NEAR, the native token on the eponymous blockchain, rallied on Friday amid speculation that the protocol will introduce its own stablecoin. The token also benefited from a string of venture capital investments in the blockchain.
NEAR was up about 24% in the past 24 hours, trading at $18.92- just a few dollars short of its lifetime high of $20.2. The token also rallied 46% over the past week as it raised $350 million in a funding round led by digital investor Tiger Global.
The blockchain’s biggest DeFi protocol, Trisolaris, also recently raised $4.5 million.
Venture capital firm Digital Currency Group revealed that the NEAR recently became its third-largest crypto holding.
Near-based stablecoin in April?
Zoran Kole, founder of popular Telegram group Crypto Insiders said Near will launch the new stablecoin, USN, on April 20. The proposed token will be an algorithmic stablecoin, and will compete with Terra’s UST.
The token will also offer a 20% APR, which would make it the highest DeFi yield in the market. For reference, Terra’s Anchor Protocol offers a 19.6% yield, currently the highest in the market. Near Protocol has not confirmed the news.
Kole said he expects increased interest in the token to likely double its market capital over the next few months. He also said Near’s focus on developer incentives is likely to attract more building on the blockchain.
The real Ethereum 2.0?
Near is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain built specifically to compete with ETH. It supports several features which are yet to be implemented in ETH with the 2.0 upgrade, such as higher staking rewards and a smaller carbon footprint.
But the token has greatly benefited from ETH’s proposed move to a PoS model. Interest in PoS spilled over from ETH and into other tokens, such as NEAR, Cardano (ADA), and Solana (SOL).
Still, NEAR is far smaller than ETH in market capital, and also does not see as widespread adoption. But that could change as more capital flows into the blockchain.
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