Some pitch it as a “Solana Killer” while others see it as the next big thing in layer 1 blockchain scaling. Meanwhile, there are also those who think the buzz surrounding the Aptos crypto project is somewhat overblown.
But no matter which side of the fence you’re on, there is no denying that Aptos has managed to grab the attention of the broader crypto community. And even though the project is still at a pretty early stage, it has already bagged funding from multiple venture capital firms.
So hop on if you are looking to know what the Aptos crypto project is all about. This guide takes a deep dive into Aptos and its mission to build a “safe, scalable, and upgradeable web3 infrastructure.”
In this guide:
- What is Aptos?
- Aptos team
- How does the Aptos blockchain work?
- The Aptos ecosystem
- Aptos token
- What makes Aptos unique?
- Can Aptos live up to expectations?
- Frequently asked questions
What is Aptos?
Aptos is a layer1 blockchain built using the Move programming language. You could call it the conceptual successor of Meta’s now-abandoned Diem blockchain project.
The Aptos blockchain primarily focuses on scalability, reliability, safety, and upgradeability as its foundational principles. The project aspires to revolutionize the layer 1 space with innovative ideas for consensus mechanisms, performance optimization, system security, and smart contract designs.
Its ultimate objective is to replicate the cloud infrastructure powering web2 in a decentralized way to build an all-encompassing blockchain solution that encourages an accelerated mainstream adoption of web3. At the same time, Aptos also plans on developing a DApp ecosystem that focuses on solving real-world problems.
The Aptos genesis took place on Oct. 12, 2022. The launch of the project’s blockchain mainnet, “Aptos Autumn” followed shortly after on Oct. 17.
The team overseeing the project promises several advantages, including:
- A parallel execution engine
- Sharding for horizontal throughput scalability
- Advanced state synchronization
- Low transaction costs
- High-end security features
- Modular design
So far, the project has done a pretty neat job attracting millions of dollars in funding from investors. For instance, in July 2022, the company raised$150 million in a Series A round led by FTX Ventures and Jump crypto. Before that, it had bagged $200 million from multiple venture capital firms including Tiger Global, Multicoin Capital, and a16z, among others.
In September, Binance Labs announced that it was making a follow-on investment in Aptos as part of its strategic investment program. With that, the valuation of Aptos reportedly shot up to a whopping $4 billion.
Aptos was developed by Aptos Labs, a company co-founded by Mo Shaikh (CEO) and Avery Ching (CTO). Both Shaikh and Ching are former Meta employees, and they collectively bring years of experience as senior developers and engineers in the blockchain industry.
Aptos Labs consists of a diverse group of battle-hardened designers, engineers, researchers, and strategists.
It is worth mentioning here that one of the main reasons why the Aptos crypto project is creating so much buzz would be its fascinating past. While Aptos is an independent blockchain with its own vision and technology, the project is based on Meta’s now-discontinued Diem blockchain initiative. In fact, a good chunk of the Aptos team was directly associated with the creation, design, and development of Diem.
How does the Aptos blockchain work?
PoS with advanced BFT consensus
Aptos is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain with an advanced Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism, alongside a set of validators to receive, process, and validate transactions.
APT token holders can stake their tokens in validators. This gives each validator a consensus voting weight proportionate to the number of tokens staked in them. The validator can use their voting weight to participate in consensus and governance of the blockchain.
Light and full node clients
Aptos clients are segmented into two categories — full node clients and light clients.
While the full node clients are required to keep the full copy of the Aptos transaction ledger, light clients can keep only a trimmed copy of the same. Both client types send queries to validators asking for the history and current state of the Aptos ledger before submitting transactions to be added to it.
Move programming language
Aptos uses the Move programming language’s object model to represent the state of its ledger. Move is a relatively new programmable platform for blockchains, smart contracts, and other applications. It was originally designed for Facebook (now Meta) for its now-defunct crypto/blockchain projects Libra and Diem.
The Aptos team claims that Move’s sophisticated smart contracting language is perfect for allowing fast and secure transactions. Additionally, Move also makes it easier to audit and analyze the blockchain and smart contracts using it.
Move consists of a compiler, a virtual machine (VM), developer tooling, and Move Prover, a verifier for secure smart contracts. With a focus on access control, preservation, and resource scarcity, Move assures that it is virtually impossible to create new coins without correct credentials while also preventing lost or double-spending.
Parallel transaction processing
The Aptos blockchain is compatible with parallel transaction processing, which is a crucial requirement for high scalability and throughput. It has optimized a multi-threaded, in-memory parallel engine with high efficiency using BlockSTM to deliver over 160,000 non-trivial Move transactions per second.
The whole underlying infrastructure is fine-tuned for complex atomic transactions to facilitate transaction viability protection. This means each transaction is either complete 100% or doesn’t happen at all. And that paves the way for secure p2p trustless transactions without having to rely on an intermediary.
Configurability and upgradability
One of Aptos’ key focus areas is configurability and upgradability. It can afford a high degree of security due to its modular design, which is further backed by component-level testing and threat modeling ability.
The use of Move also gives Aptos a better framework for blockchain upgrades and to implement broader web3 use cases.
The Aptos ecosystem
As of October 2022, the still-nascent Aptos ecosystem comprises the following elements:
- Public full node
- Indexer full node
- Aptos explorer
The following is a quick rundown of each of these elements:
These are consensus nodes that include an Aptos validator node and a full node validator. They depend on the staking of the Aptos token to be able to participate in consensus and governance.
Public full nodes
Each public full node contains a full copy of the Aptos blockchain’s transaction ledger. These are non-validating nodes and can be created using a randomly-generated node identity, or even a static node identity that comes in handy in specific use cases.
Indexer full node
These nodes provide decentralized apps in the Aptos ecosystem access to raw blockchain data feeds. For example, a DEX or an NFT marketplace could access raw blockchain data using indexer full nodes before an application-specific data model configures the raw data in an omniscient way and makes it ready to serve multiple DApp users simultaneously.
DApps in the Aptos crypto ecosystem may include decentralized exchanges (DEXs), NFT marketplaces, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, decentralized social media, and more.
The Aptos token (APT) is the native cryptocurrency in the Aptos ecosystem. At one stage, the project found itself mired in controversy after it prepared to launch the Aptos token without any public information whatsoever — no data on total supply or distribution, not even a general overall plan. However, after facing community backlash, the Aptos team course corrected and shared most of the details via a blog post.
The Mainnet officially launched on Oct. 12, 2022, with an initial token supply of 1 billion. APT has eight digits of precision, and each minimal unit is called an Octa.
The token distribution is currently along the following lines:
As per the vesting schedule, core contributors and investors have a four-year lockup on their tokens, excluding token rewards. The lockup period begins from the Mainnet launch date (Oct. 12, 2022).
What makes Aptos unique?
The Aptos crypto project was announced in early 2022. So, it has been barely a few months since its launch and the project is already well-entrenched in the limelight.
One of the main factors that help the project stand out is its umbilical connection with Facebook (now Meta) and its Project Diem. This association with one of the world’s biggest tech and social media platforms, makes Aptos appear as a safe bet.
On top of that, Aptos also does promise some pretty exciting solutions. For starters, it promises to be extremely fast, scalable, and secure. It is also upgradeable as and when required, which in itself is a huge advantage.
Aptos’ modular design is another big plus, as it enables developers to quickly deploy new web3 technologies and features. And as for security, it supports secure private key recovery, which means the risk of loss of user funds due to a lost password or seed phrase becomes substantially lower.
That said, Aptos is up against some pretty tough and long-established competitors. So, let’s quickly find out how it might fare against the likes of Solana or Ethereum.
Aptos vs. Solana
Solana is currently arguably one of the best-performing layer 1 blockchains out there. In terms of speed, Aptos is on-par with Solana (both blockchains deploy engines capable of running parallel computations). However, in terms of reliability, Solana takes a beating considering its frequent network woes.
What’s going in favor of Aptos in terms of reliability is its redundancy measures. Aptos adds redundancy to its network, which makes it a lot less prone to failures. Here’s how it works — the Aptos blockchain syncs all its nodes with nearby nodes and leader nodes. In the event a leader node fails, one of the other nodes takes over to keep the network up and running.
While this is a pretty efficient failsafe measure, it also calls for slightly more computational requirements, and by extension, more powerful hardware (as compared to Solana).
Overall, Aptos appears to be a more reliable solution. Although, it is still pretty new and has to be on top of its game for a while to beat Solana.
Aptos vs. Ethereum
Aptos is decisively faster than Ethereum when it comes to processing transactions. While Ethereum might take more than a minute to finalize a transaction, Aptos can do so in less than a second. The stark difference is expected, though, given all the design and hardware differences. For those out of the loop, Ethereum operates via only one CPU core, compared to the 16 required by Aptos.
In terms of reliability, however, Ethereum is still the big daddy in the competition. Granted, Aptos is yet to face any major outages, but it is simply tough beating an incredibly stable performer such as Ethereum. So, as long as you’re fine with paying high gas and longer transaction times, Ethereum is hands down the winner.
Aptos vs. Avalanche
The early impression is that Aptos performs slightly better than Avalanche under optimal testing conditions. On paper, Avalanche can finalize a transaction 0.7 seconds faster than Aptos. In real-world conditions, however, Aptos seems to have the upper hand with a lead of about 0.3 seconds.
In terms of TPS, Aptos far outshines Avalanche with 130,000–160,000 TPS per subnet, which is many times higher than Avalanche’s 4,500 per subnet.
Additionally, Avalanche also tends to suffer from a high-gas issue, which Aptos seems to be immune from.
Can Aptos live up to expectations?
Since its launch, Aptos seems to have incorporated several of the projects involved with Libra and Diem into its ecosystem. That’s a good sign, considering it helps expand the ecosystem’s reach and growth opportunities.
Besides, the project appears to have picked up steam following the launch of its testnets. Judging by the initial community feedback, the network has so far pulled off far superior TPS and time-to-finality rates as compared to competitors.
If it continues along this part with its 160,000 TPS and less-than-a-second transaction time, the Aptos crypto project has the potential to outgrow many of its competitors over time.
Frequently asked questions
Where to buy Aptos crypto?
What is Aptos crypto?
Who founded the Aptos crypto project?
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