AMA Recap: Avalanche

AMA Recap: Avalanche

Speaker: Jay Kurahashi-Sofue, VP of Marketing @ Ava Labs

Date of the event: September 2, 2021

 

DeFi Teller

Today we’re here with Jay Kurahashi-Sofue, the VP of marketing for Ava Labs - the creating hand behind Avalanche which has been making a lot of noise in the last few weeks.

Hi Jay, how are you today?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

Hey! Doing well, thanks for having me. This is going to be great!

DeFi Teller

A couple of introductory questions to begin with, in case anyone has forgotten and is somehow randomly unaware of the Avalanche platform. I suggest we start with the basics.

Avalanche is a smart contract platform for decentralized applications that claims near-instant finality and is environmentally friendly and secure. 

Moreover, the platform claims compatibility with applications created with Solidity and gives the opportunity to create entire blockchains and custom virtual machines, tailored to the needs of the project. Could you please tell us is this all up and running now or is something still in development?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

The platform is running very well right now! You can check on-chain stats using a third-party explorer.

The VM scaling solution will be brought to Avalanche using a function called subnets. This is coming to the platform later this year. You can check out the rest of the development/project roadmap here.

DeFi Teller

Coming up, we'll have several questions about Avalanche Rush in details, the recent hit that has brought about the fantastic growth of AVAX and most importantly the integration of notorious dApps on Avalanche, so I'll just ask briefly: would I be right in saying that this is the first such major attempt to bring the DeFi giants onto the platform?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

First of many!

Avalanche Rush is bringing in $180M of incentives for both native and non-native Avalanche DeFi users.

$180M at the time of the announcement and since then, the token has appreciated so the incentives are actually substantially larger.

Avalanche also has the Avalanche Bridge (AB) which is a very easy-to-use bridge for ERC20 tokens.

DeFi Teller

We also have a few questions about the bridge, yes.

So, let's get to the questions asked by our Twitter followers. I suggest we start with a batch of questions about Avalanche Rush, since we’ve already on this. I'll ask all of them at once to make it easier for you to structure your answer.

What is the schedule for Avalanche Rush? How long will the program last and how many stages there will be? When will the next stage begin?

Can you give more details about the Avalanche Rush campaign? What kind of incentives are in store for us, and can regular users take advantage of them?

Avalanche Rush incentives program is a hit as the price of AVAX token rocketed in just the first week. What’s gonna happen when the incentives dry out? What is Avalanche’s strategy to keep users attracted by temporary incentives after the Avalanche Rush program will be over?

For now, Aave, Curve and Sushi have joined the Avalanche Rush program. Do you plan to involve other blue chip projects? Any hints on what that will be?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

1.Avalanche Rush will be ongoing. The schedule will be based on what each project wants to do with their incentives. The target is to start deploying dApps / incentives later in September / early October. Regular users can take advantage of them, and we'll provide detailed resources on how to do so.

High level: if you use certain pools (TBD per protocol) you can earn AVAX or rewards in that dApp's token.

2. I would check out some of the released details on the Avalanche blog; as mentioned above, not all of the incentive structures are public yet.

3. When incentives "run out," we expect the experience to speak for itself. When people come over, they’re not going to want to use anything else.

4. Other blue chips are coming. No hints unfortunately.

DeFi Teller

Thank you Jay! Couple questions about the newly launched Avalanche bridge here.

Would you please tell us more about the new Avalanche bridge launched in July? For now, it connects only Ethereum, do you plan to bridge other blockchains or L2 solutions - and which exactly?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

Yes, Avalanche Bridge is EVM compatible so it can scale horizontally with other EVM chains. On the roadmap, we're looking to also bridge other non-smart contract chains.

This is going to be great once there's more options for users. The experience is truly one of a kind and what I tell people is to just try it out and you'll see. Plus, you'll get a little AVAX airdrop when you use it.

Limited time only.

DeFi Teller

The new Avalanche bridge brought a 5x decrease in transaction fees. How did you manage that?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

Ah, not exactly related. The fee reduction has to do with Apricot, an ongoing series of updates for the Avalanche platform. 

Apricot Phase 3:

- Turned fixed fees to dynamic fees

- Upgrade alllows for a fee reduction of as much as 66%

You can learn more here.

DeFi Teller

Can you please elaborate on Apricot upgrade - what is its current phase and what should users expect in the near future?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

There are a few more phases left for this year. Key dates have not been announced yet but stay tuned. Your best resource will likely be Twitter or Telegram.

DeFi Teller

How are blockchains on Avalanche different from parachains on Polkadot/Kusama? And what do you think are the advantages of networks that offer the ability to build entire blockchains over others?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

From my limited understanding of the DOT ecosystem, I believe Parachains are similar to Avalanche's subnets.

I think the advantage is that it keeps it all in one ecosystem. Interoperability also solves this. At the end of the day, if you think in the context of DeFi, composability is key as it minimizes friction in UX. This is something I personally think is most important whether or not its on functions like subnets or done via interoperability bridges.

DeFi Teller

What plans are there in terms of marketing and promotions targeted at developers? I thought the recent documentation promo was a good idea. I gave up on docs initially due to time (too much web2) but have just come across @Figment_io which looks like it's got a decent pathway.

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

So so so much:

- Chainlink Hackathon invites Avalanche about 3/4 times a year; incredible team;

- Encode Club, is a hackathon and accelerator, we have big plans coming with them to ramp up efforts this year;

- Participating in OpenDeFi Hackathon.

The goal is to see what's out there and be very in tune with the needs of devs. Open to more suggestions. My DMs on Twitter are always open.

DeFi Teller

Thank you Jay! A team that is open to communicating with users is key!

Currently over 40% of Avalanche’s validators are from the United States. Is that intentional or is the chain just more popular at home?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

The location is a bit tricky. Some people are using VPS so it really depends on where those servers are. 

The goal is to continue to push the limits of decentralization. 1000 validators is incredible. The minimum staking requirement is a bit high at 2k avax; once governance is launched, the community will be able to decide what is the best rate.

DeFi Teller

Is there any whale protection on Avalanche? How is the network protected from massive withdrawals?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

If I understand correctly, it's asking about large holders of tokens that use Avalanche's dApp ecosystem...there aren't really checks but I would say the efforts of the team and the community is to maximize stickiness of the platform. If Avalanche is simply useful, people won't have the need to leave.

DeFi Teller

The Internet of Finance is a pretty ambitious slogan. But how can Avalanche be used aside from cryptocurrency-related services such as token exchange or yield farming? Please tell us about your partnership with governments and enterprises.

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

The Ava Labs team has had many conversations with governments and enterprises. The time to market for these large institutions isn’t as fast as crypto projects.

Subnets are what is most appealing to these institutions. You can program compliance within the subnets themselves and also have permissioned chains powered by Avalanche consensus

DeFi Teller

And to wrap it up, here's a rather global question from our Twitter follower:

Do you personally believe in a multi-chain future or is there a battle of networks for Ethereum's place in front of us right now that will soon be over? And if yes, how should one overtake the others? Is this a liquidity+tech formula or is there something else to fight with?

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

Absolutely. Multi chain is the future. Maximalism doesn’t get us far, especially in a space that’s still very small.

DeFi Teller

Thanks a lot Jay! It was a real pleasure to have you here with us today!

Jay Kurahashi-Sofue | Ava Labs

Thanks!

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