A Golden Era of Friendship Begins Between NEAR and Ethereum
Aurora means ETH solutions that are looking to scale can do so without even having to buy another L2 token. NEAR runs Aurora with Ethereum (ETH) as a base token, making it super simple and easy to connect an existing ETH DApp. That means a new era of friendship where Ethereum can use NEAR, as if it was native Ethereum. NEAR gets the transaction value, and ETH Dapps can scale (up to 50x increase in transaction throughput, and 10,000x reduction in gas costs). A new era of friendship is here.
Aurora Launched — This Is Why It Matters:
So often we hear about an EVM or OVM (Optimism) launching that has the promise of taking existing Ethereum applications, and running them on a separate network in a more scalable or cost-effective manner. Then we hear how L2’s on Ethereum (Rollups et al.) are ‘native solutions’ that help Ethereum scale — but often require users and projects to migrate ‘up’ onto the L2 network and purchase the respective token.
We know what the reality is when it comes to embracing these changes: User behavior has to change, and entire projects often have to be re-created. Don’t take my word for it. Read the founder of dYdX explain it to Camil Russo on The Defiant, or just read Messari (always ready Messari):
Rolling-up’ or moving to an L2 presupposes “significant changes in user behavior, wallets, oracles and DApps,” while currently, “L2 transfers aren’t seamless and sidechains needs to be bridged.”
“The product that we built for layer 2 — it’s not like we took the L1 product and put it on L2. We built an entirely new product from the ground up. It’s still operating on perpetuals which we had on L1, but it is a pretty significantly different product.” — 16:51
Back to Aurora:
The first reason why Aurora matters, plain and simple, is that it can function as an L2 running on NEAR, but with Ethereum as its base token — bridged through the Rainbow bridge beneath the surface. That means that from a user-perspective, connecting to Aurora from MetaMask is like connecting to an existing L2 that just runs on Ethereum with its native token. In essence, that’s a really easy to use rollup.
The second reason why Aurora matters is built around 1 word: Composability. Composability is the achilles heel of pretty much every proposed L2 on Ethereum. Oracle and wallet integrations, Cross L2 Transfers, and integrating the ENS naming service are top of the list that every L2 will need to do at some point — with every other relevant L2. Composability is a precondition for products to be able to innovate and evolve with other projects that launch at a later time.
On Aurora, projects have access to any other project deployed on NEAR Protocol. So that means native NEAR solutions and other bridged / ported solutions from Ethereum. That’s the real catch behind Aurora — once you use it, you won’t want to go back to Ethereum — everything will be cheaper, faster, and more available through Aurora on NEAR.
What Makes Aurora Incredible?
First Point: Aurora gas fees. Gas fees on Aurora are up to — wait for it — 1,000x lower than Ethereum. It costs less than $0.01 cents to transfer an ERC-20.
Second Point: Throughput. Aurora offers a 50x increase in transactions processed per second, compared to current Ethereum standards.
Third Point: Fast finality. 2 seconds on Aurora > 13 seconds on Ethereum.
Fourth Point: Composability with all other projects ported over to NEAR or natively built on NEAR. ETH projects using Aurora can quickly and easily talk to eachother.
Fifth Point: Compatibility with Existing ETH Tooling. Metamask, Hardhat, Truffle, etc. are all compatible with Aurora. The Aurora base token is ETH — so using Aurora will not require a project or user to purchase any other token.
How Aurora Actually Works.
Users connect their metamask and pay ETH into the protocol. The $NEAR token meanwhile is used for fees beneath the surface. Important Note: Aurora is sharded on NEAR (meaning it will be horizontally scaled via Nightshade in the future), while developer gas fee remuneration is also implemented for all Aurora contracts (that means projects take 30% of the fees their contracts generate).
How Aurora Will Evolve Into the Future:
Aurora was built and launched by the NEAR EVM team — a group of highly skilled and qualified Cypherpunks including Arto Bendiken and Frank Braun (as well as Crypto OG Joshua Bouw). While at the moment it is an initiative of the NEAR Team, there are three upgrades that will make Aurora independent and future proof in the coming months:
- Full compatibility with Ethereum 1.0
- DAOifying Governance of Aurora.
- Possibly introducing an Aurora Token (unclear on the mechanics at this time).
- All things considered Aurora is positioned to become the gateway between NEAR and Ethereum.
Why Does This Mean A Golden Era Of Friendship Between Ethereum and NEAR?
We all know that Ethereum needs to make serious changes in order to affordably scale. Just look at the Uniswap V3 launch for that matter. NEAR extends the olive branch to Ethereum by offering Ethereum solutions an ETH denominated solution for accessing incredibly fast finality, low fees, and a high throughput of transactions. Aurora is essentially a ‘rollup’ built for Ethereum on NEAR, and denominated in ETH. It’s a great move by the NEAR team, and makes a serious case for transitioning onto NEAR.