Understanding EVM and WASM Smart Contracts: A Comprehensive Comparison

Home / Articles / Understanding EVM and WASM Smart Contracts: A Comprehensive Comparison
Articles / 29 August, 2023

In the realm of blockchain technology and decentralized applications (DApps), smart contracts play a pivotal role by enabling trustless and automated execution of agreements. Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and WebAssembly (WASM) are two prominent platforms that facilitate the creation and execution of smart contracts. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of EVM and WASM smart contracts, comparing their features, benefits, and use cases.

EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) Smart Contracts:

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is the foundational technology that underpins the Ethereum blockchain and serves as a runtime environment for executing smart contracts. EVM smart contracts are written in programming languages like Solidity, Vyper, and LLL. They are deployed on the Ethereum network and operate on the principle of consensus-driven computation. Here’s a breakdown of EVM smart contracts:

1. Language: EVM contracts are primarily written in Solidity, a high-level, statically-typed language designed specifically for Ethereum smart contracts. Vyper is an alternative language that focuses on simplicity and security.

2. Execution: EVM smart contracts are executed sequentially on all nodes within the Ethereum network, which involves significant computational overhead. This design choice prioritizes decentralization but can lead to scalability issues and higher gas costs.

3. Gas: Gas is the unit used to measure computational work in EVM. Every operation in a smart contract consumes a specific amount of gas, which users pay in Ether to incentivize miners to include their transactions in the blockchain.

4. Security: EVM smart contracts have faced security vulnerabilities and exploits in the past due to the complexity of the Solidity language and the nuances of its execution. Auditing and testing are crucial to identify and mitigate such risks.

WASM (WebAssembly) Smart Contracts:

WebAssembly (WASM) is a binary instruction format that allows the execution of code at near-native speed in web browsers. It has been extended beyond browsers to become a versatile platform for running applications outside the web context, including blockchain platforms. WASM smart contracts offer distinct advantages:

1. Language: WASM smart contracts can be written in a variety of programming languages, including C, C++, Rust, and AssemblyScript. This language diversity appeals to a broader developer audience.

2. Execution: WASM contracts are compiled to a common binary format that can be executed efficiently across different platforms. This design promotes faster execution and potentially alleviates some scalability concerns.

3. Gas: Gas fees in WASM-based blockchains are more predictable because the execution cost is more closely tied to the computational resources consumed, rather than the complexity of the code.

4. Security: The separation between the execution environment and the contract code in WASM contributes to enhanced security. Additionally, the use of established programming languages with a focus on safety, like Rust, can reduce the likelihood of vulnerabilities.

Comparing EVM and WASM Smart Contracts:

  1. Scalability: WASM smart contracts hold an advantage due to their potential for more efficient execution across various platforms. This could help mitigate scalability issues experienced by EVM-based networks during periods of high demand.
  2. Developer Adoption: The flexibility of using multiple programming languages in WASM appeals to a wider range of developers, including those with experience outside the blockchain space.
  3. Security: While both platforms require robust auditing and testing, WASM’s design and use of established languages like Rust can contribute to improved security and reduced vulnerabilities.
  4. Ecosystem Maturity: EVM, being older and more established, boasts a larger ecosystem of tools, frameworks, and developer resources. However, WASM is rapidly gaining ground and building its own supportive ecosystem.

Use Cases:

  • EVM: Ethereum’s EVM is widely used for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other DApps that require complex logic and interactions.
  • WASM: WASM-based smart contracts are gaining traction in blockchain platforms like Polkadot and EOS, focusing on scalability, interoperability, and specific use cases like supply chain management.


In the world of blockchain, EVM and WASM smart contracts offer distinct approaches to executing trustless agreements. The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is renowned for pioneering the concept of smart contracts, while WebAssembly (WASM) brings efficiency, security, and language diversity to the realm of blockchain applications. As the blockchain space continues to evolve, both platforms contribute significantly to the development of decentralized solutions, each catering to specific use cases and developer preferences.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The #1 service that can help you
track your crypto portfolio with ease.

Social Media

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x