You probably know about Ethereum, the most popular platform for building decentralized applications. But Avalanche is another smart contracts blockchain with similar use cases.
So what’s the deal with AVAX and Ethereum? How do they differ from each other? And which blockchain platform should you choose for your next investment?
In this article, we’ll compare ‘Avalanche vs Ethereum’ based on speed, cost, scalability, and architecture to finalize which platform is better.
- Avalanche is more scalable than Ethereum.
- Avalanche charges low transaction fees compare to Ethereum.
- Ethereum is more decentralized than Avalanche.
- Avalanche supports smart contracts in many more programming languages than Ethereum.
Avalanche vs Ethereum: Overview
|Avalanche (AVAX)||Ethereum (ETH)|
|Founded||2018 (launched in 2020)||2013 (launched in 2015)|
|Block time||3 seconds||12-14 seconds|
|Transactions per second||4,500 Tps||15-25 TPS|
|Cost per transaction||Approx. $0.08||Approx. $3.54|
|Market Cap||$5 billion||$227 billion|
|Total supply||431.9 million AVAX||120.1 million ETH|
|Consensus protocol||Avalanche Consensus (PoS)||Proof of Stake (PoS)|
|Number of validators||1,378||175k|
Avalanche vs Ethereum: Key Differences
When we look at Avalanche and Ethereum, there are a few important things to differentiate. Let’s talk about them in more detail:
- History and Background
- Technology and Design Architecture
- Consensus Mechanism
- Scalability and Transaction Speed
- Decentralization of network
- Smart Contract Functionality
- GameFi and NFTs
- Gas Fees
1. Avalanche vs Ethereum: History and Background
Avalanche blockchain is newer than Ethereum. It was created by a team of researchers from Cornell University who wanted to make a fast, secure, and scalable platform for various applications. They published their idea in 2018 and launched their network in 2020.
Ethereum was founded by Vitalik Buterin, a young programmer. He wanted to provide a ‘Turing complete’ platform that could run complex smart contracts. He published his idea in 2013 and launched the Ethereum network in 2015.
2. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Technology and Design Architecture
Ethereum uses an Ethereum virtual machine called the EVM to run smart contracts on its network. The EVM can work with different programming languages, like Solidity, Vyper, and Yul.
So, Is Avalanche EVM Compatible? Yes, It also uses the EVM on its C-Chain, which makes it easy for developers to move their apps from Ethereum to Avalanche.
Ethereum and Avalanche use different architectures to handle scalability and interoperability. Ethereum uses a single-chain architecture, meaning all transactions and smart contracts are executed on one main chain.
This limits the throughput and performance of the network, as well as its compatibility with other blockchains.
Avalanche network uses a multi-chain architecture. They use three distinct chains for different purposes:
- Exchange Chain: X-Chain for creating and exchanging assets
- Platform Chain: P-Chain for managing the network and validators
- Contract Chain: C-Chain for smart contracts and working with Ethereum
This allows the network to achieve higher throughput and performance, as well as greater compatibility with other blockchains.
Winner: Tie. Both networks work on a secure and highly efficient blockchain architecture.
3. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Consensus Mechanism
Avalanche uses an Avalanche consensus or Snow White consensus. This mechanism is based on sub-sampled voting, which means that when a node wants to accept a transaction, it asks a random group of other nodes what they think ( accepting or rejecting the transactions)
If most of the validators accept, the node accepts the transaction too. The node keeps asking until it gets the same answer enough times in a row. This way, transactions are confirmed quickly and without conflicts. Avalanche also lets users create their blockchains with different rules using Subnets.
Ethereum works on the PoS consensus mechanism. Users need to lock up some of their ETH in a smart contract to become validators. This ETH can be lost if the validators act dishonestly.
The validators have to check and create new blocks on the network. Ethereum switched to this mechanism in 2022 because it has many benefits over the old one (PoW), such as lower energy use, easier participation, less centralization, less ETH creation, and more security.
Ethereum divides time into slots and epochs and randomly chooses one validator to create a new block and a group of validators to vote on it in each space.
Winner: Tie. Both Ethereum and Avalanche use PoS consensus.
4. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Scalability and Transaction Speed
Ethereum has problems with scalability because it has a low limit on how many transactions it can process. Ethereum has a transaction processing speed of 15 to 25 TPS. This means that when there are too many transactions and Ethereum users, the network gets congested, and the fees increase significantly.
Ethereum blocks take about 12 to 14 seconds to make, but you need to wait for 6 blocks (or about 1 minute) to be sure your transaction is secure.
Avalanche is designed to be scalable and secure from the start. It processes many transactions in parallel. The network claims to have 4,500 transactions per second (TPS). The block time for AVAX is around 3 seconds.
Winner: Avalanche is more scalable than Ethereum due to multi-chain architecture and low network traffic.
5. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Decentralization of network
The more validators a network has, the more decentralized it is, as it reduces the risk of a single entity controlling the network.
According to BeaconScan, Ethereum now has more than 800,000 network validators. The number of validators keeps increasing after transitioning from PoW to PoS.
On the other hand, based on AvaScan data, Avalanche has over 1,300 network validators. This makes Avalanche more centralized compared to Ethereum.
Winner: Ethereum is more decentralized than Avalanche due to more independent network validators.
6. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Smart Contract Functionality
Avalanche also lets its users use Solidity and run their smart contracts on the same system as Ethereum. But Avalanche gives you more options. You can also use other languages like Rust, Go, TypeScript, and C and use smart contracts to create apps, lend money, or trade digital art.
Winner: Avalanche supports smart contracts in many more programming languages than Ethereum.
7. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Interoperability
Ethereum is interoperable with other blockchains through “Bridges”. For example, the Wormhole bridge links Ethereum to Solana, Terra, and the BNB chain. This bridge lets you send ERC-20 tokens, NFTs, and governance data across them. Apart from Wormhole Bridge, there are many other bridges for Ethereum blockchain interoperability, like Arbitrum Bridge, Shardeum Bridge, and RenBridge.
Avalanche has its own bridge called Avalanche Bridge, which allows users to transfer assets between Avalanche and Ethereum easily. The Avalanche Bridge is faster and cheaper than the Ethereum Bridges.
Winner: Tie. Both blockchains are interoperable due to many network bridges.
8. Avalanche vs Ethereum: GameFi and NFTs
Avalanche has subnets that focus on GameFi and NFTs. Some of the popular projects of the Avalanche ecosystem are DeFi Kingdoms, DFK Chain, and Ava Labs. Avalanche has some NFT marketplaces on its main blockchain, like Joepegs NFT and Kalao.
Ethereum is the most popular platform for GameFi and NFTs, with many projects and users. Some examples are Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, and The Sandbox. Ethereum also has many NFT marketplaces with billions of total traded volumes, like OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, and Foundation.
Winner: Ethereum has a more established dApps and NFT ecosystem.
9. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Gas Fees
Avalanche has a simple and fixed system for gas fees. It charges you a certain amount of AVAX (its own currency), depending on what kind of transaction you are doing.
For example, if you just want to send some AVAX to someone else, you pay an average fee of $0.08. If you want to create a new blockchain or a new token, you pay 0.1 AVAX mint fees. The fees don’t change much, so you always know how much you must pay.
Ethereum has a more complex and dynamic system for gas fees. It charges you a combination of two things: a base fee and a priority fee (or tip).
The base fee changes constantly, depending on how busy the network is. The more people want to use Ethereum, the higher the base fee. The priority fee is something you choose to make your transaction faster or slower. You pay more if you want your transaction to be included in the next block or less if you can wait longer.
You pay both fees in ETH (Ethereum’s own currency). The average fee for sending money on Ethereum is currently $3.54.
Winner: Avalanche charges low transaction fees compare to Ethereum
10. Avalanche vs Ethereum: Tokenomics
Avalanche has its own coin called AVAX. You use it to do things on the network, like paying fees, staking, or creating new chains.
According to Coinmarketcap, there can only be 720 million AVAX coins, and right now, there are 431.9 million out there, with 345.19 million in circulation. All the AVAX coins value is $5 billion, making Avalanche the 17th biggest cryptocurrency.
Ethereum has its own coin called ETH. Right now, there are 120.1 million ETH coins, and all of them are in circulation. The market cap of ETH coins is $227 billion, which makes Ethereum the second biggest cryptocurrency.
Winner: ETH has a higher market cap than AVAX.
What is Avalanche? Is Avalanche a layer 2?
Avalanche is one of the leading decentralized layer-1 blockchain networks. With Avalanche, users can create and run their own blockchain networks and decentralized apps. It competes with Ethereum, the most popular smart contract platform.
It can handle more transactions per second than Ethereum, up to 4,500, without sacrificing scalability. How does it do that? It has a unique architecture with three separate blockchains: the X-Chain, C-Chain, and P-Chain.
Each blockchain has a specific function and a different way of reaching consensus, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, where all nodes have to validate everything.
Avalanche is very environmentally friendly and uses less energy. It only needs as much energy as 46 US households in a year. It doesn’t use much computing power because it uses a proof-of-stake system to confirm transactions.
Pros of Avalanche
- Fast and scalable blockchain networks
- Cross-chain compatible with other networks, including Ethereum
- Developers can launch their own custom blockchain
- Eco-friendly and energy-efficient with its PoS consensus algorithm
- The high transaction throughput of 4,500 TPS
- Low gas fees
Cons of Avalanche
- It is not fully decentralized due to less number of network validators
- It is not tested in high network congestion environments like Ethereum
- Multi-chain architecture can be complex to implement
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a powerful decentralized network to build and run smart contracts. It is super flexible and adaptable. It’s like a playground for developers to develop and launch all sorts of apps on this network, including smart contracts, decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more.
Ethereum is currently using the consensus mechanism called proof of stake (PoS). The transition from the POW consensus mechanism to POS allows Ethereum to attract more validators and become more decentralized.
Pros of Ethereum
- Multiple blockchain applications beyond cryptocurrencies
- Smart contracts for decentralized applications (dapps)
- Reliable, transparent, and decentralized network
- Supported by large companies and organizations
- Lower inflation risk due to PoS transition
Cons of Ethereum
- Scalability problems and high gas fees
- Competition from other blockchain platforms
- Technical issues, disputes, and uncertainty due to Ethereum 2.0 upgrade
- Transaction privacy issues
In this article, we have seen that both platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, some trade-offs and compromises are involved in choosing one platform over the other.
Choosing Avalanche over Ethereum may mean sacrificing the decentralization and liquidity that Ethereum enjoys as the dominant platform in the blockchain space.
Again, if you choose Ethereum over Avalanche. This means you are compromising the scalability and efficiency of writing smart contracts in many languages.
Related Article: AVAX vs Solana: Which is the Better Layer 1 Project in 2023
Avalanche vs Ethereum: FAQs
Is Avalanche the next Ethereum?
Avalanche is not the next Ethereum but a complementary platform offering a different approach and solution for smart contracts, DApps, and DeFi.
Which is more secure, Avalanche or Ethereum?
Both Avalanche and Ethereum are highly secure platforms that are resistant to 51% of attacks and other malicious threats.
But Avalanche has a lower level of security than Ethereum 2.0 regarding the minimum stake needed to join the network. Avalanche needs a minimum stake of 2,000 AVAX tokens, while Ethereum 2.0 needs a minimum stake of 32 ETH tokens to become a validator.
How can I transfer assets between Avalanche and Ethereum networks?
You can easily transfer assets between Avalanche and Ethereum networks by using the Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge (AEB).
It would be best to connect an Avalanche wallet and a MetaMask wallet to their respective networks. You can also add Avalanche to Metamask. You can then visit the AVAX bridge, choose the token and the amount you want to transfer, confirm the transaction on both wallets and wait for the confirmation on both networks.