This is the Near 2021 Report, which is a part of the Year In Review series by Coin98. 

2021 has been an unforgettable year for the whole crypto market in general and Near in particular with many important milestones. If you are following Near, I believe that you had many memorable moments with this ecosystem in 2021.

To help you have a quick recap of Near in 2021, the Coin98 team is glad to bring you the Near 2021 Report. This report contains all of the most important events, key metrics about Near in 2021, predictions for Near in 2022 with many valuable insights from the Coin98 team. 

Hope that this Report will be helpful for your investment journey in the year 2022 ahead. 

You can refer to the following article to get an overview of the Near system before we dive into the analysis of the development journey of the whole system in 2021: The Near Ecosystem Overview

NoteTo read the full Near 2021 Report, download it here:

Looking back at Near in 2021

How it began

In this part, we will look back to see how Near started in January 2021. 

1. Ecosystem Overview

Let’s take a look at the NEAR - the native token of Near, a vital part of the ecosystem.

blockchain market cap comparison 1 1 2021

By January, the market cap of NEAR was at $0.3B, ranking in the top 10 among blockchain platforms. 

At that time, the Near ecosystem was underdeveloped. Some important infrastructure for developing an ecosystem like Oracle, Index was still being gradually integrated. Moreover, the small number of developers led to the slow increase in the number of Dapps on Near. That was why Near did not receive much attention in this period. 

Some key metrics of Near at the beginning of 2021:

  • 10,000: Average number of transactions.
  • 1M: Total number of transactions.
  • 100: Daily number of new accounts
  • 21,000: Total number of new accounts.
  • 8,200: Total number of new contracts. 
  • 500: Daily number of active accounts.
  • $0.3B: NEAR’s market cap.
  • $1.3: NEAR’s price.
  • TVL was not yet recorded. 

How it is going

We saw a picture of the Near ecosystem in January. In this part, let’s see how it has evolved after 1 year. 

Ecosystem Overview

blockchain market cap comparison 31 12 2021

By the end of 2021, the market cap of NEAR increased significantly from $0.3B to $9B (x30). However, it was still a small growth compared to SOL, LUNA, or AVAX (x100). 

Still, this was enough for NEAR to remain in its position in the top 10 blockchain platform native tokens by market cap.

near ecosystem

After 1 year, the Near ecosystem gradually completed its infrastructure to accelerate its expansion. Some important infrastructure projects to support the growth of Near were Octopus Network, Aurora, and many bridges such as Rainbow Bridge, Allbridge,...

The number of Dapps built on Near also saw positive growth. Many DeFi protocols were launched, and some trending sectors like NFT and Gaming also appeared on Near. 

The expansion of Near was considerably contributed by the development of the infrastructure:

In the first 3 Quarters of 2021, the infrastructure on Near was incomplete. This made building projects on Near quite difficult. Therefore, the growth rate of new Dapps and smart contracts on Near at this time was low. Another factor hindering the growth of Near was the lack of developers, which was partly because of the unfamiliar programming language that Near uses - Rust. 

However, during this time, Near also tried to boost the ecosystem’s growth by hosting many hackathons and establishing partnerships with different infrastructure projects like oracles, bridges,... to make it easier for developers to build projects on Near. 

In the 4th Quarter of 2021, the infrastructure on Near was nearly completed. The two scaling projects that contributed significantly to the expansion of Near were Octopus and Aurora. Octopus allowed app chains to be integrated into Near while Aurora - an EVM chain built on Near, boosted the speed of building projects when using familiar language with developers - Solidity.

It resulted in a significant increase in the TVL of Near to reach $710M in the last months of 2021. Besides Octopus and Aurora, the development of bridges also accelerated the growth of Near. Many bridges like Allbridge, Synapse, Rainbow Bridge,... captured massive capital inflow for the Near ecosystem. 

The development of DeFi on Near at the end of 2021 is a stepping stone for Near’s further growth in 2022. 

2. Some key metrics of Near at the end of 2021:

  • 35,000 (x3.5): Average number of transactions.
  • 64.2M (x64.2): Total number of transactions.
  • 15,000 (x150): Daily number of new accounts
  • 2.2M (x100): Total number of new accounts.
  • 25,000 (x3): Total number of new contracts. 
  • 744 (x1.5): Daily number of active accounts.
  • $9B (x30): NEAR’s market cap.
  • $18 (x13.8): NEAR’s ATH price.
  • $710M: Near’s TVL.

Near's Key Milestones in 2021

1st Quarter

  • The number of total transactions on Near reached 1M, marking the initial growth of Near. 
  • Many infrastructure projects were integrated.
  • Some guilds were launched on Near. 


  • Rainbow Bridge was live, connecting Near and Ethereum.
  • Ref Finance - the first DEX on Near was launched.


  • eNEAR listed Sushiswap, DODO (Ethereum).
  • Near partnered with Ceramic.
  • Mintbase - an NFT project, launched on Near.
  • Aurora - EVM chain built on top of Near was introduced.


  • The total number of transactions reached 6M.
  • Guilds on Near were supported to grow.
  • The Near ecosystem after the first 6 months expanded significantly. 


  • Skyward Finance - the first IDO platform on Near was launched.
  • Mintbase airdropped 45,000 NEAR for festival ticket holders.
  • Paras updated several functions, including bidding one.


  • MetaBUIDL Hackathon was organized with $1M in prizes.
  • Near partnered with Filecoin.
  • Metapool launched mainnet version 1.0.
  • OP Games launched to bring a new era of blockchain games on Near.


  • Near launched Simple Nightshade, which was the first step towards a sharded blockchain.
  • Band Protocol supported the Near Metabuidl hackathon. 
  • Paras 2.0 was live.


  • NearCON -  the first official Near conference, happened in Lisbon.
  • Near announced an $800M fund to grow the Near ecosystem, including a $350M fund from Proximity Labs. 
  • Aurora was live and successfully raised $12M in the first funding round.
  • TVL of Near reached 100M for the first time.


  • $100M fund was invested in NFT, gaming, and metaverse on Near.
  • Near launched Nightshade Sharding.


  • Near partnered with Terra to bring UST stablecoins to Near.
  • NEAR reached an ATH at $18, AURORA reached ATH at $23. Near started to receive more attention from the public.
  • MetaBUIDL Hackathon was organized for the second time.

2022 Predictions for Near Ecosystem

Near, in 2021, has built the fundamental infrastructure for the explosion of the ecosystem in 2022. Below are the two niches that we anticipate to thrive in the Near ecosystem by 2022:

  • Higher DeFi layer: Near’s infrastructure in 2021 was well established to prepare for the further growth of DeFi in 2022. While the most fundamental legos like AMM, launchpad,.. had appeared on Near, higher DeFi layers such as lending, derivatives, asset management,... are expected to be the center of development in 2022. 
  • Gaming/ NFT: This sector on Near has just started with a few projects. However, with the $100 fund invested in gaming, NFT, and metaverse by the Near Foundation, it is hard to be pessimistic about the future of this category on Near.

Besides the Near ecosystem, we also have some forecasts for the two Near sub-ecosystem: Aurora and Octopus.

Aurora - an EVM chain built on Near.

  • Aurora had recorded impressive initial growth in 2021 when its TVL skyrocketed from $100 to $600 in just one month. The growth rate of Aurora is expected to be even higher as it uses Solidity - the familiar programming language with many developers. 
  • The fundamental DeFi legos had appeared on Aurora so the higher DeFi stacks like lending, derivatives,.. may thrive in 2022. We may also see the explosion of games and NFT on Aurora when it can attract developers by being a fast and gasless chain. 

Octopus Network - a network that enables app chains interoperability with the NEAR protocol.

This network started to receive more attention from the community. However, its infrastructure was still incomplete, so it should take time to strengthen the infrastructure before expecting further growth. 

Disclaimer: Opinions are entirely based on Near Ecosystem status and what the ecosystem has done and is doing. Other factors like the Crypto market, in general, are not included. Everything in this sector is only our opinion and is not considered investment advice, please DYOR before investing.


That is all about Near in 2021 and some predictions in 2022. I hope that it has brought you valuable information to understand Near better and be well prepared for your investment journey ahead. 

To read the full Near 2021 Report, download it here:


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