Innovation is of utmost importance in the blockchain industry. Imagine a world where problems in a system were never solved because no one felt like solving them. This wouldn’t make any sense, and people would probably stop using those services.
Blockchains like Bitcoin have been using a system called Proof of Work consensus mechanism. Proof of Work systems requires powerful computer hardware to solve arbitrary mathematical puzzles in order to validate the transactions on the blockchain, while mining tokens and reinforcingdecentralization.
Many compete to have the very best hardware system, so they can get bigger rewards, often creating a huge mass of fancy equipment to one-up everyone else, these could be referred to as mining hubs.
The mass amounts of electricity required to run these mining hubs are not the most eco-friendly (imagine the electricity bill!). Not only that but if one person controlled 51% of the network’s computational power the network would be compromised, thus defeating the purpose of decentralization, which is a huge con for the Proof of Work consensus.
Ethereum apps have tried their hand at fixing these shortcomings and decreasing the amount of time it takes to validate a transaction byimplementing something called a ‘layer 2 scaling solution’. Simply put, this just means that every time the blockchain has transactions to process, they are grouped in ‘bundles’ which are then added back to the main blockchain once they have been given the a-o* * kay. This improvedsomething called scalability, or the capacity of the blockchain to allow for more transactions at a quicker rate.
However, just like any simple process you then add a lot of new steps to, it becomes very complicated. More complications = less security. In a way, we’ve now traded one problem for another.
You might be asking, you thought this article was about Avalanche, right? Correct! Despite the trials and tribulations of networks before their time, they HAVE been able to achieve a decentralized layer 1 protocol that is highly scalable AND secure! Avalanche has claimed itself to be the “fastest smart contracts platform in the blockchain industry, as measured by time-to-finality.” (No worries if you are confused on the concept of time-to-finality, it is covered later on in this article as it pertains to Avalanche, we’ve got your back!)
Before we can take a bite of the meat of what Avalanche is, we’ve got to start at the beginning… Read more
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