Newswise — ITHACA, N.Y. – Avalanche, a new blockchain platform built around research first conducted at Cornell University, raised $42 million in less than five hours during the first public sale of its digital currency token, held July 15.

Emin Gün Sirer, associate professor of computer science, is co-founder and CEO of Ava Labs, the company behind the project based on the Avalanche consensus protocol – a new mechanism for efficiently verifying and securing blockchain networks without significant energy expenditure, centralization or performance degradation.

“Avalanche is built on the first major breakthrough in decentralized systems since Satoshi Nakamoto released the first bitcoin white paper in 2008,” said Sirer, referring to the pseudonymous programmer who created bitcoin – a digital currency based on blockchain technology.

Since then, Sirer said, proposed new blockchain networks have either copied bitcoin’s model or relied on outdated and flawed designs.

“Avalanche avoids these pitfalls by embracing a new family of consensus protocols to empower performance only dreamed of in the last 40 years of research,” he said.

According to its founders, Avalanche is the first smart contracts platform that performs transactions in less than 1 second, supports Ethereum – the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin – and enables millions of producers of blocks, or nodes.

The AVAX token – 72 million of which were offered for sale in July – is the native token of the platform and used to secure the network, pay for fees and provide a basic unit of account across the Avalanche system.

For additional information, see this Cornell Chronicle story.