Detailed analysis of the Aurora project.

7 min readJun 5, 2022


The rise of DeFi and the explosion of NFT caused an increase in the price of Ethereum gas, which limited user participation and became a barrier for developers of DApps to scale.

To address these challenges, NEAR has officially launched project Aurora, a viable solution for developers looking to overcome the limitations of Ethereum.

What is Aurora?

Aurora is an Ethereum Virtual machine built by the Near Protocol project team with the aim of creating a solution to help developers build apps on an Ethereum-friendly platform. Provides an Ethereum-like experience with layer 1 features such as fast speed, good scalability.

Aurora consists of two main core parts:

  1. Aurora EVM Runtime enables seamless deployment of Solidity and Vyper smart contracts.
  2. Aurora Bridge: Is a bridge application built on Rainbow Bridge, now replaced by Rainbow Bridge 2.0, allowing to transfer tokens between three platforms Ethereum, Near and Aurora networks.
Rainbow Bridge.


Aurora compatibility features:

  1. At the core of Aurora is SputnikVM — a Rust EVM implementation from Parity Tech
  2. Aurora supports all smart contract code built on Ethereum — Solidity, Vyper
  3. Aurora supports all the tools available in the Ethereum ecosystem — MetaMask, Truffle, HardHat, OpenZeppelin SDK, and more.
  4. Aurora native token is ETH
  5. All transaction fees are in ETH
  6. Developers don’t need to fork their code to support another network

Architecture of aurora:

  1. Aurora is deployed as a smart contract on the NEAR blockchain.
  2. Aurora inherits all current and future advantages of NEAR Blockchain.
  3. Simplify Aurora maintenance, upgrades, and early-stage administration, enabling quick response in the event of an emergency such as the discovery of a security vulnerability.

Immediately after launch, the plan is to use SputnikDAO version 2, a customizable DAO-based governance framework on top of NEAR, to launch AuroraDAO for ecosystem governance.

The Aurora smart contract implements two main interfaces: Execution and Token. The Execution interface allows users to send regular Ethereum transactions (e.g. created with MetaMask, ethers.js or Below, these transactions are decrypted (RLP), verified (secp256k1) and executed in the EVM Runtime (Sputnik VM).

Some of the operations allowed in the EVM Runtime can be moved to the NEAR Protocol level (and precompiled) in case the smart contract doesn’t reach the target. For example, there is a NEAR Protocol upgrade scheduled, which will include a Math API.

Aurora also allows the connection of unauthorized tokens. It uses Rainbow Bridge technology to move from Ethereum and internally transfers NEAR tokens to enable the transfer of NEAR-native assets to Aurora. Thus Aurora becomes a connecting point for the Ethereum and NEAR economies.

Where additional compilation is required, a protocol upgrade is recommended for NEAR validators. Information about required compilations will be collected after full load testing is performed.

As a result of the discussion on the underlying Aurora token, the EVM Runtime will maintain a principal balance in Ether (ETH). This means that users should transfer their ETH via Aurora Bridge before sending any other transactions.

In order not to confuse users of the contract Aurora will implement a swappable token interface that will represent the user’s ETH balance during both the NEAR Protocol runtime and the Aurora runtime. In addition, users will be able to withdraw and deposit ETH into NEAR, and this will be done as a separate connection interface, underneath which will communicate with the core bridge contracts. This became possible due to the scalable and permissionless nature of the Rainbow Bridge.

DAO Administration:

  1. Based on SputnikDAO v2: issuing tokens, updating contracts, policies, treasury management, membership management, fee management
  2. The DAO committee is used to initiate the project, with the intention of shifting the decision process to the token holders or the NEAR validator consensus.
  3. Aurora may claim additional fees in ETH for operations, community coffers or redemption of $AURORA tokens

Ethereum vs Aurora:

Compared to Ethereum, Aurora has the following highlights:

  1. Aurora fees are up to 1,000 times lower than Ethereum. For example, the cost of transferring tokens on the ERC-20 network is less than 0.01$, while for Ethereum (at 50 Gwei and ETH price 3,000$) it is around 5.40$.
  2. Aurora transaction finality inherits from the NEAR Protocol, which is two NEAR blocks, or about two seconds — significantly lower than the one block confirmation time of 13 seconds in Ethereum (not enough for transaction confirmation times). Translate). In addition, the rapid completion of the NEAR blockchain greatly reduces the risk of attacks.
  3. Aurora can conduct thousands of transactions per second, 50 times more than Ethereum 1.0.
  4. The ecosystem on Aurora is set to grow in the future, as NEAR Protocol’s sharding approach provides horizontal EVM scalability, with asynchronous communication between multiple Aurora shards.
  5. Aurora offers a user-friendly and accessible option for Ethereum users: full Ethereum compatibility, no strings attached on the platform of Proof of Stake L1, and completely decentralized.


Total supply of 1 billion tokens distributed as follows:

. 20% (200 million), unlocked, keptCommunity Treasury

. 16% (160 million), locked, transferredAurora Labs long term incentives. Tokens also may be subjected to vesting scheme determined by Aurora Labs.

. 9% (90 million), locked, transferredAurora Labs private round investors. These tokens should be subjected to the unlocking scheme.

. 3% (30 million), unlocked, transferredAllocated to Aurora Labs to be distributed to NEAR ecosystem over the next three years. These tokens should be distributed linearly evenly to the delegators of Aurora validator. Aurora validator should switch to the following scheme of operations: fees should be equal to 30%, with 10% burned, and 20% used to fund the Rainbow Bridge operations and Aurora RPC.

. 2% (20 million), locked, transferredEarly Aurora contributors. Allocations should be provided by NEAR Foundation. These tokens should be subjected to the unlocking scheme. NEAR Foundation may implement vesting scheme for these tokens.

. 1% (10 million), unlocked, transferredAllocated to Aurora Labs to be used as incentives for project advisors

. 1% (10 million), unlocked, transferredAllocated to Aurora Labs to be used for bootstrapping the Aurora ecosystem. These tokens should be used for IDO (public sale through one or multiple DEXes), deployment of pools on AMMs (to be matched by Aurora Labs own funds in stable coins or NEAR token), market making, early partnerships, and other activities determined by Aurora Labs. IDO parameters should be approved by the DAO.

. 48% (480 million), unlocked, keptKept on the DAO balance for future projects.

Development team:

Aurora’s core team includes:

  1. CEO: Alex Shevchenko. Alex started his career in high-performance computing, working with complex computational problems on hybrid architectures. Alex has been focused on blockchain since 2015, when he joined Bitfury and developed Exonum among other projects. Alex has a PhD in Physics and Mathematics.


CTO: Arto Bendiken. Arto is an autodidact, cypherpunk, entrepreneur and open source author with over 20 years of professional software engineering experience working with organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and Navy Space United States and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). Currently working on the third generation of blockchain.


Frank Braun: Frank has 20 years of experience in building complex software systems. He has worked on scientific software, encrypted messaging systems, and digital currencies. Frank has a PhD in computer science.

Joshua J. Bouw: Joshua has nearly a decade of experience working at the intersection of crypto-economic design, developing software and creating open source ecosystems. Heralded as ‘The Godfather of Proof of Stake’ for his early role in the development of the Proof of Stake Consensus Mechanism, Joshua led and advised a wide range of crypto groups prior to joining. NEAR Aurora Team.

Matt Henderson: Matt’s career has spanned engineering at the European Space Agency, designing and developing digital products for brands like Google, and being deeply involved in crypto as a role has been an investor and product designer since 2013. Matt holds a Master’s degree. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech.


They have raised 12 million dollars from major investors: Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital,…


With a strong team with a lot of experience, Aurora has seen and has come up with solutions to solve the current and future problems of the Ethereum ecosystem. With low transaction fees, scalability, Aurora can grow like a seed in the Ethereum ecosystem while expanding NEAR’s ecosystem with any EVM-based applications. It can be said that Aurora is one of the most important projects on NEAR.

Aurora’s support and community channels:

. Telegram:
. Docs:
. Dev group:
. Support group:
. Website:
. Blog:
. Twitter:

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