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Avalanche unveils Durango upgrade to facilitate trustless communication across EVM chains

The upgrade includes several improvements that target Avalanche's C-Chain and P-Chain.

Avalanche unveils Durango upgrade to facilitate trustless cross-chain communication

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Avalanche officially launched the Durango upgrade on the Fuji testnet at 11 A.M. ET on February 13, 2024, according to a recent post from Patrick O’Grady, Head of Engineering at Ava Labs. This upgrade aims to enable trustless cross-chain interactions and significantly enhance the network’s scalability.

In a recent blog post, Avalanche details that the Durango upgrade comes with a suite of improvements aimed at bolstering the Avalanche network’s capabilities. Key among these is the activation of Avalanche Warp Messaging (AWM) across all EVM chains within the Avalanche ecosystem.

Initially implemented in the first native Cross-Subnet message sent on the Avalanche Mainnet on December 22, 2022, AVM is a feature that enables direct communication between any two blockchains on different Subnets, enhancing the overall efficiency and security of asset management on the Avalanche network.

The successful implementation paved the way for ACP-30, a proposal to activate AWM on the C-Chain and Subnet-EVM, thereby bringing native cross-chain communication to every EVM chain in the Avalanche ecosystem. AWM eliminates the need for third-party intermediaries or trust assumptions beyond the validator set, offering a direct, validator-verified messaging system between Subnets. 

The Durango upgrade also aims to address common developer requests to improve the user experience, as noted by Avalanche. These improvements include support for P-Chain native transfers, enabling subnet ownership transfers, and ensuring smart contract compatibility with Ethereum by incorporating the Ethereum Shanghai Upgrade. Additionally, the upgrade reduces the latency of failed requests and streamlines network operations by introducing VM application errors.

According to Avalanche, the Durango upgrade sets the stage for future advancements that will further scale the P-Chain and leverage BLS keys for enhanced security and functionality across Subnets.

Avalanche’s three main chains include the Contract Chain (C-Chain), the Platform Chain (P-Chain), and the Exchange Chain (X-Chain). Avalanche’s C-Chain is used for smart contracts and DeFi applications while its P-Chain is used for staking AVAX and managing the validator set.

Subnets refer to groups of Avalanche validators that work together to agree on the status of one or more blockchains. Each subnet can operate its own virtual machines, allowing them to define their unique rules for transaction processing, maintain their internal state, manage their network connections, and ensure their security independently.

Avalanche subnets have been adopted by institutions like City and JPMorgan. In November last year, Avalanche announced its partnership with JP Morgan’s Onyx to automate portfolio management.

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