Announcing NEAR Validator Advisory Board

August 6, 2020

With MainNet Restricted quickly approaching, NEAR is onboarding additional validators to its Advisory Board. This board is run by a selected group of professional validators who, over time, become the key voices in the technical governance of NEAR Protocol. 

We are glad to announce the following members of NEAR Validator’s Advisory Board (NVAB), leading organizations in the upcoming MainNet Restricted launch:  

These validators are actively participating in group discussions and new releases testing, to solve technical challenges and co-organize the final transition of the network into the Community Governed phase. More information on the roadmap can be found here.

Furthermore, the NVAB is helping NEAR to develop its Smart Contract based delegation for the staking of NEAR tokens, a key innovation among PoS blockchain protocols. 

How Smart Contract Based Delegation Enables More Open Finance Use Cases
One of the key features that NEAR offers which differentiates it from many Proof-of-Stake networks is contract-based delegation. 

Other protocols typically implement delegation at the protocol level, meaning that it is exactly the same across all validators. Validators generally compete with each other purely based on what price they offer — for example, if the protocol is providing a 5% reward for validation, these validators may provide 4% of that as return to people who delegate to them and keep the 1% for themselves. This generally results in a price war where the only differentiation between validators is what return they offer and reputational factors like how many people already delegate to them. Also, custodial centralized exchanges frequently take a large fraction of the delegation market as they allow to offer additional financial instruments that regular validators can’t.

Because delegation in NEAR is done through smart contracts, it is far more flexible. Each validator could theoretically produce its own delegation contract or configure the parameters of a widely trusted contract to offer a broad range of services. For example, one validator might offer delegators a better return if they lock up their capital for a long period of time while another might offer better returns for larger size delegations. 

This contract-based delegation makes it easier to pipe together Open Finance components, so you can imagine contracts which dynamically allocate delegators’ funds to lending protocols or validators depending on the prevailing interest rates and return in the market. Essentially, staking becomes a core component of the Open Finance ecosystem while still providing security to the system as intended.

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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