Three minutes to read about NEAR’s just-launched EVM-compatible chain Aurora

NEAR has just released Aurora, an EVM solution that offers the experience of using Ether L2.

The explosive growth of DeFi and NFT has often caused a spike in ethereum gas fees, which has limited many users from engaging and using DApp apps on ethereum, and DApp developers from fully expanding their businesses because of this issue. To address these challenges, we are pleased to announce the launch of Aurora’s mainnet, which provides a holistic solution for developers seeking to expand their Ether DApp applications to reach other markets.

Aurora runs on NEAR and leverages many of NEAR’s unique features, such as sharding and developer gas fee rewards. Aurora Bridge, built on Rainbow Bridge technology, provides license-free pass transfers and data transfer services between Ether and Aurora.

Aurora offers a number of improvements for developers.

Aurora processing fees are 1,000 times lower than Ether. For example, transferring the same ERC-20 pass, at 50Gwei and $3,000/ETH, costs Aurora less than $0.01 compared to $5.40 for Ether

Aurora is capable of processing thousands of transactions per second, which is 50 times higher than Ether 1.0.

Aurora transaction finality comes from the underlying NEAR protocol, which is two blocks or about two seconds, which is much lower than the 13-second confirmation time of an Ether block (and not long enough to reach transaction finality). In addition, the fast finality of the NEAR blockchain greatly reduces the risk of frontrunning attacks.

Aurora eco-growth will continue to thrive over time: the underlying NEAR protocol’s sharding approach provides horizontal EVM scaling capabilities and asynchronous communication between multiple Aurora shards.

Aurora offers a greener option for Ether users: Aurora is built on the NEAR Protocol, a decentralized, environmentally friendly, PoS-aware L1 protocol, with full, uncompromised Ether compatibility

Aurora solves the current and future computational and storage challenges facing the Ethernet ecosystem, while reusing and saving developers’ engineering investment in smart contracts and front-end code.

Aurora Architecture

Aurora is implemented as a smart contract on the NEAR blockchain, what does this mean?

Aurora benefits from the full range of existing and future benefits of the NEAR blockchain

Aurora’s early maintenance, upgrades and governance were simplified to ensure a rapid response in the event of an emergency, such as a security breach being discovered.

Shortly after Aurora is released, we will plan to use the v2 version of SputnikDAO, a customized, DAO-based governance framework deployed on top of NEAR. The purpose of this is to release Aurora DAO for ecological governance.

Aurora’s current architecture is as follows.

Three minutes to read about NEAR's just-launched EVM-compatible chain Aurora

Aurora smart contracts implement two main interfaces: execution and pass-through. The execution interface allows users to send ordinary Ether transactions, such as those created using MetaMask, ether.js or These transactions are decoded (RLP), validated (secp256k1) and executed in EVM runtime (Sputnik VM) at the bottom.

Some operations that are supported in EVM runtime may be moved to the NEAR protocol layer (and thus become pre-compiled) to prevent the smart contract from failing to deliver the target performance. For example, there is a planned NEAR protocol upgrade in the near future that will include an enhanced version of the Math API.

Aurora also allows pass-through bridging without a license. It uses Rainbow Bridge technology to handle transfers from Ether as well as internal NEAR pass transfers, thus allowing NEAR native assets to be transferred to Aurora, which becomes a connection point between the economic worlds of Ether and NEAR.

Three minutes to read about NEAR's just-launched EVM-compatible chain Aurora

In order to cope with the additional precompilation requirements, we submit a protocol upgrade proposal to the NEAR validation node. Once sufficient load testing has been performed, we will gather information about the required precompilation.

As a result of the community discussion on Aurora base passes, EVM runtime will use ETH as the base pass. This means that users will need to first transfer their ETH through the Aurora bridge before sending any other transactions.

To avoid confusion for users, the team decided to have the Aurora contract implement a homogenized pass-through interface that represents the user’s ETH balance in both the NEAR-based native runtime and Aurora runtime. Users would be able to withdraw and store ETH in NEAR, and this functionality would be implemented as a separate bridge connector interface that would communicate with the core bridge contract at the ground level. This design is made possible by the scalable and license-free nature of the Rainbow Bridge protocol.

Paying for gas with ETH

One of Aurora’s most notable design decisions is the use of ETH as Aurora’s internal base currency for paying transaction fees. Unlike many ethereum Layer2 requirements for users and developers to acquire and use native Layer2 passes, Aurora hopes to provide a simple, straightforward, and seamless experience for users and developers in the ethereum community.

The approach is as follows.

To know the price of ethereum gas fees in Aurora runtime, we use a standard JSON-RPC endpoint eth_gasPrice. The system uses its return value to calculate the amount of ETH paid to the RPC node (see step 6).

Users sign a normal ethereum transaction using a tool they are familiar with (e.g. MetaMask, Wallet Connect-compatible wallets, CLI and JS libraries, etc.) and send it to the RPC.

The RPC packages the Ether transaction into a NEAR transaction and sends it to the Aurora contract.

At the protocol level, the RPC signature is verified and the initial Ether transaction is passed to the Aurora Engine contract.

The Aurora Engine contract parses the Ether transaction and executes it, calculating the amount of EVM gas used in the process. At the end of the execution of the Ether transaction, the NEAR gas is destroyed according to the rules of the NEAR protocol, and the ETH gas is just a calculated number that exists inside the Aurora contract.

In order to pay for NEAR gas, we use ETH. the Aurora contract calculates the transaction fee and transfers it from the user’s account to the RPC account.

From the user’s perspective we are only paying ETH to the NEAR protocol, but it is actually the NEAR pass that is being used to pay the gas fee, with the RPC node acting as a proxy/relayer between the user and the NEAR blockchain.

As a first step, RPCs will be able to provide ETH gas fees to cover the cost of relay services. In addition, users can decide which node’s service to use based on the response of multiple RPC nodes. In the future, the relay service may adopt the same architecture as OpenGSN.


In addition to refining Aurora, the NEAR team has planned the following milestones for Aurora.

Summer 2021.

Ethernet compatibility without any compromises. Several minor updates to the NEAR protocol will be included in the next protocol update, with the goal of making Aurora 100% compatible with Ether 1.0.

DAO formation. We believe that the only way to move a project like Aurora forward is to implement a truly decentralized approach to governance and scalability. To that end, we intend to form a DAO to govern Aurora.

Release of DAO passwords (TBD). Once the DAO is established, there will be a decision about creating Aurora passes. We’ll have discussions about this this summer.

Fall 2021

Fast pass-through transfers. Due to the limitations of the Ether blockchain (high transaction fees, slow transaction finality, lack of EIP-665), transfers from NEAR to Ether via the Rainbow Bridge are currently very slow: transfers from NEAR to Ether can take up to 16 hours to complete. We plan to solve this problem for homogeneous pass-through transfers.

gas fee redistribution. the NEAR blockchain offers a convenient option for contract creators to monetize and provides a sustainable model for open source projects. This is by paying 30% of the gas fee to the contract creator. We plan to add this feature to Aurora as well.

Non-Blockchain User Experience NEAR has a sophisticated account model that allows even users unfamiliar with cryptocurrency wallets and other software to interact seamlessly with NEAR. In fact, NEAR can completely hide the details of the blockchain for the end user. We plan to introduce a similar set of logic for Aurora.

Gas fees paid with ERC-20 passes The way Aurora RPC works allows us to naturally propose to users to pay for transactions with any ERC-20 pass. In other words, users can pay their transaction fees with USDT or DAI.


Horizontal Scaling. the main feature of the NEAR protocol is the ability to slice and dynamically scale. Our ultimate goal is to advance the ultimate goal of Ether 2.0 by activating the sharding feature for Aurora and thus delivering sharding to the Ether ecosystem.

Experience Aurora now

With its low cost, best-in-class transaction finality and scalability, Aurora redefines the possibilities of the Ether ecosystem and further expands the NEAR ecosystem to absorb and accommodate EVM-based applications.

Ether users can operate familiar applications with Aurora while benefiting from NEAR’s performance advantages. Because NEAR’s transaction costs are orders of magnitude lower than Ether, Aurora removes the financial barriers to entry for users and developers, especially for newcomers to the ecosystem.

Our goal is to build an interoperable future that bridges the gap between blockchain, developers, and users, and Aurora makes this vision a reality by providing a seamless user experience while allowing assets to flow unhindered between Ether and NEAR. The emerging cryptocurrency economy will foster the growth of a community of creators, bringing blockchain technology into the mainstream.

Aurora is fully compatible with Ether 1.0, including both the base fees paid with ETH and the out-of-the-box features of smart contracts, and interoperability with existing wallets and other tools.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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