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Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)

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EVM stands for Ethereum Virtual Machine. It is called the heart of the Ethereum Blockchain because it is the main place where all the accounts and smart contracts of the popular blockchain live.

Created in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, EVM is used to create and execute smart contracts, decentralized applications and other automated services autonomously without the need of a third party. It also manages its state whenever a block is created in the blockchain.

How to explain EVM in layman’s terms?

In layman’s terms, EVM revolutionized the rapidly growing and flourishing Web3 sphere by allowing developers to create dApps on a platform all while using it as a blockchain. EVM is also used to create and deploy smart contracts

With EVM, one can create dApps and smart contracts and deploy them on the same network that is Ethereum. In order to use EVM to carry out different developments, one is, albeit not required, recommended to have a know-how of a programming language known as Solidity

Features of Ethereum Virtual Machine

Stack-Based Method: In coding and development, there are two different methods/approaches to save memory; stack-based and heap-based. 

In a stack-based approach, there is a particular order. For example, in a blockchain, there are nodes that are all in order. Stacking them together without an order will lead to malfunctioning within the system. 

On the other hand, in a heap-based system, there is a lack of order. The data are not stored in a particular sequence and arrangement. Thus, there is a reason why EVM uses a stack-based method which is to ensure security. 

When it comes to the architecture of EVM, it follows a stack-based system. A total of 1024 items are executed by the EVM as a stacked machine, and out of those 1024 items each item is a word of 256-bit. During this execution, it maintains a memory known as transient memory.

Solidity: It has its own programming language called Solidity, which allows developers to create smart contracts and dApps on the Ethereum network. It is a Turing-complete language, which means it can process any computation, given enough time and processing power.

As the Ethereum blockchain is decentralized, it is necessary for each node to approve the instructions to execute the exact same transaction. This is what precisely makes it a Turing-complete machine because it completes and performs all the logical steps required for computational function.

Instructions: When it comes to the execution of smart contracts, EVM has a set of instructions which are also known as opcodes. The opcodes are non-negotiable instructions that you must follow. They cover everything from arithmetic operations and configurations to contract deployment and management.

Gas: In EVM, there is the concept of gas which works similarly to how a car needs fuel. Thus in EVM a miner needs to be paid some amount in Ether via an intermediary token called gas. Generally, gas is a unit that measures the computational work required to run a smart contract or make transactions. It can be calculated using a formula. In EVM, Gas Limit shows the amount of gas used and the Gas Price shows the Ethers a user requires. 

Bytecode: The Smart Contracts and dApps on EVM are written in low-level bytecode. The bytecode is then translated into a code that is readable by the machine. Once translated, the data is stored in different nodes on the blockchain.

Sandboxed: The Ethereum Virtual Machine is a secure environment that provides users with the assurance that their code is safe from malicious attacks. It is resistant to tampering, as the code running within it is cryptographically signed and validated. This ensures that any code or data stored within the Ethereum Virtual Machine is safe from tampering or manipulation. To make that happen, it works in a sandboxed environment. A sandboxed environment means isolation from the underlying operating system and external resources.

This way, the EVM provides developers with a secure and reliable platform for executing code and ensures the integrity of data and transactions.

Decentralization: The EVM also enables decentralization by allowing users to execute code on the Ethereum network without the need for a central authority. This allows developers to create and deploy dApps and services on the Ethereum network without the need for a third-party or centralized authority.

Benefits of Ethereum Virtual Machine

  • Since the logic is implemented and executed on distributed nodes, there is no chance of ambiguity and error.
  • Allows developers to create and deploy decentralized applications and services on the Ethereum network.
  • Provides a secure and reliable platform for executing smart contracts and other automated services.
  • Enables developers to write code that is resistant to malicious attacks and can be executed without a central authority.
  • Provides a secure sandboxed environment that is resistant to malicious attacks and ensures the integrity of data and transactions.
  • Provides high efficiency in the execution of smart contracts.

People like EVM, people use EVM – absolutely fine until the next generation really proves its mettle.

Gavin Wood, co-founder Ethereum and Polkadot, on Ethereum Virtual Machine

As we just in the nascent stages of web3, the Ethereum blockchain and EVM are very likely to be better and even more efficient and adopted in the future.

Top blockchain companies using EVM 

There are a lot of companies that have been using EVM for enterprise use cases. These companies range from supply and retail to healthcare and insurance. Here is a list of some blockchain companies powered by EVM:

Binance Smart Chain (BNB): Created by famous DEX company Binance, BNB is a blockchain platform that has been created on EVM. It offers faster and cheaper transactions.
Polygon: Formerly known as Matic Network, Polygon is a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum and it was created using EVM.
0x: ERC-20 tokens are non-fungible coins that are exchanged via 0x. 0x is an exchange protocol that is created on EVM.
Uniswap: Perhaps the biggest token exchange platform, Uniswap is created using EVM.
Aave: A noteworthy lending platform integrated with smart contracts is also created on EVM.

Moreover, big names and web2 companies such as Amazon, Metlife, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung are also very much into the new buzzing technology that is EVM. Are you?