Subnets simple for subnetworks refer to a feature of Avalanche that makes it possible for everyone to create their L1 or L2 blockchain. It is either a single custom blockchain or a set of custom blockchains validated together. The base layer of Avalanche is the default subnet which includes P-chain that manages subnetwork topology, the C-chain, an EVM-powered contract chain, and the X-chain, a UTXO powred chain that is high scaling.

The history of blockchain scaling in a nutshell

One unique thing about Avalanche is that it facilitates subnets, a new type of scaling that previous blockchains have never explored. It works like an L2 but is decentralized, stronger, and feature-rich. These subnetworks are the same as sharding since they create separate but linked instances of a blockchain. However, subnets are algorithmically created and launched based on the user’s needs.

Subnetworks facilitate scaling and other tasks associated with scaling. For instance, if you have conflicting ideas you want to exist on the same crypto subnets, make that possible. You can create two subnets with various sharding schemes or one subnet with different subchains.

Subnets also allow the unlimited creation of chains for different niche uses. If the second chain gets messed up, you can simply launch another. Subnets can also create their subnets while using the same principles. Additionally, various validators can validate different subnets while validating the default subnet.

One of the best things about subnets is that they are limitless, so you can never run out of them and develop a new one every time you reach a scaling limit. Subnets have their token, which you must stake in alignment with AVAX. As long as a subnet has a unique token, it provides yield farming defi potential to validate with robust nodes. They can transfer tokens to a subnet to stake and earn interest from the subnet fees.

The future of subnets

Although there is no winner yet in blockchain scaling, subnets symbolize the unification of crypto scaling ideas into a single interoperable ecosystem. When it comes to the future of subnets, users can try on-chain scaling and sharding schemes. But each comes with its drawback. Onchain scaling sacrifices some security to optimize scaling, while sharding sacrifices some decentralization to optimize scaling. But when you implement subnets with expertise, they are safe for daily operations.

Another idea for subnet scaling is to use simple network gossip to move transactional throughput from the consensus layer to a purely cryptographic layer. In this scenario, double spends might be avoided by burning coins whenever a double spend is attempted, and the chain would then periodically be “settled up.” This would temporarily sacrifice finality to scale, and it might even scale significantly.

Or maybe scaling appears in the shape of numerous specialty subnets that don’t intend to scale everyone, but scaling ends up being the emergence of variety. The finest solutions will eventually prevail once these ideas have been tested concurrently. But instead of needing different blockchain ecosystems, we can test them all on Avalanche and get the best of both worlds.