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Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)

Give me the basics

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a crucial component of the Ethereum blockchain network. It executes smart contracts and code on the Ethereum blockchain by turning high-level programming languages into machine-readable code. The EVM is a virtual computer that is globally accessible, meaning any node on the Ethereum network can execute code on it. It provides a secure and tamper-proof environment for running decentralized applications (dApps) on the Ethereum network. The EVM also has its own set of rules and instructions, known as the Ethereum Virtual Machine Instruction Set (EVMIS).

In-depth explanation

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a critical component of the Ethereum network that enables the execution of smart contracts. It is a virtual environment that runs on every Ethereum node, and its purpose is to interpret the bytecode of smart contracts and execute them. The EVM is responsible for managing gas, which is the unit of cost for executing smart contracts on the Ethereum network.

The EVM was designed to be a flexible and efficient system, capable of executing any type of smart contract. It allows developers to write smart contracts in multiple programming languages, such as Solidity, Vyper, and others, which are then compiled into bytecode that can be interpreted by the EVM.

One of the key features of the EVM is its ability to execute smart contracts deterministically. This means that the output of a smart contract will always be the same, given the same input parameters, regardless of where or by whom it is executed. This is critical for ensuring the integrity of the Ethereum network and maintaining trust in the system.

Another important feature of the EVM is its ability to manage gas. Gas is used to measure the cost of executing a smart contract on the Ethereum network, and it is paid in Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network. The EVM is responsible for calculating the amount of gas required to execute a smart contract and ensuring that the appropriate amount of Ether is paid to cover the gas costs.

The EVM is constantly evolving, with ongoing improvements being made to enhance its functionality and security. One notable upgrade is the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, which will introduce a new EVM known as eWASM. This new EVM will provide greater flexibility and efficiency in executing smart contracts, enabling the Ethereum network to scale to meet the demands of a growing user base.

In conclusion, the Ethereum Virtual Machine is a critical component of the Ethereum network, enabling the execution of smart contracts and ensuring the integrity and security of the system. Its ability to execute smart contracts deterministically and manage gas costs makes it a flexible and efficient system for developers to create decentralized applications and services on the Ethereum network.