file icon

What is Radix Engine?


Radix Engine is Radix’s execution environment (or virtual machine). It works hand in hand with Cerberus, Radix’s consensus layer.

Radix Engine is equivalent to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which is the computer logic that runs smart contracts on Ethereum, but its design is radically different from the EVM and all other smart contract platforms. It is unique and tailor-made to allow for safe DeFi at massive scale

The core of what makes Radix Engine different is the use of well-structured finite state machines (FSMs) to manage tokens and other assets, called resources. Resources are governed by platform-level rules that give tokens on Radix “physical-like” behavior. Just like how a physical coin can’t disappear into thin air, Radix Engine guarantees tokens can never be lost or drained, providing a predictable, easy-to-use set of essential building blocks that take a smart contract developer up to 80% of their time to implement and test on other networks. Tokens on Radix are created or transferred via native function calls of the Radix platform, and the rules surrounding them are inherently understood by the system.  This significantly relieves the burden on developers and frees them to focus on creating secure, predictable financial applications that manage millions of dollars in often highly complex DeFi transactions.

Radix Engine v1 and Radix Engine v2

The first iteration of Radix Engine, Radix Engine v1, was released as part of the Radix Olympia mainnet in July 2021, which “hard-coded”  Radix Engine’s FSM approach into the protocol to provide easy issuance and transactions of both XRD tokens and any tokens created by a third party, using a simple API call rather than custom smart contract logic (like an ERC20 contract).

The second iteration of Radix Engine, Radix Engine v2, went live with Radix’s Babylon mainnet upgrade in September 2023. This brought  true “smart contract” programmability to the Radix Engine approach for developers. Developers can now access the power of Radix Engine’s asset-oriented, FSM-based approach to financial assets and dApps through our custom-built programming language, called Scrypto. Scrypto allows the rapid creation of a full range of DeFi applications, assets, and functionality while relieving the developer of the tremendous risks and complexities of a lot of typical smart contract development today.

If you’re a developer and are interested in creating your own Blueprint or Component, you can check out the Developer Hub to get started on all things Scrypto.

Get Started:

  • Join the Radix Developer Program here.
  • Start building with Scrypto by checking out our technical docs here.

Further reading: