An easy path and toolset for everyone to create and transact various tokens will drive NEAR adoption.
With Ethereum’s first release, the Ethereum.org homepage offered simple instructions on creating a token about five years ago. Based on these instructions back then, I made “CHF” and “USD” tokens myself, ten billion each. The experience was striking for me, giving me an understanding of the power of blockchain technology. I never transacted in my early tokens for two reasons. It was before Fabian Vogelsteller proposed the ERC-20 standard. Therefore, the tools to share my CHF and USD tokens were minimal. Moreover, it felt so real that I was afraid that I might infringe the USD and CHF minting monopolies of the national banks.
Excerpt Homepage Ethereum.org 2016
NEAR Protocol has a chicken-egg problem. A lot of users on the platform will attract a lot of developers. A lot of developers will lead to applications that attract a lot of users. Tokens play an essential role in that.
Tokens are just data on the blockchain with limited standardized behavior and functionality attached to it. Standardization and functionality limitations lead to the fact that tokens become the medium that is a “tangible” thing for the blockchain users. NFTs followed suit.
Similarly, as Ethereum has found broad adoption by offering tokens, NEAR could take advantage of this medium.
The easiest way on NEAR to mint and transact with new tokens is to create them on Ethereum and bridge them to NEAR. To transfer tokens from a NEAR Wallet, I need to bridge them back to Ethereum first, move them there and bridge them to another NEAR Wallet again. CLI might offer more direct functionality, but it is not for users but rather for developers. And again, developers need to have a perspective to achieve user adoption to develop on NEAR. Opportunity!
Therefore, NEAR should focus its energy on offering an easy way to enable the simple creation of tokens and allow every user to transact with them.
Also, don’t forget the NFTs
NFTs are not fully solved on Ethereum either. The NFTs on Ethereum depend on every project that allows to issue them because the data represented by the NFTs is stored centrally by the NFT issuer in most cases. NEAR has an opportunity to improve that by offering a solution that makes NFTs truly blockchain native by decentralizing their storage and setting NFT standards for each NFT type (pictures, audio, et cetera). I’m begging as a user; please let me see and enjoy my NFTs in NEAR Wallet!