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The Avalanche Foundation has launched a $290 million incentives program to accelerate the adoption of Avalanche’s “subnet” functionality, the organization said in a blog post on 8 March.

According to the announcement, the new Avalanche “Multiverse” program will use up to 4 million AVAX tokens (worth around $290 million) to encourage the growth of subnets — blockchains connected to Avalanche, and customized to suit specific apps — on the network. The subnet functionality puts Avalanche in competition with rival networks Cosmos and Polkadot, which already offer similar functionalities. Emin Gün Sirer, director of the Avalanche Foundation, said in a statement:

“Subnets will be the next growth engine in crypto, enabling novel functionality only possible with network-level control and open experimentation on a scale we haven’t yet seen. Smart contracts underpinned the amazing innovation in blockchains over the last five years, and no technology is better positioned to help carry on this tradition than Subnets.”

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The subnet functionality is a great addition to the Avalanche network, as it allows projects to customize the blockchain to their needs, while still retaining the same tools and features of Avalanche. Subnets also eliminate the need to compete for resources, as their speed and costliness is unaffected by events happening on the Avalanche blockchain.

Two projects have already been selected to receive incentives under the new program. The first, called DeFi Kingdoms — an NFT gaming project that ported to Avalanche back in December — will receive $15 million from the program.

The second is a collaboration between Ava Labs, Aave, GoldenTree Asset Management, Wintermute, Jump Crypto, Valkyrie, Securitize, and others. The group will create a subnet specifically engineered for institutional DeFi —with a native KYC functionality — enabling regulated institutions to have access to DeFi.

While DeFi Kingdoms will be the first to receive incentives under the Multiverse program, other projects have already started using the subnet functionality, such as the first-person shooter game Shrapnel. The Avalanche Foundations noted that the Multiverse program will be divided into six phases as to support multiple projects over time.

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