What is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)?
Ethereum, which is the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, due to the presence of smart contracts and a huge number of applications located on it, is the most popular blockchain for the deployment of smart contracts and decentralized applications because bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency that appeared, does not support smart contracts.
Ethereum uses its own programming language Solidity and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for developers.
The Ethereum blockchain continues to attract developers of decentralized applications (dApps) due to its flexibility, a wide range of available tools for developers, a developed ecosystem and a large user base of the platform. The popularity of the Ethereum blockchain attracts both ordinary users and developers.
However, the Solidity language has its drawbacks. Not all programmers know this language and in order to run an application on the Ethereum blockchain, it is necessary to study Solidity specifically. To solve this problem, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) was created.
EVM is a program running on top of the Ethereum network that can run different programs encoded in any programming language.
This allows developers to easily create custom smart contracts and dApps for the growing Web3 space, making the Ethereum blockchain easy to work with and accessible to all developers, regardless of what programming language they use.
EVM has access to all network nodes, manages the execution of smart contracts and efficiently processes all transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. These features make EVM one of the most powerful virtual machines that exist today.
EVM was developed by Gavin Wood. EVM not only determines what nodes can or cannot do with the distributed registry supported by the Ethereum blockchain, but also defines specific rules for changing the state from block to block.
EVM contains information about various accounts supported in the Ethereum blockchain. All actions within the blockchain are regulated by the EVM code.
EVM is responsible for the interaction and integration of work between thousands of Ethereum nodes and code execution. The program ensures consistency of results without disclosing details to clients or nodes.
The purpose of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
EVM reliably ensures high performance of all dApps running on the Ethereum network. For developers, EVM works as a comprehensive program that runs smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, giving them the freedom to write smart contracts in various programming languages, including Solidity, Vyper, Python and Yul, and others.
Thanks to the flexibility offered by EVM, thousands of dApps in the sphere of DeFi and NFT are located on the Ethereum blockchain. Each of these dApps and the smart contracts they consist of are converted into bytecode, which is fed into the EVM and distributed among all nodes in the Ethereum network.
When a smart contract is deployed on the blockchain, the EVM is responsible for communicating with all nodes and changing the state when consensus is reached.
EVM is plugged into each Ethereum node to execute smart contracts using bytecode instead of the basic programming language, thus isolating the physical host computer from the machine code on which Ethereum runs.
Advantages of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
Thanks to EVM, the code created by the developers does not affect the rest of the network.
EVM can run complex smart contracts in various computing environments with distributed consensus.
Thanks to this feature, the failure of one node will not have any negative impact on the operation of the dApp or smart contract, since the EVM code remains the same on all nodes.
The inviolability of the result makes EVM well suited for the sustainable expansion of the dApps ecosystem and smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
It should be noted that the Ethereum ecosystem is constantly expanding. The library of standard codes available to developers to choose from is growing, new Layer2 blockchains compatible with EVM are emerging, which makes the Ethereum blockchain more scalable, and the number of possible EVM use cases is increasing.
Thanks to all these qualities, the Ethereum blockchain, together with EVM, is the preferred platform for Web 3 development.
Disadvantages of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
Despite the many advantages offered by EVM, there are certain disadvantages that hinder the mass adoption of the Ethereum blockchain.
The most significant of them is the high transaction fees or gas costs associated with the launch of a smart contract on the Ethereum network.
The amount of commissions depends on the complexity of the contract and the workload of the network at the time of execution, which significantly increases the costs of both developers and application users.
Since Solidity is the most preferred language for programming in EVM, this means that developers must have sufficient experience with it and have some technical knowledge to create smart contracts.
If developers prefer to code in other languages, they need to be careful when eliminating any repetitions in the code, as EVM will continue compiling them. This involves the security risks of a smart contract.
Despite the revolutionary changes made by EVM to the blockchain ecosystem, this technology of reading and executing code is being improved by a number of blockchains.
Since cross-chain compatibility is the most important aspect for developers, many blockchains compatible with EVM have begun to develop. Most of them offer lower fees and higher transaction speeds than the Ethereum blockchain.
As a result, these blockchains can seamlessly interact with Ethereum users and facilitate transfers of funds to their own networks using blockchain bridges.