- The EVM is used to execute smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
- The fees it charges for executing these smart contracts are called gas fees.
In very simple terms, one can think of EVM as the heart of Ethereum. Although there are many things that take place in the workings of Ethereum, EVM is one of the most important of them. This machine is also used by many other blockchains that are based on Ethereum, for example, Avalanche, Polygon, and Phantom. This makes it very important to understand this blockchain. So let’s start by understanding the meaning of this machine.
What is an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)
EVM is basically an accumulation of thousands of computers around the world. What all these computers are doing is running various smart contracts. These smart contracts are written on the Ethereum blockchain. Smart contracts basically work on conditions. These conditions are very basic, on which all the codes run, which are if and Then. So you can write a code in a smart contract that says that if this condition is met, then this action should be taken. For example, you must have heard that many organisations use smart contracts to send money to a lot of clients at once. So in this example, a simple smart contract might have been created with information that, If clicked on, would transfer money to all accounts.
This is how smart contracts work. Now these smart contracts are written in a language called Solidity. This language is an intermediary between humans and machines because humans can not instruct machines in binary language.
For smart contracts to function correctly, some instructions are provided called OP Codes or Operational Codes. To run these codes, users need to pay some fees, which are called gas fees.
The Advantages of the EVM(Ethereum Virtual Machine)
Security: EVM guarantees security to all computers if any user runs a programme that contains viruses. This machine will automatically detect that code and eliminate it.
Complex Smart Contracts: EVM is specially designed to run complex smart contracts. One can write smart contracts and run them on multiple platforms because, as we discussed earlier, not only Ethereum, but a lot of blockchains that are built on the Ethereum platform also use EVM to run. This provides better interoperability and cross-linkage.
Easy to write smart contracts: Ethereum is a blockchain that not only provides a base for several other blockchains but decentralised autonomous organisations are also built on this blockchain. Many organisations choose Ethereum for their projects because it is very easy to write contracts on Ethereum, and this is because Ethereum uses EVM.
Although EVM has a lot of utilities to provide to the blockchain ecosystem, there are also some disadvantages that this system faces, which are as follows:
Disadvantages of EVM
EVM is used to store data on the blockchain. But storing this data on this computer is not easy. The data can take up to 3 TB to store. Maintaining this data is a very energy-consuming task and it is very expensive to function.
The cost of doing transactions on Ethereum is not easy because it depends on the complexities of the transactions. Those transactions that are highly complex require high computations, and hence high gas fees are charged.
The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a critical component of the Ethereum blockchain, responsible for executing smart contracts through thousands of computers worldwide. It ensures security, enables complex smart contracts, and facilitates ease of development. However, EVM faces challenges with data storage and high gas fees for complex transactions, which must be addressed for broader scalability and adoption.