Avalanche (AVAX) has promise as an Ethereum rival

Avalanche can handle much higher transaction volumes – it can process over 4,500 transactions per second, versus Ethereum’s mere 13

What is Avalanche (AVAX)?

Avalanche is described as the quickest smart contracts platform for decentralised apps in the open-source blockchain industry.

The platform utilises the AVAX alt-coin, which is ranked as the 11th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. 

It is said to be a low-cost, fast, and eco-friendly platform that facilitates smart contract-enabled apps to outperform their competitors.

Smart contracts allow developers to build decentralised apps, on the Avalanche system, while leveraging the platform’s security and scalability benefits.

Avalanche operates on a proof-of-stake model, where validators verify transactions according to how many coins they hold instead of performing complex computation. 

As a result, it is less energy-intensive than Bitcoin’s proof-of-work models.

The AVAX token is said to be a hard-capped, scarce asset.

It can be used to pay for fees and can also be used to secure platforms, via staking.

It also can provide a unit of account between the multiple subnets created on Avalanche.

The Avalanche platform has secured more than 400 individual projects and comprises some 1,200 individual block-producing validators.

Overall, the system has more than 1.3mln community members globally.

Who created Avalanche?

Avalanche was created by Emin Gün Sirer, Kevin Sekniqi, and Maofan Yin, before it was launched in September 2020. 

Avalanche was initially created as a protocol for solving consensus in a network of unreliable machines.

It was seen among academics as a way of exploring consensus protocols that could serve the same purpose of proof-of-work, to secure transactions, but also include more users in consensus making.

The system’s initial coin offering raised US$42mln in July 2020.

How many AVAX coins are in circulation? 

AVAX has a circulating supply of 244.3mln coins which at US$83.62 each puts its market cap at US$19.8bn.

In the 16 months since it was launched, US$64mln worth of AVAX has been ‘burned’ (a process to regulate the crypto by systematically reducing supply).

How does Avalanche compare to Ethereum?

Avalanche is deemed to be one of Ethereum’s closest competitors, at least in terms of being used. 

The opportunity comes due to excess demand for Ethereum’s utility uses which saw soaring transaction costs and provided advantages to cheaper and less utilised blockchains like Avalanche.

It is, actually, the case that like-for-like Avalanche can handle much higher transaction volumes – it can process over 4,500 transactions per second, versus Ethereum’s mere 13.

Avalanche is “designed to be faster and cheaper to use than Ethereum, processing more transactions per second at a lower cost,” said Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management

Where can you buy it?

Many leading cryptocurrency exchanges allow trading in AVAX tokens – including Binance, OKex, CoinTiger, FTX, and Huobi Global.