In an announcement released on June 9, 2020, Bison Trails, an infrastructure as a service platform, announced the addition of NEAR Protocol validator support. As a member of the NEAR Protocol Advisory board, Bison Trails aims at easing the transition of NEAR protocol nodes through the integration of its Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism and the “Restricted Mainnet” scheduled to launch next quarter.
CEO at Bison Trails, Joe Lallouz, statement on the NEAR Protocol integration acquired by BEG reads,
“We are excited to support the NEAR team as they launch the protocol. I've been following the team at NEAR for some time now and am blown away by their focus on the developer experience.
NEAR's incredible technical team understands building a strong developer ecosystem will help drive success.”
Bison Trails Supports NEAR Protocol Validators
The NEAR Protocol is a proof of stake (PoS) decentralized app that enables the management of high-value assets to give the power of open finance and open web to the user. The system employs a PoA consensus mechanism that delegates the power to approve and verify transactions to validators.
Anyone can become a validator on NEAR Protocol but for those who do not wish to be one, Bison Trails offers its platform to run the node on the users’ behalf.
According to the statement, any participant who runs their nodes on the Restricted Mainnet will be awarded a stipend while the validators “warded special voting rights.” It reads,
“The voting power of these validators will be magnified in the community stage by having the additional delegated tokens on the validator.”
NEAR Protocol also adopts dynamic sharding, which means the number of shards changes in response to usage demands, scaling up and down, in a bid to increase scalability on the platform. The system is yet to be built on to the platform but Bison Trails stated they will be supporting the NEAR’s sharding – as it also helps in Bison’s scalability.
Future of NEAR Protocol
Bison Trails and NEAR Protocol have worked together since March 2019, when the latter become the first company to launch NEAR’s testnet. The co-founder of NEAR Protocol, Illia Polosukhin, believes Bison Trails will provide mentoring and further development on their validator program in the future. On the partnership between the two blockchain firms, Illia said,
“Bison Trails has been at the forefront of what is now considered the professional validator industry, making participation in blockchain networks more accessible and helping to provide more high-quality operators to the network.”
NEAR Foundation, the development lead on the platform, in May announced a $21.8 Million funding led by VC firm, a16z, in its plan to launch the mainnet. Illia said the company will be moving into layers 1, 2, and 3 in the summer of 2020 in preparation for the Restricted mainnet.