How to use Avalanche

How to use Avalanche

An overview of all the tools, dapps, and insights on Avalanche. This is a guide on how to use the Avalanche ecosystem. After reading this, you’ll be ready to explore and start using the decentralized apps built on Avalanche.

By: PascalKeizer


Getting access to the Avalanche Ecosystem

Centralized exchanges

The Avalanche ecosystem requires some AVAX tokens before you can use it. These may be bought at Coinbase, Gate, Huobi, KuCoin, Binance, and Huobi.

For a detailed list of the exchanges that offer $AVAX markets, go here.

Hint: If you're new to Avalanche, read our Introduction to Avalanche article first.


Wallet

I'd recommend transferring your AVAX to a personal wallet as soon as you have acquired some. Although AVAX is supported by hardware wallets like Ledger, using the ecosystem actively may make a hardware wallet impractical.

The blockchain of Avalanche is supported by the well-liked MetaMask wallet, which is cool. While initially only supporting Ethereum, this wallet has been around for years and has since integrated multiple blockchains, including Avalanche. As a result, you can start utilizing the Avalanche ecosystem from a well-known wallet.

Click here to learn how to add the Avalanche network to your MetaMask.

Avalanche has its own wallet as well, which is primarily utilized for staking and validating right now.

Always make absolutely sure that you and you alone have access to your private key and/or your 12/24 word phrase as this is the key to unlocking your wallet. We advise making two copies of your keys and keeping them safe or keeping them in an encrypted, secure password management system.


Bridges

More experienced users might already be invested in the Ethereum network. Assets like Ether and USDC can be transferred from one protocol to another via so-called bridges.

Avalanche has the AVAX bridge, which enables you to transfer assets between the Ethereum and Avalanche blockchain. As both support the MetaMask wallet, all you have to do is connect your wallet to the bridge and choose which assets you want to bridge.

Be aware that this software is still at an early stage and therefore comes with risk. Assets can also be transferred between protocol wallets using centralized exchanges.

Using the ecosystem

Avalanche ecosystem assets

Now that you have AVAX in your wallet, you can enter the Avalanche ecosystem. Numerous dapps, such DeFi, NFTs, and Metaverses, are part of this ecosystem and offer intriguing products based on blockchain technology.

A stake in a dapp is acquired through the majority of these dapps' own coins. Depending on the dapp, these tokens can be used for a variety of things, including voting, staking, lotteries, and token sales. To choose which coins are promising, however, will require extensive research. We also need to add that trading these coins is still extremely volatile and risky.


Ecosystem insights

An overview of the whole ecosystem of dapps created on top of Avalanche may be seen on the official Avalanche website. You may view all activity on the Avalanche blockchain, including transactions, unique wallets, and the most popular assets, with the SnowTrace explorer.

Avalanche transaction & wallet data
Avalanche transaction & wallet data

As these pages can be quite an information overload, we recommend using Markr.io and the Avascan token page to locate active projects and associated tokens.

The Avalanche ecosystem is also covered on a Coingecko website. The Avalanche-specific pages display all tokens, but Coingecko offers a lot more details on certain assets. When you look for or select a token, you are taken to its own page, which contains the most pertinent information. You may see where to buy a token when you click "market."

Avalaunch

Decentralized exchanges

Tokens in the Avalanche ecosystem can be purchased on decentralized exchanges (DEX). These are blockchain-based exchanges that enable you to trade assets straight from your wallet against one another. These exchanges frequently also have specialized utilities of their own.

There are two main DEXs on Avalanche. The oldest DEX on Avalanche is Pangolin. Besides token swapping, Pangolin offers yield farming, staking and is gradually evolving into a DAO, allowing token holders to vote on important dapp decisions.

The second DEX is Trader Joe. Although the DEX is much newer than Pangolin, it has already significantly outperformed Pangolin in terms of market cap and volumes. It enables yield farming and staking, has markets for almost all Avalanche tokens and is preparing to launch lending and a DAO in the near future.

All you have to do to use these DEXs is browse to the DEX's website and click "connect" to connect your MetaMask wallet to the exchange. After connecting, you can choose which asset to swap for which asset, for example, "From AVAX to XAVA."

You can find the trading pairs of each token on Coingecko by visiting the token’s page and clicking on “markets”.


Dashboards

Now that you’ve purchased some Avalanche assets, you want a clear overview of your portfolio. While you can see them in your wallet, this is generally not a very clean interface.

You can use a dashboard tool to quickly keep track of your portfolio. These dapps check your public address to see what's inside because they are connected to the Avalanche blockchain.

The Markr.io dashboard is our preferred one for Avalanche. To check your portfolio and the yield it is producing, you can quickly connect your wallet or enter your public key.

Wallet tracking
Wallet tracking

Additionally, the website provides a clear overview of the Avalanche ecosystem and even has a DEX functionality.

The Avalanche ecosystem is rapidly evolving and smart contracts are continuously added and upgraded. Due to this, some dapps and newer tokens might not be visible in a dashboard yet.

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Disclaimer: Nothing on this site should be construed as a financial investment recommendation. It’s important to understand that investing is a high-risk activity. Investments expose money to potential loss.