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3. Advanced Course

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  1. 1. What is Taproot?
  2. 2. Blockchain bridges – what are they?
  3. 3. What is Ethereum Plasma?
  4. 4. What is Ethereum Casper?
  5. 5. What is Zk-SNARK and Zk-STARK? 
  6. 6. What is Selfish Mining? 
  7. 7. What is spoofing in the cryptocurrency market? 
  8. 8. Schnorr signatures - what are they? 
  9. 9. MimbleWimble - what is it? 
  10. 10. What is digital property rights in NFT?
  11. 11. What are ETFs and what role do they play in the cryptocurrency market? 
  12. 12. How to verify a cryptocurrency project – cryptocurrency tokenomics 
  13. 13. What is the 51% attack on blockchain?
  14. 14. What is DAO, and how does it work?
  15. 15. Zero-knowledge proof – a protocol that respects privacy 
  16. 16. What is EOSREX?
  17. 17. What is Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET)?
  18. 18. Mirror Protocol – what it is? 
  19. 19. What are synthetic assets? 
  20. 20. How to create your own NFT? 
  21. 21. Definition of DeFi, and what are its liquidations?
  22. 22. New identity system - Polygon ID
  23. 23. Ethereum Foundation and the Scroll protocol - what is it?
  24. 24. What is Byzantine fault tolerance in blockchain technology?
  25. 25. Scalability of blockchain technology - what is it?
  26. 26. Interchain Security - new Cosmos (ATOM) protocol
  27. 27. Coin Mixing vs. Coin Join - definition, opportunities, and threats
  28. 28. What is Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and how does it work?
  29. 29. Soulbound Tokens - what are they, and how do they work?
  30. 30. Definition of LIDO - what is it?
  31. 31. What are Threshold Signatures, and how do they work?
  32. 32. Blockchain technology and cyberattacks.
  33. 33. Bitcoin script - what it is, and what you should know about it.
  34. 34. What is zkEVM, and what are its basic features?
  35. 35. Do confidential transactions on blockchain exist? What is a Confidential Transaction?
  36. 36. Algorithmic stablecoins - everything you should know about them.
  37. 37. Polygon Zk Rollups ZKP - what should you know about it?
  38. 38. What is Web3 Infura?
  39. 39. Mantle - Ethereum L2 scalability - how does it work?
  40. 40. What is the NEAR Rainbow Bridge?
  41. 41. Liquid Staking Ethereum and LSD tokens. What do you need to know about it?
  42. 42. Top 10 blockchain oracles. How do they work? How do they differ?
  43. 43. What are Web3.js and Ether.js? What are the main differences between them?
  44. 44. What is StarkWare, and recursive validity proofs
  45. 45. Quant Network: scalability of the future
  46. 46. Polygon zkEVM - everything you need to know
  47. 47. What is Optimism (OP), and how do its roll-ups work?
  48. 48. What are RPC nodes, and how do they work?
  49. 49. SEI Network: everything you need to know about the Tier 1 solution for DeFi
  50. 50. Types of Proof-of-Stake Consensus Mechanisms: DPoS, LPoS and BPoS
  51. 51. Bedrock: the epileptic curve that ensures security!
  52. 52. What is Tendermint, and how does it work?
  53. 53. Pantos: how to solve the problem of token transfer between blockchains?
  54. 54. What is asymmetric encryption?
  55. 55. Base-58 Function in Cryptocurrencies
  56. 56. What Is the Nostr Protocol and How Does It Work?
  57. 57. What Is the XDAI Bridge and How Does It Work?
  58. 58. Solidity vs. Rust: What Are the Differences Between These Programming Languages?
  59. 59. What Is a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS)?
  60. 60. What Is the Ethereum Rinkeby Testnet and How Does It Work?
  61. 61. What Is Probabilistic Encryption?
  62. 62. What is a Pinata in Web 3? We explain!
  63. 63. What Is EIP-4337? Will Ethereum Account Abstraction Change Web3 Forever?
  64. 64. What are smart contract audits? Which companies are involved?
  65. 65. How does the AirGapped wallet work?
  66. 66. What is proto-danksharding (EIP-4844) on Ethereum?
  67. 67. What is decentralised storage and how does it work?
  68. 68. How to Recover Cryptocurrencies Sent to the Wrong Address or Network: A Practical Guide
  69. 69. MPC Wallet and Multilateral Computing: Innovative Technology for Privacy and Security
  70. 70. Threshold signature in cryptography: an advanced signing technique!
  71. 71. Vanity address in cryptocurrencies: what is it and what are its characteristics?
  72. 72. Reentrancy Attack on smart contracts: a threat to blockchain security!
  73. 73. Slither: a static analyser for smart contracts!
  74. 74. Sandwich Attack at DeFi: explanation and risks!
  75. 75. Blockchain RPC for Web3: A key technology in the world of decentralized finance!
  76. 76. Re-staking: the benefits of re-posting in staking!
  77. 77. Base: Evolving cryptocurrency transactions with a tier-2 solution from Coinbase
  78. 78. IPFS: A new era of decentralized data storage
  79. 79. Typical vulnerabilities and bridge security in blockchain technology
  80. 80. JumpNet - Ethereum's new sidechain
Lesson 40 of 80
In Progress

40. What is the NEAR Rainbow Bridge?

You are perfectly familiar with the blockchain trilemma, that is, the problem, with the scalability, security, and decentralization of blockchain. As demand for this type of service grows, so does the pressure to find solutions to the scalability of blockchain networks. What is Near Rainbow Bridge and is it likely to solve this problem?

Near Rainbow Bridge is one effective solution, with issues with scalability. Rainbow Bridge is one of the components of the NEAR protocol.

NEAR protocol

NEAR Protocol, is a layer one solution that uses sharding to solve problems with scalability. We wrote about the concerns with scalability of blockchain networks here [LINK – BLOCKCHAINS-Scalability-Master Level].

The developers are Alex Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin, who created NEAR in 2022. The NEAR platform includes a number of programming languages and tools, including smart contracts, incorporating cross chain functionality. This makes it easy for developers using NEAR to create dApps. Moreover, the NEAR protocol offers readable user account names instead of cryptographic wallet addresses. It is also known for its carbon neutrality.

How does the NEAR and Rainbow Bridge protocol work?

The protocol itself has significant advantages over other blockchain ecosystems. Even over Polkadot, Ethereum or EOS. Why? Because NEAR Protocol adds various interesting features to its ecosystem. Which ones? We are talking about Nightshade Sharding, Rainbow Bridge and Aurora.  Let’s take a closer look at these features.

  • Nightshade Sharding

It is the core technology behind blockchain NEAR. Sharding this enables data processing.

A quick reminder: sharding distributes the load of a master node, to other validation nodes. As a result, all nodes involved manage a portion of the network transactions, providing a higher number of transactions per second (TPS).

Nightshade Sharding complements Rainbow Bridge in improving scalability. Nightshade uses miners and validators to process data. They operate in parallel to each other in multiple shards simultaneously. Each shard produces a faction for the next block. The fraction is known as chunk. Chunks are processed and stored in the NEAR protocol to finalize a given transaction.

You have already noticed that Nightshade enables the protocol to manage millions of transactions per second without affecting its performance. It provides dynamic splitting and merging of shards, depending on network conditions. Once this high performance is achieved, the number of nodes in the network increases while maintaining performance. What’s more, it thus ensures low transaction fees.

The NEAR protocol is much more interesting than one might have expected. As a consensus mechanism, it uses Thresholded Proof of Stake (TPoS) to select validators. This ensures that the validators of the next block do not have to compete on the size of the stake. TPoS acts like an auction that involves multiple validators interested in staking a NEAR token.

According to the number of tokens that validators want to stake, they are selected for Nightshade sharding. Validators who stake more have a better chance of being selected.

  • Rainbow Bridge

This is another important function of the NEAR protocol. It is also its main application. Rainbow Bridge was launched in 2021. The list of tokens that can be traded or staked in Rainbow Bridge is really abundant. It includes ERC-20 tokens, wrapped tokens, stablecoins and even NFTs. Interestingly, with this feature, we can exchange tokens between Ethereum and the NEAR protocol. This is a practical possibility for developers and users. Rainbow Bridge is entirely decentralized.

Do you already understand how the Rainbow Bridge works? Using the bridge, we can deposit ERC-20 tokens into Ethereum smart contracts. The new tokens are created in the NEAR protocol, representing the original tokens, while providing a fixed value for the total supply that circulates in both blockchain ecosystems.

NEAR Rainbow Bridge transactions are also extremely fast. They take as little as 1 to 2 seconds, and cost less than $1.

  • Aurora

It is a scalability layer 2 solutions. All three complements the NEAR protocol, solving the scalability problem and helping developers increase the interoperability of their applications. At the same time, with lower transaction costs. Aurora handles thousands of transactions per second, providing a block approval time of about 2 seconds.

The two most important components of the Aurora protocol are the Aurora bridge and its engine. The engine is, of course, the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which we have already written to you about here [LINK – WHAT IS THE ETHEREUM VIRTUAL MACHINE AND HOW IT WORKS – MASTER LEVEL].

As a result, developers can start working on the NEAR protocol without knowing any new development tools or rewriting their dApps. On the other hand, Aurora has the same case as Rainbow Bridge – we can seamlessly transfer ERC-20 tokens to and from Ethereum and the NEAR blockchain.

  • NEAR Token.

That is, the native token of the NEAR protocol. It is with it that we pay for transactions. Token holders can participate in staking to earn certain rewards.  Token holders can also engage in network management by voting on various decisions.

Rainbow Bridge – how does it work?

The rise in popularity of Rainbow Bridge has resulted in many interesting tokens finding their way into the NEAR ecosystem. In its first phase, Rainbow Bridge opened a bridge to the free flow of assets between Ethereum and the NEAR blockchain. The Rainbow Bridge list includes such stablecoins as USDT, DAI and even Uniswap.

If we were to define Rainbow Bridge, we would say that it is the official bridge for transferring tokens between Ethereum, NEAR and Aurora. The bridge is entirely an Aurora product, compatible with Ethereum. At the same time, it is a scaling solution for the NEAR protocol itself.

We can freely transfer tokens between the three networks. Depending on where we want to transfer them, this will involve one, or two transactions.  A transfer between NEAR and Aurora requires a single transaction and usually takes up to 10 minutes. In contrast, a transfer to Ethereum requires two transactions and can take up to 16 hours.

Rainbow Bridge architecture

Here are some of the components that are part of the Rainbow Bridge:

  1. Rainbow Bridge User Interface.

The first element with which we start using Rainbow Bridge. It refers to the UI and is the official site of the NEAR protocol. It is where users provide their interaction with the bridge to transfer resources between networks.

  1. LiteNode

This is the blockchain node for NEAR Rainbow Bridge. Simply put – intelligent contract. It provides storage for block headers. As a result, it reduces disk space usage resources. LiteNode is also implemented on two smart contracts – one on the Ethereum network, the other on the NEAR protocol.

  1. Relays.

Relays help LiteNode go through automatic updates.

  1. Connectors.

These are intelligent contracts for Rainbow Bridge, which define the logic involved in managing cross-chain for a particular asset. They exist in pairs. Significantly, cryptocurrency transfers in Rainbow Bridge happen precisely through connectors.


The NEAR protocol is an excellent solution for scalability. It offers us Layer 2 solutions, as well as shards.  Unlike the other bridges, Rainbow Bridge is compatible with most blockchain networks, allowing the free transfer of a wide range of tokens. The Rainbow Bridge is a kind of benchmark for future scaling solutions.