EVM, which forms the backbone of the Ethereum Blockchain, provides developers with a runtime environment to build DApps and other applications.
, the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, is popular among cryptocurrency investors due to its native ETH token. However, its native programming language Solidity and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) are of great importance in the praise it receives from the developer community. In fact, the Ethereum blockchain continues to attract decentralized application (DApp) developers due to its flexibility, the wide range of developer tools available, and the platform’s large user base.
Forming the core of the blockchain architecture, the EVM is the program that executes its application code or smart contracts, providing a runtime environment that runs on top of the Ethereum network. What’s more, EVM is Turing-complete and can therefore run any program coded in any programming language, allowing developers to easily create their own smart contracts and DApps for the growing Web3 space.
In addition to these important functions, the EVM has access to all nodes in the network, manages the execution of smart contracts, and efficiently manages all transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, making it one of the most powerful virtual machines in existence today.
What is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and how does it work?
Conceived by developer Vitalik Buterin in 2013, the Ethereum network owes its great success to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) as the blockchain of choice for DApp developers. Written in C++ and using the LLVM project compiler, EVM is a discrete state machine whose immutable operations determine the state of each block on the Ethereum blockchain.
EVM not only controls what nodes can or cannot do on the distributed ledger maintained by the Ethereum blockchain, but also defines specific rules for changing state from block to block. It is the latter functionality that enables the smart contract functionality that Ethereum is known for.
To understand what the Ethereum Virtual Machine does, we need to look at the different functions it provides to keep the Ethereum network running smoothly. For every input it receives, EVM produces an output that is deterministic in nature and follows a mathematical function in a simple sense.
Acting as a stack machine that pushes transients onto and off the push stack, the EVM is 1024 items deep, each a 256-bit walk. It maintains a temporary memory in the form of a sequence of bytes that is exchanged between two transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. EVM implements the compiled smart contract code in the form of a collection of 140 standard opcodes, while it also implements other blockchain-specific stack operations.
Ethereum Virtual Machine Schemes
Thus, EVM has a machine state that is volatile during the processing of any transaction and a global or world state that contains information about the various accounts maintained on the Ethereum blockchain. All operations are controlled by the EVM code, which has gone through several iterations since the launch of the Ethereum network in 2015, leading to the existence of various implementations of EVM currently in use.
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In fact, EVM is responsible for maintaining a level of abstraction between the thousands of Ethereum nodes and the executing code, acting as a function that ensures consistent results without revealing too much detail to clients or nodes.
What is the purpose of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)?
EVM reliably powers all applications running on the Ethereum network, with no major downtime reported. For developers, EVM works as an all-in-one program that runs small executables known as smart contracts in Ethereum, while giving them the freedom to write these smart contracts in a variety of programming languages, including Solidity, Vyper, Python, and Yul. , among others.
Because of this flexibility offered by EVM, the Ethereum blockchain has spawned thousands of DApps in decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT). Each of these DApps and the smart contracts they produce are converted to bytecode, which is fed to the EVM and distributed to all nodes on the Ethereum network.