Open Heart Surgery: Inside Ethereum’s Crucial Replacement of the EVM

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"If you're in the process of building a new client there's a lot of confusion: Should I be building eWASM? Should I be building EVM? Should I be building both? Colvin had been designing a newly improved version of the EVM code himself, named EVM 1.5, which was originally intended to be the future of the ethereum virtual machine. Indeed, the ambiguity involved with code upgrades of this sort has been a source of confusion for a wide group of ethereum developers building on the platform. Case in point, most dapps developers program in ethereum's Solidity, a high-level programming language which automatically compiles into an EVM bytecode compatible form. For instance, developers building on ethereum will be able to code using multiple languages – whatever they're most comfortable with – including those with additional security benefits.

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At the heart of ethereum lies a virtual computer.

Stored across tens of thousands of nodes that make up the platform, the ethereum virtual machine, or EVM, is responsible for executing the countless tokens, dapps, DAOs and digital kittens of which the blockchain is comprised of.

It's an engine on top of which the entirety of ethereum operates, and it speaks in a language named "EVM bytecode" — raw, 256-bit strings of information that can deliver any conceivable equation (providing it falls within the platform's self-imposed limit, gas).

Sounds powerful and important huh? Something not to be messed with too much?

Yet, that integral part of ethereum's infrastructure is gearing up for a complete rewrite.

"I would make the case there wasn't an enormous amount of design thinking put into it at the beginning," Lane Rettig, an ethereum developer, told CoinDesk about the EVM. "It was kind of like a tool – a swiss army knife is the way I would describe...

Read the full article @ Coindesk