Avalanche (AVAX) Crypto: What It Is, What It’s Worth and Should You Be Investing?

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Cryptocurrencies as a whole are not new. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, has been around since 2009. It was created as a decentralized currency without any government influence. Inspired by bitcoin, over 20,000 cryptocurrencies have been created as of July 2022.

One of those cryptocurrencies is avalanche, which uses the symbol AVAX. Even though the Avalanche platform is a relative newcomer, the coin already ranks #15 in terms of market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.

Read on to find out more.

What Is Avalanche Crypto?

The Avalanche platform and AVAX coin were launched in 2020 by Ava Labs. Avalanche is a smart-contract platform that uses a proof of stake protocol. Claiming to have the fastest, most secure cryptocurrency platform available, and having compatibility with Ethereum‘s blockchain, Avalanche will be tough competition for Ethereum.

In addition to that, anyone can use the Avalanche platform to create their own cryptocurrency. 

Avalanche is designed to be a network of thousands of subnets to support a very stable coin. The idea is to have a diversified, decentralized interconnected network of blockchains made from many different people and places.

Quick Overview of Avalanche

Ava Labs stated on the second page of its whitepaper on the Avalanche platform that it intended to have Avalanche be an inclusive platform where anyone could connect to the network, while also being scalable, flexible, decentralized — and, most importantly, secure.

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There are currently 283,100,931 AVAX coins in circulation, with a cap of 720 million.

Avalanche is recognized as having one of the fastest transaction rates and being stiff competition for the Ethereum platform. It is a smart-contract platform, which means that developers can create self-executable programs that process buy and sell agreements, for example. 

How Avalanche Is Different From Other Crypto Platforms

Avalanche is designed to compete directly with Ethereum. The latter was designed and released when far fewer people were using cryptocurrencies, so there were fewer transactions. It wasn’t an issue for the protocol to keep up with the transactions, but now Ethereum needs two layers layer to handle all the transactions on the platform.

Avalanche scales Ethereum’s capacity because it has three blockchains operating under one layer protocol. This significantly increases the amount of transactions Avalanche can handle at one time compared to Ethereum, and since it’s on one layer, it increases security as well.

Avalanche can achieve time to finality — the time it takes one transaction to process from beginning to being irreversible — in one second. This is compared to transactions on Ethereum’s platform taking as long as several minutes each. This also reduces the fees per transaction, since fewer resources are used.

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As for use cases, one of the most impressive comes from Avalanche’s partnership with the consulting firm Deloitte to improve Federal Emergency Management Agency funding. Deloitte will use the Avalanche blockchain to support disaster relief programs.

How Do the Avalanche Platform and AVAX Coins Work? 

Avalanche’s claim to fame is its three blockchains. Each blockchain has a job, rather than one blockchain to do everything.

How Does the Avalanche Platform Work?

The three blockchains are:

  • Exchange Chain (X-chain): The X-chain is the platform for creating and trading digital smart assets. Because of the proof of stake protocol, this is also where AVAX coins are created.
  • Contract Chain (C-chain): The C-chain is where the smart contract happens. This is where developers can set up their decentralized apps. Ethereum contracts are also able to run on the C-chain, so existing Ethereum apps can migrate over.
  • Platform Chain (P-chain): The P-chain is where subnets exist, which are blockchains that anyone can create. This is also where validation occurs so that AVAX coins can be created on the X-chain.

How Are AVAX Tokens and Coins Created?

AVAX coins are the native tokens for Avalanche. Rather than using a proof of work algorithm to create the coin, as Bitcoin does, Avalanche uses a proof of stake algorithm. Proof of stake is less energy-intensive and potentially a more secure method of creating coins.

Proof of stake requires users to purchase a certain amount of coins — 2,000 AVAX for Avalanche — to participate in a consensus. These owners then become “validators” and are picked at random to receive the coin, rather than the competition-based mining of the proof of work algorithm. This algorithm uses less energy and is more accessible for people new to cryptocurrency.

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FAQ

Here are some common questions about AVAX.
  • What is AVAX used for?
    • AVAX is the native token of the Avalanche platform and is used to power its transactions and secure the network through staking.
  • How much is one AVAX?
    • One AVAX is priced at $20.32 as of July 8, 2022.

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Diane Fogle is the owner and sole freelance writer at The Little Green Bird. She received her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Denver.  The research skills gained through that program, combined with a love of learning and intellectual freedom, have led her to a passion for helping businesses communicate with their customers. She lives in Colorado where she hikes with her husband, two young daughters and an old greyhound.
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