Key Takeaways

  • Blockchain indexing protocol The Graph has announced its beta integration with NEAR Protocol.
  • Proponents hope this will increase decentralization, further paving the way for Web3.
  • The Graph has integrated with several blockchain protocols this year.

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The Graph, sometimes described as a “search engine” for blockchains, has announced its beta integration with NEAR protocol, a scalable, inexpensive Layer 1 blockchain. NEAR is among several blockchains The Graph has integrated with so far, with others including Solana, Binance Smart Chain, and Celo. 

The Graph Incorporates Yet Another Blockchain

The Graph, an indexing protocol designed to organize public blockchain data and make it accessible to consumers, has announced its beta integration with NEAR Protocol, a Layer 1 blockchain protocol that promotes itself as a scalable, less expensive alternative to Ethereum.

NEAR is The Graph’s first integrated protocol that does not use the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which can be thought of as a global processor that developers can use to create and execute Ethereum-compatible smart contracts and dApps. This will allow developers on NEAR to have access to The Graph’s blockchain data indexing, and Indexers will be able to establish and run subgraphs for indexing data to NEAR’s protocol. 

NEAR’s indexing and query layer can now become decentralized, like its blockchain layer. This integration between NEAR and The Graph might serve as a further step towards a multi-blockchain future. It is hoped that the integrations will allow developers to spend more time working on their core product, rather than having to maintain a custom indexing infrastructure. 

On today’s announced integration, Erik Trautman, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, said:

“We started NEAR with the goal of enabling more creators to build on blockchain and to create a more innovative and equitable web infrastructure. Integrating with The Graph is an important milestone for NEAR as we continue to eliminate barriers for developers working toward a decentralized web.” 

This is not The Graph’s first major integration this year. In February, The Graph Foundation initially announced its plans to integrate with NEAR, as well as with Polkadot, Solana, and Celo. The next month, The Foundation announced its support for Binance Smart Chain. 

The Graph was built to be a critical component of Web3, which proponents conceive of as a decentralized Internet built on blockchains. The Graph allows for more efficient searches of blockchain data across different blockchains (such as trading volume data for an automated market maker like Uniswap), and its network consists of Indexers that serve such queries on blockchain data. In other words, the Graph helps developers find and use data on blockchains. There are roughly 23,000 developers in The Graph ecosystem.

NEAR is a blockchain on which developers can build decentralized applications, like Ethereum. In contrast to Ethereum, though, it is meant to be quicker, less expensive, and “climate-neutral.” Today’s integration with The Graph comes at the start of NEARCON, NEAR’s international conference meant to celebrate the progress in the NEAR ecosystem. Yesterday, the NEAR team announced $800 million in funding toward cultivating its ecosystem. 

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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