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Can Aptos gain the trust of investors?

Cointime Staff· 3 min read

Aptos, a new Layer 1 blockchain established by former Meta employees who worked on its Diem platform, is not living up to its expectations according to on-chain data from its first day of transactions.

Aptos Labs blockchain launched its mainnet on Monday. "This is step one in a long journey to create universal and fair access to decentralized applications for billions of people through a safe, scalable, and upgradable blockchain." the project wrote on Medium.

Aptos published a summary of its token distribution and incentive plans this morning.The initial total supply of Aptos tokens (APT) at Monday’s mainnet launch was 1 billion tokens, with some 510 million distributed to community members, 190 million to core developers and the remaining to the Aptos Foundation and private investors.

Dubbed a potential "Solana killer" by many, Aptos is the latest high-profile attempt to build the perfect blockchain for smart contracts, code that supports the sprawling world of NFTs, DAOs, and DeFi.

While Ethereum has taken a major leap forward following the merge, challengers like Solana are making inroads with much faster transaction speeds—albeit with occasional outages that left the door open to even newer players like Aptos.

After securing $200 million in a funding round led by a16z, with major investors including Tiger Global, Katie Haun, Multicoin Capital, FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Binance Labs and PayPal Ventures rushing in to finance the project.

On-chain data from Aptos’ block explorer shows that the protocol is currently processing four transactions per second. During the development process, the Aptos team said that its parallel execution engine was capable of processing 160,000 transactions per second (far above speed demon Solana’s advertised 65,000 per second).

The vast majority of these, as crypto Twitter personality Paradigm Engineer #420 pointed out, are not actual transactions from users but rather maintenance messages from validators writing metadata to the blockchain.

“It's hard to see how users can even use Aptos right now, I personally cannot find any rpcs nor connect with any validators to send transactions,” they wrote. The engineer also pointed out that nearly 80% of the tokens on Aptos are staked, which they said will result in them being dumped on retail users.

In a post on the Aptos Discord, the team said that the TPS shown was a "function of network activity" and having announced the activation of the mainnet only a few hours ago there are no user transactions yet. Those are expected to start tomorrow.

Aptos is the brainchild of several ex-Meta employees who pioneered the company’s failed diem stablecoin. The Aptos blockchain’s code is written with Move, the Rust-based programming language favored by Mysten Labs' Sui blockchain, another upcoming network.

While Aptos Labs has declared its network "live," its ecosystem is far from completed, with dozens of teams yet to launch the wallets, trading venues and non-fungible token tech essential to decentralized finance (DeFi). Until those – and a token – debut, there won't be much to do on Aptos.

The blockchain itself is up and running, having completed its "genesis transaction" on Oct. 12. Even so, the infrastructure has proven rocky; People building within Aptos told CoinDesk the mainnet rollout was "rushed."

As institutional interest in digital assets increases, there’s a hunt for infrastructure that can keep up to the demands of real-world finance applications. Right now, Ethereum in its current form can do a maximum of 15 transactions per second, and has done an average of 13 TPS during the past month. Ethereum 2.0, when complete, will have a theoretical ceiling of 100,000 TPS.

Venture Capital has been enthusiastically looking for this nirvana, and hundreds of millions have been deployed to build out faster blockchains.

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