NEAR

The NEAR community utterly humbled us this week.  The NEAR token sale, which occurred on CoinList and was available to many non-US participants, sold out completely in just over 2 hours.  We didn’t even remotely expect this level of excitement and appreciation but we are deeply grateful.  

The goal of the sale was to expand the reach and participation of the NEAR community as we move along the final steps to making MainNet fully community-governed.  By many measures, this was an outstanding success — we now have the opportunity to welcome over 1,500 new token holders, who collectively purchased 100M tokens.  This is an overwhelming show of support!

In this post, I’ll review some of the early details of the sale but also introduce a new opportunity for those who wanted to participate but were unable to and highlight how they’ll be supported in the future.

A Summary of the Sale 

The sale generated a tremendous amount of interest within the broader community and resulted in the following statistics:  

  1. > 9500 unique registrants
  2. > 1500 successful participants
  3. > $152M allocation requests made
  4. > $30M commitments made
  5. 135 minutes (and 2 attempts) to sell out

Please note that specific numbers aren’t yet available because it takes several days to finish some of the financing and KYC processes.

Interest in the blockchain space has increased in recent months as fees on Ethereum have again skyrocketed.  On our side, the NEAR team has spent 2 years building a platform that both solves the scaling challenges and allows developers to easily build decentralized apps that real humans can use. This sale is a fantastic endorsement of that platform as a solution to today’s problems.

A Second Chance

The conditions of the sale meant that over 6,000 verified registrants were not able to participate.  Many of them experienced congestion and server issues on the CoinList platform which made it challenging to take part. This group includes both longtime community members who have been excited about the project for years and brand new enthusiasts who just caught the bug.  

We’ve spent the past several days listening to what these people had to say — the good, the bad and the ugly.  We heard frustration about some of the technical challenges but, ultimately, it was mostly because people just wanted the chance to take part and felt like they missed the opportunity.

We’d like to give everyone who has that kind of enthusiasm for the project a chance to participate and to join this community.  In order to do this, we have the following offer:

Anyone who already registered for the sale but didn’t receive an allocation will have the opportunity to purchase up to 3,000 NEAR tokens at the original sale price.  Participants can choose either the 12-month linear release or the 24-month linear release option. To ensure things go smoothly, they will have a full seven days to purchase tokens and there is no preference given to earlier purchases so all eligible participants who want an allocation will receive one

This second chance sale will take place from August 18 to August 25. CoinList will send an e-mail out to all eligible participants by early next week with details on how to participate.

While we realize this may not be the exact allocation everyone originally anticipated and represents an imperfect solution, we hope this helps people who want to have a meaningful part in the NEAR ecosystem to join us on this journey.  

A Continued Commitment to Community

Beyond just providing people with an opportunity to join the community, both CoinList and the NEAR team want to make it clear that their efforts to build that community will be supported in the future. Thus CoinList will be seeding the first ever NEAR community fund with a $750,000 donation, which will be matched in kind by the NEAR Foundation.

This $1.5M commitment is just the start. It will support future projects on the platform and help underwrite new community-focused initiatives. 

We hope this fund will provide our community with an opportunity to contribute to the evolution and growth of the NEAR ecosystem.  If you are interested in getting involved directly, reach out to us at community@near.org.

We are so excited to build alongside you! 

Thank you.

 

FAQ

  • Who can participate? This is not open to any new registrants.  It has the same geographical restrictions as before, including being unavailable to US-based participants. Participants will still need to pass the full Swiss KYC and anti-bot checks to participate in the sale if they have not already.  Participants who already received allocations are not eligible.
  • Are new tokens being created? No, there are no new tokens being created to do this.  Tokens are being reshuffled from other categories, where they would otherwise support future activities, in order to serve this community now. 
  • How does this affect circulating supply? The net result on token balances and circulating supply will depend on how many people participate in this, but we expect it to reduce circulating supply in early days (because some tokens are being moved from an unlocked category) and slightly increase it during later periods (because some tokens are being moved from longer-term categories).  The token distribution post will be updated but only after we have finished this activity because it heavily depends on the final participation rate.
  • Where can I go to participate? You will receive an email with instructions from CoinList if you are eligible.  You do not need to ask us if you are eligible!
  • Am I guaranteed an allocation if I’m eligible? Yes, you will be able to purchase up to 3,000 NEAR tokens.  We have reserved enough space for everyone who was not able to participate the first time to do so now. You will have between August 18 to August 25 to claim this. There is no rush because you can participate as long as you are in before time expires.
  • I already purchased NEAR tokens. Can I participate? This is only available to people who were not able to participate in the sale already.  It doesn’t matter which option you chose the first time — if you were able to receive an allocation, you are not eligible for this sale.
  • Where can I ask questions about this? Please email the CoinList team at team@coinlist.co
  • When can we learn more about the community fund? We’re not ready to release details yet on this yet but stay tuned.  We’ll notify the community via the mailing list at https://near.org/newsletter.

 

 

Hello citizens of NEARverse! This is NiMA coming to you from a NEARby planet in the Milky Chain … 

This week marks the beginning of a series of educational workshops that will help us onboard more web 2.0 and web 3.0 developers to the NEAR ecosystem. We would love to have you join us for the first workshop this Thursday with Sherif, our head of education. These workshops will be evolving based on your feedback and suggestions into a larger initiative that could onboard millions of developers to the most developer-friendly platform for building A Better Open Web. 

 

Good news! We would like to have you join us on our official Telegram channel to talk all things NEAR with the rest of the community. We are re-opening the Telegram channel and will be hosting a series of AMAs with NEAR core team, backers and founders. First one will be this Saturday with Illia! 

Use the hashtag #NEARAMA on Twitter or Telegram so we can find your questions and answer them during the AMA. 

One last thing, don’t forget to upvote and comment on our Reddit scaling bakeoff submission  🙏✌️

 

Linking real world data to NEAR with Chainlink 🔗

We recently announced a partnership and integration with Chainlink, the leading decentralized oracle network in the Web3 space! We’re excited to see more DApps on NEAR connect to offchain data sources using Chainlink. This is particularly useful for DeFi and OpenFinance applications that require reliable price feeds. Here’s what our friends from Chainlink have to say about this integration:

 

“Chainlink integration provides NEAR with most versatile oracle network in the market, as well as the ability to connect to any off-chain API. These are key building blocks for connecting Web2 and Open Web environments, which ultimately allows our developers to build a much wider range of applications, ranging from decentralized financial products and NFTs, to asset tokenization and insurance contracts.”   


You can read more about the Chainlink partnership here or dive deeper into TestNet repos and instruction on Github. 

 

Welcoming Xoogler to the NEAR Guild program 

 

We’re excited to welcome our friends from Xoogler.co to the NEAR Guild program. Xoogler is a group of Google alumni and current Googlers who have come together to help each other build and grow in the startup ecosystem. The Xoogler.co community consists of startup founders, early team members, angel investors, VCs, and mentors.

If you’re a Googler or Xoogler, make sure to get in touch with Rune, the Guild lead, to get involved in our joint activities and future ventures. Our first collaboration with Xoogler is going to be around educational workshops and an upcoming global NEAR hackathon! Beyond that, we are also excited to have experienced angel investors and builders from Xoogler grow our DApp ecosystem on NEAR. 

 

MOAR Guilds … Designer Guild and Open Shard Alliance want you!

🎨 Designer Guild is looking for designers in the NEAR community … 

The NEAR Design Guild is an independent community focused on crypto-related art and designs. As part of the Guild Program, the community is consistently contributing to the NEAR ecosystem and is looking for more like-minded artsy guild members to join their group. Get in touch with Bruce on Twitter to find out more! 

 

The Open Shards Alliance (OSA) is recruiting new validators! 

Are you interested in becoming a validator, but are unsure where to start or if you have the needed skills? The OSA can help you learn the skills necessary to become a validator on the NEAR decentralized network. Basic Linux or Windows PowerShell skills are preferred, but not required. 

Join the OSA and help build the open web with NEAR Discord –> https://discord.gg/t9Kgbvf or directly email Henry –>  henry@ascentialmarketing.com

 

One last thing …  We would like to thank Henry, the leader of OSA for all his relentless support and welcome him to the NEAR collective in a more formal role and long term engagement with the NEAR Foundation. We hope to be able to collaborate with more Guild leads and community members in the future in a similar fashion. The best way to join the team building NEAR is by becoming an active member of our community. 

 

NEAR Ecosystem updates: Flux is launching their Beta Program … 

 

The team behind Flux are hard at work preparing for the phase 1 of their launch. They’re also launching a Beta Program for developers interested in building on Flux. Here’s a short snippet from their latest newsletter, but for more Fluxy goodness go to Substack to subscribe to their future updates! 

 

“Over July, we’ve taken considerable strides toward Phase 1 of our main-net launch. Phase 1 will consist of Flux Protocol on the main-net with the introduction of DAI ( a stable coin pegged to the USD ) for trading. Phase 1 will also feature the update of our open-source app and SDK to enable developers to start preparing for testing and eventual launch on Flux. In addition to tech updates, we have many exciting programs and communities popping up on and around Flux to support our ecosystem.”

 

This week we are watching, reading, and listening to  … 

 

We released Alex’s white board session with Michael from Starkware → youtu.be/JIlLAxFUcwA

StarkWare Co-founder and Chief Architect, Michael Riabzev and NEAR Co-Founder & CTO, Alex Skidanov discuss StarkEx, STARKs vs. SNARKs, and do a deep dive into Stark’s algebra.

StarkWare solves the inherent problems of blockchains – scalability and privacy. They develop a full proof stack, using STARK technology to generate and verify proofs of computational integrity. StarkWare’s cryptographic proofs are zero-knowledge, succinct, transparent and post-quantum secure.

 

Open Web Collective published their latest episode with Jesse Walden of Variant Fund (ex-A16Z) where they talk about Ownership Economy which is the backbone of Jesse’s thesis for his new fund. 

 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts 

 

That’s it for this update. See you in the next one! 

 

Your friends,
NiMA and the NEAR team

 

We are consistently working on improving the NEAR developer experience by taking note of queries, jumping on a call with developers in the community and iterating on our products and tooling. In this community update, we introduce the NEAR Indexer, share updates on the path towards a decentralised MainNet, and showcase content highlights from the community.

If you would like to share your work, provide feedback or give props to someone in the community, please join us on Discord.

 

3, 2, 1 … NEAR Indexer

Introducing the NEAR Indexer Framework! As dApps onboard to NEAR’s mainnet, our engineering team has been working diligently to ensure they’re able to quickly and efficiently access state from our deployed smart contracts, and cut out the cruft.

Contracts may grow to have complex data structures and querying the network RPC may not be the optimal way to access state data. The NEAR Indexer Framework allows for streams to be captured and indexed in a customized manner. The typical use-case for this data is to make its way to a relational database. Seeing as this is custom per project, there is engineering work involved in using this framework.

NEAR Indexer is already in use for several new projects, namely, we index all the events for NEAR Blockchain Explorer, and we also dig into Access Keys and index all of them for NEAR Wallet passphrase recovery and multi-factor authentication. With NEAR Indexer you can do high-level aggregation as well as low-level introspection of all the events inside the blockchain.

We are going to build more Indexers in the future, and will also consider building Indexer integrations with streaming solutions like Kafka, RabbitMQ, ZeroMQ, and NoSQL databases. Feel free to join our discussions on Discord.

near-indexer

 

TestNet Consensus

TestNet consensus is now decentralized; the network is now being run by 12 selected Stake Wars participants and members of the NEAR Validator Advisory Board. You can join Stake Wars today, complete the challenges, and take your chance to join them on the way to MainNet Restricted launch and its token rewards.

Join the path towards a decentralised MainNet

 

Engineering Updates

Bounty Highlight

Hey Vue experts! Learn NEAR and earn NEAR – we have a bounty out for adding a Vue template to create-near-app that should take a Vue expert 8 hours or less.

 

Content Highlights

Decentralised Storage — NEAR & Textile

Aaron, one of our amazing community members, wrote about NEAR Accounts and Access Keys as Identities for Textile Integration in his submission for HackSF. The article also talks about the conversation Aaron had with our core engineers. Go follow Aaron for Part 2!

OWC Podcast

Looking for something to listen to during your next commute? Our recommendation: the latest episode by the Open Web Collective in which Sasha talks with Raphael Gaudreault about “Competing Against Uber”. Raphael Gaudreault is Chief Technology Officer at Eva Coop, a cooperative ride-sharing application based on blockchain.

Spotted in the Community

  1. The role of Validators on Flux
  2. Stakin published an introduction to NEAR Protocol
  3. Translated interview with Alex discussing why Bitcoin’s level of security is not necessary for all blockchain

 

How You Can Get Involved

We have something for everyone

  • Join the NEAR Contributor Program to contribute to our engineering efforts.
  • You love hosting events, engaging communities, and creating content? Then head over to our Guild Program.
  • If you are in the process of setting up your own start-up in the Web3 space, the Open Web Collective will provide guidance.

If you’re just getting started, learn more in The Beginner’s Guide to NEAR Protocol or read the official White Paper. Stay up to date with what we’re building by following us on Twitter for updates, join the conversation on Discord, and subscribing to our newsletter to receive updates right to your inbox.

A huge thank you to all 7k+ of you that read our bi-weekly ecosystem updates. It means a lot to us that so many people from different geographies, different expertise and interests, are excited about participating in NEAR’s broad-ranging community. 

With our ecosystem continuing to grow beyond technical advancements, this newsletter has shifted to a broader focus. If you’re interested in receiving NEAR’s deep-technical updates, please join our recently launched developer newsletter for monthly engineering & protocol updates.

Register

NEAR Drops — Send NEAR to anyone via a link

We want NEAR to be easy to use (as easy as Web2!) for both developers & end-users. Now, with NEAR Drops, you can send NEAR to anyone via a link, whether they have a NEAR account or not. Get the full details from the announcement

Mic Drop

Events

Join us at the “Go For Launch!” conference call, hosted by Pantera. Illia and Colin Evran from Filecoin will explore the process of taking innovative technologies from ideation to launch.

When? Next Tuesday the 7th at 9 AM

Sign-up Here

Content Highlights

  1. Episode #6 of “Building the Open Web” with Danny Zuckerman from 3Box is out; discussing how to Build User-Friendly Products in Web3.
    Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube
  2. If you missed the “Scaling Web3” Panel between Illia, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) from Binance, Sergey Nazarov from Chainlink and Jamie Burke from Outlier Ventures — you can now view the recording.
  3. Flux is introducing the Flux token.

Introducing the Open Web Collective

Founders “will learn and work with leading entrepreneurs, corporate partners, and investors such as IDEO, Deloitte, and The World Economic Forum to validate/invalidate business ideas and decisions, build a product, define and grow KPIs, develop product-market fit, and fundraise.” — Read the whole update here

If you would like to receive more founder updates, please sign-up for the OWC mailing list.

Engineering Update

We Published v1.0.0 of create-near-app. Spin-up your own app in seconds: https://github.com/near/create-near-app/releases/tag/v1.0.0

You can find quick updates until we launch our developer newsletter in the Rust in Blockchain Newsletter with updates on NEAR.

Middleware update: 

  • The security audit will start on the Rainbow Bridge. We will be adding final CLI command, tests, and documentation. @Bo and @Bowen are looking at an issue that we found with verifying ed25519 signatures from the current testnet;
  • RPC @frol is finishing Rosetta support, ATA beginning next week. Unfortunately, since Rosetta API does not support pagination it can only be used with locally running nodes. Bohdan finished explorer indexer;
  • Contract runtime @Nikolay.Igotti has added support for Wasmtime. @sirwillem and @Nikolay.Igotti are working on decreasing the contract size.
  • Transaction runtime. While @sirwillem was adding a fee for loading contracts into memory he exposed an issue which looks like P0, @Bowen will take a look. @Nikolay.Igotti ‘s params estimator will be added to the CI to avoid this kind of issues later;
  • Contracts. @Evgeny | NEAR made lockup contract to work with multisig, also added an e2e bash script test to check the interaction of all core contracts with the nodes;

If you have questions and would like to connect with our amazing engineering team, head over to Discord.

And lastly, here is a sneak peek of what is yet to come by Flux  

How You Can Get Involved

We have something for everyone

  • Join the NEAR Contributor Program to contribute to our engineering efforts.
  • You love hosting events, engaging communities, and creating content? Then head over to our Guild Program.
  • If you are in the process of setting up your own start-up in the Web3 space, the Open Web Collective will provide guidance.

If you’re just getting started, learn more in The Beginner’s Guide to NEAR Protocol or read the official White Paper. Stay up to date with what we’re building by following us on Twitter for updates, join the conversation on Discord, and subscribing to our newsletter to receive updates right to your inbox.

Last updated: 20201016 (see change log section at the end)

NEAR exists to enable community-driven innovation to benefit people around the world.  The platform and its surrounding ecosystem rely on the efforts of a broad community of participants, builders, validators, delegators and more to succeed.  This post will help you understand how the core facilitating component of the protocol, the NEAR token, is distributed to support the launch of this ecosystem.

Using this Post

The intent of this post is to give you a clear picture of the initial distribution of tokens for the NEAR protocol.  Wherever possible, we’ll use charts and tables to explain, but we’ll also contextualize them with the thinking behind it all.  Data is beautiful 🙂

Each section should be self-explanatory but there are some methodological notes at the end.  The charts will generally present the most conservative case when there is a choice.  The accuracy or certainty of numbers may vary by category, as noted below.

Changes to the post will be noted in the Changelog section at the end so it is clear how up-to-date it is and what has changed between versions.

 

About NEAR

For those who aren’t familiar, NEAR is a decentralized application platform that secures high value assets like money and identity while providing the performance necessary to make them useful for everyday people.  It is built atop a brand new public, proof-of-stake blockchain which uses a novel consensus mechanism called Doomslug and a new sharding approach called Nightshade which splits the network into multiple pieces so that the computation is done in parallel and there is no theoretical limit on capacity.

NEAR’s contract-based account model provides the flexibility that other chains only get from second layer components, allowing NEAR to consistently provide better native usability for developers, validators and end-users.

NEAR launched its genesis (Phase 0) on April 22, 2020, became community-operated (Phase I) on September 24, 2020, and passed the decentralized vote to enable transfers on October 13, 2020 (Phase II).  It is now fully live. 

Key Facts

The following will help you better contextualize the sections below:

  • Genesis Tokens: There were 1 billion NEAR tokens created at genesis.  They are being allocated to individuals and organizations on an ongoing basis during the rollout of MainNet. Inflation, transfers and unlocking did not begin until the final phase of MainNet (“Phase II”), which started on October 13, 2020. All charts in this post begin on the date when transfers were enabled (which will be determined by the community). See below for circulating supply.
  • Contract-Based Accounts: NEAR uses a smart-contract-based account model, meaning that each account is actually a smart contract as well.  Account names are thus human-readable (eg `foobar.near`) and contain any number of uniquely-permissioned keys. Thus it’s possible to have staking keys separate from transfer keys.
  • Transfer Restriction: Until the network officially reached the Community-Governed MainNet phase (aka “Phase II”), the accounts of token recipients were prevented from directly transferring tokens (but they could still be used to pay for gas or storage, staked, delegated, used to deploy apps, etc).
  • Lockups and Unlocking: The vast majority of tokens are subject to linearly releasing lockups. These lockups are implemented as contract-based locks atop various accounts.  Lockups are generally implemented in a linear, per-block fashion instead of in monthly chunks, though some might be implemented that way as well. Lockups begin unlocking when the transition to the final Community-Governed MainNet phase occurs (aka “Phase II”). We use the term “linear lockup” or “linear release” where some other projects use the term “vesting”, so you may know it by that name.
  • Staking and Delegating while Locked: NEAR is a Proof of Stake network where validating nodes put at stake either their own tokens or tokens which have been “delegated” to them by other holders.  The number of validating nodes depends on the number of shards in the network but will start at 100. Because of NEAR’s account model, tokens can be staked or delegated even while they are locked.
  • Foundation Delegation: The Foundation is only actively running nodes during the initial phase of the network rollout. Thereafter, as noted in this post, it will shut down its nodes and be limited to delegation.  It will only delegate tokens in its endowment.
  • New Issuance and Economics: As per the Economics Blog Post and Economics Paper, 5% of additional supply is issued each year to support the network as epoch rewards, of which 90% goes to validators (4.5% total) and 10% to the protocol treasury (0.5% total).  30% of transaction fees are rebated to the contracts touched by the transaction and 70% are burned.  Because of this burning, at high levels of transaction throughput the network could become deflationary. In this post, we assume the pessimistic case of 0 fees.  New supply creation does not begin until the transition to the final Community-Governed MainNet phase occurs.

 

Overall Allocation and Supply Schedule

There were 1,000,000,000 NEAR tokens created at Genesis on April 22, 2020. This will be allocated in the following way, where each category is described in greater detail in the following sections:

“Circulating Supply” is every token that isn’t subject to a lockup at a particular time. The vast majority of the initial supply of NEAR tokens is subject to long-term lockups. So the initial circulating supply is made up of provisions for a community sale, a future distribution activity, a small handful of community contracts and the Foundation’s liquid endowment.  All supply that existed at genesis is unlocked by month 60.

The chart below shows the increase in circulating supply as tokens unlock and new tokens are minted.  The dotted line shows the total supply as it increases due to new issuance (but ignores any burning that would be due to fees). This and all charts begin on the date that transfer restrictions are lifted (“Phase II”):

The table below shows the circulating supply for commonly used date milestones:

The following chart provides more detail on the components of the circulating supply as it grows over time.  Each category is explained in further detail in the following sections.  Note again that all genesis tokens are unlocked by the end of month 60.  

Because the network is secured through running Proof-of-Stake validating nodes, it is relevant to discuss how much stake can participate in validation (directly) or delegation to validators (indirectly).  Distribution-oriented categories (like “Community Distribution”) will only participate in delegation when the tokens are received by their intended recipient, so these numbers represent the maximum amount of stake that would theoretically participate in validation. In reality, it will certainly be less.

 

Category Detail

Each category is explained in more detail below.

Community Grants and Programs

A large portion of tokens is devoted to grants and programs which fund community efforts, community projects and community-built technical components.  This spans everything from education to events to direct deployment into venture-style funding for projects.  A small provision exists for tokens that can be given away or sold in the future.  Because these efforts are decidedly long-term in nature, the tokens are released over 60 months.

Core Team

In 2018 when NEAR built its early momentum, blockchain projects were already imploding with alarming frequency, in part because they set the wrong incentives for their teammates.  Some didn’t launch at all and others were abandoned shortly after they did.

NEAR is being built by one of the strongest teams in the world, which is spread across multiple continents and many backgrounds.  Core team members have been important in the early success of the protocol and they are incentivized to remain active with its development for a long time afterward — every single member has the identical 4-year lockup with a 12-month cliff after launch, which you can see in the chart.

Prior Backers

Most project funding occurred during a severe crypto bear market and during a period where the crowdsales of the past were no longer feasible.  The team’s philosophy when sourcing early backers to support the project was simple: 

  1. Backers must be long-term oriented.
  2. Backers must add value to both the project (eg via actively supporting the team) and the network (eg via validating or delegating stake).
  3. Rounds should be structured clearly and transparently so every member has the opportunity to get the same pricing and lockup terms in that round.
  4. No single player should control an undue amount of stake

Despite the simplicity of these requirements, we were forced to turn away many prospective backers who wanted other incentives.  For the record, very few capital allocators are used to being told to write a *smaller* check, but it means that no single backer holds above 3.5% of the initial supply and few have above 1%.  Every prior purchaser has a lockup of between 12 and 36 months from transfers unlocking, with the majority at 24 months.  Because the first purchase occurred in 2017, some backers will wait over 3 years between their initial purchase and any liquidity and over 5 years to achieve full liquidity.

There’s a difference between the larger, typically more institutional, backers and smaller, typically more independent, backers.  A well balanced ecosystem has an appropriate number of both.  We capped the total contributions from larger backers while encouraging those from smaller backers.  To ensure that small participants could still potentially participate in validation during the network’s early stages, the threshold between the two was set at holding 5M tokens at launch. 

Prior Fundraising

NEAR raised from backers in several tranches which are explained below.  Early fundraising was done via convertible notes, of which almost all have since converted to tokens. All are expected to fully convert to tokens.

These linear lockups and quantities (which, again, release linearly during their time period) can be visualized in the following ways:

Community Sale

The network at scale will be fully community-driven and that requires making sure the community has the tokens they need.  The Community Sale occurred in August 2020 in multiple portions due to some technical difficulties and a desire to improve participation.  The total amount that ended up being distributed during the sale period was just over 120M tokens. A maximum of 25M of these tokens were unlocked and the remainder were subject to 12- or 24-month linear lockups. 

 

Early Ecosystem

It takes a substantial group of people to put together all the pieces which have made the network successful so far.  Early Ecosystem includes all of the grants for those who have participated in the network ecosystem thus far, whether as part of the Beta Program to build early apps, building analytics tooling, supporting the incentivized testnet and so on.  Lockups for these efforts are typically 6- or 12-months, though a handful have been shorter or longer.  It also includes allocations for several programs that haven’t launched yet.

One of these unannounced programs contains 30M tokens on a 6-month linear lockup. The largest portion in this category is a provision for a currently-unannounced distribution effort which could involve up to 80M unlocked tokens.  For details, please wait for the announcement of this program.

Foundation Endowment

The NEAR Foundation stood up the initial network nodes and spun them down to focus on coordinating the governance of the ecosystem, funding projects and kicking off remaining distribution activities.  The Endowment represents a pool of tokens which are meant to support the Foundation’s operations in the long term and which might be deployed in a wide range of ways.

This endowment is split into 2 pieces.  The first half, which is not locked up, will likely be deployed across multiple strategies to help ensure the network operates smoothly during its early phases. The second half is subject to a 24 month linear lockup since it is not expected to be accessed during the early days beyond delegation to support decentralization.  Both tranches are meant to be deployed in ways which preserve principle wherever possible to ensure long-term availability rather than systematically sold for short-term capital.

As a reminder, the Endowment may not be used to run validating nodes directly but could be delegated, as per the previously linked post.

As part of the initial rollout, the Foundation accounts will be setting up the lockups and accounts for the rest of holders.  Some tokens may still be in these accounts during rollout if recipients are delayed in setting up their respective custody solutions.

Operations Grants

The technical architecture of the system benefits from the expertise of world-class developers for continuous operation and ongoing development.  These efforts will be funded by community-overseen grants that focus on supporting the people who maintain, operate and develop the system itself.  These grants are expected to be first initiated during the second half of 2020 and early 2021.  The tokens set aside for this purpose are subject to long-term 60-month linear lockups to ensure they are clearly allocated to long-term projects.

New Issuance

New Issuance is not a factor in the genesis block but represents, at its maximum, a 5% growth rate in the supply of tokens.  As always, note that this percentage does not factor in the burning of transaction and storage fees since they cannot be easily estimated at this point.

 

Observed vs Circulating Supply

Now that Phase II has happened and transfers are enabled, the team is working to help create more transparency in the circulating supply.  As the first part of this, these are some known variations which will occur between the intended circulating supply (as written in this post) and what might be observable on-chain, particularly during early phases of the network:

  1. Unclaimed tokens: The biggest variation in circulating supply will be due to unclaimed tokens. These are kept in unlocked accounts until they are claimed (because otherwise they could be claimed), after which almost all of them will have their intended lockups applied.  As of the date of Phase II, this number was over 300M tokens.
  2. Accounting shifts: Similar to the Unclaimed Tokens, during the earliest days, some accounts which are reserved (particularly for Early Ecosystem) are still having lockups applied.  There will also be changes in the delegation from the NF during the first few weeks after Phase II while tokens are consolidated into their intended accounts.  All of these activities are intended to help make reality reflect the descriptions and charts above. Some buckets may also have short-term vesting provisions to allow for reclamation during the first few days after locking in case of mistakes.
  3. Account creation tokens: Whenever an account is created (including during the claims process), it receives some initial tokens to cover the storage costs. For complex accounts, that could be as high as 40 tokens. This is not accounted for above but these will appear to be unlocked.
  4. Inflation lag: There is approximately a 1-week lag between the date when transfers were enabled on the network (Phase II) and when the upgrade will occur to enable inflation on the network.  This will result in some of the New Issuance assumptions above being slightly off.  This isn’t likely to be significant enough to create major disturbances.

As the analytics tools become stronger after launch and tokens are successfully claimed, you can expect convergence between observed and intended categories.

 

Conclusion

You can expect additional information over the next several weeks about the project and its activities as the rollout of MainNet continues and distribution begins ramping up.  Regardless of your background or intent, there is a way to get involved:

Find your place among the teams that drive this forward at https://near.org/careers or get involved directly as a Contributor or Guild Leader at https://near.org/community.  If you are a developer, you can jump into the code at https://docs.near.org and if you are already a founder, you can find support for your journey from the Open Web Collective, a platform-agnostic founder community, at https://openwebcollective.com

Finally, if you are interested in analytics and exploring these numbers (or if you find errors/inconsistencies), please feel free to create tools or views and let us know at hello@near.org. Everyone benefits from better transparency and analytics! Some of these tools may also be eligible for grants.  

 

 

 

 

Appendix A: Methodological Notes

  1. Time buckets should be read as “end of month” unless otherwise noted, meaning the bucket for “month 12” includes the initial balance on the first day of that month plus any change within that month.  “Month 0” is the only bucket which is typically used to represent genesis without any additional time.
  2. The modeling of token releases to represent inflation uses a more simplified average than actual formulas and does not take into account the number of days in a month.
  3. Amounts are intended to be accurate but may still contain imprecisions and are subject to change.

 

Appendix B: Change Log

20201016

Many updates. Overall, the expected circulating supply was reduced at genesis and is roughly the same at other major milestones.

  1. Updated overall circulating supply charts to reflect changes.
  2. Updated the community sale category to reflect reality and shifts due to the additional sale window.  This meant a reduction in other categories, particularly the Team (reduced from ~145M to ~140M) and Early Ecosystem (reduced from ~133M to ~117M, including from the unlocked allocation).  Updated Early Ecosystem explanation to reflect reduction in unlocked token bucket from 100M to 80M.
  3. Minor shifts of ~1-2M each in Operations and Community Grants categories.
  4. Added a section explaining potential shifts in observed versus planned circulating supply post-phase-II.
  5. Updated copy and links to reflect latest network status.
  6. Updated community sale category to reflect actual sale numbers.
  7. Added note in Foundation about delegation.

20200811

  1. Fixed legacy mistake in circulating supply in the “Genesis Tokens” section of “About NEAR” to reflect the proper supply.
  2. Clarified language around the circulating supply

20200810

  1. Added and separated out a Community Sale category.  This has basically the same character as the Small Backers category (where these were located previously) but, in the interest of clarity, it is now separate.  It has also been increased to reflect a significantly higher possibility of demand (100M) than originally expected (15M).  The increase in token expectation has been shifted from the Community Distribution bucket, which included post-Phase-II sales previously (and are now being optionally allocated to a pre-Phase-II sale to the community).  This results in some change in the circulating supply due to shorter lockups in the Community Sale (0, 12 or 24 months) versus the previous Community Distribution bucket (60 months).  To reflect the maximum possible allocation of unlocked tokens, initial circulating supply has been increased by 17.5M tokens versus the previous estimate.
  2. Updated Backers section to reflect this.
  3. Combined remaining Community Distribution amounts into the Community Grants, Programs and Distribution category and updated category description to reflect this.
  4. Minor clarifications around the word “Lockup” since this has confused people.  In this post, we use “Linear Lockup” or “Linear Release” the way that many other people have used “Vesting” historically.  We believe that “Lockup” is still the correct term because, technically, “vesting” items are not yours until they vest whereas locked tokens belong to you from the beginning (they are just locked from being transferred).
  5. Updated charts and added horizontal axis description “months since transfers are enabled”. Colors have changed.
  6. Fixed title on the Prior Fundraising table.
  7. Noted the 30M 6-month program in Early Ecosystem.
  8. Minor clarity around Phase II in the intro.

 

20200724:

  1. Updated to reflect the potential for 100M possibly liquid tokens to be available as part of a currently-unannounced program in the Early Ecosystem category, which readjusted amounts available to the post-launch Community Grants and Community Distribution categories.
  2. Updated Early Ecosystem balances to reflect that Stake Wars allocations will be unlocked.
  3. Updated language on Future Fundraises slightly for clarity.
  4. Updated all remaining charts and tables to reflect changes in circulating supply.

Summer is knocking on the door and we are getting NEAR ready for the next steps of decentralizing MainNet and our community efforts. We have already accepted over 20 communities into our Guild Program, who are now starting local community initiatives including AMAs, translating content, and engaging new community members. If you would like to get involved with your existing community or start a local NEAR presence, we would love to hear from you.

Partnerships

We are supporting Coinbase Rosetta (https://rosetta-api.org), an open-source specification and set of tools that makes integrating with blockchains simpler, faster, and more reliable. It enables projects to

  • Onboard faster with exchanges and apps; 
  • Build while ensuring strict security constraints are met; and 
  • Grow adoption by making code predictable & easier to debug.

Learn All About Building the Open Web

The Open Web Collective has launched a Podcast “Building the Open Web”. Sasha will be exploring entrepreneurship in Web3 with founders, investors, and industry leaders. To access the latest episodes, subscribe here (Apple) or here (for Spotify).

The first four episodes are already out

Podcast header

Events

Content Highlight

Deep dive on Optimistic Rollups and scaling Ethereum smart contracts with Optimism Co-Founder Ben Jones and NEAR Co-Founder & CTO, Alex Skidanov

Community Spotlight

screenshot engineering contributor call

Thanks to all the amazing people who joined. (Names are blurred out)

How You Can Get Involved

We have something for everyone

  • Join the NEAR Contributor Program to contribute to our engineering efforts.
  • You love hosting events, engaging communities, and creating content? Then head over to our Guild Program.
  • If you are in the process of setting up your own start-up in the Web3 space, the Open Web Collective will provide guidance.

If you’re just getting started, learn more in The Beginner’s Guide to NEAR Protocol or read the official White Paper. Stay up to date with what we’re building by following us on Twitter for updates, join the conversation on Discord, and subscribing to our newsletter to receive updates right to your inbox.

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