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The Avalanche network is a blockchain platform that appears to be a rival with one of the most active blockchains out there: Ethereum. While there may be some similarities between the two (such as Ethereum having a native token, ether, to its name, and Avalanche with its own native token, avax), as well as similar aims between them (such as needing to pay transaction fees for trading on the network), there is an advantage that Avalanche has which Ethereum desperately needs: speed. It is the Avalanche consensus protocol that truly sets it apart.
Avalanche is an open source platform that touts itself as the first scalable ecosystem that can serve to keep up with the advancements and scaling in global finance. Most blockchain platforms operate under a small-picture kind of scale where transactions are slowed down and verified multiple times (providing security and safety guarantees), but with the Avalanche blockchain it operates with a consensus protocol which is able to provide the same kind of security and safety that other DeFi blockchains provide but with a far higher throughput.
Additionally, Avalanche has a pretty interesting feature in that it has the ability to create new blockchains and supports the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). This enables people to build their own custom blockchain or virtual machine too.
How does AVAX network work?
AVAX uses a proof-of-stake operation over a proof-of-work concept (this allows owners of the coins to create their own validator nodes by staking coins and not using them until they unstake them). Proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms have proven to be an advantageous method in reaching transaction finality. This provide a fast, low cost transaction (in addition to being low-energy) where the time to finality (or, the time for a transaction to be processed and complete) can be as low as a single second.
Who is behind AVAX?
There is a team of three people that are predominantly behind Avalanche, and they are Kevin Sekniqi (Chief Operating Officer and Protocol Architecht at Ava Labs), Maofan Yin (Chief Protocol Architecht at Ava Labs), and Emin Gün Sirer (Founder and CEO of Ava Labs).
How do I add Avalanche network to metamask?
One of the benefits with Avalance is that you are actually able to add the Avalanche network to MetaMask (which is a benefit because MetaMask is interoperable with almost all Ethereum-based platforms). Unfortuantely, MetaMask does not automatically have access to the Avalanche network so there are a few steps to complete to connect them.
In order to add the network, you will have to first set up a MetaMask account and wallet. If you already have this, simply log in to your MetaMask wallet and near the top right there is a dropdown menu (the default of this should read the Ethereum Mainnet). If you click this dropdown menu, there will be other networks listed—but not Avalanche. Scroll to Custom RPC and click that. You will then have to fill out each designated portion with the following information:
- Network Name: Avalanche network
- New RPC URL: https://api.avax.network/ext/bc/C/rpc
- Chain ID: 0xa86a
- Symbol: AVAX
- Explorer: https://cchain.explorer.avax.network/
Once this is complete, MetaMask should now have the Avalanche network connected to the MetaMask wallet and should allow you to send and receive transactions of AVAX.
What problems does Avalanche (AVAX) solve?
As expressed above, Avalanche solves the two major issues that seems to plague Ethereum when the blockchain becomes busy, which are speed and gas fees. For Ethereum, it is able to process transactions at a rate of about 15 per second. This seems to suggest that when the Ethereum blockchain becomes quite busy, and the market is moving rapidly, investors wanting to transact may experience very long waits. For Avalanche, they are able to process about 4,500 transactions every second, simply eclipsing Ethereum in the process. In 24 hours, Ethereum could process approximately 1.3 million transactions compared to Avalanche’s 389 million. If measured by time, Avalanche is the clear winner.
As anyone knows, when the blockchain becomes busy via transactions, the gas fees associated with transactions tends to become exorbitant. This is because as people seek to transact when it is busy, and every transaction needs gas to operate, miners will select the “bids” from people that are willing to pay higher gas to be placed “first”; thus increasing the time from people who are not willing to “pay to play”, so to speak. As each block has limited space and some people are willing to pay for higher gas fees which attract miners attention to prioritize them, backlogs can occur and, at times, people who get pushed back to other blocks down the line or not at all.
Again, Avalanche does not have to worry about this because of a few reasons. First, the transaction fees vary based on what kind of transaction is being made. Additionally, the fees themselves are not provided to the miners—rather, they are burned and removed from circulation. Thus, the incentive behing the burning of fees from circulation means the more transactions processed, the more transaction fees burned, which results in AVAX coins becoming scarce (which, in turn, can increase AVAX price).
Where and how to buy AVAX?
Of course, there is a lot of buzz surrounding AVAX and with good reason. People who were buying AVAX last year were able to experience a healthy 3,000% hike in its value. While the current Avalanche price is hovering around the low 100s, the forecast of AVAX at the end of 2022 seems to have the consensus of the mid-250s. In fact, AVAX is in the top ten percent when looking at market capitalization, ahead of many of the mostly sought after cryptocurrencies out there (including bitcoin, ethereum, and many more). AVAX is definitely an investment that people seem to be actively pursuing as a long-term investment.
There are multiple places where you can buy or sell AVAX on exchanges including Binance, Kucoin, Coinbase, and OKX.