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


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Written by: NEAR Team

The explosive growth of DeFi and NFT often causes a surge in Ethereum gas fees, which restricts many users from participating in and using DApp applications on Ethereum. DApp developers are also unable to fully expand their business due to this problem. In order to meet these challenges, we are happy to announce that Aurora’s mainnet has been officially launched, which provides a set of overall solutions for developers who are looking to expand their Ethereum DApp applications to reach other markets.

Aurora runs on NEAR and utilizes many unique features of NEAR, such as sharding and developer gas fee rewards. Aurora consists of two core components: the Aurora engine runtime, which developers can use to seamlessly deploy Solidity and Vyper smart contracts; the Aurora bridge, based on the Rainbow Bridge technology, can provide a license-free pass between Ethereum and Aurora Money transfer and data transfer services.

Aurora provides developers with a large number of improved services:

  • Aurora’s fees are 1,000 times lower than Ethereum . For example, the same ERC-20 token is transferred. At the level of 50Gwei and 3000 USD/ETH, the cost of Aurora is less than US$0.01, while the cost of Ethereum is as high as US$5.40.

  • Aurora can process thousands of transactions per second , which is 50 times higher than Ethereum 1.0.

  • The finality of Aurora transactions comes from the underlying NEAR protocol, that is, two blocks or about two seconds, which is more than the 13-second confirmation time of one block in Ethereum (and this time is not long enough to achieve transaction finality) Much lower. In addition, the fast finality of the NEAR blockchain greatly reduces the risk of frontrunning attacks.

  • The Aurora ecological growth will continue to prosper over time: the sharding method of the underlying NEAR protocol provides horizontal EVM expansion capabilities, and asynchronous communication can be carried out between multiple Aurora shards.

  • Aurora provides a greener option for Ethereum users: Aurora is based on the decentralized, environmentally friendly, PoS consensus-based L1 protocol-NEAR Protocol, and has complete Ethereum compatibility without any compromise.

Aurora solves the current and future challenges of computing and storage in the Ethereum ecosystem. At the same time, it can reuse and save developers’ engineering investment in smart contracts and front-end code.

Aurora architecture

Aurora is implemented in the form of smart contracts on the NEAR blockchain. What does this mean?

  • Aurora can benefit from all the existing and future advantages of the NEAR blockchain

  • Aurora’s early maintenance, upgrades, and governance have been simplified to ensure rapid response in the event of an emergency (such as the discovery of a security breach).

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

The current architecture of Aurora is as follows:

Aurora smart contract implements two main interfaces: execution and token. The execution interface allows users to send ordinary Ethereum transactions, such as transactions created using MetaMask, ether.js or These transactions are decoded (RLP), verified (secp256k1) and executed in the EVM runtime (Sputnik VM) at the bottom layer.

Some operations supported in the EVM runtime may be transferred to the NEAR protocol layer (and therefore become precompiled) to prevent the smart contract from failing to deliver the target performance. For example, there is a planned NEAR protocol upgrade recently that will include an enhanced version of the Math API.

Aurora also allows token bridging without permission. It uses Rainbow Bridge technology to process transfers from Ethereum and internal NEAR token transfers, so NEAR native assets can be transferred to Aurora. In this way, Aurora becomes a connection point between the two economic worlds of Ethereum and NEAR.

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

In order to deal with the situation of additional pre-compilation requirements, we will submit a protocol upgrade proposal to the NEAR verification node. Once sufficient load testing has been performed, we will collect the required pre-compiled information.

According to the community discussion results on Aurora’s basic token, EVM runtime will use ETH as the basic token. This means that users need to first transfer their ETH through the Aurora bridge before sending any other transactions.

Related link:

In order to avoid confusion for users, the team decided to let the Aurora contract implement a homogeneous token interface, which represents the user’s ETH balance in the NEAR-based native runtime and Aurora runtime. Users can withdraw and store ETH in NEAR. This function will be implemented in the form of an independent bridge connector interface, which will communicate with the core bridge contract at the bottom layer. It is precisely because of the extensible and permissionless features of the Rainbow Bridge protocol that such a design can be realized.

The code for Aurora and related tools can be viewed at the following link:

Use ETH to pay for gas

One of Aurora’s most compelling design decisions is to use ETH as the base currency inside Aurora to pay transaction fees. Unlike many Ethereum Layer 2 requiring users and developers to obtain and use Layer 2 native tokens, Aurora hopes to provide users and developers in the Ethereum community with a simple, direct and seamless experience.

Methods as below:

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

  2. Users use familiar tools (such as MetaMask, Wallet Connect compatible wallets, CLI and JS libraries, etc.) to sign an ordinary Ethereum transaction and send it to RPC.

  3. RPC packages Ethereum transactions into NEAR transactions and sends them to the Aurora contract.

  4. At the protocol level, the RPC signature is verified, and the initial Ethereum transaction is passed to the Aurora engine contract.

  5. The Aurora engine contract parses the Ethereum transaction and executes the transaction, and calculates the amount of EVM gas in the process. At the end of the Ethereum transaction execution, the NEAR gas will be destroyed according to the rules of the NEAR protocol, and the ETH gas is just a calculated number that exists in the Aurora contract.

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

From the user’s point of view, we only paid ETH to the NEAR protocol, but the NEAR token is actually used to pay the gas fee. The RPC node acts as an agent/relayer between the user and the NEAR blockchain. character of.

As a first step, RPC 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 responses of multiple RPC nodes. In the future, relay services may adopt the same architecture as OpenGSN.

For more information about ETH as a basic token, please visit the following website:

route map

In addition to improving Aurora, the NEAR team also planned the following milestones for Aurora:

Summer 2021:

  • Ethereum compatibility without any compromise. At present, several minor updates related to the NEAR protocol will be included in the next protocol upgrade. The purpose is to enable Aurora to achieve 100% compatibility with Ethereum 1.0.

  • The formation of DAO. We believe that the only way to push projects like Aurora forward is to achieve a truly decentralized governance and scalability approach. To this end, we intend to establish a DAO to govern Aurora.

  • Release DAO token (to be confirmed) . Once the DAO is established, there will be a decision to create an Aurora token. We will have relevant discussions this summer.

Autumn 2021

  • Fast pass transfer. Due to the limitations of the Ethereum blockchain (high transaction fees, slow transaction finality, lack of EIP-665), the current transfer speed from NEAR to Ethereum via Rainbow Bridge is very slow: transfer from NEAR to Ethereum may take 16 It takes hours to complete. We plan to solve this problem for homogenized token transfers.

  • The gas fee is redistributed. The NEAR blockchain provides a convenient option for contract creators to make profits and a sustainable development model for open source projects. This is to pay 30% of the gas fee to the contract creator. We plan to also add this feature to Aurora.

  • Non-blockchain user experience. NEAR has an advanced account model, even users who are not familiar with cryptocurrency wallets and other software can interact with NEAR seamlessly. In fact, NEAR can completely hide the details of the blockchain for end users. We plan to introduce a similar logic for Aurora.

  • Gas fee paid with ERC-20 token. The way Aurora RPC works allows us to naturally propose to users to use any ERC-20 token to pay transaction fees. In other words, users can use USDT or DAI to pay their transaction fees.

In 2022:

  • Horizontal expansion. The main function of the NEAR protocol is the ability to fragment and dynamically expand. Our ultimate goal is to complete the ultimate goal of Ethereum 2.0 in advance by activating the sharding function for Aurora and then delivering the sharding function for the Ethereum ecosystem.

Experience Aurora now

With low-cost, first-class transaction finality and scalability, Aurora redefines the possibilities of the Ethereum ecosystem, and at the same time further expands the NEAR ecosystem so that it can absorb and accept EVM-based applications.

Ethereum users can use Aurora to operate familiar applications while benefiting from the performance advantages of NEAR. Since the transaction cost of NEAR is several orders of magnitude lower than that of Ethereum, Aurora eliminates financial barriers to entry for users and developers, especially for newcomers who have just entered the ecosystem.

Our goal is to create an interoperable future, bridging the gap between blockchain, developers, and users. Aurora can provide a seamless user experience while allowing assets to flow unimpeded between Ethereum and NEAR, making the aforementioned vision a reality. The emerging cryptocurrency economy will promote the development of the creator community and bring blockchain technology into the mainstream.

Aurora and Ethereum 1.0 are fully compatible, which includes both the basic fee paid using ETH and the out-of-the-box smart contract features, interoperability with existing wallets and other tools.

Disclaimer: As a blockchain information platform, the articles published on this site only represent the author’s personal views, and have nothing to do with the position of ChainNews. The information, opinions, etc. in the article are for reference only, and are not intended as or regarded as actual investment advice.

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