Telos EVM - Putting a different engine in your favourite boat
When early explorers like Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Sir Francis Drake took to their ships to cross the Atlantic Ocean in search of better trade routes between Europe and China, they found much more than they hoped for; they discovered a new world!
These early explorers set sail into unknown waters where no one ever dreamed of going. They decided to go against current tradition and knowledge. They had the courage to embrace the unknown. If they did not choose to set sail, who knows where we might be today.
Since the introduction of the first oarsmen powered ships (who rowed with all their might to propel the ship), we have witnessed an evolution of ship designs throughout the centuries. First we had oars, then sails, followed by steam engines, diesel engines and electric powered motors. As the technology got better and better, the ships could travel further, more efficiently with less effort. They became more effective and could accomplish more. The same analogy applies to blockchain.
Blockchain was popularised by the introduction of Bitcoin. Bitcoin established a new decentralised approach toward finance. Bitcoin was limited in its ability. It could get the job done, but it was like the oarsmen powered ships. Bitcoin was slow and expensive. Verifying transactions takes longer and requires a lot of energy to get the job done at a higher cost per transaction.
Following Bitcoin, Ethereum rose to the occasion with its blockchain implementation. Ethereum built upon the foundation laid by Bitcoin and introduced the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The EVM is like the steam engine used to power ships. Revolutionary in its time. Transactions are verified a bit quicker, with less energy than Bitcoin and at a lower cost. It introduced smart contracts, distributed autonomous organisations and decentralised apps (dapps).
The EVM is based on a virtual machine (VM). VMs are machines (computers) that attempt a higher level of abstraction than current operating systems like Windows, macOS, or Linux. VMs are created on top of the host operating system so that they can function in a similar way to a physical computing machine.
VMs approximate the computing power of physical machines using virtual architectures. This enables VMs to run on many different types of OS’s and hardware, making them the perfect engine for a decentralized ecosystem. Through a VM, one can use the available computing resources of participating nodes in the network regardless of physical location or geographical area.
The EVM acts like a global processing unit or computer which is formed by the collective computing power of its network nodes, making the EVM accessible from anywhere in the world. These nodes lend their resources to developers to create smart contracts and dapps, which relies on blockchain.
Due to the popularity of Ethereum, EVM and its programming languages (Solidity and Vyper), they are the dominant smart contract execution and development environments. However, networks such as Ethereum have become nearly unusable for the average user, with slow transaction times and excessive transaction fees.
Telos EVM (tEVM) is an EVM running on the Telos blockchain. Telos blockchain can be described as the diesel and electric engines that power the ships. Telos EVM is more efficient and runs faster at much lower costs per transaction than other blockchain technologies. The Telos EVM allows for Ethereum based dapps to easily deploy on the Telos blockchain with all the benefits of Telos, such as no front-running, faster transaction speeds and low transaction costs.
Telos has been continuously operating since 2018, illustrating the robustness of the underlying technology stack and block producer community. Telos has produced more than 145M blocks, which are 133M more than Ethereum has produced to date.
Telos and other modern blockchains are not based on the classic proof of work (PoW) consensus mechanism, which consumes a lot of energy (a wasteful way to run a blockchain). Ethereum has a carbon footprint the size of Tanzania, due to its proof of work consensus mechanism. Telos make use of a delegated proof of stake (DPoS) mechanism to produce its blocks
Block time and consensus algorithm affect how fast a transaction is finalized, and how interactive dapps can be. Telos has a block time of around 500 ms, compared to Ethereum’s 12-15 second block time. These are only a few examples of the advanced feature-set tEVM has to offer compared to previous technologies.