An address is a notion that exists in certain blockchain-based applications for transferring value. Addresses hold value and value is transferred between addresses. Real-life entities control addresses and the value held in them by holding a private key, a secret piece of information that allows them to transfer value from them.


AVA is the AVA network’s native asset. It has two special uses on the AVA network:

  • Validators must stake AVA
  • Transaction fees will be paid in AVA


Avalanche is a family of consensus protocols used by blockchains on the AVA network. Avalanche-based protocols allow computers to agree on a large set of information very quickly and with high security.

AVA Virtual Machine

The AVA Virtual Machine is one of the AVA network’s built-in virtual machines. It defines an application for creating and trading smart assets. In a slight abuse of notation, we also call the main instance of the AVM “the AVM” since this is the one people almost always use.


A blockchain is an append-only ledger. Blockchains have the special property that nobody can re-write old sections of the ledger. Applications, such as payments systems, can be built atop blockchains.

Consensus Protocol

A consensus protocol is an algorithm, or series of steps, that a set of computers follow in order to reach agreement on some piece of information. In a payments system, for example, the computers follow a protocol to agree on who has how much money.


Gecko is the Go implementation of an AVA node.


A node is a computer participating in the AVA network.

Smart Digital Assets

A smart digital asset is a digital representation of a real-world thing such as an equity, bond, money etc. They can have a complex ruleset that defines their behavior and how they are handled. This ruleset can include things like, “can’t be traded until next year,” for example.


A subnetwork (or subnet) is a set of nodes that validate a set of blockchains.


A transaction queries or modifies the state of a blockchain.


A validator is a node participating in the consensus protocol. Validators work together to achieve consensus as to which transactions have taken place on a blockchain.

Virtual Machines

A Virtual Machine defines the application-level logic of a blockchain. In technical terms, it defines a state machine. It specifies the state that is held, the state transition function, and the transactions that clients can issue in order to query/modify the state. Developers create Virtual Machines that implements some functionality and then create a blockchain that runs the Virtual Machine. Every blockchain runs (is an instance of) a Virtual Machine.