AVAX is the coin that powers the Avalanche blockchain and ecosystem. AVAX is Avalanche's fuel, as the cryptocurrency is used to pay transaction fees, secure the network via staking, and serves as a medium of exchange throughout the ecosystem.
All +/- % changes are for a 24 hour window
## History of AVAX
Ava Labs developed Avalanche in 2018. The project was established as the foundational project of an unidentified crew known as Team Rocket. The Avalanche network is built on a proof of stake (POS) consensus protocol, distinct from Bitcoin's, which runs on a proof of work (POW) protocol. In April the following year, Avalanche's founders released its debut public testnet and Avalanche's blockchain token, AVAX, and minted 720,000,000 coins.
Before the public testnet, Ava Labs held a seed sale for AVAX and sold over 17 million pieces of the coin at about $0.34 each, with a 1-year vesting duration. The seed sale was successful, and it accounted for about 2.6% of the entire release. In May 2019, Ava Labs held a private sale event for AVAX and sold nearly 25 million tokens for $0.50. Through the sale, Ava Labs raised $11.5 million, and the number of coins sold accounted for over 3.4% of the whole supply. A public sale (ICO) followed in mid-2020, and it generated over $41 million within 24 hours.
AVAX has mainly been successful in the crypto market, rising from a $0.34 seed sale valuation to as high as $146. After debuting on crypto exchanges at $2.79, AVAX continued on its upward trend. In November 2021, AVAX hit an all-time high price of $146. The coin trades around the $84 price presently, over 40% down from its all-time high.
## Biggest Claim To Fame
AVAX's biggest claim to fame is its blockchain's advantages over others, especially the all-time leading smart contract platform, Ethereum. AVAX is equipped with an Ethereum cross-compatibility feature. This feature allows users to operate Ethereum contracts on Avalanche and not alter the code. More so, AVAX eliminates the long-term uncertainty of newly developed protocol products.
Avalanche has higher flexibility than other L-1 blockchains like Ethereum, such that every user can build a distinct blockchain in the AVAX ecosystem. While Ethereum operates on a single blockchain, Avalanche has a triple chain structure. The X-chain, P-chain, and C-chain make it more functional and scalable. The X-chain functions as a digital asset creator, while the C-chain is created to function as an Ethereum integrator. The final chain, P-chain, regulates and validates the state of subnetworks and hosts DeFi features.
AVAX's native blockchain, Avalanche, is built to scale beyond Ethereum's limits. It has an adaptive, quick, and scalable transaction processing system, conducting more than 5,500 transactions per second. This processing speed and power is more than ten times Ethereum's capacity, as Ethereum processes only about 16 transactions every second.
In addition, the Proof-of-Work system of Ethereum is less energy-efficient compared to Avalanche's Proof-of-Stake protocol. This PoS protocol has had a popularity effect on AVAX price because it allows users to stake their tokens to become Validator nodes. An added claim to fame for AVAX is the minute gas fees on its blockchain, compared to Ethereum's high transaction fees.
## Biggest Criticism
AVAX has faced a backlash over its leniency on fraudulent validators. Usually, cryptosystems slash stakes of validators who violate the ecosystem rules by stripping them off their stake. Instead, Avalanche announced on its website that no one is at risk of losing a portion of their staked tokens. No one knows why they have chosen that protocol.
Avalanche might not be as expensive as BTC, but it has become too costly for low-end investors to purchase. Some crypto communities have announced that if they cannot buy AVAX, an alternative like DOGE (at $0.15) will be a better choice for investment.
## The AVAX Team
AVAX was developed by three individuals with PhDs in computer science at America's Cornell University.
Emin Gun Sirer is the Chief Executive Officer of AVA Labs with a Turkish-American origin. He is a blockchain expert who played a crucial role in increasing Bitcoin's scalability. In 2000, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Cornell University. In 2001, he became a professor in the same institution.
Kevin Sekniqi is the Chief Operating Officer at AVA Labs. Like Sirer, he is a professor at Cornell University, received a Ph.D. in 2020, and is an ex-IC3 member. Before he worked with AVA, he worked at NASA as a researcher, as well as other tertiary institutions. Also, he was in charge of Research Software at Microsoft as an engineer right before he joined Ava
Maofan “Ted” Yin is the Head Protocol Architect for AVA. He is a mentee to Dr. Sierra and received his Ph.D. in 2021.
Aside from the three founders, AVA labs have 45 workers that perform engineering, economic, and financial roles. The team also has professionals in marketing and law.
AVAX has had a good market journey since its launch. Its blockchain has been an advantage for the coin, seeing that it is an Ethereum competitive and integrating system. Experts are optimistic of new and impressive all-time highs for the token in the future. However, Ava Labs might need to consider adding a slash protocol to their network for increased safety.