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Polygon Supernets Vs. Avalanche Subnets: Which Is Better?

By April 20, 20234 minute read

In the past few months, we have witnessed a high growth rate in the popularity of blockchain protocols that promise better throughputs and higher scalability. There has been a rise in various app-chain (application-dedicated blockchain) platforms that have their own set of advantages. Ranking on the top are the popular ones, i.e., Avalanche and Polygon, which have unique approaches and features called the Subnets and the Supernets. With these features, developers can easily work on creating more blockchain applications or app-chains.

On one side, Avalanche provides better security and scalability; on the other hand, Polygon provides users with a user-friendly experience and a low cost. So, what more different features do these platforms have? Let’s find out in this blog.

Before we move forwards, we need to have a quick understanding of app-chain platforms that are created by Subnets and Supernets.

The rise of app-chain platforms

While the Supernets and Subnets have major differences, they address a common problem: the creation of app-chain platforms.

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App-chains provide:

  • A seamless user experience,
  • Reduced fee variability,
  • Better transaction speeds, and
  • Network incentives

All of these are not possible with monolithic blockchains.

Launching an app-chain is costly, highly risky, and requires knowledgeable developers, but it’s easy and affordable with Subnets and Supernets. Moreover, Builders must also solve the challenge of properly rewarding decentralized validator participation to ensure security.

Polygon Supernets and Avalanche Subnets have risen to address all these issues by using their blockchain-centric knowledge and launching app-chains, and proving Blockchain-as-a-Sevice (BaaS).

What is a Polygon Supernet?

Supernets encompass two aspects within the Polygon ecosystem – a program that aids developers, builders, and entrepreneurs in launching their own app-chains and the resulting app-chain.

This program provides access to a professional set of validators, third-party services for implementation, design, and management, and tooling for seamless integration, such as block explorers, wallets, and KYC providers. The underlying technology that powers Supernets is Polygon Edge, which is a compatible and extensible framework designed for constructing Ethereum-compatible blockchains.

Since the initial deployment of the first Edge project in May 2021, there have been a total of 35 Edge projects built subsequently.

Benefits of Supernet

Supernet helps in limiting Polygon Edge’s challenges, which are shared below:

  • Creating a decentralized validator set from scratch is a complex process that impacts the network’s security and consumes bandwidth.
  • Polygon Edge provides multiple solutions, which can sometimes be overwhelming for developers when choosing between various chain configurations, leading to confusion.

Supernets address these challenges by providing developers with a customizable environment, enabling them to build projects while saving on costs. Consequently, Supernets enhance Polygon’s scalability while maintaining decentralization and security.

What is the Avalanche Subnet?

As per Avalanche, Subnets are a dynamic group of validators that collaborate to achieve consensus on the state of blockchains, essentially serving as the infrastructure that enables app-chains by providing shared validators. Subnets were introduced in May 2022. Subnets offer developers, builders, and entrepreneurs the flexibility to create fully customized blockchains within the Avalanche ecosystem, allowing for extensive configuration options and minimal design constraints.

Subnets allow businesses and developers to create blockchains with the ability to customize the Virtual Machine (VM) used, such as Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), Avalanche Virtual Machine (AVM), or any other VM of their choice. Additionally, Subnets support private blockchain options, enabling entrepreneurs to develop customized blockchains without tokens if their business models do not necessitate them.

Benefits of Subnet

  • Subnets provide the option to customize gas tokens, allowing users to utilize native tokens or multiple tokens to optimize gas usage.
  • Subnets may require validators to meet specific hardware requirements to ensure the smooth functioning of the application.
  • Subnets offer privacy and regulatory compliance features to organizations. However, access to 

permissioned Subnets may be restricted to those with special licenses for specific locations.

Now, after having a comprehensive understanding of Supernet and Subnet, let’s have a look at the key differences between them to find which is better.

Differences between Supernet and Subnet

Key FeaturesSubnetSupernet
PurposeSubnet divides the larger network into smaller and more manageable Subnetworks.Supernet connects various networks together to allow for cross-communication and interoperability.
ScaleSubnet operates on a smaller scale as it is created by dividing a larger network.Supernet operates on a larger scale as it is a network of networks that can be composed of multiple networks or Subnets.
Network AddressA unique network address is assigned.It is created by combining various network addresses.
SecurityIt improves the security of the network by dividing them into smaller segments.The network can face severe security issues as multiple networks are connected with each other.
ManagementSubnets can be easily managed and configured separately.Supernets are not easily manageable as they require coordination and management of different networks.

Conclusion: Which is better? Polygon Supernet or Avalanche Subnet?

Both Subnets and Supernets are solutions for scalability that facilitate rapid deployment or development of app-chains by developers. However, they differ in various aspects, including consensus mechanisms, transactions per second, the number of validators, and staking requirements.

Avalanche utilizes the Snowman Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol, which employs probabilistic consensus to enable scalability and infinite decentralization.

On the other hand, Polygon employs an Istanbul Byzantine fault tolerance (IBFT) consensus protocol to achieve guaranteed consensus, albeit at the expense of decentralization and permissionless participation.

As the adoption of blockchain technology continues to expand, these technologies are likely to become more widespread and indispensable for building Decentralized Applications (DApps).

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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Harshita Shrivastava

Harshita Shrivastava is an Associate Content Writer with WazirX. She did her graduation in E-Commerce and loved the concept of Digital Marketing. With a brief knowledge of SEO and Content Writing, she knows how to win her content game!

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