The Avalanche crypto project is a blockchain ecosystem made up of components that let builders construct a variety of solutions, such as decentralized applications (DApps), assets and interoperable blockchains. Avalanche utilizes the AVAX coin, the ecosystem’s native asset.
How Avalanche works
Avalanche’s ecosystem breaks down into distinct components — namely, three separate blockchains. At the top exists Avalanche’s Primary Network, the ecosystem’s overarching structure in charge of validation.
From the Primary Network branch out three separate blockchains: the Exchange Chain (X-Chain), the Platform Chain (P-Chain) and the Contract Chain (C-Chain).
The smart contract-capable C-Chain blockchain is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). On the C-Chain, developers can set up and run Ethereum-based DApps, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and ERC-20 tokens.
Avalanche’s P-Chain is where developers can build their own blockchains. The X-Chain facilitates asset construction and trading on its own network within the Avalanche blockchain ecosystem. These assets can be designed to host certain key features and functions.
The Avalanche ecosystem relies on subnetworks, or subnets, for blockchain validation. Subnets are groups of nodes (validators within subnets) that determine blockchain consensus in the Avalanche ecosystem. Essentially, a blockchain forming part of the Avalanche ecosystem is validated by a subnet, which is composed of multiple nodes. Each blockchain has only one subnet responsible for its validation, but a subnet may validate more than one blockchain, and a node can be part of multiple subnets.
The C-Chain and P-Chain are ruled by a consensus mechanism called Snowman, which is a type of proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism. The X-Chain operates according to the Avalanche consensus protocol — a type of framework that includes Snowman as part of a directed acyclic graph (DAG) structure setup.
Avalanche ecosystem nodes must stake 2,000 or more AVAX and operate as a node in the Primary Network (a subnet that functions as the overarching structure over the ecosystem’s other components). After that, a node can also choose to participate in additional subnets, if desired.
AVAX price data
In the Avalanche ecosystem, the AXAV coin is used as a unit of account, as the currency for fee payment, and for staking. The price of Avalanche’s AVAX asset constantly fluctuates, alongside other crypto market assets. For AVAX’s price live today, see the AVAX-to-USD live price at the top of the page, above the AVAX chart.