Avalanche (AVAX) is a fully open-source platform for launching decentralized (finance) applications. Enterprises can build their own customisable blockchain that fits their needs (private & public), in an interoperable and highly scalable ecosystem.
Avalanche was created by Ava labs, enabling enterprises or basically anyone to create and deploy decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and custom public & private blockchains. It’s focused around resolving an issue many earlier blockchains camp with: centralization, scalability and high transaction fees, using the Avalanche consensus protocol.
Avalanche saw a lot of traction earlier this year thanks to being one of the most scalable blockchains around. Especially DeFi users have been using their smart contracts for buying, selling, trading / swapping & staking cryptocurrency. We’ve tested this ourselves as well and haven’t had a single transaction fail when swapping our assets. In fact, we’re currently seeing more projects initially launch on Avalanche rather than the Ethereum Network for these reasons.
Avalanche (AVAX) can be used for multiple reasons. Though, it’s mainly seen traction in the DeFi space. In fact, for example Pangolin and Zero Exchange launched on Avalanche, which are automated market maker platforms similar to Uniswap and Pancakeswap for swapping assets and providing liquidity.
Like Polkadot, Solana and various other blockchains, Avalanche uses the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. 80% parameterized enabling thousands of nodes to power their network. Making it much more decentralized than many other networks around.
Validators that want to join the network specify the node’s ID, when they want to start & stop validating, how many AVAX is staked, the address to send rewards to & the delegation fee rate.
Those interested in staking their AVAX to an exiting node, can choose to do so to our partner’s node (Château Crypto), one of the nodes with the highest uptime available and lowest fee allowed by the network (2%): NodeID-LrSg1rvoyFVcwWRDo8cJsWpRswRjhY8a9.
There’s various reasons why developers decide to build on Avalanche. It’s easily possible to launch Ethereum DApps as the network is Solidity-compatible, there’s fast transactions, it’s highly scalable, powered by thousands of nodes, allows for the creation of custom public & private blockchains and enables developers to deploy any virtual machine (VM) on Avalanche.
Avalanche features 3 built-in blockchains: Platform Chain (P-Chain), Exchange Chain (X-Chain) and the Contract Chain (C-Chain).
The P-Chain is the metadata blockchain on Avalanche, which keeps track of active subnets & enables developers to create new subnets, as well as the P-Chain coordinates the validators. Both the P-Chain and C-Chain use the snowman consensus protocol, about which you can learn more here.
The X-Chain enables the creation and trading of digital smart assets, these assets can be stablecoins, utility tokens, NFTs, but also mimicked real-life assets (synthetic assets).
The C-Chain was created to simplify the life of Ethereum DApp developers. The conversion chain is compatible with Ethereum tooling, allowing for both the creation and migration of DApps.
To further accelerate growth of the network, Avalanche introduced their Avalanche-X Accelerator program, in which developers and companies can apply for a grant to fund their development. Developers can also access all sorts of resources and content.
Avalanche was built by AVA labs, their leadership team counts four members:
Emin Gün Sirer, CEO at AVA labs: ‘’Emin was a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University, where his research focused on operating systems, networking, and distributed systems. He is well-known for having implemented the first currency that used Proof-of-Work (PoW) to mint coins, co-authoring the famous selfish mining paper, characterizing the scale and centralization of existing cryptocurrencies, having proposed the leading protocols for on-chain and off-chain scaling, and many more seminal works.’’
John Wu, President at AVA labs: ‘’John Wu brings over 20 years of experience as a fintech executive – most recently as CEO of SharesPost Digital Assets Group – and technology investor at firms like Tiger Management, Kingdon Capital, and Sureview Capital (backed by Blackstone Group). John joined Avalanche as part of its acquisition of Investery, a SaaS platform he founded to facilitate investor discovery, management, and transacting of private market assets.’’
Maofan ‘’Ted’’ Yin, CPA at AVA labs: ‘’Ted is passionate about designing and building practical distributed systems that solve fundamental problems like fault-tolerance, consensus inefficiencies, and peer-to-peer systems. His research works include the Snow/Avalanche protocols, and the HotStuff protocol, which is the foundation consensus protocol used by Facebook Libra.’’
Kevin Sekniqi, COO at AVA labs: ‘’Before Avalanche, Kevin was a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Cornell conducting research in distributed systems, cryptography, security, and economics. He previously did research and software engineering at prominent organizations, including Microsoft and NASA JPL.’’
Their whole team can be found on their website, on this page, and has experience across various well-known companies:
Rather than focussing on a fixed roadmap, Avalanche is powered by their core team and through community development, which have completed over 5,500 different tasks already.
Their testnet first launched in April 2020, whereas the Avalanche mainnet launch occurred in September 2020. The team and all contributors have continued developments to accelerate adoption ever since.
Avalanche (AVAX) is powered by their AVAX token, which is a utility token. The max. Supply counts 720M AVAX with 130M currently in circulation. 360M was minted at launch, the other 360M is allocated for staking (validator) rewards.
The project was so popular that they raised $42M within 4.5 hours after the launch of their public sale for 72M tokens. For all details regarding their public sale, check out their announcement.
AVAX is used to pay for transaction fees, interact with smart contracts, for staking rewards & staking, and to become a node operator to help validate transactions on the network.
Even though Avalanche has seen adoption by DeFi enthusiasts, their market cap is smaller than Polkadot, Solana and Matic, which are the other most popular blockchains. I do have to add onto that that these ecosystem have managed to grow much faster than Avalanche. It’s important Avalanche accelerates their growth and onboards more projects for me to become further interested.
I strongly believe an Avalanche season could have yet to come, in which a much larger cryptocurrency base learns Avalanche’s benefits and starts using the network. The longer the Ethereum Network continues to camp with their high transaction fees, the more likely this is to happen.
We’re eagerly keeping our eye on the ecosystem to keep track of the growth, to decide whether we’d want to launch our own node as well.
AVAX is a good fit for anyone also interested in or holding tokens such as DOT, MATIC, SOL and ETH. With DeFi seeing continued growth and Avalanche being made easier to use & seeing continued development, it’s likely the ecosystem is going to grow rapidly if the team successfully manages to attract more projects.
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