What is Avalanche?
Avalanche is an L1 with a PoS consensus mechanism where anyone with at least 2000 AVAX can become a validator.
Instead of being a single chain, Avalanche is made up of a collection of subnets – separate blockchains which are interoperable and contribute to Avalanche’s scaling and the flexibility of the platform.
There are three primary subnets. In short, the c-chain is for DeFi, the x-chain is for transfers, and the p-chain is for staking.
Avalanche is a layer one blockchain that functions as a platform for decentralized applications and custom blockchain networks, with AVAX being its native token. Developed by Ava Labs, Avalanche aims to rival Ethereum through a higher transaction output of up to 6,500 transactions per second without compromising security.
Avalanche is made up of a collection of separate blockchains, rather than one individual chain. This is all part of Avalanche’s approach to scaling – by eventually offering a multitude of application-specific blockchains with easy interoperability between them.
There are three primary subnets deployed – C-Chain, P-Chain, and X-Chain. C-Chain or the Contract chain is an EVM-compatible subnet where all the DeFi on Avalanche currently happens and is the chain you’ll be interacting with the most. By offering a cheap and fast EVM-compatible chain, Avalanche has been able to capture significant TVL and grow to be one of the most vibrant ecosystems in Web3. X-Chain is used to send and receive funds, and that’s its sole purpose. The advantage of this approach is that the x-chain can be tailored specifically for transfers which are extremely cheap and fast, even though you can send funds on C-Chain as well. The final subnet that Avalanche offers is the P-Chain (P standing for the platform). The primary function of this is for staking AVAX and serving as a validator. If you’re a validator or delegating to a validator, then your AVAX rewards will be received on this chain.
Avalanche started off as a protocol for solving consensus in a network of unreliable machines and first saw the light of day in 2018. It was later developed by a dedicated team of researchers from Cornell University led by Emin Gün Sirer. Following the research stage, a startup technology company was founded to develop a blockchain network that would meet complex financial industry requirements. In March 2020, Avalanche platform went live for the public and in September of the same year, they launched its native token – AVAX.
Since then, it has become known as the home to one of the most vibrant ecosystems in Web3 by being utilized by projects spanning all the sectors of Web3 including GameFi, DeFi, NFTs, etc. Well-known projects such as Crabada, Yeti Finance, YieldYak, Avaxtars, TraderJoe, Joepegs, and many others have all been developed on Avalanche. Besides those, you’ll find most of the major multichain projects deployed on Avalanche as well. When searching for places to lend or borrow, you’ll find AAVE; Beefy, StakeDAO, and Ribbon will provide you with the best strategies and yield-generating vaults and you’ll have no problems trading on Avalanche since Curve and GMX are both deployed there besides Avalanche natives such as Trader Joe and Pengolin.
Many Ethereum holders prefer to not sell their AVAX and find AVAX staking to be a great way to passively earn more AVAX. Learn more about staking and how you can earn with your AVAX from liquid staking.