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What is the Avalanche Network?
8/9/2022
What is the Avalanche Network?

Avalanche is one of the most exciting networks to enter the Web3 space in recent years. Developed by a team led by Emin Gün Sirer, former Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University and leading thinker in distributed systems, Avalanche offers developers and investors a winning combination of low fees, lightning speeds, reliability, and the kind of scalability that drives mass adoption. Undergirded by a sustainable, eco-friendly ethos as well, it is no wonder that Avalanche has become one of the major players dominating the Web3 ecosystem.

Within the current Web3 landscape, developers and thought leaders continue to wrestle with the best way to realize interoperability, whether the future will be multi-chain or cross-chain, and of course, how eventual regulation will shape the space.

One capability that makes Avalanche innovative is Subnets, a game-changing technology that empowers developers to create projects on networks that they can design to fit their needs. Subnets are deeply customizable and inherit speed and security from Avalanche’s Primary Network.

Subnets are set to reshape the way we think about blockchain optimization. Rather than have to fit within the pre-defined parameters set by a foundational blockchain, developers and users can define their own communities, validators, and governance mechanisms.

This is a gamechanger in terms of achieving mass adoption, as it provides a pathway for projects that have previously found it difficult to enter the Web3 space. For example, regulated institutions and technologies are now able to deploy their businesses on-chain by utilizing the KYC functionality and other Subnet customizations. Not only will this allow a new range of businesses to integrate their projects on blockchain, it also rapidly accelerates mass adoption by inviting new players into the space. Additionally, Subnet architecture allows Avalanche to scale to billions of users.

This blog post will introduce you to some of the innovations offered by Avalanche, and the importance of securing its ecosystem through tools such as our Avalanche smart-contract audit.

Decentralization Without Compromising Security

Avalanche serves as a leading light in the Web3 ecosystem by innovating a secure network that doesn’t compromise scalability or decentralization.

It does this through the groundbreaking Avalanche Consensus, which uses a unique method of random sub-sampling of validators to reach consensus. In doing so it overcomes the limitations of the blockchain trilemma and achieves maximum speed, security, and decentralization.

Through this unique resolution of the blockchain trilemma, Avalanche is making strides towards securing many of the most exciting, yet most turbulent new developments in Web3.

For example, DeFi routinely makes headlines both for its popularity, but also for the barriers to security that it still has to move beyond. How to secure such a useful yet volatile infrastructure is one of the most pressing problems facing the Web3 ecosystem today, and Avalanche provides a secure and adaptable foundation to do it.

One of the key ways that it does this is through its Contract Chain which serves as the default smart contract blockchain on Avalanche and allows for the creation of any Ethereum-compatible smart contracts. By enabling a highly-scalable instance of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, Avalanche’s compatibility enables developers to easily and securely port over their EVM apps to Avalanche. In doing so, they can then benefit from the advantages Avalanche has to offer, and supercharge their applications with faster speeds, higher throughput, lower fees, and quicker transaction confirmation.

Securing Innovation with CertiK

At CertiK, we have seen firsthand how the introduction and rapid uptake of new technologies in Web3 can entail a security backlash if not launched correctly. Given the growth of the sector and the enthusiasm for technologies that make possible much sought-after functionalities, many projects have made the fatal mistake of launching without a full understanding of the vulnerabilities and attack vectors they face.

That’s why we are working with a growing number of Avalanche-based projects on their Avalanche smart-contract audits. These Avalanche smart-contract audits are designed so that a project’s use of the new architectures and functionalities that Avalanche makes possible are equipped with the security they need to excel.

It’s clear that the Avalanche ecosystem needs to grow in tandem with its security infrastructure. This includes ensuring that any project's use of a custom subnet is fully audited, and, by extension, that the security company has the necessary tools and experience to do it. In short, the cutting-edge in blockchain technology will always need to seek out cutting-edge in security in order to protect it, and CertiK’s Avalanche smart-contract audit is an industry best.

CertiK’s close working relationship with projects from across the Avalanche ecosystem has helped to hone our Avalanche smart-contract audit. This ensures that our detection tools are able to spot vulnerabilities and attack vectors through rigorous auditing of each line of code.

Clients secured by our Avalanche smart-contract audit include some of the leading lights in Avalanche’s growing ecosystem, including Aave, 1inch Network, and Frax. In addition to CertiK’s Avalanche smart contract audit, these projects have also deployed Skynet, our on-chain analytics tool that actively monitors and displays on-chain insights for smart contracts.

Alongside Skynet, SkyTrace allows projects to visualize the flow of funds on-chain so that they can stay on top of their on-chain activity and gain a vital perspective in the event of any suspicious or anomalous activity.

In addition to this, CertiK also provides Avalanche-based projects with KYC verification for project teams as part of our Avalanche smart contract audit. A first of its kind for Web3 security companies, CertiK KYC works to provide users with the confidence they need to invest in a project, and gives the projects themselves a surefire way of confirming their authenticity and legitimacy to their communities.

Working to Secure the Future of Web3

CertiK’s collaborations with Avalanche projects are a clear example of the kinds of relationships needed to realize mass adoption. Time and again we see that the health and ultimate success of the Web3 ecosystem depends on unity and cohesion between each of its elements; just as the vulnerabilities of one project can have consequences for the entire network, so too does the success and strength of a project bolster the security of the projects around it.

The Avalanche ecosystem is a prime example of this, as its continued success and prosperity have allowed new projects to take root and grow into some of the most exciting technologies in the space. CertiK is committed to supporting this continued growth and development by providing the highest possible security for Avalanche. Whether through our Avalanche smart-contract audit, or our blockchain analytics tools, each of our services is designed so that each project in the Avalanche ecosystem can achieve its potential.