Rust SDK for smart contracts

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It’s recommended to visit the SDK Docs site for a detailed explanation of the Rust SDK.

Also, you may visit the reference material at:


Rust library for writing NEAR smart contracts.

Previously known as near-bindgen. version
Reference Documentation
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Writing Rust Contract
Building Rust Contract
Reference Documentation

Rust smart contract best practices

Please see this resource for a number of helpful examples and descriptions of common concepts.

A shortlist of concepts covered:

and more…


Wrap a struct in #[near_bindgen] and it generates a smart contract compatible with the NEAR blockchain:

use near_sdk::{near_bindgen, env};

#[derive(Default, BorshDeserialize, BorshSerialize)]
pub struct StatusMessage {
    records: HashMap<String, String>,

impl StatusMessage {
    pub fn set_status(&mut self, message: String) {
        let account_id = env::signer_account_id();
        self.records.insert(account_id, message);

    pub fn get_status(&self, account_id: String) -> Option<String> {


  • Unit-testable. Writing unit tests is easy with near-sdk:

    fn set_get_message() {
        let context = get_context(vec![]);
        let mut contract = StatusMessage::default();
        assert_eq!("hello".to_string(), contract.get_status("bob_near".to_string()).unwrap());

    Run unit test the usual way:

    cargo test --package status-message
  • Asynchronous cross-contract calls. Asynchronous cross-contract calls allow parallel execution
    of multiple contracts in parallel with subsequent aggregation on another contract.
    env exposes the following methods:

    • promise_create — schedules an execution of a function on some contract;
    • promise_then — attaches the callback back to the current contract once the function is executed;
    • promise_and — combinator, allows waiting on several promises simultaneously, before executing the callback;
    • promise_return — treats the result of execution of the promise as the result of the current function.

    Follow examples/cross-contract-high-level
    to see various usages of cross contract calls, including system-level actions done from inside the contract like balance transfer (examples of other system-level actions are: account creation, access key creation/deletion, contract deployment, etc).

  • Initialization methods. We can define an initialization method that can be used to initialize the state of the

    impl StatusMessage {
      pub fn new(user: String, status: String) -> Self {
          let mut res = Self::default();
          res.records.insert(user, status);

    Even if you have initialization method your smart contract is still expected to derive Default trait. If you don’t
    want to disable default initialization then you can prohibit it like this:

    impl Default for StatusMessage {
    fn default() -> Self {
        panic!("Contract should be initialized before the usage.")
  • Payable methods. We can allow methods to accept token transfer together with the function call. This is done so that contracts can define a fee in tokens that needs to be paid when they are used. By the default the methods are not payable and they will panic if someone will attempt to transfer tokens to them during the invocation. This is done for safety reason, in case someone accidentally transfers tokens during the function call.

To declare a payable method simply use #[payable] decorator:

pub fn my_method(&mut self) {

The #[payable] macro works only inside the struct wrapped in #[near_bindgen], if you put it elsewhere, you will get a cannot find attribute 'payable' in this scope error.


To develop Rust contracts you would need to:

  • Install Rustup:
    curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh
  • Add wasm target to your toolchain:
    rustup target add wasm32-unknown-unknown

Writing Rust Contract

You can follow the examples/status-message crate that shows a simple Rust contract.

The general workflow is the following:

  1. Create a crate and configure the Cargo.toml similarly to how it is configured in examples/status-message/Cargo.toml;

  2. Crate needs to have one pub struct that will represent the smart contract itself:

    • The struct needs to implement Default trait which
      NEAR will use to create the initial state of the contract upon its first usage;
    • The struct also needs to implement BorshSerialize and BorshDeserialize traits which NEAR will use to save/load contract’s internal state;

    Here is an example of a smart contract struct:

    use near_sdk::{near_bindgen, env};
    #[derive(Default, BorshSerialize, BorshDeserialize)]
    pub struct MyContract {
       data: HashMap<u64, u64>
  3. Define methods that NEAR will expose as smart contract methods:

    • You are free to define any methods for the struct but only public methods will be exposed as smart contract methods;
    • Methods need to use either &self, &mut self, or self;
    • Decorate the impl section with #[near_bindgen] macro. That is where all the M.A.G.I.C. (Macros-Auto-Generated Injected Code) is happening
    • If you need to use blockchain interface, e.g. to get the current account id then you can access it with env::*;

    Here is an example of smart contract methods:

    impl MyContract {
       pub fn insert_data(&mut self, key: u64, value: u64) -> Option<u64> {
       pub fn get_data(&self, key: u64) -> Option<u64> {

Building Rust Contract

We can build the contract using rustc:

RUSTFLAGS='-C link-arg=-s' cargo build --target wasm32-unknown-unknown --release


This repository is distributed under the terms of the MIT license.
See LICENSE for details.

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