At its core, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is specialized software designed to process smart contracts on the Ethereum network.

Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s primary focus was not solely on creating a peer-to-peer digital payment network. Instead, Ethereum’s founders, Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, utilized blockchain technology to decentralize various aspects of the internet. They introduced smart contracts, which are self-executing commands that automatically carry out preprogrammed instructions when specific conditions are met.

The EVM serves as the storage, processing, and broadcasting platform for these Ethereum-based smart contracts. Whenever there are changes to smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, the EVM analyzes new transaction data and updates the information on upcoming blocks.

Although the EVM shares similarities with a physical machine, it is not a physical device itself. Instead, the EVM is sustained by the thousands of nodes running the Ethereum blockchain. Every participant running a node on Ethereum is automatically involved in the functioning of the EVM.

Developers who build on the Ethereum platform utilize the EVM to create new projects spanning various industries, including decentralized finance (DeFi) and play-to-earn gaming.

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