What is Avalanche: Crypto for Beginners

If you’ve taken a stroll in the crypto streets lately, you’ve probably heard of Avalanche. A crypto and blockchain platform sensationalized as “Ethereum Killer.” It owes its constant association with Ethereum to its smart contract functionality. Ethereum may be the largest smart contract platform, but Avalanche is the fastest.

Far past its ingénue stage, Avalanche is now a big player in the crypto market. Launched in 2020, the platform currently hosts a substantial Decentralized Finance (DeFi) ecosystem. Basically, it’s fast, it’s growing, and it’s growing fast. You get it. Now for the more specific question: what is avalanche crypto?

What Is Avalanche?

Avalanche homepage

Avalanche is an open-source cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that focuses on speed, low costs, and sustainability. Its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism allows for faster and less resource-intensive transactions. The Avalanche Network allows software developers to build decentralized applications (dapps), smart contracts, and autonomous blockchains.

  • What Is Avalanche Crypto: AVAX – AVAX is the native currency of Avalanche. Currently priced at around $32 dollars with a market capitalization of close to $13 billion. The highest recorded AVAX price was $144.96 in November 2021.
  • The Brains Behind Avalanche – Made available to the public in March 2020, the AVA codebase development was by Ava Labs. The trio behind this were researchers at Cornell University. Computer science professor Emin Gün Sirer and his two doctoral students, Maofan “Ted” Yin and Kevin Sekniqi.

Why Should You Pay Attention to Avalanche?

As you might have noticed, Avalanche can’t seem to escape the shadow of Ethereum. Constantly defined as Ethereum’s rival, all mentions of it seems to involve its bigger competitor. So why does Avalanche deserve its own spotlight? Marketing itself as “blazingly fast, low cost, and eco-friendly,” here’s what avalanche brings to the table:

  1. Efficiency – Avalanche wasn’t kidding when it said: “blazingly fast.” It can process 4,500 TPS (transactions per second). For scale, Ethereum’s is 14 TPS.
  2. Lower Cost – Continuing with Ethereum as the baseline, Avalanche fees are more affordable by a long shot. Unsurprisingly, dubbed “the blockchain for bankers,” Ethereum isn’t known for affordability.
  3. Eco-Friendliness – One of the biggest issues constantly shadowing crypto is its environmental harm. It takes a staggering amount of energy to keep a blockchain running. Avalanche’s efficient PoS mechanism leads to not only speed but also less energy consumption.

How Does Avalanche Work?

Man in red polo shirt thought a good idea

Being younger, its creators designed the Avalanche platform to fix many of the problems of its precursors. The most pressing problems are the lack of interoperability and scalability.
Avalanche’s unique solution was its three blockchains composition. Instead of a single blockchain doing all the work, it’s divided into specialized tasks for each chain.

  • The X-chain (exchange)
  • The C-chain (contract)
  • The P-chain (platform)

The default blockchain is the X-chain used for managing assets. The C-chain focuses on creating smart contracts. Lastly, the P-chain manages subnets and keeps track of validators.

How to Buy Avalanche Crypto (AVAX)?

Avalanche’s interoperability allows decentralized, peer-to-peer trading of AVAX and Ethereum-based tokens. However, the easiest way to buy AVAX is through a centralized cryptocurrency exchange. Binance is the largest crypto exchange worldwide, and Coinbase is the largest based in the US. If you’re Canadian, you can buy Avalanche from VirgoCX. One of Canada’s trusted crypto trading platforms.

Join the Avalanche Experience

So what is Avalanche, you ask? Well, it’s blazingly fast for one. It’s also efficient, scalable, and interoperable. The cherry on the cake? All these perks come at an affordable price. Both for you and the environment! For more crypto for beginners, check out our other guides!