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Everything you need to know about Aptos, the newly-released ‘Solana killer’

Everything you need to know about Aptos, the newly-released ‘Solana killer’

Everything you need to know about Aptos, the newly-released ‘Solana killer’
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By CNBCTV18.com Oct 20, 2022 7:02:31 AM IST (Published)

Aptos is a layer-1, proof-of-stake blockchain that claims to have solved the major issues faced by other crypto networks, i.e., slow transaction speeds, high gas fees, security issues and the lack of complete decentralisation. This is enough for Aptos to potentially become the blockchain for the billions.

In 2019, when the blockchain hype was at its peak, Facebook (now Meta) took a stab at developing its own blockchain that would compete with major players like Ethereum and Solana. The project was named Libra and later renamed Diem.

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However, after pumping massive amounts of funding and manhours into the project, Diem was shelved in February this year due to regulatory issues. The Diem Group sold the project's assets to Silvergate, and everyone thought that was the end of the line.
However, two engineers who worked on the project back then, Mo Shaikh & Avery Ching, still saw potential in the tech that Diem was developing and chose to work on it with their new project — Aptos. After three years of development, the project launched its mainnet yesterday to great applause.
In this article, we learn what Aptos is, the tech behind it, its pros and cons and its potential future. So, let's get started!
What is Aptos?
Aptos is a layer-1, proof-of-stake blockchain that claims to have solved the major issues faced by other crypto networks, i.e., slow transaction speeds, high gas fees, security issues and the lack of complete decentralisation. This is enough for Aptos to potentially become the blockchain for the billions.
Another thing that makes Aptos unique is its programming language. The blockchain is developed using a Rust-based programming language called Move. The language enables fast and secure transaction execution with a focus on security. Aptos also has a Modular architecture, allowing for frequent and instant upgrades.
Moreover, unlike other blockchains that use a singular execution model, where one long chain is maintained and updated after every block, Aptos uses parallel execution with multiple chains, this makes for faster transaction speeds. The developers claim that the blockchain has managed 130,000 transactions per second (TPS) in the testnet phase without harming security.
The Solana killer
Aptos is being dubbed as the Solana killer. This is because it challenges Solana on what it prides itself most — transaction speeds. With a blisteringly fast throughput of 50,000 to 65,000 transactions per second, Solana is the fastest, proven blockchain on the planet and was meant to challenge
Ethereum.
However, the Solana blockchain has suffered multiple technical breakdowns over the last few months, and every time the network is interrupted, public trust goes down. These breakdowns have created a gap in the market.
On one side, Ethereum is a tried-and-tested network that lacks scalability and quick transaction processing. On the other hand, there is Solana, which is meant to be an Ethereum killer but suffers frequent downtimes. The Aptos blockchain aims to be the middle ground.
The Solana Killer narrative holds more weight when you see who is backing the Aptos project. In March this year, Aptos raised $200 million from venture capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz, Haun Ventures and Multicoin Capital.
Four months later, in July, the project raised a further $150 million through its Series A funding. The two major contributors were ParaFi Capital and the crypto exchange FTX.
The pros and cons
The blockchain has a few things going for itself and a few that are not so great. Among the advantages is its execution technology, known as parallel execution. It will be the first time this tech is used on such a large scale, and Aptos founders believe it is the answer to the Vitalik Trilemma. However, only time will tell if it works.
The second advantage is the massive hype surrounding the project and the big names backing it, from ex-Facebook engineers to one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. The third advantage is that the project has a very happening discord channel that has users and developers ready to learn and use the blockchain.
There are also a few cons that need urgent tidying — starting with the project's mainnet launch. Yesterday, the TPS recording on the blockchain was a mere four transactions per second, slower than even Bitcoin. Secondly, the blockchain works on its own programming language, Move, that's supposed to make transactions faster and cheaper. However, developers must spend sufficient time learning the language before they can start building Aptos-based projects.
There were also questions about the project's tokenomics, which seems to be VC-heavy. One blockchain developer took to Twitter to report that "over 80 percent" of Aptos tokens are "controlled by the team and investors". Finally, Aptos is competing with blockchains that have been in action for a while. Overcoming such competition will prove to be a difficult feat.
Conclusion
The Aptos blockchain has a mountain to climb, but it has all the potential tools it needs to do so. There is expertise, there is pioneering tech and there are sufficient funds; what it needs now is to deliver on promises and attract developers and users to come forth in large numbers.
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