Avalanche is a new Blockchain that became very popular in 2021. It claims to be a better Ethereum, with more transaction per second and lower fees, all thanks to a revolutionary Blockchain technology. Is the hype justified, and as a developer, should you pay attention to Avalanche?
Avalanche was launched in 2018 by a computer scientist called Emin Gün Sirer, and his company Ava Labs. Ava Labs has a great team, with former employees of the top companies like Google or Microsoft.
The native token of Avalanche is AVAX. It’s the 16th biggest crypto, with a market cap of 13B and a maximum supply of 720M. AVAX tokens can be staked in exchange of rewards, either by running a validator yourself or delegating to a validator. On Avalanche, transaction fees are paid with AVAX, and they are burned. Avalanche is a deflationary token, however, be aware that many tokens from the ICO are going to get gradually released in the next few years, which could cause a selling pressure.
Avalanche has 343 projects as of October 2021. Some of the biggest projects include Benqi and Pangolin, both developed by Ava Labs. And we also have some Ethereum DeFi projects that added a deployment on Avalanche like Aave and Curve.
Avalanche is able to achieve 4500 tx per second, way more than Ethereum . The transactions fees cost 10 less than Ethereum. It has currently thousands of nodes, which makes it less decentralized than Ethereum. For the consensus mechanism, is uses delegated POS. Avalanche is composed of 4 elements :
The primary network, validates all other chains, like the BeaconChain on Ethereum 2.0
The X-Chain is used for creating and trade on-chain assets
The P-Chain coordinates validators
The C-Chain is for smart contracts - And it’s also possible to create other chains, with a custom virtual machine
To build DeFi applications on Avalanche, you want to use the C Chain. The C Chain is EVM compatible, which means you can re-use most of the development tools for Ethereum like Solidity or OpenZeppelin. For local development, you can use Ganache, even if they don’t mention it in their documentation. If you want a more realistic development environment, you can use a CLI tool called Avash. And finally, you can also use the testnet of Avalanche.
In conclusion, is it worth it to invest your time in the Avalanche ecosystem? I really like that they they bring some real innovation, instead of many other Blockchains who are just Ethereum clones. If I had to compare them with another project, I would say Avalanche reminds me of Polkatot, with its system of parachains.
If you are want to build a project on the Avalanche ecosystem, be aware that they have a grant program for new projects.
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