Blockchain startup Ava Labs is coming out of stealth and starting to open up its blockchain network — backed by a new consensus algorithm — to developers and users.
Ava Labs is launching a private testnet of their technology today at Token Summit, one of the many conferences taking place during Blockchain Week NYC.
Though the blockchain network isn’t ready for real money quite yet, this step is notable because, for the first time, developers outside the organization will be able to put the new code to the test based on their “Avalanche” protocol that was released last year by a pseudonymous group going by the name “Team Rocket,” referring to the villains of the Pokémon game series.
Ava is releasing the code to their launch partners, who will be able to comb through it, battle-test it, and play around with it for the first time. The code will not be completely open sourced quite yet, as Ava Labs founder and Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer told CoinDesk. Once the code has been “scrutinized” further, a public version of the testnet will be opened up for wider use.
Backing the effort is the $6 million that Ava Labs raised in February during a previously undisclosed funding round, when it won support from notable names in the venture capital and cryptocurrency spaces. These include Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Metaastable, Initialized and Ramtin Naimi of Abstract Ventures.
Ava’s project forms part of a much wider degree of interest within the academic world in exploring consensus protocols that serve the same purpose of proof-of-work — securing transactions — but are more energy-efficient and have the potential to provide a basis for democratic development and the inclusion of more users in the consensus process.