What is Virtual Machine?

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A virtual machine is a type of software that simulates all aspects of a physical computer system including an operating system, memory, storage and (virtual) network connections. 

Since virtual machines are self-contained, they are often used to conduct risky experiments without the danger of spreading risk outside of the VM. 

What is an example of a Virtual Machine? 

Ethereum has its own virtual machine upon which all nodes must be run. This means that in order to run an Ethereum node you must connect to a virtualized version of the same computer system. Hence why Ethereum is sometimes referred to as a “world computer.” 

This also makes Ethereum less prone to DDOS (Distributed-denial-of-service) attacks since the nodes exist within their own unique environment. 

Does Bitcoin use a Virtual Machine? 

Bitcoin does not use a virtual machine at the core protocol. However, individual users can participate and run their own nodes on their own virtual machines should they choose to.