Scaling Avalanche with Subnets and Specialized VMs with Patrick O’Grady | a16z crypto research talks | Summary and Q&A

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February 3, 2023
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Scaling Avalanche with Subnets and Specialized VMs with Patrick O’Grady | a16z crypto research talks

TL;DR

Avalanche blockchain introduces subnets for scaling and discusses its consensus mechanism and network structure.

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Key Insights

  • 😒 Avalanche consensus uses repeated sub-sampling for fast and scalable consensus.
  • 🎰 Subnets in the Avalanche network enable the creation of custom virtual machines for specialized applications.
  • 👻 Elastic subnets allow subnets to transition from proof of authority to proof of stake.
  • 😵 Cross-subnet messaging provides communication between subnets, and the primary network authenticates messages.

Transcript

so welcome everyone to this week's uh a16c crypto research seminar very um lucky that today we have joining us Patrick O'Grady who's the head of engineering at Avalanche uh which is the sort of organization behind the Avalanche blockchain and uh Patrick's going to give us an update about uh you know kind of all the cool stuff that they're up to ove... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Avalanche consensus work?

Avalanche consensus uses repeated sub-sampling of the network to achieve consensus. If a supermajority of randomly selected nodes agree on a particular color (choice), consensus is reached.

Q: What are subnets in the Avalanche network?

Subnets on the Avalanche network are custom virtual machines that provide flexibility for developers to build specialized applications. They can run on different virtual machines and operate independently with their own validator set.

Q: How does Avalanche handle communication between subnets?

Cross-subnet messaging in Avalanche allows subnets to communicate with each other. The primary network, shared by all subnets, is used to authenticate messages between subnets.

Q: How does Avalanche ensure the security of subnets?

Each subnet has its own validator set and security, independent of the primary network. However, the primary network provides visibility into the staking set of other subnets for message authentication.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Avalanche is a blockchain platform that consists of a consensus protocol and a network structure, known as the Avalanche network.

  • The consensus protocol, called Avalanche consensus, uses a repeated sub-sampling approach to achieve fast and scalable consensus.

  • Subnets are created on the Avalanche network to allow for custom virtual machines and specialized applications, providing flexibility and scalability.

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