Near Protocol’s native token NEAR has surged 92% in the past week to an all-time high of $16.33 on Monday morning.
It has since fallen back 6% to $15.38, but the emergent Layer 1 network had a big news week leading into Christmas.
The latest rise can be chalked up to several protocol developments, including the launch of a sharding feature as well as the integration of Terra’s dollar-pegged stablecoin, UST.
Like Solana, Avalanche, and other layer-1 blockchains, Near is attempting to improve on Ethereum’s shortcomings.
It’s built using a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, making the network more environmentally friendly, for example. Near is also turning to so-called “sharding” via a native update called Nightshade. Sharding improves a blockchain network’s scalability by creating multiple parallel chains that spread the work of processing transactions and operations.
Though the network was launched in 2020, Nightshade didn’t go live until November 15 this year. This launch didn’t have nearly the same impact on price as its integration with Terra, however.
On December 20, the protocol announced that it would onboard crypto’s largest decentralized stablecoin, UST. The announcement had an immediate effect on the price of NEAR.
Near Protocol integrates Terra
Alongside the integration of UST, the protocol, and its handful of decentralized finance (DeFi) apps, also rolled out several incentive campaigns to trigger uptake.
All of these incentives seek to improve the liquidity of UST and make it an efficient asset within the Near ecosystem.
On Rose, a decentralized exchange (DEX) optimized for stablecoin swaps, users can earn up to 26.3% (earned in the native ROSE token) for adding UST to the app. Users can also add liquidity and earn yield by depositing UST on Nearpad, a DeFi hub equipped with an incubator and DEX.
And insofar as stablecoins are the lifeblood of DeFi, both the teams from Near and Terra hope this new integration will grow their apps and stablecoin utility, respectively.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.