NEAR Protocol, a layer 1 blockchain network that emerged in 2018, is making noise by virtue of its growing network activity in the first half of the year. 

“Recent data suggests that NEAR is poised for a breakthrough in terms of user adoption and renewed public attention,” according to a report published by onchain analytics firm Flipside Crypto on Wednesday.

While the price of NEAR has slid in the past 24 hours, the protocol’s native cryptocurrency has increased by about 38.7% from $3.80 on Jan. 1, 2024 to $5.27 at press time, a similar growth trajectory as BTC, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which jumped 40% from $44,168 at the start of the year to $61,834 currently, data from CoinGecko shows. 

NEAR’s network growth is evident in several metrics, including total value locked (TVL), number of transactions, amount of new wallets, positive bridging flows, among other things. 

NEAR’s Growth Metrics 

NEAR’s TVL, a popular measure of network engagement that “is less prone to sudden fluctuations and provides a clearer picture of the sustained trust and usage of a protocol over time,” has more than tripled from $90.7 million in January to $324.6 million in June. 

The rise in NEAR’s TVL coincides with transaction volume increasing every month in 2024, excluding June. Per the report, users on NEAR generated 231.8 million transactions in May, a 162% increase from 88.2 million transactions in the first month of 2024. 

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Additionally, while Solana has led other blockchain networks in new quarterly wallet creations, “NEAR’s wallet growth is even more staggering relative to last year’s baseline,” the report stated. Per a Flipside dashboard, NEAR’s quarterly new wallets stood at around 966,000 in Q1 of 2023 and has since grown to nearly 18.4 million in Q2 of 2024, while Solana registered a smaller gain “but still impressive.” In the same time period, Solana’s quarterly new users jumped from 1.4 million in Q1 of 2023 to about 12.4 million in Q2 of 2024

NEAR’s growing network activity can also be gleaned through the amount of assets coming into the network compared to its outflows. “The volume of assets bridged onto NEAR exceeded bridging outflows, nearly every month of 2024 so far (excluding February). Bridged inflows grew 2.2x between January and May of this year, while outflow volume fell 12.8% over this same period,” wrote the Flipside team. “Generally, sustained net bridging inflows to a chain reflect growing user confidence and optimism in the chain’s future potential.” 

Concentration of Activity

Much of NEAR’s onchain activity comes from three applications: lending venue Burrow, restaking platform LiNEAR, and liquid staking protocol Meta Pool, which are responsible for about 72% of NEAR’s total TVL. 

While concentration of TVL within a few applications can bolster network effects, the report said, “such concentration also increases systemic risk and can stifle innovation by overshadowing smaller, emerging projects that might struggle to attract users and liquidity.”