“Blazingly fast, low cost, and eco-friendly,” this is how AVAX is described on its website. It functions as a platform for custom blockchain networks and decentralized applications, and it is also a layer one blockchain. It has a unique architecture that allows up to 6,500 transactions per second while not compromising scalability. It has three individual blockchains, named X-Chain, C-Chain and P-Chain, and each one has a different purpose.

“Avalanche is the fastest smart contracts platform in the blockchain industry, as measured by time-to-finality, and has the most validators securing its activity of any proof-of-stake protocol,” according to the website. It is also fully compatible with Ethereum assets, apps, and tooling with faster speeds, higher throughput, and lower fees.

Avalanche was launched by Ava Labs, whose founders are Emin Gün Sirer (a Cornell University professor), Kevin Sekniqi and Maofan Yin (both PhD’s at Cornell University computer science). Gün Sirer has also worked in cryptographic research and he had designed a conceptual peer-to-peer virtual currency six years before the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper.

Since it was launched in 2020, Avalanche has been working to develop its own ecosystem of decentralized applications (DApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi). Different Ethereum-based projects have integrated with Avalanche and the platform is constantly working on improving interoperability between its own ecosystem and Ethereum.

Avalanche closed its initial coin offering in 2020 in under 24 hours, raising $42 million in the process. Its price at the moment of writing this article was US$118.15 with a 24-hour trading volume of US$1,649,313,564. It is ranked number 12 on CoinMarketCap and has a live market cap of US$26,105,407,662, a circulating supply of 220,286,577 AVAX coins and a maximum supply of 720,000,000 AVAX coins.