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Community FAQ

What is NEAR?

Non-blockchain answer:

It’s a community-operated Cloud, providing a platform for building open source and open state applications.

Blockchain answer:

It’s a decentralized application platform running on its own blockchain, that solves usability and scaling via sharding.

What is the difference between NEAR Inc and the NEAR Protocol?

Generally, we differentiate between many of the different entities who are building the NEAR platform. Two of those different entities are the NEAR Foundation and NEAR Inc.

The NEAR Protocol

A permissionless, Proof-of-Stake blockchain protocol that anyone can access, add transactions to, or read from. The public NEAR blockchain is an instantiation of the reference code at, but theoretically, this repo could be forked and deployed as a separate chain, as much as many protocols have done to build upon the core Bitcoin code.

The NEAR Foundation

A non-profit foundation headquartered in Switzerland, and is responsible for contracting protocol maintainers, funding ecosystem development, and shepherding core governance of the protocol.


A US-based software research and development company that did much of the early development of the protocol and its tooling. While NEAR Inc does not own or run the NEAR Protocol (which is decentralized), it continues to propose changes to the reference implementation codebase as one of multiple third-party entities performing R&D work for the protocol.

Who is building the NEAR Protocol?

Much of the early development of the protocol and its tooling has been done by NEAR Inc.

Where can I learn more about NEAR?

It really depends on what you want to learn more about.

For developers, you can start by checking out our documentation - And if you want to get familiar with our technical specifications this is the go-to place:

If you want to learn more about the NEAR Protocol design, we recommend Our YouTube channel Our blog And our technical papers

I am lost, where do I start?

Head over to and join our community channel (Telegram and Discord). We are here to help and answer any questions you may have.

Contact Information

What is the official NEAR email?

Official email However, for proposals and suggestions, please create a post in our forum.

Where can I sign up to the newsletter?

You want to receive updates on the latest and greatest in the NEAR ecosystem, then head over to

Contributing to NEAR

How can I get involved?

It depends on what you are excited about doing. Do you want to develop on NEAR? Build tutorials? Answer questions? Expand our documentation? We recommend you have a look at our Contributor Program. If you are looking for something a little different, or you have questions, please reach out to the team on Telegram or Discord.

Does NEAR have a bug bounty program available?

While we currently do not have a bug bounty program, you can contribute to our development of resources through our Contributor Program. Additionally, we have hosted several hackathons; for future events sign-up to our newsletter

Are articles (not NEAR-specific) allowed to be shared on Discord or Telegram?

Links with educational content are allowed to be shared in the channels. If you are uncertain, please message an admin or somebody from the core team first; either on Telegram or Discord.

Where can I provide input?

Most of our discussions regarding change or improvement proposals take place on our governance forum and the NEAR Enhancement Proposals repository (NEPs) on GitHub.

Token Economics

Please see the Economics FAQ for details.


What products are currently available on NEAR?

Products include the NEAR-wallet, NEAR CLI, block explorer, and the actual blockchain (available on TestNet). To learn more, please head over to our documentation.

When MainNet?

NEAR is in MainNet. Please see for more details.

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