The Avalanche blockchain is an open-source platform for launching decentralized applications (dapps) and enterprise solutions in one interoperable, highly scalable ecosystem. The mainnet went live in late September 2020.
It is the first smart contracts platform that confirms transactions in under one second, supports the Ethereum development toolkit, and enables independent validators to participate as full-block producers. It claims to be “blazingly fast, low cost, and eco-friendly”.
From 2022 on, after the Terra collapse, Avalanche shifted its main focus from decentralized finance (DeFi) to Web3 Gaming and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
How is Avalanche different from other blockchains?
A key difference between Avalanche and other decentralized networks is the consensus protocol. To date, there have only been 3 approaches to the consensus problem: Classical, Nakamoto, and Avalanche.
In the aftermath of Nakamoto presenting the world with Bitcoin, the world still wanted a protocol with all of the benefits of the Nakamoto consensus such as robustness and true decentralization plus all the benefits of Classical consensus such as speed, scale, quick finality, all at the same time as achieving energy efficiency.
Avalanche takes features from both solutions, such as robustness and true decentralization, from the Nakamoto model. In addition, it taps into the benefits of Classical consensuses, such as speed, scale, quick finality, and energy efficiency. Avalanche combines these two into a new protocol.
It is yet to be proven whether it’s possible to have the best of both Classical and Nakamoto without the downsides that come with either class of protocol, but Avalanche has certainly taken huge leaps forward.