Last Updated: May 20, 2024

Avalanche is a layer one, decentralized, open-source proof of stake blockchain with smart contract functionality with AVAX as its native token.

AVAX can be used for constructing dedicated blockchains, developing decentralized applications with high scalability, and producing complex digital assets.


The initial concept of Avalanche was first presented on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) in May 2018 by an anonymous group of enthusiasts. By March 2020, the AVA codebase, which applies the Avalanche consensus protocol, was made open-source. Avalanche was launched in September 2020 by Emin Gun Sirer of Cornell University who is also the CEO of Ava Labs, the company behind the network.


The initial sale of AVAX tokens began in February 2019 through a seed sale which was followed by a private sale in May 2020, and later, an ICO on July 15th 2020. The company launched its mainnet in September 2020.

How does it work?

Avalanche uses several blockchains and uses a Proof-of-Stake model to  achieve a range of efficiency measures, including transactional capacity and security by using what it calls a ‘family’ of consensus protocols, collectively named Snow. 

Users stake AVAX to validate transactions on the Avalanche blockchain, but they aren’t rewarded with AVAX for doing so; instead, AVAX is burned, reducing the supply of the token and tending to support the value of the tokens the users already own.

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