NEAR x ICON’s BTP Partnership
ICON, a blockchain launched for the sole purpose of improving cross-chain communication, has steadily developed in recent years to provide cross-chain transfers of tokens and smart contract calls. For NEAR, this means that native NEAR tokens (including NFTs), contract calls, and data can be easily sent to BTP partners, including newly launched Polka Dot Parachains: Acala, Edgeware, Moonbeam, and Plasm.
NEAR’s Positioning At The Center Of The Universe Of Chains
NEAR is currently positioning itself to be one of the leading Layer 1 blockchains built at the center of the Universe of Chains. Earlier this year in Quarter 2 of 2021, the NEAR Team launched the Rainbow Bridge — a pioneering feat of decentralized permissionless infrastructure connecting the NEAR blockchain with the Ethereum blockchain. Aurora, and the Aurora Bridge built on top of the Rainbow Bridge, and currently closing its private funding round, is designed to make Ethereum DApp usage on NEAR as seamless as on Ethereum itself.
With NEAR’s partnership with ICON, NEAR joins another protocol that will expand its interoperability with the world’s first PolkaDot Parachains. Beyond connecting with these partners of the Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP), NEAR Dapps will also be able to directly connect with products already live on ICON itself: ICON’s Decentralized Identity Management Infrastructure, ICON’s DeFi Legos, and listed tokens from BTP partners — now and in the future.
For NEAR’s part, this means that tokens from BTP can be easily listed on NEAR DeFi infrastructure, such as Ref.Finance, or used for fundraising on Skyward Finance. NEAR Sputnik V2 DAOs will also be able to call contracts and send data from NEAR to ICON and any other BTP partner.
As the crypto-verse matures, the race to integrate across blockchain networks becomes more urgent by the day as more assets, data, and smart contract calls silo on certain networks. NEAR’s partnership with ICON is the first step into this new world of interoperability that allows NEAR to better connect with existing ICON products and infrastructure, as well as Polkadot Parachains — for the first time. As both NEAR’s rainbow protocol and ICON’s BTP continue to grow and onboard new partners the two chains will inevitably position themselves at the center of an emerging world of interoperability between blockchain ecosystems.
What is NEAR?
NEAR is a decentralized application platform built to bridge the users of today’s Internet to the blockchain-based web of the future. NEAR is a PoS Layer 1 blockchain platform, built with UX and DevX in mind. NEAR’s novel sharding mechanism, Nightshade, parallelizes computation on chain and automatically increases capacity when needed, resulting in theoretically infinite scalability.
NEAR Protocol is built by a world-class team of engineers and entrepreneurs, who have won 2 ICPC world championships and medals, Google Code Jam and TopCoder. NEAR is backed by A16Z, Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain.com and Baidu Ventures.
What is ICON?
Founded in 2017 by the ICON Foundation, ICON is a next generation blockchain protocol with smart contract functionality and interoperability. ICX is the native cryptocurrency of the ICON network. As an aggregator chain, ICON achieves interoperability — a web of interconnected networks aggregating all blockchain data into one layer. ICON’s “Blockchain Transmission Protocol” (BTP) is its novel interoperability solution, allowing all integrated blockchains to be interconnected to each other. Current BTP partners include Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot, NEAR Protocol, and Harmony. ICON also has a growing DeFi ecosystem that includes projects such as Balanced DAO, Omm Finance, Optimus Protocol, and Equality Exchange.