The unique Nightshade sharding technology enables enhanced security and scalability with higher transaction throughput and lower fees. Beyond that, NEAR's Rainbow Bridge enables interoperability between chains, where users can transfer ERC-20 tokens easily from other blockchains to NEAR protocol and back. Lastly, developers interested in building or bridging their applications to NEAR protocol may use the protocol's layer 2 scaling solution, Aurora, to take advantage of Ethereum's network and NEAR protocol's low fees and high throughput.
The network token, NEAR, is used to pay transaction fees, run applications and pay for storage. Developers can earn 30% of fees from their contracts, and network participants can earn rewards for validating transactions.