EVM Equivalence: Unveiling Hedera's Strategy for Enhanced Programmability and Network Adoption
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Jun 05, 2023
by Nana Essilfie-Conduah
Smart Contracts Engineering & Experience
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by Brady Gentile
Director of Marketing, Web3 Application Ecosystems

Let's explore the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) equivalence and Hedera's strategic approach to ensuring robust programmability for applications and ecosystems across the network. Hedera's EVM approach is designed to empower developers by facilitating the execution of smart contracts more rapidly and cost-effectively while exposing seamless integration of Hedera’s native services.

Today, the EVM and its associated programming languages (Solidity and Vyper) are widely utilized across the Web3 landscape, with an abundance of resources available for EVM tooling, libraries, and environments. Leveraging the HyperLedger Besu EVM client, Hedera aims to empower developers by allowing them to capitalize on their existing Solidity expertise while benefiting from Hedera's unique strengths, such as faster transactions, low and fixed fees, fair transaction ordering, immediate finality, and heightened security.

As seen on Stack Overflow Trends, adoption of Solidity as a programming language continues to rise in popularity, and we anticipate this trend to continue. The plethora of educational programs, tools, and resources already available for the EVM ecosystem will continue to help developers on Hedera ensure a frictionless path to adoption.


This approach not only offers a seamless transition for developers already working with EVM-based platforms, but also guarantees enhanced programmability and ease of use for existing Hedera developers building applications and ecosystems on the network. We firmly believe that attaining EVM equivalence is vital for unlocking the full programmability potential of the Hedera network and simplifying adoption for developers.

Okay, but, what about Hedera’s native services? Is Hedera leaving those behind? Worry not — Hedera's vision for EVM equivalence aims to capture the best of both worlds: robust programmability using familiar EVM tools, libraries, and environments, combined with the unmatched speed, security, and fairness offered by hashgraph consensus and Hedera's native services. Let’s dive in!

Let’s Talk EVM: Tooling, Libraries, and Environments

We understand that many developers have already invested time and resources into learning the EVM ecosystem. Our goal is to make the transition to Hedera as smooth as possible by providing support for developers to utilize the Hedera network without having to learn a new set of tools or languages. This includes the development of interfaces and tools that allow for seamless integration with existing EVM development environments, such as Truffle, HardHat, Web3js, and EthersJS, as well as retail adoption of wallets, such as MetaMask, and indexing tools like The Graph.

To enable these tools, Hedera has created and open-sourced a Hedera-specific JSON-RPC Relay codebase. This codebase has been implemented as a free community service offering called Hashio, released by Swirlds Labs, and is currently being picked up by commercial JSON-RPC Relay infrastructure providers to create a robust ecosystem of highly available offerings, with additional functionalities like transaction monitoring, notifications, and security.

The Best of Both: Seamlessly Integrating Hedera-Native Services into the EVM

Hedera core contributors are dedicated to not only supporting EVM developers through JSON-RPC, but also to advancing Hedera-native features and seamlessly integrating them within the EVM for enhanced programmability where feasible and secure.

Hedera Token Service

This process involves incorporating the Hedera Token Service into smart contracts. The Hedera Token Service, which has already been integrated through HIP-206, HIP-358, HIP-376, and HIP-514, enables the configuration, minting, and management of fungible and non-fungible tokens mapped to ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards. A description of each function that’s been added, along with the release version has been documented in GitHub. A prime example of this integration is how tokens minted on Hedera can be managed by a smart contract and are even interpreted as ERC-20 or ERC-721 by smart contracts that call on these tokens for robust programmability and application types.

Hashgraph consensus' distinctive features — fair transaction ordering, consensus timestamps, and low, fixed fee economics — are retained in this integration, thus supporting native MEV resistance for decentralized finance.

Hedera Consensus Service

Moreover, the integration of the Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) into the EVM (proposed in HIP-478) enables smart contracts to read from and write to topics and messages created by the service. Achieved through EVM-compatible system contracts that interact directly with the HCS, this integration allows developers to build dynamic, decentralized applications that harness Hedera's unique decentralized logging capabilities.

Integrating HCS enables smart contracts on Hedera to take even greater advantage of Hedera's unique hashgraph consensus mechanism, delivering speed, security, and fairness, as well as real-time information sharing and distributed decision-making. This empowers developers to create various sophisticated applications, such as decentralized voting systems, supply chain management solutions, and data-driven prediction markets, all fueled by the Hedera Consensus Service and harmoniously integrated within the EVM ecosystem.

Hybrid Enables the Best of Both

While prioritizing equivalence with existing EVM-based smart contracts, our goal is to highlight the unique advantages of Hedera's native features through EVM-compatible system contracts. This approach allows developers to utilize Hedera's network and consensus capabilities within the EVM ecosystem.

Ultimately, this fusion showcases how Hedera's native capabilities can surpass the historical limitations of ERC-only approaches, offering developers compelling reasons to choose Hedera over alternative blockchain networks.

Looking to the Future

Hedera core contributors believe that achieving this vision for EVM equivalence will enable a wider range of application programmability without sacrificing Hedera’s unique value. This strategy enables developers to take advantage of the network's superior performance while maintaining equivalence with the EVM ecosystem. We look forward to welcoming new developers from other EVM-based chains and continuing to support our existing developer community as we work together to shape Hedera’s evolution.

To participate in the discussion and contribute to the development of Hedera’s EVM by visiting the Hedera Improvement Proposals (HIPs) home at https://hips.hedera.com. In addition, you can join the community in the official Hedera discord at https://www.hedera.com/discord.

Stay tuned for more updates on our progress toward EVM equivalence, the JSON-RPC Relay, and the exciting developments we have planned for the Hedera ecosystem. Together, we’ll continue to push the Hedera network forward and provide developers with the tools and infrastructure they need to build the next generation of the web.