Welcome back to Chain Reaction, a podcast that interviews newsmakers in crypto to better understand the tech behind the hype and the people working to build a decentralized future.
For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Emin Gün Sirer, the founder and CEO of Ava Labs.
Ava Labs has raised a total of about $640 million, according to Crunchbase, and is backed by firms like a16z and Polychain Capital. In recent months, Ava Labs has announced a number of partnerships with major brands and companies, like Amazon Web Services, which TechCrunch covered exclusively.
Ava Labs created the layer-1 blockchain Avalanche, a platform that lets developers build multifunctional blockchains and decentralized applications with a focus on speed and low transaction costs. The blockchain is compatible with Solidity, a language developers use to code, and allows them to build projects that can communicate across multiple networks. Hundreds of projects are a part of the Avalanche ecosystem, ranging from decentralized exchanges like 1inch to digital asset security firms like BitGo.
In terms of total value locked (TVL), Avalanche is currently the seventh-largest blockchain, with more than $1.1 billion secured across a $5.72 billion market cap, according to CoinMarketCap data.
The present and future of L1s
The company sees its underlying tech as a key driver for developer attention. “Looking around I decided we have to come up with our own architecture for scaling that no one else seems to be pushing at the moment,” Gün Sirer said.
Thus, a “marriage” of Avalanche’s consensus with its subnet architecture, which allows us to have multiple parallel chains dedicated to their own use cases, was born. “That coupling was the genesis of what I thought was a brand new approach,” Gün Sirer added.
Since then, Ava Labs has had one major focus. “The north star for us is to digitize all of the world’s assets on the Avalanche blockchain,” Gün Sirer said. “That’s what we set out to do and that’s what I’m so excited about.”
In recent years, a number of L1 blockchains have popped up across the crypto ecosystem, but Gün Sirer believes in three to five years from now the abundance of L1 blockchains will “be played out.”
“I think we already have way too many L1s and they’re essentially copying other people’s playbooks,” Gün Sirer said. “In many cases, they’re bringing something to the market that the market did not ask for.”
So what’s needed to make a good L1?
It has to be decentralized, secure and fast, Gün Sirer noted. “I think we’re in a good spot and I think people are going to converge,” he added.
We also talked about Gün Sirer’s background, why he launched the layer-1 blockchain, Avalanche, in 2020, whether the space has too many L1s and how blockchains can scale more efficiently.
And we discussed:
- How the layer-2 vision is broken
- U.S. regulatory crackdown on crypto
- Ava Labs’ growth in Asian markets
- The blockchain’s partnerships and business development
- Ava Labs’ focal point for 2023 and beyond
Articles mentioned during the episode can be found here and here.
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