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CVM (Chain Virtual Machine) — discontinued

The CVM is a stack-machine for UTxO scripts that goes beyond the functionality provided by conventional Bitcoin scripts:

  • programs can loop, but are bound by resource constraints referred to as the run limit;
  • programs control asset creation, transaction validity, and a programmable consensus protocol; and
  • programs can inspect the outputs of the currently validated transaction and the input the input that they are validating.

The Chain Protocol of which the CVM is a part of, also stipulates the addition of a reference data field for each transaction, input, and output to be able to include arbitrary user-defined data, which can (presumably) be accessed by programs, but that is not entirely precisely specified.

TxVM (Transaction Virtual Machine)

TxVM aims to marry the benefits of Bitcoin’s declarative UTxO model with those of Ethereum’s imperative account-based model. They do this to have a cleaner model of how the blockchain state progresses and also to retain the implicit parallelism of the UTxO model. The idea is that imperative contracts write a transaction log (instead of directly affecting the blockchain state). When a contract finalises its log, the log is committed to the blockchain state. In this model, only during transaction log application is there a sequentialisation due to manipulating a shared mutable state.

The machine model is quite complex, though, including the ability for contract code to manipulate other contracts (as stack objects) and to suspend contract execution in a variety of forms. Moreover, some stack objects and some stack operations are special as they need to obey some uniqueness properties (in dealing with contracts as objects and in dealing with assets on the stack).

Smart contract language: Ivy