Avalanche Watch: April Edition
Avalanche is an open, programmable smart contracts platform for decentralized applications. Avalanche has one of the fastest time-to-finality of any blockchain platform and is decentralized, enables interoperable app-chains within its ecosystem, is inexpensive to use, and customizable.
In this report, we will cover major news announcements, platform upgrades, projects, network performance, and more!
What’s New on Avalanche
Avalanche Summit II — Avalanche’s annual conference happened on May 3–5 in Barcelona. Be sure to check out all the highlights, keynote speakers, announcements and more on the Avax twitter and medium page.
Cortina Mainnet Upgrade — The Avalanche Network successfully transitioned to Cortina, the latest version of Avalanche Go. The Cortina upgrade standardized the consensus mechanism across the primary network, increased the block gas limit to accommodate more complex transactions, and enabled batched delegator rewards. Learn more here.
Evergreen — Ava Labs has launched the Evergreen testnet, Spruce, which has attracted major institutional partners such as T. Rowe Price Associates, WisdomTree, Wellington Management, and Cumberland. These partners will test a variety of assets and applications on Spruce to measure the benefits of on-chain trade execution and settlement. Future phases of Spruce will include additional third-party applications, assets, and processes, including tokenized equity and credit issuance, trading, and fund management. Learn more here.
SK Planet — SK Planet, one of South Korea’s largest information and communication technologies platforms, is launching a dedicated Avalanche Subnet called UPTN that will serve as a foundation for digital collectibles, Web3 wallets, and decentralized communities. The UPTN Subnet will be integrated into SK Planet’s popular services and apps, such as OKcashbag (OCB), which has almost half of the South Korean population as members, and will offer NFTs, unique community features, and dynamic membership benefits. Learn more here.
Merit Circle DAO — Merit Circle DAO will launch Beam, an independent, sovereign gaming Avalanche Subnet. Beam will include Merit Circle products, new gaming-focused tooling, an NFT marketplace, and three new games, with plans to support dozens of Avalanche games. The first three games to be released on Beam are Trial Xtreme, Walker World, and Hash Rush. Learn more here.
Gunzilla — Gunzilla Games has launched GUNZ, a blockchain-based digital economy platform fully built on an Avalanche Subnet, to offer a rewarding user experience for both Web3 and traditional gamers. GUNZ will be integrated into Gunzilla Games’ upcoming Battle Royale 2.0 game, Off The Grid (OTG), and other gaming studios will be able to leverage the GUNZ SDK to build and launch their own projects on GUNZ, which aims to empower players by granting them complete ownership over their in-game items in the form of NFTs. Learn more here.
Moongate — Moongate, a platform that uses dynamic NFTs to create immersive experiences for ticketing and membership, will design “Phygital” NFT campaigns for Ava Labs. Moongate’s NFTs allow event attendees to unlock rewards and access based on real-life interactions, and their platform offers an easy no-code solution for businesses to create and manage NFTs. Learn more here.
Increased Monthly Active Addresses
Avalanche saw an explosion (+86.1% m/m) of monthly active addresses in April across all Subnets. As expected, most of the active addresses are on the C-Chain, though there were notable increases in active addresses originating from new Subnets such as Wraptag Subnet and XPLUS Subnet.
High Computation Demand via Burned Gas Fees
Gas fees are a great proxy for on-chain computation. The higher the network demand, especially on the C-Chain, the higher gas fees will become. Daily burned gas fees reached highs not seen since May of 2022. Because Avalanche burns 100% of gas fees, gas fee burning contributes to AVAX token value accrual.
The Past Month in Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Top DEXs by Volume
Trader Joe remains the top DEX by volume, while GMX remains the top decentralized perpetual exchange. Curve, a decentralized stableswap exchange, also saw a notable uptick in usage over the past month.
Top projects by TVL
The top 5 projects by TVL have largely remained in a steady state. BenQi picked up TVL relative to Aave, which suggests that participation in liquid staking derivatives (LSDs) may be gaining momentum on Avalanche. This momentum was likely catalyzed by the launch of BenQi’s Ignite protocol. There was a slight downturn of TVL around April 20th with the notable exception of Stargate Finance (more on Stargate Finance later).
The Past Month in Gaming (GameFi)
DeFi Kingdoms remains the GameFi project with the most active addresses by a wide margin. Compared to last month, Crabada replaced Betswirl in the top three, while other GameFi applications remain largely in the same positions.
The Past Month in Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
NFT Mints Skyrocketed
New NFT mints skyrocketed vs. last month — POAP (proof of attendance protocol) NFTs were especially popular. POAP NFTs are issued to attendees of events, and the POAP issuer Galxe has been issuing a large number of feeless NFTs. This boom in NFT creation suggests increased uptake in NFT utility on Avalanche.
Top 5 NFT Project by Volume
This month saw a retraction in NFT volumes on Avalanche following an especially strong month in March. From March, NFT volume saw a decline of 18.41%. According to avalytics.xyz, the following were April’s top collections by volume:
- OOPA (8543 AVAX) — OOPA is an NFT collection derived from other NFT collections called APA (Avalanche Party Animals) and Golden Token. OOPAs are dynamic and can be customized with OOPAREL, which came in as the sixth largest collection by volume.
- Chikn (7436 AVAX) — Upgradable NFT collection used by the Chikn NFT gaming ecosystem.
- Doggerinos (3818 AVAX) — A new NFT mint this month, Doggerinos are a new profile picture (PFP) project that allows community members to express themselves through cute dog art.
- Dragon Crypto Hero (3280 AVAX) — Dragon Crypto Heros are NFT characters that provide various levels of starting bonus in The Legend of Aurum Draconis, a fully-fledged old-school RPG on the Avalanche blockchain.
- Ferdy Fish (3102 AVAX) — A collection of 300 NFTs, Ferdy Fish is a PFP project with a strong community and reward tie in to ferdyflip.xyz, a collection of games that use Chainlink’s verifiable randomness functions.
Avalanche started to emerge as an Omnichain Hub
As a scalable blockchain with relatively inexpensive network transaction fees, Avalanche is a great choice for applications that require many transactions. Stargate Finance, a liquidity protocol built on LayerZero messaging technology, is one such application that has taken off in April. Stargate Finance allows people to transfer primarily ETH and stablecoins from various blockchains. This surge in Stargate Finance transaction calls suggests that Avalanche could play a major role if the omnichain thesis plays out, especially as this number increases overtime. Projects that require a central registry to track transactions across blockchains can use the Avalanche C-Chain or Subnets as a fast, inexpensive way to manage funds.
Relative growth of unique active addresses
In relative terms, Avalanche ended the month as the fastest growing blockchain among a selected basket of EVM blockchains.
Relative growth of transactions
This relative strength in unique active addresses is also reflected in the relative growth of the number of transactions on the Avalanche blockchain.
Avalanche is a smart contracts platform that scales infinitely and regularly finalizes transactions in less than one second. Its novel consensus protocol, Subnet infrastructure, and HyperSDK toolkit enable Web3 developers to easily launch powerful, custom blockchain solutions. Build anything you want, any way you want, on the eco-friendly blockchain designed for Web3 devs.