Avalanche Network is a blockchain created in 2018 in an attempt to unseat Ethereum. It also employs smart contracts and focuses on speed, high throughput, and adaptability. It’s in many ways better than Ethereum, but it remains to be seen if it’s even worth trying over the long-established Ethereum.
It has a native token called AVAX, which is the common inner token on this network, used for anything from funding smart contracts to buying goods and services. It’s particularly widespread in the decentralized apps found in this system. This system is focused on creating excellent dApps.
The network and its home token were created in 2018 with the vision to be a better Ethereum. Ethereum, the inspiration and precursor, was created in 2014. The project’s creator, Emin Sirer, is one of the pioneers of digital commerce and finance. He’s lauded for creating some of the earliest digital currencies back in the 2000s.
The project attracted a lot of attention but didn’t really take the place of Ethereum, as developers planned. Instead, it occupied a special niche, becoming a system that enables programmers to create very sophisticated decentralized applications with the help of fast smart contracts and so-called subnets.
The home token, AVAX, is mostly used for inner purposes — development, governance, and project funding. It’s not really present on any other networks, staying mostly confined to its home network, Avalanche. As such, its advantages are directly tied to the features of this blockchain. What are those?
The consensus used for Avalanche is a unique mechanism. It’s based on proof-of-stake but with many curious additions and alterations.
The consensus is achieved by votes cast by validators who operate the nodes in the system. If one decision gets the majority of votes, it becomes validated and final. The process is streamlined to make the decision-making as fast as possible, which decreases the processing time and makes everything run ever so smoothly.
The mechanism is used for a variety of crucial activities. Consensus is necessary to decide the order and validity of transactions, which ensures the integrity and security of the system. It makes sure everything is written down perfectly on the blockchain. It’s also used to create new blocks in a very speedy and comfortable way.
High throughput and scalability
The consensus mechanism itself is terrific because it makes the work of validators more comfortable. Moreover, it’s just unique and technologically superb. It also obviously benefits the system, in addition to other factors that also contribute to this function.
Since decisions are made so fast on Avalanche, the transactions are also processed extremely quickly, which increases the throughput, making it easier to make multiple data transfers in quick succession. Given that everything on blockchain hinges on the speed of data exchange, it makes Avalanche more effective.
This efficiency directly translates to scalability. You can expand your project and exponentially increase the scale (hence the name) of your operations because it doesn’t take long for your transactions to complete. The massively reduced waiting time means faster results. Avalanche offers some of the fastest results thanks to this consensus and some other factors.
Attaching additional networks to a bigger system isn’t a new concept, but Avalanche made a particular focus on this part of your experience. What they did is add customizable subnets.
Subnets are alternative network types that you can create out of your primary network and customize extensively. That means new consensus protocols, new rules, new tokens, new everything. Some things can’t be changed because these networks are supposed to be completely interoperable with the mainnet, but a lot of things are modifiable.
What it brings is called specialization.
If the mainnet doesn’t quite fit your goals, or if you want to add something else to the infrastructure to better implement your plans, you can create a whole other network. It will be subservient and connected to the main Avalanche system, but also customized to specialize in something — be that DeFi, gaming, etc.
Avalanche also has a special relationship with its security. There are several unique things about the safety conditions on this network:
- The consensus plays a large part in deterring foul play. Since a good chunk of validators must agree to something quickly before the decision is made, it’s hard to influence the decision maliciously as you would with proof-of-work, for instance.
- Each subnet follows the security protocols of the main network, except all of them are isolated and each can have customizable guards to better suit the specialized safety needs. For this reason, if one subnet is compromised, the crisis won’t spill over into other parts.
- The security measures are very decentralized. The validators are spread all over the world, meaning that no one party has too much control over what’s going on in the system.
- The transactions are unchallengeable. When the decision is made and the transaction is approved, you can’t do anything to revert it. It’ll stay like this forever.
Accordingly, the security algorithms on Avalanche are better than in most other places. The consensus, once more, plays a big part in maintaining safety and fair play on this blockchain. Moreover, it can be improved further by individual developers because these measures are also immensely customizable.
Is Avalanche worth it?
Avalanche is a good, unique network. Many good features ended up attracting droves of developers. In turn, they created a bunch of worthwhile projects in this system, like BenQI and Penguin Finance. However, it didn’t unseat Ethereum, and the latter is still a go-to place for work with smart contracts. It’s simply too familiar.