To resist sybil attacks, a decentralized network must require that influence over the network is paid for with a scarce resource so that it is prohibitively expensive for an attacker to gain enough influence over the network to compromise its security. In proof-of-work systems, the scarce resource is computing power. On Avalanche, the scarce resource is the native token, AVAX.

If a node wishes to validate for any blockchain, it must stake AVAX. To stake is to lock up some AVAX tokens, making them temporarily untransferable.

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