What Is An Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)? Explain in Minutes


The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a fundamental component of Ethereum that plays a crucial role in the operation of the blockchain and smart contracts. In this guide, CoinMinutes will provide an in-depth analysis of the EVM, explaining what it is and how it works.

What Is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)?

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a computational engine developed to manage blockchain state and enable integration with smart contracts. Each Ethereum node will have its own EVM integrated to ensure the security of blockchain decentralization.

Just like Software Developers must use IDEs (Integrated Development Environments such as Microsoft Visual Studio or Xcode) to write code and package applications. These IDEs then translate the code into a language the computer can understand.

Normally, Ethereum smart contracts are written in the Solidity programming language, so EVMs will play the role of translating code into bytecode. Bytecode is similar to computer source code and in it will be stored opcodes (operation code) so that the Ethereum network can directly understand and execute control commands.

How Is the EVM Designed?

In the simplest terms, EVM is a decentralized CPU that represents the current state of Ethereum. Accordingly, the current state of the Ethereum virtual machine is a collection of blockchain processes linked and encrypted into the main network.

EVM is designed with a stack-based architecture, everything is stored in the stack, word size is 256-bit. The components that store information on EVM are divided into 3 parts

  • A fixed ROM code that cannot be changed. Loaded with the smart contract code bytes when processing the contract.
  • A short-term memory. When you want to save on Solidity, use the memory keyword
  • A long-term memory. When you want to save on Solidity, use the keyword storage

How Does the EVM Operate?

Ethereum uses its own cryptocurrency Ether (ETH) and follows nearly all intuitive rules, while also having much more powerful smart contract functionality. This feature is quite complex, requiring a more complex analogy. Ethereum instead of a distributed number is a decentralized state machine; with a large data structure, containing all assets and balances, the machine state, can change from block to block based on a predefined set of rules, and can execute optional machine code. The Ethereum Virtual Machine will help define specific rules for changing state from one block to another.

Ethereum virtual machine works like a mathematical function: given an input, it produces a specified output. From there, Ethereum has a state transition function.

Formula: Y(S, T)= S’

In which: The old valid state (S) and the set of new valid transactions (T), the Ethereum state transition function Y(S, T) thereby creates the new valid output state S’.


According to Ethereum’s definition, the State is a giant data structure – Merkle Patricia Trie – that is modified and keeps every account linked together by a hash function, which can be reduced to a root hash function. uniquely stored on the Blockchain.


Transactions are cryptographically signed transactions and instructions of accounts.

Transactions are of two types: transactions that lead to call messages and transactions that lead to smart contract creation.

Creating a contract will entail creating a new contract account, with the smart contract bytecode, compiled. Every account that makes a message call to that contract, will execute its bytecode.

How Does Gas Relate to the Performance of EVM?

Ethereum’s creators wanted to ensure that someone couldn’t clog the network with an infinite loop, or all the network resources with truly powerful computation. They do so transactions are not free, and users have to pay for computation time as well as storage. That fee is calculated by Gas/Gas Price.

Ethereum will assign a cost to gas units to perform a mathematical operation. For example, here it will take 3 gas units to execute a multiplication operation. You can see that every operation takes a unit of gas and these operations are low order operations. The code you write in Solidity is converted into computer code as low-level code, and then the rates are applied.

By using Gas transaction fees, two main problems are solved: Validators guarantee receipt of the initial prepayment, even if mining fails. Miners can use mining capacity below the amount previously paid. Instead of repeating indefinitely, mining will continue until the Gas fee runs out.

Pros and Cons of EVM


Based on how the Ethereum virtual machine works, some advantages of EVM can be listed as follows:

  • Cross-platform: EVM is a standalone virtual machine that provides an environment for executing smart contracts on many different systems.
  • Security: EVM uses an access permission and resource management model to ensure that applications and smart contracts cannot communicate directly with external components without permission.
  • Flexible: EVM uses the main language Solidity, which is a commonly used language in developing smart contracts on the Ethereum platform.
  • Easy to Use: EVM’s interface is very friendly for developers and users when executing smart contracts on Ethereum.
  • Scalability: EVM supports easy model expansion and is capable of interacting with different types of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.


Despite the many advantages offered by EVM, certain disadvantages need to be considered by developers and entrepreneurs building on Ethereum. The most important of these is the high transaction fees or gas costs associated with running smart contracts on the Ethereum network.

  • Performance: EVM performance can be limited due to a lack of resources such as gas costs
  • Transaction Costs: Executing smart contracts on EVM requires payment of transaction gas fees.


Above is a detailed article about the Ethereum Virtual Machine that Coinminutes has compiled for you. EVM has contributed significantly to the growth and expansion of the Ethereum network as well as promoting the creation and adoption of blockchain technology in many fields. Hopefully, the article has brought useful information to you!

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Chi Do
Chi Do
Chi Do is a content writer at CoinMinutes, responsible for creating most of the content on the website, including news related to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Blockchain, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and more. With a keen interest in cryptocurrencies since the 2020s, Chi has acquired extensive experience and knowledge in this field. Chi holds a Bachelor's degree in communication from Academy of Journalism and Communication in Vietnam.

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