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What is Avalanche and how to use it
What is Avalanche and how to use it

Understand what makes Avalanche network different and learn how to use it in the Wallet

Farhan avatar
Written by Farhan
Updated over a week ago


Avalanche is a highly performant smart contract platform. AVAX, the fuel of the network, is a cryptocurrency you can buy, sell, trade, and manage in the Wallet. You can also directly interact with Decentralized Apps(DApps) on the Avalanche network using the Wallet’s WalletConnect feature**.**

Table of Contents

What is Avalanche?

Avalanche is a blockchain platform capable of general purpose smart contract execution. It is a base layer, or layer 1 (L1), which can connect to sidechains and support layer 2 (L2) solutions. Avalanche calls sidechains and L2s subnets. Avalanche is seen as an alternative to the Ethereum network. These alternatives are often grouped together under the name “alt Layer 1s,” or alt L1s. Avalanche’s network features lower fees and faster transaction speeds than Ethereum’s. The Avalanche blockchain can reportedly process 4,500 transactions per second (depending on the subnet), a significant improvement over Ethereum’s less than 20. Avalanche’s native token is AVAX, which is used to secure the network and pay transaction fees.

How does Avalanche work?

Avalanche uses a unique consensus mechanism built on top of Proof-of-Stake (PoS). Validators are required to stake AVAX in order to confirm transactions on the network. Unlike many PoS-based consensus mechanisms, each Avalanche validator independently verifies a transaction, then randomly samples a small subset of the other validators. Each validator will update its decision if the majority of sampled validators differ. All validators will continue to do this independently until consensus is reached – which usually takes less than 2 seconds.

Since validators are doing this independently and using only a very small subset of other validators, the network achieves a higher maximum transactions per second, while also being more decentralized, and scalable. In fact, the network should theoretically become faster as it grows.

History of Avalanche

Avalanche’s fundamentals were first shared on Interplanetary File System (IPFS) in May 2018 by a pseudonymous group. A group of researchers at Cornell University developed the protocol, led by computer science professor Emin Gün Sirer, and doctoral students Maofan Yin and Kevin Sekniqi. Their research was converted into a startup company to develop the research into a blockchain network. In September, 2020, the company also issued its native token AVAX.

How to create an Avalanche wallet

  1. Tap the Funds tab at the bottom of the screen

  2. Select “ADD/IMPORT" and choose "Add new personal wallet"

  3. Select AVAX (Avalanche) from the drop-down menu

  4. Enter a name for your wallet then tap "CREATE AVAX WALLET." You’re done!

How can you use Avalanche?

Anyone can buy, sell, send, receive, and hold $AVAX in the Wallet. Please see our tutorials on:

Advanced users also have the option to directly interact with Decentralized Apps(DApps) on the Avalanche network (via WalletConnect). DApps on Avalanche enable DeFi use cases like trading, borrowing and lending, prediction markets, crypto derivatives, synthetic assets, NFTs, and more.


Bridging between Avalanche and Ethereum

You can bridge Ethereum cryptoassets to Avalanche’s C-chain using the official Avalanche bridge. Bridging will usually take between 8 and 10 minutes. After that, you can do most things you can do on Ethereum such as swap, borrow/lend, and pool liquidity but with much lower fees and faster transaction times. Whenever you wish, you can bridge back over to the Ethereum mainnet.

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