Near Protocol, a sharded, proof-of-stake, layer-one blockchain, has announced that it is shifting to become what it calls a "Blockchain Operating System" or BOS. According to Near, this shift marks a significant turn to its focus on building user-centric experiences in the Web3 space.
The change was announced through Near Protocol's blog, where it explained in detail how the Blockchain Operating System (BOS) works. The protocol has previously highlighted this shift in 2022 as one of the hallmarks of its 2023 roadmap, with prospect of becoming and industry-first category.
The protocol describes BOS as a common layer for "browsing and discovering open web experiences, compatible with any blockchain." With the system, users will gain access to the protocol's suite of operations platforms and utilities, including asset creation and management, smart contract implementation, composable decentralized applications, as well as developer tooling and socialization features.
“We are moving away from our layer 1 focus, it’s now about the user and the experience they have. We are looking at this as the frontend for blockchains in general,” explains Illia Polosukhin, co-founder at Near Protocol.
As such, Near Protocol's Blockchain Operating System will operate as a product-first platform that developers can build on and users can participate in as a single space, bridging efforts between Web2 access and Web3 use. The BOS was first discussed in detail by Near Protocol co-founder Illia Polosukhin at the ETHDenver industry conference.
“The composable decentralized front ends as a framework can work with any Web2 or Web3 back end and any wallet. In the future we will be offering [the use of] wallets from one chain to interact with another via seamless bridging,” Polusukhin shares.
This specific feature is especially useful for Web3 developers, given how they can leverage decentralized and composable frontends, opening the opportunity to quickly build improved apps and easily fork from already-existing components. This also takes advantage of pre-built frameworks and libraries for user profiles, payments, notifications, and platform search, without having to host on a localized server or a cloud container.
“As a user at the moment it’s hard to find a single place to look at Web3 apps, there’s no search mechanism or way to navigate between them. The BOS creates a single point of entry." explains Polosukhin.
Operators such as crypto exchanges, NFT galleries and projects, as well as decentralized social networks are all welcome to build on the BOS platform, which will provide a communal framework for all compatible blockchains. At the moment this list is comprised of the Near Protocol and EVM-compatible chains (Ethereum Virtual Machine).
Near Protocol's plan is to build a cohesive, interoperable system that creates an open ecosystem for crypto users and developers. With its blockchain operating system, Near Protocol hopes to unify infrastructure efforts and provide a platform on which developers can focus on creating innovative user experiences. By shifting towards this new system, the team behind Near Protocol aims to bridge the gap between crypto enthusiasts and mainstream users, helping to create a more accessible Open Web.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.