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EVM Overview

Initially developed in-house at NEAR, the Aurora EVM is the official EVM for the NEAR ecosystem. It accomplishes a 1:1 experience with the Ethereum protocol including adopting ETH as the base currency. Beyond the base scope, the EVM also allows for extra precompiles. Such precompiles enable the EVM to interact with the rest of the NEAR ecosystem.


We implore you to interact through the EVM through MetaMask or Hardhat as we provide an identical experience through our RPC. However, you may also interact with it through NEAR workspaces, the NEAR CLI, or the Aurora CLI.


Since the underlying measure of computational work is NEAR gas, an edge case that arises is when the transaction runs out of NEAR gas before running out of EVM gas.

In this case the transaction will be considered as failed on Aurora, but this may or may not be compatible with what the outcome on Ethereum would have been (if the gas limit was actually high enough for the transaction to complete had NEAR gas not been the limiting factor).

This case will not come up for the vast majority of transactions, and indeed will become less likely as we improve the efficiency of our EVM contract (thus allowing NEAR gas to go further in terms of EVM computation). Eventually, we hope to eliminate this entirely by setting the ETH block gas limit on Aurora to be lower than the amount of NEAR which we could spend in one transaction.

Powered by SputnikVM

The Aurora EVM utilises the power of the SputnikVM in its current implementation. Additionally, part of the Aurora Labs team have been made contributors to the project due to the significant contributions that they have made. However, we intend to explore other implementations and possibly develop our own backend depending on performance considerations.

Additional Features

Changes to the output of some Opcodes

Some of the Opcodes provided by Ethereum we are not able to entirely support. Though we do not believe that this will impact EVM contracts that use these Opcodes, it is important to note these changes which can be found in the Aurora EVM opcode documentation.

Additional precompiles

In order to provide additional support to the NEAR ecosystem, some additional precompiles are available. However, the exitToNear and exitToEthereum precompiles are only accessible through the NEP-141 to ERC-20 contract which only can be deployed via the deploy_erc20_token function in the Aurora EVM.

More information about these precompiles can be found in the Aurora EVM precompile documentation.

Default NEP-141 mapped ERC-20 contract

Under the hood, all bridged ERC-20 contracts are NEAR NEP-141 fungible tokens through the process described in the Rainbow Bridge overview.

In order to grant the ability to access to NEP-141 fungible tokens as an ERC-20 contract, we use the NEP-141 mapped ERC-20 contract which is automatically deployed by the Aurora EVM when invoking the deploy_erc20_token function. This allows users to deposit ERC-20 fungible tokens through the Rainbow Bridge which will generate a proof for the Engine to confirm the transfers' existence. Thus enabling the user to access their NEP-141 or Ethereum ERC-20 tokens on Aurora.