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Is Cardano EVM Compatible (Explained)

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Cardano has the ambitious vision of becoming a world-leading social and financial operating system.

It builds on the shortcomings of Ethereum, looking to make transactions cheaper, faster and scalable. It also wants to increase interoperability between blockchains.

But, is it compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machines or EVMs?

Is Cardano EVM Compatible?

Cardano is now EVM compatible, using the K EVM. The K EVM program employed by Cardano is a ‘correct-by-construction’ EVM built using rules defined in the K Framework.

This VM is Cardano’s way of growing and expanding its interoperability to the Solidity/Ethereum community.

Cardano restarted and accelerated this project in late November 2021, upgrading its devnet compatibility with Ethereum to include the Berlin hard fork and resetting its chain back to the Genesis block.

If you’re looking to build on the Cardano network, you can use the K framework to create formally-verified programming languages or virtual machines.

You can also easily define a programming language and implement it using modules. 

This framework can also create your virtual machines using its formal specifications and is still fast and powerful enough to run apps and smart contracts.

Cardano’s long-term vision with the K Framework is to build a plug-and-play environment for new VMs.

Besides that, dcSpark has developed Milkomeda, a sidechain bridge that will connect Cardano to the Ethereum network.

Using a VM, dcSpark will connect Cardano to Ethereum and use Wrapped Cardano (wADA) as the native asset that pays for transaction fees.

dcSpark also intends to build other sidechains that connect Cardano to Solana, Polkadot, and additional layer 1 networks. dcSpark moved on with these plans shortly after the Alonzo hard fork on September 12, 2021. 

Also read: Is Cardano Faster Than Solana?

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What Does EVM Compatible Mean?

EVM stands for Ethereum Virtual Machine. An EVM is a state machine that Ethereum clients maintain within the network.

It’s also responsible for executing smart contracts and other transactions to compute the state of the network for each new block added to the chain.

So, what’s an EVM-compatible blockchain?

An EVM compatible chain creates an environment that supports code execution in an environment similar to Ethereum’s Virtual Machines.

So, instead of developers building solutions and protocols from scratch, they can build them faster and deploy them to the blockchain quicker.

This means lower gas fees for users, faster transaction settlement, and a more user-friendly environment. It also helps users transition from Ethereum to other blockchains and vice versa.

Does Cardano Have a Virtual Machine?

Cardano has a virtual machine, also known as the K EVM. 

What Programming Language Does Cardano Use?

Cardano uses Haskell. 

Haskell isn’t a popular language and ranks 27th on the Popularity of Programming Languages Index.

So why did Cardano choose it?

Functional Programming

Haskell is an excellent language for functional programming, and it emphasizes pure functions that always give the same results for the same inputs.

That way, you can always be sure your code is correct and easy to test for correctness.

Since Cardano’s vision is to become a global social and financial system, correctness enhances its reliability. 

Smart Contracts

Cardano’s Plutus and Marlowe smart contracts are easy to implement on Haskell.

That’s because of its precision and verification ability, offering high levels of assurance to users. Also, Haskell makes smart contracts secure and enterprise-grade.


Cardano inherits rich research from the Haskell ecosystem, which means they don’t have to start from scratch to build or implement new and untested smart contract language. 

What Blockchain is Cardano on?

Cardano runs on the Ouroboros blockchain protocol, a proof-of-stake protocol that uses a unique set of tools to guarantee Cardano’s longevity, performance, and integrity. 

Features of Ouroboros

Here are some unique features on Ouroboros:


To keep the Ouroboros protocol running and secure, you can delegate your ADA to a stake pool or run a stake pool. You’ll earn ADA rewards that incentivize you to participate even further.


The Ouroboros protocol is verifiably secure 51% against attacks as long as honest users maintain 51% of the stake, alongside other features like random leader selection.

Energy Efficiency

The Ouroboros protocol is highly energy-efficient, achieving consensus and scale sustainably with more than four million times less energy than Bitcoin.

Also read: Is Shiba eco-friendly?

Is Cardano Ethereum compatible?

Because of the K EVM, Cardano is now compatible with Ethereum.

Does Cardano Support Smart Contracts?

Cardano supports smart contracts.

After the Alonzo hard fork, Cardano can now support smart contracts on its mainnet. There are about 930 smart contracts on the Cardano network in this writing.

Developers are now adopting Cardano to develop apps and smart contracts on their network, although Ethereum remains unchallenged in this space.

Does Cardano have DeFi? 

Cardano supports hundreds of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) projects on its chain and many more are underway.

MuesliSwap just went live on the Cardano mainnet on January 2, 2022, and SundaeSwap is set to join them soon.

MuesliSwap has over $890,000 total value locked on the Cardano network, which is currently 100% of Cardano’s DeFi ecosystem.

Will Cardano have DeFi?

With the launch of MuesliSwap, it already does and is only set to go up from here.

Is Cardano Better than Ethereum?

At this point, Cardano is better than Ethereum on two levels:

Energy Consumption

Cardano uses the revolutionary Ouroboros protocol, which is more energy-efficient than Ethereum. 

Gas Fees

At this writing, gas fees in the Cardano network were a paltry $0.22, making them affordable. While Ethereum fees depend on the network’s speed, they range anywhere between $34 and $70, which can be expensive on some transactions.

Ethereum 2.0 is set to come and change these factors soon. However, Ethereum remains the most dominant of the two.

Final Thoughts

Cardano, through the KEVM framework, has created a bridge between Ethereum and itself. However, it doesn’t need an EVM to implement smart contracts. Instead, it uses its native framework to create secure and verifiable smart contracts.

Although Cardano challenges the existence of Ethereum, it’s not yet big enough. Unless Ethereum 2.0 never comes, Cardano remains a serious decentralized contender to replace Ethereum.