Due to the inability of Meta to launch its blockchain-based stablecoin project Diem, some of the employees working on this blockchain left to develop their layer one blockchains. One of those that left was Mohammad Shaikh and Avery Ching, the founders of Aptos.
What is Aptos?
Aptos is a scalable Proof-of-Stake Layer 1 blockchain that leverages a new smart contract programming language called Move. This is a project developed by Aptos Labs, a blockchain startup led by two former Meta employees, Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching.
As one of its main focuses, the creation of Aptos is geared to solve some of the existing issues seen in most blockchain networks today such as reliability, safety, speed and usability. Making use of the new smart contract language called move, Aptos has stated that the blockchain will be able to process over 100,000 transactions per second. This will make it the fastest blockchain in the space.
Taking its first step into the crypto space, Aptos raised a seed funding of $200 million during the seed round in March 2022. This round was led by renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. In July 2022, Aptos again raised another $150 million at a $1.9 billion pre-money valuation in a Series A funding round led by Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto, before its valuation rose to $4 billion two months after a venture raise led by Binance Labs. All these steps and funding were secured by Aptos before the official launching of the blockchain, which went live on the mainnet on October 17, 2022.
To reward the early users of its testnet, Aptos airdropped 150 APT tokens to 110,235 eligible addresses during the launch. The worth of this airdrop is approximately $154 million.
Although nascent, Aptos currently has a fully diluted market capitalization of around $9.2 billion with activities building up on the blockchain.
How is Aptos Unique?
Taking a look at the technicalities, the driving force behind Aptos can be linked to two things: Move, the moribund programming language independently developed by Meta, and the blockchain’s unique parallel transaction processing speed.
Through Move, Aptos has been able to theoretically build a network with high transaction throughput and scalability without having to sacrifice security as done in other networks. To its advantage, it makes use of a pipelined and modular approach for the critical stages of transaction processing. This is in contrast to most blockchains, especially the top ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum, that execute transactions and smart contracts sequentially. This explains the slow transaction speed on these blockchains as all transactions are in a mempool where all submitted transactions await confirmation by the network’s validators and must be verified individually and in a specific order.
As an improvement, Aptos has differentiated itself from other blockchains in its parallelized approach to transaction processing and execution. This translates that its network will leverage all available physical resources while processing many transactions simultaneously. This leads to greater network throughput and increased transaction speeds while at the same time resulting in lower costs and a better user experience for blockchain users. Elaborating on this in its technical whitepaper, Aptos stated:
“To maximize throughput, increase concurrency, and reduce engineering complexity, transaction processing on the Aptos blockchain is divided into separate stages. Each stage is completely independent and individually parallelizable, resembling modern, superscalar processor architectures. Not only does this provide significant performance benefits, but also enables the Aptos blockchain to offer new modes of validator-client interaction.”
Is Aptos the next Solana Competitior?
Having run for barely a week, Aptos has been tagged “Solana Killer.” The reason for this is not far-fetched from its stated throughput of 100,000 transactions per second. In comparison to Solana which processes about 60,000 transactions per second, Aptos is offering a faster throughput while at the same time providing a safe network as it’s not sacrificing its security. Solana in comparison to Aptos has a slower throughput and has been subject to different attacks which have led to different outages. This might make Aptos a go-to option since it does not just provide faster transactions, it also provides a safer network.
Apart from its scalability, Aptos shares other common grounds with Solana. These common grounds include strong venture capital backing and the top-down approach to ecosystem building. With a war chest counting several billion dollars from the get-go and the allure of being the “shiny new thing,” Aptos can hijack Solana’s spotlight in the future if it can grow a thriving ecosystem. This is also very possible as the former Head of Marketing at Solana, Austin Virts, is now in charge of ecosystem building at Aptos.
It is an indisputable fact that Solana is still miles ahead of Aptos regarding ecosystem health and network adoption. But with its uniqueness and the innovations it provides the space, it then has a great chance at capturing a large market share from all other smart contract-enabled Layer 1 networks.