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What Are Ethereum Virtual Machines and Why Should You Care?

As we move towards Web3, the next iteration of the internet, there has been a lot of talk about the benefits of interoperability and the need to connect different ecosystems and blockchains that currently operate in silos. Virtual Machines (VMs) are playing a big role in this. Haven’t heard of them? Never fear! We recently did a tweet series explaining their benefits, specifically related to Ethereum Virtual Machines. Check out the post below for a full recap!

A VM is a computer that runs on the blockchain and allows smart contracts from multiple sources to interact with one another. A smart contract is simply an agreement, expressed as code, executed on the blockchain, and the language it uses is blockchain platform-specific. To run smart contracts on different blockchain platforms, we need VMs to allow smart contracts written in one language to run another blockchain which saves time and costs compared to rewriting and testing new smart contracts or even requiring developers to learn a new programming language.

Imagine you’re a decentralized application (dApp) developer who has just launched an app on a leading public blockchain platform after months of research and coding. The number of users has skyrocketed since the dApp’s launch. Instead of becoming complacent, you begin to think about what’s next. You might consider moving the dApp to another blockchain platform to explore new opportunities and grow your user base. That’s where VMs come in. They help developers to instantly integrate their dApps into different platforms with a programming language they are already familiar with. By giving developers access to networks, VMs facilitate decentralized ecosystems and give them more computing power. Developers can then leverage the networks they are connected to to create smart contracts and dApps. 

Ontology already has its own VM, and also supports Wasm and NeoVM. This summer, we announced that we had completed the development of our Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The EVM is the most popular and widely used VM, supporting a huge variety of dApps.

Ontology’s EVM will bring many benefits to users by:

  • Increasing interoperability between Ontology and Ethereum; developers will be able to seamlessly migrate assets between both blockchains.
  • Allowing users to access EVM-based projects deployed on Ontology, whilst enjoying lower gas fees and faster block production.
  • Enabling Ethereum developers to build using Ontology’s decentralized identity and data protocols.
  • Increase Ontology’s functionality by adding an Ethereum account system, Ethereum transaction types, and Web3 APIs. 

Our EVM recently launched on TestNet and opened its EVM-compatible public beta for developers. To help refine our TestNet, we set up a bug bounty with Slow Mist, which allows people to earn rewards for identifying vulnerabilities, with a top prize of $12,000 of $ONG.

In addition to Ontology’s EVM TestNet, the Ontology Blockchain Explorer, Developer Documentation Center, and Ontology EVM-supported Web3 API are also being upgraded, which will incentivize Ethereum developers to deploy dApps on the TestNet. Developers can also use the Ontology Bridge to convert Ontology’s native OEP4 tokens to ORC20 tokens and add them to their MetaMask wallets and then deploy dApps. 

We hope you’re excited for the full launch of our EVM and we look forward to sharing more updates. For now, if you’re interested in learning more about our EVM development, you can check out our Medium series: “Everything You Need To Know About Ontology EVM Contract Development”.