A complete guide to Avalanche

Avalanche is an open, programmable smart contract platform that is enterprise-level collaborative and highly scalable.

The Avalanche mainnet consists of three chains: X-Chain (Exchange Chain), C-Chain (Contract Chain), and P-Chain (Platform Chain).

  • X-Chain (Exchange Chain)
    X-Chain, or exchange chain, is created based on Avalanche Consensus supporting the creation, exchange and management of tokens such as AVAX. Transaction fees are paid through the chain’s native token AVAX.

  • C-Chain (Contract Chain)
    C-Chain, or contract chain, is created based on the Snowman Consensus, supporting smart contracts and compatibility with EVM. Developers can conveniently deploy smart contracts and build DApps on C-Chain.

  • P-Chain (Platform Chain)
    P-Chain, or platform chain, is created based on Snowman Consensus, coordinating validator nodes, tracking subnet activity, and supporting creation of new subnets. Each subnet can have multiple chains like the primary Avalanche network and have its own consensus model.

How Does Avalanche C-Chain Work?

C-Chain is an Ethereum Virtual Machine use case based on the Snowman Consensus that uses a linear approach to produce blocks.

Since C-Chain is EVM compatible, the development, deployment and interaction of smart contracts in the Avalanche ecosystem are performed on C-Chain by default.

Main Features

  • Fast transaction settlement
  • EVM compatible and supports smart contracts
  • Low energy consumption

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Avalanche Account

Take imToken for example, first download and install imToken to create/import an wallet, and add an Avalanche account.

Note: Check the website security certificate before downloading

If you did not add an Avalanche account when creating/importing the wallet, you can click "My Profile" - "Manage wallets " - "Add", check the ”Avalanche“ network and confirm, return to the wallet homepage to enter the newly created Avalanche account. Now you can transfer/receive tokens and try out popular DApps on the Avalanche network.


Learn more: How to use Avalanche with imToken?


Ava Labs

In 2018, Emin Gün Sirer, associate professor of computer science at Cornell University, co-founded Ava Labs with two computer science PhDs, Kevin Sekniqi and Maofan Ted Yin, and launched Avalanche 2 years later.

Avalanche Consensus

Avalanche Consensus is a DAG-optimized protocol, which supports parallel processing of transactions in the network with high throughput and fast transaction settlement.

When a validator in the network receives and validates a transaction, he randomly selects a group of validators to ask for the validation results of the transactions. At the same time, those being questioned will each randomly select another group to ask for the results. This process is repeated for several rounds until the entire network unanimously confirms the validity of the transaction.

Snowman Consensus

Snowman is a protocol based on Avalanche Consensus with optimized chain structure, featuring high throughput, totally-ordered blocks, and support for smart contracts. By separating consensus and data structure, developers can freely choose to create Snowman Consensus blockchain based on UTXO model or account model.


In mathematics, especially in graph theory and computer science, a directed acyclic graph (DAG) refers to a directed graph with no directed cycles.

Basics of Avalanche

AVAX: Avalanche's Native Token

Release date: 2020.09

Consensus mechanism: PoS

Total supply/circulating supply: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/avalanche

Price of AVAX