemable in its marketplace. Near's partnership with Cosmose AI, an AI analytics firm, led to the development of KaiKai, an app that generates Near wallets for users. KaiKai allows purchases using KAIC, a stablecoin, offering discounts on transactions. These dApps contributed to a consistent rise in daily active users and transactions on Near.

Near's approach deviates from other alternative Layer 1s. Rather than replicating existing DeFi models like AMMs, derivatives, and lending markets found on Ethereum, Near focused on consumer-oriented dApps. This strategy underscores that Near's network growth is not solely dependent on DeFi volume, but also on the appeal and functionality of consumer-targeted applications. The protocol's emphasis on innovative and user-friendly dApps suggests a continued drive towards attracting more consumer engagement in 2024.

BOS

The BOS provided by NEAR offers a platform where developers can easily deploy and manage their DApps, ensuring full composability between frontend DApps and components. The source code for these applications is stored on NEAR, facilitating a level of interoperability and flexibility previously unattainable.

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One of the most significant advantages of the NEAR Protocol's Chain Abstraction is the facilitation of bridgeless cross-chain DeFi. Traditionally, moving assets or data across different blockchains required the use of bridges, a process that can be cumbersome and security-risk prone. Chain Abstraction eliminates the need for such bridges by embedding cross-chain functionality directly within the BOS frontend, providing a seamless experience for users. This innovation is supported by Chainlink's Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP), which simplifies the complexities associated with bridge use. As a result, native cross-chain swaps can be executed without the need for wrapped assets, extending even to non-smart contract assets.

Furthermore, the NEAR Protocol's approach enables a variety of other applications, including apps on non-smart contract chains, advanced multi-chain accounts, trustless multi-chain deployment, and privacy-focused apps. The integration of rollups, such as those from Polygon zkEVM, into the NEAR BOS, exemplifies the protocol's commitment to a unified and accessible blockchain ecosystem. This integration not only enhances the functionality available within the NEAR ecosystem but also sets the stage for the inclusion of additional rollup chains in the future.

In conclusion, the NEAR Protocol's innovative Chain Abstraction, realized through its Blockchain Operating System, represents a significant leap forward in the quest for a unified, user-friendly blockchain ecosystem. By simplifying the user experience and enabling seamless cross-chain interactions, NEAR positions itself as a pivotal player in the blockchain space, paving the way for the next billion users to enter the blockchain world.

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Michael @ CryptoEQ
Michael @ CryptoEQ

I am a Co-Founder and Lead Analyst at CryptoEQ. Gain the market insights you need to grow your cryptocurrency portfolio. Our team's supportive and interactive approach helps you refine your crypto investing and trading strategies.


CryptoEQ
CryptoEQ

Gain the market insights you need to grow your cryptocurrency portfolio. Our team's supportive and interactive approach helps you refine your crypto investing and trading strategies.

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