app.shapeshift.com is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for all things DeFi. From being able to connect to our app with 200+ wallets (including Metamask, WalletConnect, and xDefi), to having the ability to buy and sell with the industry’s leading on and off ramps一now, it has never been easier to use Avalanche seamlessly alongside some of your favorite chains. Using a unique consensus mechanism unlike any other chain, Avalanche is a relatively new, multi-blockchain network that offers our users lightning-fast transaction times and low fees while maintaining a robust network. Integrated with our sleek UI on our web app, users can now interact with more than 5800+ tokens on 4 (and counting) chains.
Why Use Avalanche on ShapeShift?
Unlike other DApps, you won’t have to switch chains on your wallet to view the wide variety of opportunities available on our platform. All of our earning options can be sorted and viewed regardless of what chain is active in your wallet, allowing you to have the ultimate multi-chain experience you deserve. Upon selecting an opportunity, you will be prompted to switch to the active chain (if required) before proceeding with transacting.
Don’t have any $AVAX in your wallet? Have no fear! You will be able to on/off -ramp $AVAX with some of the best rates with our partners Gem and Banxa. And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, thanks to our existing 0x integration supporting Avalanche, you can swap your assets on our app and take advantage of some of the best rates available using 0x’s integrated SushiSwap, Pangolin, and TraderJoe liquidity.
What Is Avalanche Network?
The Avalanche network is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) smart contract platform (side chain) for DApps. Whereas other chains (such as Ethereum and Bitcoin) use consensus mechanisms in the Classical or Nakamoto families, Avalanche differentiates itself by creating and implementing a new consensus family known as “Avalanche consensus.” Following years of research and testing, the Avalanche mainnet launched in September 2020 and featured the release of a multichain framework utilizing three chains (the P, X, and C chains). Each chain plays a critical and unique role within the Avalanche ecosystem while providing the same capabilities of a single network. Avalanche is known to be very performant and can process thousands of transactions per second with one to two second acceptance latency.
Avalanche C-Chain is used for all smart contract applications and was the subchain chosen for this integration. Avalanche X-Chain is only used by native Avalanche wallets for sending and receiving AVAX, and the Avalanche P-Chain is the platform chain and serves users wishing to stake AVAX or serve as a validator. Neither the X-Chain nor P-Chain made sense to support at this time given their user use-case, therefore, this integration does not include Avalanche X-Chain or P-Chain.
What Is Avalanche Consensus?
TLDR: The Avalanche consensus protocol can be compared to a black box that something gets put into and comes back as accepted or rejected.
Consensus is the task of getting a group of computers to agree on a decision. Computers can reach a consensus by following a set of steps called a “consensus protocol.” Avalanche is a new consensus protocol that is scalable, robust, and decentralized. It has low latency and high throughput while being energy efficient and not requiring special computer hardware.
Avalanche is a general consensus engine that is probabilistically safe up to a safety threshold. That is, the probability that a correct node accepts a transaction that another correct node rejects can be made arbitrarily low by adjusting system parameters. In the Nakamoto consensus protocol (as used in Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example), a block may be included in the chain but then be removed and not end up in the canonical chain. This means waiting an hour for transaction settlement. In Avalanche, acceptance/rejection are final and irreversible and take a few seconds.
Avalanche consensus is a radical breakthrough in distributed systems and represents a significant leap forward from the classical and Nakamoto consensus protocols that came before it. ShapeShift couldn’t be more excited to continue driving toward our vision of supporting all wallets, all chains, and all protocols with our inclusion of Avalanche network and allowing our users to send, receive, and swap on Avalanche!