Ethereum Rival NEAR Protocol Rallies 106% As DeFi Gains More Presence Author: Ali Raza Last Updated: 17 January 2021 Smart contracts facilitator and blockchain platform NEAR Protocol has gained 106% in the last month. The recent consolidation of the platform has attracted the attention of stakeholders and market makers who consider it a fast-rising platform. Near Protocol was only rolled out in April last year as a platform that can improve the utilization of parallel processing. It’s a much younger protocol compared to its rivals such as Ethereum. However, Near Protocol uses a strategy known as sharding, which is similar to what Eth2 wants to introduce. But unlike Ethereum, Near Protocol speeds up the development of a decentralized app and stabilizes transaction fees as well. NEAR raised $35 million in its first-ever ICO The DeFi market has captured the interest of investors, and NEAR has been one of the beneficiaries of the growing DeFi market. Near raised $35 million in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) from July to May last year, a few months after its launch. Ripple’s incubator Xpring, Electric Capital, Pantera Capital, and 16z Crypto Investments were some of the main investors during the launch. In November last year, NEAR collaborated with 1inch.exchange-backed venture Mooniswap for the development of Automated Market Making (AMM) on NEAR’s platform. The plan is to provide the best possible pricing and liquidity from all major decentralized exchanges (DEXs) in a unified platform. The past three months have seen an increased activity for Near Protocol, with the protocol’s blog showing there are some exciting applications already live on the platform. Multiple projects ahead for the Protocol Chief Executive Officer of 1inch Sergej Kunz stated that the project will allow both firms to be fully ready for Ethereum 2.0. “By building on NEAR, we’ll be able to experiment with sharding and be prepared for the arrival of Ethereum 2.0,” he said. Crypto.com has also planned to roll out a new pool that will provide $250,000 worth of NEAR on January 19. The tokens will be provided at a 50% discount below the current market price. However, clients are required to meet the trading volume requirements on the exchange to be able to participate in the promotional offer. More room for growth Unlike its other more established rivals, the NEAR Protocol is still in an early stage of development. But there is a wide expectation on the Mooniswap integration which will be an important milestone for the project. After the launch of the project, there could be more room for growth for the NEAR token, as experts are predicting.