The Avalanche network attempts to improve scalability without compromising on decentralization. Three blockchains make up its mainnet: the X-Chain, C-Chain, and P-Chain.

The X-Chain is used for managing assets and uses the Avalanche consensus protocol. The C-Chain is for smart contracts creation and the P-Chain for coordinating validators. These two blockchains use the Snowman consensus protocol.

The Avalanche consensus protocol has all nodes work in parallel to check other validators' transaction confirmations randomly. After enough repeated random subsampling, a transaction is probabilistically determined to be true. This improves transaction throughput to 6500 TPS and provides a sub-one-second finality time. Snowman is similar but works in a linear process with blocks.

Avalanche also allows for the creation of customized, interoperable blockchains. There's no limit on the number, but you need to pay a subscription fee to operate one in Avalanche's native token AVAX.


As blockchain technology develops, it provides new solutions to the old problems of scalability, interoperability, and usability. Avalanche has taken a unique approach with the use of three separate blockchains in its platform. Powered by its native token AVAX and multiple consensus mechanisms, Avalanche claims to be "the fastest smart contracts platform in the blockchain industry, as measured by time-to-finality". In this article, we'll look at the factors that lead to this claim and the solutions it provides.

When was Avalanche launched?

The Avalanche blockchain was launched in September 2020 by the Ava Labs team in the US. Ava Labs raised $6 million (US dollar) in their financing round and followed this with private and public token sales totaling $48,000,000. The three-person team behind Avax Labs consists of Kevin Sekniqi, Maofan "Ted" Yin, and Emin Gün Sirer.

What problems does Avalanche solve?

There are three main problems Avalanche attempts to solve. These are related to scalability, transaction fees, and interoperability.

Scalability vs. decentralization

Blockchains have traditionally struggled to balance scalability and decentralization. A network with increasing users and high activity can fail to generate consensus on valid transactions quickly. Bitcoin (BTC) is a good example of the issue, as transactions have sometimes taken hours or even days to process in periods of network congestion.

One way to combat this is to make the network more centralized, giving fewer people more authority to validate network activity. If fewer people have to check and validate transactions, they can be confirmed much more quickly. However, decentralization is an important, desired aspect of blockchain technology. New blockchains constantly attempt to solve this problem with technological advancements, and Avalanche has created a unique approach, which we'll cover later.

High fees

Another common issue seen with the larger blockchains like Ethereum is their gas fees. High traffic and an increase in users contribute to the problem. This ultimately discourages users from these blockchains, but the competition on offer has less established ecosystems. For example, Ethereum's popularity and a lack of alternatives have led to almost permanently high traffic and fees without relief. At certain points, simple transfers cost more than $10, and complex smart contract interactions were even more expensive.


Different projects and businesses have their own needs when it comes to blockchains. Previously, projects would have to work with either Ethereum, another individual blockchain not tailored to their needs, or a private blockchain. However, finding the balance between customizability and cooperation between multiple blockchains has been challenging.Avalanche offers its solution to the problem with subnets and custom blockchains that share the network’s security, speed, and compatibility.

How does Avalanche work?