AVA Labs published a recap of the Denali Incentivized Testnet, which ended on June 15, 2020.
More than 1,000 nodes from over 60 countries staked testnet tokens to be validators in the Denali test network.
Participants earned up to 2,000 AVAX tokens for completing three challenges, which included becoming a validator, participating in a network upgrade, and maintaining an operational node for at least 30% of the testnet duration.
Rewards will be distributed after the Avalanche mainnet launch and will be locked for one year. Participants should receive an email with instructions on how to receive their AVAX rewards.
Users created more than 150 assets during the incentivized testnet, along with 16 subnets and 11 blockchains.
The next version of the Avalanche testnet is named Everest.
Polyient Games and AVA Labs will partner to build a decentralized exchange (DEX) on Avalanche focused on non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The announcement comes just two days after Kevin Sekniqi, co-founder and COO of AVA Labs, dropped a teaser about an upcoming DEX.
A DEX is a marketplace that allows peer-to-peer trading of assets without a central authority.
Non-fungible tokens are a special type of digital token representing something unique. For example, NFTs can represent property titles, game items, or rare art.
NFTs contrast with currency and utility tokens like AVAX, which are fungible and interchangeable.
On the fun side, CryptoKitties were an early example on Ethereum, with each unique kitty represented by an NFT. Another example is Gods Unchained, a game that uses NFTs for their playing cards.
In the Ethereum ecosystem, marketplaces like OpenSea enable buying and selling of NFTs.
However, congestion on the Ethereum network is hindering the NFT asset class, according to Polyient CEO Brad Robertson. “By building on Avalanche, we are able to leverage a scalable infrastructure,” said Robertson.
The recently released AVAX Wallet supports non-fungible tokens in addition to AVAX and other other fungible tokens.
The Polyient Games DEX will use PGFK Particles (XPGP), a utility token that represents 0.001 Polyient Games Founder’s Keys (PGFK). The PGFK token gives membership and rewards in the Polyient Games ecosystem. The DEX will include an AVAX-XPGP market.
A launch date for the DEX was not specified, but the Avalanche mainnet is expected by the end of August.
In a podcast with Blockchain Summit Latam, AVA Labs CEO Emin Gün Sirer gave a glimpse of exciting things coming up in the Avalanche ecosystem.
Explaining that he doesn’t want to steal his own thunder, Sirer provided a high level overview of what to expect:
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
A lot of the DeFi goodness that people see and love is going to be much better on Avalanche. That’s why a lot of the DeFi groups that we are talking to are very excited, because they want scale. They want security and scale, and we’re going to be giving them exactly that.
There are a bunch of things that people have talked a lot about, but have done very little on. Identity management is one of them. There’s a bunch of areas where I see not that much action, and there should be better action. So, we’re going to be going into these areas where I see a shortage of people who know what they’re doing and shortage of people who are executing well.
Emin Gün Sirer
Insurance in Mexico
I’m excited about what is to come over the next year or so in those areas. Especially in the insurance area. We’re actually working with a team that is focusing in Mexico and we’re very delighted, we’re just delighted to see the results that might come out of that. I’m not at liberty to say much more than that, what kind of insurance, where, what, you know, but we’re excited about that.
Emin Gün Sirer
New Digital Assets
There will be some innovative new assets that are in a regulatory fashion very good for blockchain. That the regulators are not, you know, on top of. They’re just brand new assets. And they’re very well suited to trading online. And the regulatory environment is very good for them to be offered in blockchain format. I’m excited for those. We’ll see the introduction of some of these this fall.
Emin Gün Sirer
In the podcast, Sirer also gave an overview of his background and work in peer-to-peer systems. He covered the history of consensus algorithms, Bitcoin, and his thoughts on Ethereum 2.0.
For more, listen to the full podcast by Blockchain Summit Latam.
IOSG Ventures announced an investment into Avalanche and the formation of a strategic partnership.
According to the announcement, the partnership will focus on the ecosystem in China:
IOSG Ventures is looking forward to working closely with the AVA Labs team in nurturing partnerships and collaborations with businesses in China as well as a bold and innovative developer community.
An AVA Labs team member provided additional details, saying that IOSG Ventures is “going to help us with building out the Avalanche Ecosystem in China, i.e. getting high quality Dapps, enterprises to build on avalanche.”
The IOSG Ventures investment came via participation in a previous sale. Prior to the public sale on July 15, there was a private sale in May 2020 which raised $12 million, and a seed sale in February 2019 which raised $6 million.
Founded in 2017, IOSG Ventures is a venture capital fund focused on open finance and decentralized protocols. They have over 60 investments including Polkadot, Blockstack, and now Avalanche.
AVA Labs hosted an Avalanche “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) event on Telegram on Friday, July 24 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT.
These are some of the most interesting questions and answers from the event:
What is the state/status of ZKsnarks and other privacy tools for Avalanche?
Tyler Smith: We will be focusing more on privacy features after we get mainnet out.
Our multi-chain model will let us try a variety of approaches, for example on the X-chain we could easily support CoinJoin-style privacy protocols while also experimenting with ZK proof-based privacy schemes on a new chains.
I’m also looking forward to playing with SNARKs and protocols like Tornado on the Ethereum-compatible C-Chain.
If the fees are going to be burnt, which will be the incentive to the miners once all avax have been mined?
Phillip Liu: At some point, the Avalanche Network will have to be sustained by fees imo (tho it will take quite a few years before this becomes an issue).
Burning fees and reintroducing them via minting, in some ways is equivalent to rewarding fees to stakers. The nice thing about Avalanche consensus is that it’s super lightweight and efficient. Last time I did some calculations, it costs 5000x less to run the Avalanche network compared to Bitcoin. From an economic perspective, Avalanche is one of the most sustainable networks in existence
What is your biggest worry?
Hell Michigan: I think staking delegation has risks associated with it that are hard to predict.
Delegation of stake puts a lot of external social factors into a protocol which would ideally not deal with those. Unfortunately, it’s also the best means to remove barriers to entry for low-volume holders and to really give a broader sense of community.
I do worry of its long term impact, if not the immediate impact. My gut is that we can see this coming a mile away and intervene as a community before it becomes an issue if such an issue were to pop up.
What are your plans to capture the business sector and digitize the assets of real businesses in the Avalanche network?
Lydia Chiu: Many of the differentiating capabilities of Avalanche address a lot of key concerns that enterprises have had with using decentralized networks as a whole.
To date, enterprises have been forced to choose between public or private blockchains but Avalanche can enable both because of its flexible network architecture. When combined with what we hope will be a smooth user experience, businesses adopting Avalanche should just be a natural evolution.
To that end, we are also speaking with many tentpole companies in their respective industries to establish compelling case studies for others. Stay tuned on this front – we’ll have a lot more exciting announcements to come!
How does Avalanche deal with the rich-get-richer-problem? Is there some mechanism like the one Cardano has, which leads to less rewards for rich stakers?
Phillip Liu: In Avalanche, staking rewards are proportional to amount staked. The nice thing about the reward mechanism in Avalanche is that it decreases the variance of rewards for all participants. We therefore do not need the equivalent of mining pools (staking pools?) in Avalanche. So everyone can run a node!
Are there any connection about team rocket and satoshi?
Phillip Liu: Interestingly enough, Satoshi is the name of the main character in the Japanese version of Pokemon (English equivalent: Ash Ketchum), and Team Rocket, as we all know, are the antagonists in the story. Maybe there is some connection??? Not sure tho 😁
NFTs usually build as erc721 tokens. However, you have your own blockchain, will you use common method like of Oxcert plug and play framework to create awesome NFT faster or thinking a new ways to build it in a more unique and smooth method?
Hell Michigan: We built NFTs directly into the transaction format of our AVM (X-Chain) itself. It’s actually closer to EIP-1155 (Collectible NFTs) than ERC 721 in design. EIP-1155 is a generalization over ERC721 from a design standpoint anyway.
We do not need to use external NFT frameworks, but if you want to build your own VM which supports those NFT frameworks, by all means write it up!
How did you solve the problem of network decentralization? What are the system requirements?
Stephen Buttolph: The Avalanche network utilizes a new family of consensus algorithms that remove bottlenecks of other existing systems.
Specifically, most other forms of PoS systems utilize consensus algorithms that incur an amount of work that is at least proportional to the number of nodes in the system. In some of these systems the factor can be more than O(n), sometimes O(n^2) or even O(n^3).
However, in Avalanche, the amount of work to achieve consensus is essentially independent of the number of nodes in the network. Avalanche is very similar to bitcoin style PoW with this respect.
The reason why PoW systems are still relatively centralized is because of the requirement to use mining pools to reduce reward variance. However, because Avalanche utilizes a new PoS model that doesn’t relate to vertex issuance this incentive doesn’t exist. This is what gives Avalanche the ability to be extremely decentralized.
I’ve seen on Denali testnet that Africa was not represented; there were any node hold in Africa. Is it a problem for you as africans didn’t participate?
Hell Michigan: It’s funny but we know for certain that representatives exist in the African continent. The issue here, I think, is that their IP addresses weren’t on mainland Africa for whatever reason.
Crypto Squanch: We are actually now expanding our community operations also in Africa. Stay tuned.
What are your thoughts on current state of Defi market? Do you think it will sustain or do you thing its just another bubble?
Phillip Liu: There are some genuinely interesting ideas in the defi space. AMMs are quite an elegant solution to the problems of hosting an exchange and orderbooks on DLTs.
However, clearly stuff like “yield farming” is unsustainable. I feel like the current defi situation is a rite of passage for all interesting ideas in the space. It starts with a series of revolutionary idea, followed by hype, but after the hype cools off, back to building.
Being someone who got into Blockchain space a few years back and observing multiple bubbles but no concrete adoption I sometimes lose my faith and I am sure there are many other like me. What can we expect from Avalanche to do things differently How do we get masses on board?
Patrick Sutton: To me, education and usability have been two of the biggest obstacles holding back real adoption for these networks. Fortunately, there’s been massive leaps on the education and awareness front (in 2014 it was hard to get anyone in my family to listen to me blabber about bitcoin and blockchains, but last holidays it was all anyone wanted to talk about).
On the usability side, that includes everything from network congestion to the user experience on the front-end. The next waves of users have to have more seamless access to dapps, so they can focus on what they are trying to accomplish, and less on the “how” its possible in the backend (like how we don’t think of internet protocols when surfing the web – are people still saying surfing the web?).
We’ve learned from these friction points, and are attacking each one 💪
As avalanche is using pruning else the number of transactions would result in tens of TB of data per year, what is the actual space consumption that was perhaps observed during Denali with over 1000 validators? Is it right to assume that the required space will be constant (minimal) over the coming months and years, or does the architecture (of Avalanche/Snow family) require a steady increase in disk space consumption (albeit small)?
Stephen Buttolph: Avalanche does not require any increase in disk space. The size of the state that is used by nodes is defined by what each VM defines as its current state.
We are currently working on implementing the pruning system right now. So, currently when a node enters into the network it performs a full sync of the entire history of the network. Once pruning is introduced the synced state (by default) will only be a function of the current state of the network as defined by the VMs.
With this 3rd generation protocol, does avalanche blockchain and cryptocurrency eco system pioneer radical change?
Ted Yin: Great question about the future. Technology-wise, our first intention throughout the entire research of Avalanche was to decouple different crucial components/algorithms that one “blockchain” system must have.
We know Bitcoin has a very monolithic design (as it never mentions the terms of “Sybil prevention”/“BFT consensus”, etc.). But this doesn’t necessarily mean the entire story of blockchain platforms is just like a mixed bag of confusing mechanisms and algorithms.
In fact, we’ve been trying our best to break down the main functionality one wants from such systems, and to address each one of them with our best knowledge in distributed systems/security.
If you look at the white paper, you’ll realize that the X-Chain (“Avalanche” in the paper) makes use of the property that normal payment transactions do not have to be fully ordered for most of the time and that allows us to apply the Snow (gossip-based samping) protocol idea very effectively to best avoid its shortcomings.
Overall the shift to more systematic approach to a blockchain system changes the way we think about building this kind of infrastructure, and will reflect in change in the ecosystem in a good way, as the consequence.
Time to the market is extremely important. It is clear that other blockchains has a time advantage and gain larger market share. How will Avalanche deal with this apart from relying on its technologicaly advanced blockchain architecture?
Gabriel Cardona: AVA Labs is a world-class team of experts in computer science, economics, finance, and law.
We’re very much in “startup mode” and are laser focused on delivering extremely high quality products at scale and velocity. We intend to leverage domain-expertise, industry best-practices, community building and lots of hard work to remain competitive and innovative.
Will AVAX token also be a governance token? What are requirements for participating in governance?
How will Avalanche prevent your Blockchain from getting a very big size?
Hell Michigan: So the X-Chain and the P-Chain are both custom VMs written by our team. In those systems we will be actively and aggressively pruning the state to keep up with state growth.
The C-Chain is, unfortunately, going to suffer the same issues that Geth does in terms of state growth. We have our own custom WASM VM in the works which could make more leaner/pruneable smart contracts someday. Right now, though, the plan is aggressive pruning on the X-Chain and P-Chain.
A cool thing about our explorer is that it’s built on Kafka. This means it scales horizontally and provides petabyte-level of hash-linked verifiable storage of the accepted transaction stream.
In essence, if you run our explorer backend, you’re running an archival node that scales with the data growth and has full replay capability. Check out that repo here and mad props to @tcrypt25519 for his work on that: https://github.com/ava-labs/ortelius
Does COVID-19 situation affect the pacing of AVAX development?
Jay Kurahashi-Sofue: The situation really has no effect on the Ava Labs team and the development of Avalanche.
As most of you probably know, the blockchain industry has been fairly forward with remote-friendly work. Since we’ve already been accustomed to remote work, the transition was very easy for us. Although many of us New Yorkers are patiently waiting for the day this all returns back to normal 🙂
How are you making quiescent possible?
Stephen Buttolph: Avalanche consensus only requires voting while there are outstanding decisions to be made. This means that if there are no transactions being issued to the network, then no nodes will be performing queries.
Nodes do still perform some background gossiping of peers + the accepted frontier to make sure that the network is remaining healthy, but consensus only need to happen when there are pending decisions to be made.
How are you integrating both permissioned and permissionless deployments in AVAX?
Stephen Buttolph: Currently the default subnet is the only permissionless subnet on the Avalanche platform. It is possible to create your own permissioned subnets on the Avalanche platform by registering on the P-chain.
We will be introducing an additional mechanism to implement permissionless blockchains, based on the blockchains internal ruleset.
How are you solving this big thing of quantum resistant virtual machine?
Stephen Buttolph: Avalanche only requires a very vague knowledge of the structure of the VM that it is performing operations on. It is entirely possible to implement quantum safe signatures into a VM (or Fx, Feature Extension).
In fact it is possible to implement privacy features into VMs, which I think is going to be a killer feature of our VM architecture.
If someone is an expert at cryptography and they have a great idea for a new VM, but they aren’t experts in creating a BFT consensus system, Avalanche is a great place for them to deploy their new ideas.
Any plans to further upgrade consesus protocols?
Stephen Buttolph: We are constantly improving and extending our protocols. One of the features on our roadmap is implementing Frosty consensus, which is an extension of Snowman.
What can you say about the investment of Ethereum Genesis on AVAX sales? Does it mean Vitalik favors your project? Some say, AVAX could beat the eth 2.0? Any comment with that?
Patrick Sutton: For many people within the community – myself included – support from an early Ethereum adopter is added validation of the technology, team, and vision behind Avalanche. I wouldn’t say that implies any connection to Vitalik, however 🙂
What is the expected TPS for the C chain?
Hell Michigan: ~200tps but the limiting factor is Geth and the EVM. We can improve this.
Would the AVAX network support the migration of the Ethereum network?
Gabriel Cardona: Avalanche’s C-Chain is an instance of the evm with Snowman consensus and is 100% backward-compatible with existing Ethereum developer tooling including metamask, truffle, remix and more. Our team is happy to help developers migrate apps to the Avalanche ecosystem. Please join us on telegram or discord.
Will it be possible to stake AVAX with a single click, as was done now to open a wallet with an existing google account?
Gabriel Cardona: Yes, this will be supported soon. Our team is adding delegation functionality to avalanche.js and to the web wallet.
Jay Kurahashi-Sofue: We are actively working with Staking as a Service providers to ensure that there are easier options for staking AVAX–for those who are not as technically savvy.
How difficult it is for a solidity dev to switch their Dapp from Ethereum or Eos to Avalanche? What incentives do they have for doing it?
Jay Kurahashi-Sofue: This is not difficult at all. The Contract Chain (C-Chain) already has the Ethereum VM running on it. Our focus is to improve interoperability with other chains. The incentive for doing so is a better experience overall: faster transaction speeds, lower fees, better performance overall.
Avalanche integrated Google to its wallet platform, how is this different from using a centralized wallet?
Stephen Buttolph: The Avalanche wallet supports using Google as a way to access your wallet. Using this functionality is very similar to having Google manage a centralized wallet. If someone isn’t comfortable with Google managing their wallet, they can use the keystore files that they are able to store on the wallet.
When will the Denali Incentivized Testnet rewards be distributed?
Jay Kurahashi-Sofue: Denali rewards will be distributed after mainnet launch. More details on Denali recap will be out in the coming weeks.
How is it working with Emin Gün Sirer ? He’s looking very inspired and passionate about Avalanche and crypto in general.
Patrick Sutton: Inspired and passionate are excellent words to describe Emin, as well as the whole Avalanche team. I’ve worked with a lot of projects and companies in our space, and I’ve never enjoyed solving big challenges as much as I do with our team.
I read above that Geth and the EVM are the bottlenck on the C-chain (~200 tps). Do you have any idea of what throughput could be achieved on a fully-ordered chain with a more efficient VM / state transition code? I.e. at what scale might Avalanche (snow?) itself become the bottleneck?
Hell Michigan: @StephenTechSupport has run benchmarks on snowman chains and they are comparable in TPS to our DAG.
We have been reading several variations of POS approval mechanisms instead of PoW on next-generation blockchain networks for several years. But you’re proposing an entirely new approach and saying, “PoS is not a consensus mechanism!” Can you explain this confusion on behalf of many of my friends?
Stephen Buttolph: I think the main confusion stems from PoW being used as both a Sybil control mechanism and as a Consensus mechanism. At the end of the day, neither of these terms (PoW or PoS) actually describe a consensus mechanism.
PoW implies that a node is able to prove that it put in a certain amount of attempts hashing on an object. PoS implies that a node has locked up some amount of stake.
PoW can be used for DoS protection, without being used as consensus. Similarly PoS can be used for the same purpose. This is primarily solving the Sybil problem.
However, these processes don’t really explain the full consensus process. In Bitcoin, Nakamoto consensus is used to “follow the longest chain”. Where new blocks are added slowly, using PoW to avoid a Sybil attack.
Early PoS models also used Nakamoto consensus by using VRFs.
But in reality, Sybil control is a separate problem from consensus. The Avalanche platform doesn’t use Nakamoto consensus, it uses Avalanche consensus. To protect against Sybil attacks, it utilizes PoS.
How will you integrate blockchain software designed in very different software languages into the Avalanche / AVAX network?
Stephen Buttolph: We currently have the ability to run VMs in separate processes over a gRPC server. This enables multiple languages to be used when implementing VMs.
AVA Labs raised approximately $37.68 million for the Avalanche platform in the public AVAX token sale on July 15.
Participants sent roughly $42 million during the sale, however, the sale was oversubscribed, and some of the amount sent will be refunded.
Approximately 7.2 million AVAX tokens were sold in Option A1 at a price of $0.50 per token with a vesting period of one year.
Roughly 4.8 million AVAX tokens were sold in Option B at a price of $0.85 per token with no lockup period.
In Option A2, 60 million AVAX tokens were sold at a price of $0.50 per token with a vesting period of 1.5 years.
Participants from 100 countries joined in the sale. One buyer even sent funds from the Ethereum genesis block, the first block in the Ethereum blockchain. The AVAX tokens sold out in a little over 4.5 hours.
Given the vesting schedules, approximately 16.75 million AVAX tokens will be released at mainnet launch, although some of those tokens will be voluntarily locked up for staking by validators of the Avalanche network.
AVA Labs executives commented on the sale:
It’s clear that the market was craving a project of this caliber.
John Wu, President of Ava Labs
Last week’s sale is significant validation for the technology, team, and vision behind Avalanche, and just the latest of many milestones to come for the project.
Emin Gün Sirer, Co-founder and CEO of Ava Labs
Just 16 hours before the AVAX token sale, AVA Labs announced modifications to the initial maximum purchase amounts. The sale website itself did not enforce the maximum purchase amounts, even showing participants a “Buy more AVAX” button after completing a purchase. The confusion led some purchasers to send contributions that exceeded the new guidelines. AVA Labs made those contributions ineligible for the sale and refunded some users.
The public sale followed a private sale in May 2020 which raised $12 million, and a seed sale in February 2019 which raised $6 million.
AVAX tokens purchased in the sale will be distributed upon the Avalanche mainnet launch, which is expected by the end of August.