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Avalanche to Unveil Novel Blockchain Features with Apricot, its First Major Upgrade

Less than two months after mainnet launch, Avalanche is preparing to unveil new functionalities not found on other blockchains.

Building upon our history of innovation, we will be rolling out Apricot, a major upgrade to the Avalanche platform that introduces new features not found in any other chain. Expected to be released in December 2020, this new upgrade is poised to advance the field and disprove some commonly held beliefs about blockchains.

With its initial release, Avalanche disproved the common misconception that blockchains are necessarily slow and unscalable and that any improvements on these two fronts necessarily involve a compromise from decentralization. Avalanche, today, achieves total immutable finality in under a second and can clear transactions at 3x the speed of the centralized VISA network, while also building a worldwide decentralized network composed of hundreds of independent participants.

We plan to disprove another commonly held misconception: that blockchains must necessarily slow down and consume more resources as time goes on and their datasets grow.

Apricot’s Competitive Features

Apricot enables “verifiable pruning,” wherein nodes can securely compact past historical transactions. This brings unprecedented optimizations for a decentralized platform; an Avalanche node will be able to bootstrap and come online quickly and in constant time, regardless of the past history of transactions or the size of the blockchain. Further, light clients will be able to securely participate in the platform without having to download the entire blockchain.

With the release of Apricot, more novel features will be able to come online in the future. One of these is a fee mechanism that enables transaction costs to be low and predictable for users. Another feature is governance, by which AVAX holders can modify critical economic parameters, such as the reward rate.

Overall, we believe in constant, rapid iteration and enhancements that unlock new use cases and functionalities not found on other chains so developers can continue to build without limits. This is especially true in the early days of the network, though communities and developers around crypto should get accustomed to the process of constant refinement and new scientific breakthroughs.

Avalanche has always been the most scientifically advanced chain, and we expect that reputation will only expand with strong community and development teams contributing to its success.

Key Highlights in the Upgrade

  • Epochs — Epochs will incorporate the concept of time into Avalanche’s Exchange Chain (X-Chain). This will unlock many features from our roadmap, with unprecedented decentralization and speed. These features include state pruning, variable fees, governance, and many more.
  • Freezable Assets — This new asset type enables asset creators and issuers to freeze and unfreeze assets on the platform. While we can’t envision every way people will deploy this functionality, there is a clear need for organizations with regulated use cases to ensure only approved users have access to assets. It will also be a key component of new assets coming soon to Avalanche.
  • Avalanche Native Asset ERC-20 support — This upgrade, which introduces a new Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) instruction called callex, makes it possible for the Avalanche Contract Chain (C-Chain) to transfer native Avalanche assets while invoking smart contracts. This, in turn, enables native Avalanche assets to be deposited into ERC20 wrapper contracts.

What’s next?

We expect the engineering team to refine the upgrade over the next few weeks and embark on extensive testing to ensure the upgrade process is smooth and does not impact any existing functionality. The upgrade will not otherwise impact any existing assets or functionality.

While the upgrade is being prepared, we will keep everyone updated on progress across our channels, determine community acceptance for the new features, discuss rollout schedules, and set specific dates for the Apricot rollout. Please stay tuned and join the conversation on:

About Avalanche

Avalanche is an open-source platform for launching decentralized finance applications and enterprise blockchain deployments in one interoperable, highly scalable ecosystem. Developers who build on Avalanche can easily create powerful, reliable, and secure applications and custom blockchain networks with complex rulesets or build on existing private or public subnets.

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