The virtual environment within a blockchain where transactions are processed, and accounts and smart contracts live. The execution environment is also responsible for determining the rules that dictate how each block updates the state, known as a state transition function.
All blockchains have execution environments, however their functionality may vary based on how they are implemented. For example, the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) is Ethereum’s native execution environment, where Ethereum transactions are executed, and accounts and smart contracts live. The EVM has also been implemented by other blockchains which allows smart contracts to be written in EVM-based programming languages, such as solidity.