Near secures new $350 million investment in giant bet on fast blockchains

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Near just secured a new $350 million investment of heavyweight investors, representing a giant bet on fast blockchains and a potential future challenge for Ethereum, the world’s second largest blockchain.

Why is this important: Well, that’s a lot of money, right? It is a bet on super fast and cheap transactions in a decentralized way.

  • Users follow applications, not infrastructure. This funding will enable more use cases – likely especially in lending, exchanges, and risk management – ​​powered by the Near blockchain.

Driving the news: Tiger Global, which raised $8.8 billion in a fund last year led the round with additional participation from companies such as FTX Ventures, Hashed, Dragonfly, ParaFi and others.

  • According to its announcement, the new investment will be used to increase its decentralization, support the growth of applications built on its blockchain, and expand regional hubs.

Like Ethereum, Near can execute code (“smart contracts”) as well as transactions, but Ethereum is slow, confusing, and expensive to use. Thus, the market showed a thirst for Ethereum-but-less-janky.

  • It’s his second round in very little time. In January 2022, almost raised $150 millionled by Three Arrows Capital, Alameda and Jump.

The plot: Last year, the buzzing, super-fast blockchain was Solana, but the chain got arrested twice by denial of service attacks, which took away some of its luster.

  • Over the past year, Solana’s coin, sol, 10X its value from last April, reaching $258 in November. But today it is trading around $130.
  • Solana’s market capitalization remains around four times that of Near. During the same period, the coin has fluctuated between below $2 and $20. The near coin currently trading at $16.13.

Near’s Secret Sauce East “partitioning. “A simple way to think about it is this: it’s kind of like multiple blockchains running fast because they each have less data to manage, but they connect to each other as they go. . four shards now.

Quick take: Just as no region of the United States is likely to topple Silicon Valley as a top tech hub, never look for one of its imitators. unseat Ethereum.

  • Both have unstoppable network effects. But just as there is plenty of room for other cities to develop big tech scenes, there will also be plenty of big blockchains.

Details: According to its announcement, the new investment will be used to increase its decentralization, support the growth of applications built on its blockchain, and expand regional hubs.

State of play: Close announcement an $800 million fund last year to support new applications built on the blockchain, with a particular focus on decentralized finance (DeFi).

  • Blockchain projects have a lot of crypto assets because they give each other coins when they launch the blockchain (called pre-mine). In Near’s case, he also places some of the new protocol-generated tokens in his treasury.
  • That said, projects like Near need outside capital because if they fund partners by selling their token stores too quickly, it will drive the price down and alienate users.

At the end of the line : The crypto market currently only has two indispensable coins, bitcoin and ether, but investors believe there is room for more.

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