The centralization of the internet has failed users in many ways. Despite creating a robust number of features, the continuation of a centralized internet has favored internet companies, not users. Facebook, Google, Amazon, TikTok and other Web2 tech giants offer users a lot of great features, but they also have significant drawbacks including: walled gardens, little to no anonymity and privacy, few rewards for content creators, no community input and censorship concerns. In a time where a few tech giants increasingly control everything, the drawbacks of these platforms can feel unavoidable.
To reclaim the internet, Web3 presents a unique opportunity to solve the issues that centralized platforms can’t or don’t want to address through decentralization. Despite the potential that Web3 brings, it nonetheless faces its own set of challenges, including difficulty in onboarding, multi-chain functionality and no social networking solutions. That’s why NEAR is transforming into the Blockchain Operating System – creating a fast and easy way for onboarding and discovery in Web3.
The Blockchain Operating System, currently in alpha, removes the current walled gardens that are so pervasive in the Web 3 space and creates a simple, accessible entry point into Web3 for developers and end users. Developers can create their own frontends, fork components and quickly build apps, while end users can easily discover Web3 experiences – all in one place.
A straightforward Web3 OS experience for developers and users
With over 23 million accounts and thousands of projects on the platform, NEAR’s move to becoming the Blockchain Operating System will bring millions more accounts and enable the onboarding of billions of users to Web3. This is because NEAR is building up the Web3 stack to integrate experiences from across the open web and streamline the discovery and onboarding experience for users and developers alike.
Composable frontends for Web3
The Blockchain Operating System (BOS) enables decentralized front ends that developers can fork entirely, or in part as components, to efficiently build their own apps. Similar to Google’s Material Design for React, NEAR’s BOS enables features, design systems and connectivity to the open web that makes development accessible for Web2 and Web3 developers alike.
Unlike Web2 design libraries, the BOS provides a significant range of connectivity and features for developers to quickly access. Developers can create projects that are compatible with any blockchain, without needing to program for specific instances or wallets. Instead, BOS provides a single account for building multiple experiences, allowing developers to focus more on building a great product rather than syntax.
Building consistent experiences across multiple blockchains, with easily composable and forkable components, opens the door to future developers of the open web. With open access to the latest Web3 components from anywhere in the world, developers and founders can create new projects, launch DAOs for community-based projects and explore a whole range of other possibilities with NEAR.
User-first experiences for end users
Rather than just supporting uniquely Web3 applications and projects for the NEAR ecosystem, the NEAR Foundation is focused on supporting projects that provide real use cases that are valuable and beneficial to users. The result has been a wide range of actionable protocols, products and features that are open and available to users.
To bring exposure to projects bringing real world utility, and create a more streamlined discovery experience for users, NEAR’s Blockchain Operating System puts Web3 user experience at the forefront of its design. In many ways, the BOS has become the entry point for the open web, opening the world of Web3 to mainstream adoption. Starting a Web3 journey is as easy as going to alpha.near.org.
Community decision making and building
The power of Web3 social networks to enable decentralization and community-driven decision making is undeniable. With the implementation of DAOs and similar mechanisms, it’s becoming increasingly easy to put decisions back into the hands of the community. This shift will lead to an exponential growth of trust and collaboration, as these features are no longer being controlled by centralized gatekeepers.
On the BOS, Web3 social networking features will also provide an avenue for communities to build and engage with each other, allowing for organic and self-sustaining growth. These networks will make it easier for people to have their voices heard, allowing for the development of unique features that further enrich the user experience. Ultimately, these networks are providing a platform for a truly decentralized, community-driven world.
Create and earn
The days of Web2 social networks profiting off users without providing any form of compensation are numbered. In sharp contrast to the traditional social network’s rent-seeking practices, Web3 opts into a user-owned model, where users have the opportunity to monetize their content and receive compensation for engaging with other people’s content.
On the BOS, smart contracts for Web3 apps with social networking features will allow creators to decide how they want to earn from the content they produce and share. And those users simply browsing content can also be rewarded for their engagement and interactions.
This development is a major step forward for the creator economy, providing users of all kinds the incentive to stay active and engaged with the content and community.
Why the Blockchain Operating System leads in this space
Providing a developer-first experience, the BOS is an easy-to-onboard-and-use platform for builders and adopters of Web3. Combined with NEAR’s core technology, including Nightshade sharding, NEAR is a provably scalable, fully decentralized solution far ahead of its competitors.
Through the BOS, it will be easier than ever for developers to build and end users to discover Web3 apps and experiences. On top of this, NEAR is cultivating a bottom-up, grassroots approach for 2023, empowering the community to invest in its own expansion through grants, primarily through three major community DAOs: Developer DAO, Marketing DAO and Creatives DAO.
This year, NEAR will also launch an early-stage accelerator that will provide support to promising projects and founders on NEAR in areas including education, tech, hiring, legal, UX and GTM guidance – setting them up to grow into the landmark Web3 projects of tomorrow. Stayed tuned to the near.org/blog and NEAR Twitter for a number of important updates on the Blockchain Operating System and other exciting NEAR projects from Consensus 2023.