Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)

Learn about the Ethereum computation engine and why it requires “gas.”

Ethereum handles three types of transactions:

  • Regular transaction: A cryptocurrency transfer from one account to another.

  • Contract deployment transaction: A special transaction used to upload a smart contract code into the world state.

  • Contract execution transaction: A transaction used to execute a deployed smart contract computation.

At a higher level, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is part of the Ethereum ecosystem in charge of handling the deployment and execution of the smart contracts (second and third bullets above).

The virtual machine

The EVM is present in every Ethereum node and allows a level of isolation for the physical host computer.

It is a computation engine agnostic of the node’s hardware, operating system, or software providing a runtime environment for smart contracts. By the way, the abstraction provided by the EVM allows large compatibility across a variety of nodes’ systems.

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