Why Avalanche


Who am I?

What sets Avalanche apart?

"The fact that it works, it's fast, it scales, can grow and absorb any use case, can be used for compliant asset offerings. Bitcoin is single asset, single chain. Ethereum is multi-asset, single chain. Avalanche is multi-asset, multi-chain system. Most decentralized with fastest consensus finality."

All Access with Emin Gün Sirer - Ep. 51 (2023)

Vision #1

If we are to build new financial foundation for the whole world, the system must be decentralized and censorship-resistant.

Vision #2

If we are to digitize all assets in the world, we need horizontally scalable solution.

Vision #3

If we are to commoditize blockchains, we must achieve web2-like reliability and flexible architecture to support app-chains.


  • System that scales to millions of nodes
  • Consensus with sub-second finality
  • Flexibility to support app-specific chain


Yes. Avalanche solves scalability while decentralized with novel consensus algorithm and subnets.

What is Avalanche?


Avalanche ($AVAX)

  • Mainnet launched in Sep 2020
  • Supports Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
  • Novel Consensus Algorithm: Snowman
  • Proof-of-Stake
  • Fast and Scalable L1 (>6K EVM TPS)
  • Reliable (no downtime, no reorg)
  • Platform for deploying "Subnets"

Avalanche Today

>3.6B requests (a day, July 2022) with ~80ms latency

Avalanche Today

Subnet effect -- scales without congestion

Avalanche Today

DFK subnet using more gas than Polygon and BNB

DFK subnet == Over 200-million requests per day

Avalanche Today

Subnet horizontally scales!

>500 TPS (possible >6,000 TPS)

Avalanche TPS

Customize subnet-evm for super-high TPS!

Different gas limit than primary network

Or build custom VM, tailored for high TPS workloads

Avalanche Consensus + Subnets

  • Consensus with sub-second finality (Fast)
  • Decentralized with >1,200 validators (Secure)
  • Subnets for application specific chains (Isolation)

Avalanche Consensus ☃️

Snowman Protocol


"Assume a collection of processes that can propose values. A consensus algorithm ensures that a single one among the proposed values is chosen." Leslie Lamport, Paxos Made Simple (2001)

Should this transaction be placed in a block or not?

PoW or PoS is NOT a consensus mechanism!

Consensus Until Now

Classical (Lamport 1998, Paxos/Raft/etcd)

  • Quick finality but does not scale
  • Quadratic message complexity
  • Permissioned, requires precise membership

Consensus Until Now

Nakamoto (Bitcoin 2008)

  • Robust, no need for precise membership
  • High latency, low throughput
  • Wastes energy, not green, not sustainable

Consensus Until Now

PBFT (1999)

  • Powers many PoS networks (Tendermint, Casper)
  • Committee/leader-based
    • Can't scale easily ("leader/coordinator" dilemma)
    • Quorum-based: must know all participants
    • Fast when membership is small
  • Deterministic safety (100% safe)
    • Hard limit on the Byzantine adversaries
  • Many are very complicated

Avalanche Consensus Family

  • Published in 2020
  • Instant finality, low latency (~1 sec)
  • High throughput (>6,000 TPS)
  • Scales >10-million nodes
  • Robust, no need for precise membership
  • Leaderless
  • Quiescent, green, sustainable
  • Inspired by epidemic protocols and gossip networks
  • New idea: deliberately metastable

Avalanche Sustainability

Binary Consensus

  • Pick one red/blue -- no correct answer
  • Adopt the majority color by repeated sub-sampling
  • Consensus results in the entire network agreeing on either red or blue
  • Even with 50/50 split, random perturbation in the sampling results in a single value being selected

At the beginning, pick any color (no correct answer)

Radomly sub-sample the network

"Red" is the majority from the sample

Adopt the majority color, "red"

Repeat this random sampling in parallel, in all nodes

Repeated random sampling perturbs conflicting state

Sequence of metastable process of random sampling

All converge to the same value (agreement)

"The protocol is designed to tip" (YouTube)

See also All Access with Emin Gün Sirer - Ep. 51 (2023)

Fast Finality

Avalanche == no block re-org, no longest chain rule

  • Re-org in game? May lose item after tx revert
  • Re-org in bridge? Must wait longer for source chain
  • Re-org in payment? May lose money for goods

Avalanche Subnet 🔺

What is Subnet?

Primary Network == Special Subnet

  • X-chain runs on DAG, used for exchanging assets
  • P-chain coordinates validators and subnets
  • C-chain executes EVM contracts with ETH RPCs

Subnet validator must validate primary network!

Subnet (sub-network)


Subnets provide failure isolation

Failure in one subnet does not impact the other!

Thus better fault tolerance and better reliability!

Subnet (sub-network)

Custom networks running on Avalanche

  • Security: Choose who and how many can participate
  • Compliance: Comply with specific industry, jurisdiction, regulatory environment (KYC)
  • Custom Execution: Common VM (subnet-evm with custom gas token), custom VM optimized for own use case (key-value store, gaming, Rust 🦀)
  • Privacy: Controls data visibility (encryption)

Effects of Subnet


(Hot Takes)

Avalanche vs. Others

No upper cap on consensus membership!

Avalanche Cosmos Polygon Klaytn Hedera
>1,200[1] ~200 ~100 ~30 26

[1] Theoretically, Avalanche can scale beyond millions.

Avalanche vs. Others

Sub-second finality + No block re-org (합의 취소)

Avalanche Cosmos Polygon Klaytn
Finality < 1-sec[1] 1-sec 2-sec 1-sec
Re-org No No Yes No[2]

[1] Blocktimes are configurable for faster finality.

[2] The chain halts when re-orgs.

Avalanche subnets vs. Layer-2

🔥 Shared security is not a desired property 🔥

Subnet provides elastic/on-demand security

Centralization risks of L2

Why validate subnet?

Subnet has its own token and rewards.

Transfer asset between subnets?

Avalanche Warp Messaging (AWM)

High TPS custom VM?

Hyper SDK for 10,000 ~ 100,000+ TPS

Rust 🦀 virtual machine?

Rust SDK

Gasless transactions?

Yes, only possible in Avalanche + subnet!

(valuess native token for regulatory compliance)

(currently private/internal, built on top of EIP-2771)

Getting started?


  • Discussed why we need blockchain
  • Discussed why blockchain must be scalable
  • Explained why Avalanche blockchain is scalable
    • Reliability with the fastest tx finality
    • Flexibility to run custom VMs with custom tokens