Getting to know NEAR Protocol again: a blockchain operating system
Rediscovering NEAR Protocol: a blockchain OS
“NEAR platform has over 23 million accounts and thousands of projects, transforming into a blockchain operating system (BOS) will bring millions of accounts and make billions of users accessible to the Web3. This is because NEAR is building the Web3 stack, which integrates experiences from open networks, simplifies the discovery and access experience for users and developers.” – CoinDesk
What is an operating system?
An operating system (OS) is an important system software that acts as a middleman between computer hardware and software applications. It is the core software that manages computer resources, facilitates communication between hardware and software, and provides various services to software applications. Without an operating system, most computers would be difficult to manage and ordinary users would be almost unable to effectively use the computer.
The global operating system market is expected to grow from $45.17 billion in 2022 to $49.10 billion in 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 1.7%, covering multiple major players. Among the leading companies, traditional tech giants Microsoft, Apple, and Google occupy significant positions. Microsoft, with its widely used Windows operating system, occupies a significant position in the desktop, tablet, and game console operating system markets. Apple has significant influence in the mobile and desktop fields with its separate use of the iOS and macOS operating systems. On the other hand, Google is the creator of the Android operating system, the most widely used mobile operating system in the world, and also developed Chrome OS, mainly for laptops and desktops.
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Decentralization, although one of the main attractions of cryptocurrencies, is ironically also a barrier to the development of blockchain. The complexity faced in Web3 development, complex programming languages, inability to discover and solve problems after binding the project to a specific blockchain, security vulnerabilities, composability issues and poor user experience, have brought significant entry barriers to developers.
These issues slow down the growth of cryptocurrencies and prevent more developers and users from participating. As a result, most people still do not use cryptocurrencies because the overall blockchain does not have enough practical applications.
Introduction to Blockchain Operating System
To address the challenges faced by developers and users, NEAR launched the Blockchain Operating System (BOS) on March 2, 2023. BOS is an open-source platform on which developers can build on any blockchain using familiar programming languages and most components. It also provides users with the opportunity to connect with various communities and applications while ensuring data privacy without the need for cryptocurrency upfront, greatly improving the onboarding process.
By providing a unified, interoperable platform, BOS addresses the complexity of Web3 and the limitations of centralization in Web2. The platform enables seamless interaction between various blockchains, eliminating complexity associated with token exchange, exchanges, and multi-identity management. It is designed with user accessibility in mind, providing a simple onboarding process and improved app discovery.
Components of the Blockchain Operating System
BOS represents a comprehensive blockchain technology stack, serving as a holistic framework for developers and users. Its core concept is a decentralized, composable frontend, which was previously missing from the cryptocurrency ecosystem. These frontends are stored on the blockchain rather than centralized data servers, providing high composability and censorship resistance for applications. Developers can fork these frontends in whole or in part to create their own applications, similar to Google’s Material Design for React, but with greater connectivity and functionality.
One significant advantage of BOS is its potential to break down the sectarianism that exists in the current cryptocurrency space. By building a consistent experience across multiple blockchains using composable and forkable components, BOS opens the door for future open network developers. Developers can freely obtain the latest Web3 components from around the world, enabling them to create new projects, launch DAOs for community-based projects, and explore countless other possibilities related to NEAR. Essentially, the frontend in BOS is making the same contribution as smart contracts do for services.
BOS also provides a way to access BOS functionality from anywhere via its gateway functionality. Although NEAR.org is currently the main gateway, many other gateways are being developed and integrated with BOS. Essentially, as a bilateral platform, BOS meets the needs of developers and users, fully leveraging the advantages of decentralization through its innovative combination while mitigating potential drawbacks.
Main features of BOS
NEAR’s BOS introduces innovative and powerful elements. It aims to improve the accessibility, discoverability, and functionality of cryptocurrency applications while maintaining a user-friendly experience.
- FastAuth: Simplifies the process of accessing Web3 applications by providing a familiar Web2-style experience. Users can quickly create a free account using biometrics and email, without needing a password or owning cryptocurrency. It leverages NEAR’s meta-transactions and zero-balance accounts to enable free user registration and sponsored initial interactions. Future improvements include extending relayers and FastAuth to other gateways, further decentralization, multi-chain compatibility, and two-factor authentication.
- Universal search: BOS integrates comprehensive search functionality, allowing users to quickly find applications, components, and connections within the ecosystem. This enhances discoverability and usability within BOS, effectively improving the overall user experience.
- Gateway: As the entry point for accessing Web3 applications, the gateway retrieves frontend code directly from the NEAR blockchain. The gateway facilitates adding new features to applications, making BOS a more diverse and user-friendly platform. By creating more entry points to applications, the gateway enhances their discoverability and usability.
- Trusted and secure content moderation: An extensible open-source content moderation system. It provides users with a self-governance platform for content moderation, promoting a healthier online environment. This decentralized control ensures compliance with legal requirements and upholds the ethical standards of the Web3 platform.
- NEAR Tasks: A gig economy platform that allows users to earn NEAR by completing tasks. This feature adds another layer of user engagement, promoting understanding and adoption of cryptocurrency.
Target customers and their impact
The blockchain operating system aims to serve three main types of users:
· Enterprise: For enterprises, BOS opens the door to innovative technological capabilities and business models. It allows for the creation and launch of products and experiences that enhance user engagement, potentially leading to new revenue streams.
· End-users: End-users can easily enter an improved digital world. BOS provides a simple onboarding experience, without the need for cryptocurrency, with a powerful application ecosystem and a growing community. It maintains the user experience expected while providing privacy protection, control over personal data, and direct connections with other individuals and communities.
Development and Adoption Metrics
NEAR Social is a decentralized social network built on the NEAR blockchain, serving as the social layer of BOS. It provides a peer-to-peer network for social interaction, content creation, and distribution. Users own their data, and developers can access public data to create applications, with customizable widgets promoting innovation. Today, NEAR Social is the central hub of activity on BOS, and so we will take a deep dive into its development and adoption metrics.
In addition to the growing developer base, NEAR’s metrics also show healthy growth in the amount of code written and widgets created. Widgets are building blocks for the Near Social framework. They are reusable open-source components that can be used to build applications on top of the SocialDB contract. Widgets can be a small component, like a button, or they can be a big component, like a profile page, or even an entire application, like a social network.
Future Developments and Ecosystem Components
BOS will continue to receive significant attention and development resources. Both the NEAR Foundation and key developers such as Blockinggoda are committed to its ongoing growth. However, BOS does not operate in isolation; it is part of a wider ecosystem where several NEAR components are already operational and others are in active development. These elements further enhance BOS’s functionality:
· Nightshade: Nightshade is an important component of the NEAR ecosystem, achieving horizontal scalability through sharding. Phase 0 launched this process by introducing four data shards. With the recent release of Phase 1, the network’s validator capacity has been enhanced by introducing producers that contain only chunks. The upcoming phase aims to introduce complete data and processing shards, as well as dynamic resharding.
· Decentralized funding: The NEAR Foundation is moving towards a more decentralized capital allocation model, delegating decision-making power to community DAOs. Each DAO has specific goals and tasks:
– Marketing DAO: Simplifies funding allocation for marketing initiatives, with a focus on content creation and social media, and welcomes relevant proposals.
– Developer Governance DAO: Aims to decentralize the NEAR developer ecosystem, promoting widespread innovation. It is currently increasing its activity and considering proposals for technical ecosystem projects.
– Creatives DAO: Provides a collaborative platform for artists and creators, as well as the resources needed to earn money and engage audiences. It is actively soliciting funding proposals.
· NEAR Collective: The NEAR Collective is a developing governance entity that aims to democratize decision-making within the network. The NEAR Collective consists of five main components, including voting bodies for every active NEAR account, outstanding homes that represent the community in voting and decision-making processes, an advisory committee that guides outstanding homes, a transparency committee that enforces checks and balances, and a community treasury that supports grassroots initiatives for the NEAR blockchain.
· NEAR Horizon: NEAR Horizon is a Web3 startup accelerator that connects founders with resources and support to drive the expansion of their projects. The accelerator includes a vast network of mentors, service providers, and supporters, establishing a streamlined path for startups to grow and thrive.
In summary, NEAR’s blockchain operating system (BOS) has the potential to change Web3 by simplifying decentralized development and user adoption. BOS provides a familiar coding environment and a wide range of components, making it easier for developers to build applications. It increases user accessibility, discoverability, and privacy, improving the onboarding experience.
Original link: https://messari.io/report/near-is-the-bos?referrer=all-research
Translation: YYT | Huzi Observation Coin