Filecoin’s official document introduces a three-minute overview of the Filecoin virtual machine

On March 28, the Filecoin official blog published an article introducing the EVM-compatible Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM), which aims to introduce the programmability of smart contracts to the Filecoin network. After the article was published, the Filecoin token surged 20%.

According to reports, the native code language of FVM is WASM (WebAssembly), which will first be compatible with EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine). With FVM, the Filecoin network gains computing power in addition to its existing storage capabilities.

In addition, Filecoin also released the FVM roadmap. FVM will be launched in stages. It plans to introduce protocol forks in the first quarter of 2022, and introduce preparatory adjustments before developers can program it, including gas mechanism and architectural adjustments. Introduce programmability, redesign system roles and deeper protocol changes to make it easier to program against system roles.

Golden Finance takes you a quick look at the Filecoin virtual machine.

The Filecoin network is a robust platform for verifiably storing and accessing NFTs, public product datasets, web3 and Metaverse assets, and more. Think of it as the I/O layer of web3. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. More value and potential can be unlocked by bringing general smart contract programmability to the Filecoin network. Hierarchical computing on top of storage also opens up new dimensions for cross-chain interoperability and integration in a trustless manner.

Recently, Protocol Labs researcher Raúl Kripalani introduced the Filecoin community to the Filecoin Virtual Machine, a core pillar of the next evolution of the decentralized storage ecosystem.

Why Filecoin Introduces Smart Contracts

Smart contracts—or actors as we call them in Filecoin—can power smart and dynamic storage solutions that are difficult to create using web2 technologies. Examples include:

  • Decentralized computation on data stored in Filecoin (run computation where the data is stored, not move it)
  • Data preservation crowdfunding (e.g. everyone can fund the storage of socially important data such as crime statistics or environmental warming)
  • Smarter storage marketplaces (for example, dynamically priced storage by time of day, replication level, or availability within regions)
  • Multigenerational storage and permanent hosting (e.g. storing data spanning multiple generations)
  • Data DAOs and dataset tokenization (e.g. modeling the value of data as tokens and forming DAOs to coordinate and proxy computations performed on them)
  • Locally stored NFTs (i.e. co-existing the contents of NFTs with a registry that tracks them)
  • Time-locked retrieval (e.g. unlocking the dataset only when company public results are available)
  • Collateralized loans (e.g., loans to storage providers for specific purposes, such as accepting FIL+ transactions from specific customers, or onboarding capabilities within specific time windows)

and more.

They also enable developers to create bridges for cross-chain interoperability as a means to share liquidity and connect applications deployed in other chains (e.g. Ethereum, NEAR, Polygon, Solana, Flow, etc.) with the Filecoin network.

Storage as Tier 0

The current Filecoin platform is centered on data storage and retrieval. These two properties form layer 0 of the protocol.

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The system is simple and straightforward, but not enough for developers looking to build more complex applications and solutions through user-programmable smart contracts.

The upper layer, layer 1, is where the programmability of smart contracts resides. Currently, the logic of the Filecoin network is hardcoded through system-defined actors. This means that user-defined smart contracts can only be used in Filecoin, via external bridges to other programmable blockchains like Ethereum and NEAR (via solutions like Textile Bridges). The Filecoin Virtual Machine brings native user-defined actors (sctors) into the Filecoin network.

Ethereum-compatible Filecoin virtual machine

The latest technical discussions begin in June 2021 under Filecoin Improvement Proposal 113. The Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) aims to be a polyglot VM, drawing inspiration from the concept of a hypervisor to build a multi-VM design. Many approaches were considered, including adopting EVM as-is, LLVM-IR, eBPF, Secure EcmaScript, etc.

The native core of FVM is WASM. We believe that WASM has a strong and promising future in the blockchain space. This choice makes it possible to write native actors in any programming language that compiles to WASM (though not all languages ​​are suitable; the reference SDK is built in Rust). This enables web2 developers to join web3 faster by allowing us to meet them where they are today and avoid language-specific learning curves.

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Additionally, we are adding support for emulating external runtimes, the first being the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The motivation for this choice was that the Filecoin developer community asked FVM to support EVM/Solidity with zero to minimal changes to the source code.

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Over time, we’ve seen the Ethereum community build a plethora of useful and (most importantly) audited and battle-tested smart contracts such as ERC-20 tokens, NFTs, DAOs, flash loans, and more. The possibility of reusing these contracts will start the Cambrian explosion of innovative, composable solutions in Filecoin. Additionally, the ability for Solidity developers to connect solutions across chains through bridges and oracles increases their collective value and utility.

Another thing to note is that EVM compatibility is for the bytecode layer, thus preserving the ability to take full advantage of mature Ethereum toolchains in the Filecoin environment, such as Truffle, Remix, Hardhat, VSCode plugins, etc. In addition to deploying existing smart contracts, developers can write new Actors in Solidity to get started quickly, or upgrade to use native Actors when performance optimizations are needed.

Expanding the reach of the Filecoin network

With FVM, the Filecoin network gains computing power in addition to its existing storage capacity. We envision two types of computations running on the Filecoin network: state-based on-chain computation and data-based off-chain computation. FVM is a key component of both.

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Some of the use cases emerging on Filecoin include:

Data-Centric Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (Data DAOs): By pooling resources from individuals and organizations, people will be able to incentivize the preservation, management, augmentation, and processing of datasets of shared interest and/or public goods. Data DAOs use tokens and NFTs as units to represent and compound value, and exchange these tokens to demand services, grant access, etc.

Replication Client: Incentivizes automated bots to ensure that data in the Filecoin network remains replicated to a certain degree, based on user-defined policies.

New storage markets: Based on auctions, bounties, or other tools, storage markets may apply error-correcting codes to data to ensure its recoverability in the event of disruption. They can also enable automatic retry of transactions to ensure data delivery.

Mortgage Loans: Provide trustless and/or purposeful mortgage loans to suppliers, for example, the funds lent can only be used to accept FIL+ transactions from specific customers.

Data computing: A big problem in large-scale computing is the transfer of data, which increases the cost and latency of each operation. Parallelizable jobs can be executed in an efficient manner by pushing computation jobs to storage providers that host the data, and rewarding coordinating nodes for strategizing/planning execution across the Filecoin network, and storing the results back on the Filecoin network, on which Enables further downstream computations.

Additionally, FVM will, for the first time, enable Layer 2 (L2) solutions running on the Filecoin network to submit their state to Layer 1 (L1), leading to more secure and traceable side and overlay networks. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), Reputation Systems, and Payment Channel Networks are some of the L2 solutions that I would particularly like to see run on Filecoin.

Development Roadmap

The near-term stages of the FVM development roadmap are as follows:

Phase 0: Canary launch of non-programmable FVM on mainnet, after feature flags or forks of the reference implementation (Lotus), only running system actors. Compatible with existing chains without protocol upgrades. Delivery of this phase is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.

Phase 1: Protocol forks to introduce preparatory changes ahead of user programmability, including gas schedules and architectural tweaks. By the end of this phase, 100% of the network should be running FVM-enabled system participants.This phase is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of 2022.

Phase 2: Introducing user programmability for native and foreign EVM participants. This phase is scheduled to go live in the second quarter of 2022.

Phase 3: Redesign of system actors and deeper protocol changes to make it easier to program system actors. This phase is scheduled to go live in the second quarter of 2022.

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Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/filecoins-official-document-introduces-a-three-minute-overview-of-the-filecoin-virtual-machine/
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