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Researching the Aptos Blockchain

Researching the Aptos Blockchain

Part 1: Project History and Background

1.Origin and Development

  • Early Stages: Aptos' journey began as part of the Diem project, initially conceptualized by Meta (formerly Facebook). The Diem project, focused on creating the stablecoin Libra, was an ambitious attempt by Meta to lead in digital currencies. However, due to various challenges, Facebook's blockchain saga came to a halt, and Diem was eventually sold to Silvergate Capital in late 2021​​. 
  • Formation of Aptos Labs: Post the Diem sale, some of the project's key personnel decided to continue their pursuit in blockchain technology, leading to the birth of Aptos Labs in December 2021. This new venture was a culmination of their experience and passion for decentralized blockchain technology​​.
  • Aptos Mainnet Launch: The Aptos "Autumn" Mainnet was launched on October 17, 2022. Shortly after its inception, Aptos added Names Services and initiated a partnership with Google Cloud, marking significant milestones in its development​​.

2.Team Background

  • Leadership and Expertise: The Aptos Labs team is composed of experienced professionals from Meta’s blockchain Diem, Meta's wallet Novi, and developers of the Move programming language. CEO Mo Shaikh boasts a diverse background in capital markets, accounting, and consulting​​.
  • Aptos Labs' Mission: Aptos Labs is spearheaded by Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching, former Meta employees deeply involved in the blockchain industry. Their goal is to leverage the learnings from the Diem project to create a scalable, secure, and user-friendly blockchain​​.

3.Funding and Support

  • Initial Funding: During the initial development phase (devnet stage), Aptos Labs raised a substantial $350 million, with significant contributions from Andreessen Horowitz, a16z, and Multicoin Capital amounting to about $200 million​​.
  • Subsequent Investments: By mid-2020, Aptos Labs secured an additional $150 million from various investors, including Apollo, Griffin Gaming Partners, Franklin Templeton, Circle Ventures, and Temasek. Notably, this round was led by Jump Crypto and FTX Ventures. Binance also invested an unspecified amount in 2022​​.
(Aptos Investors.Source: Huobi Research)

4.Technological Foundation

  • Key Principles: Aptos is a layer-1 blockchain, emphasizing scalability, safety, reliability, and upgradeability. It was built by a team of more than 350 developers and aims to bring mainstream adoption to web3 technologies​​.
  • Innovative Features: The blockchain integrates the Move programming language, designed for fast and secure transaction execution. Aptos also offers flexible key management, modular transaction processing, atomicity without upfront knowledge of the data, and a modular architecture conducive to frequent upgrades​​.

Part 2 :Technology and Features

1. Core Technology and Architecture

  • Layer-1 Blockchain Network: Aptos is a Layer-1 blockchain network known for its innovative approach to transaction processing, scalability, and security​​.
  • Modular Architecture: Its architecture is modular, which allows for sharding upgrades to increase scalability efficiently​​.
  • Independence and Scalability: Aptos is an independent platform focusing on safety and scalability, promoting growth within a decentralized network and developer ecosystem​​.
  • Modular Architecture Design: This design supports client flexibility and optimizes for frequent and instant upgrades, embedded with on-chain change management protocols to rapidly deploy new technology innovations​​.

2. Transaction Processing

  • Parallelized and Pipelined Approach: Aptos uses a unique parallelized and pipelined method for transaction processing, leveraging hardware resources efficiently. This approach has demonstrated capabilities for handling over 160,000 transactions per second in execution-only experiments​​.
  • High Throughput and Low Latency: The blockchain achieves high throughput and low latency through a pipelined and modular approach, operating key stages of transaction processing concurrently – transaction dissemination, block metadata ordering, parallel transaction execution, batch storage, and ledger certification​​.

3. Consensus Mechanism

  • AptosBFT Consensus Algorithm: Aptos employs the AptosBFT consensus algorithm, akin to the DiemBFT developed for Diem. This consensus protocol is Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT), addressing the Byzantine General Problem​​​​.
  • Proof-of-Stake (PoS) System: The blockchain uses a PoS consensus mechanism. The consensus voting power of validators in the network is proportional to the amount of Aptos tokens staked within them​​.
(Components of the Aptos ecosystem,Source: Aptos white paper)

4. Key Features

  • Integration of Move Language: Aptos integrates the Move programming language, originally designed for its predecessor. Move is developed from Rust, with abilities in protocol and algorithm development, forming the core design principles of Aptos​​​​.
  • Move Virtual Machine (MVM): This functions similarly to Ethereum's EVM, converting Move modules to bytecodes for the Aptos blockchain. These modules enable automated, free-running transactions authorized by private key holders​​.
  • Data Handling and Batch Processing: Aptos handles block data with a speed-oriented approach, using memory write sets as a cache. It processes transaction broadcasting, block data ordering, and data storage in parallel, making it significantly faster than similar technologies. Transactions are batch processed for efficiency​​.
  • Privacy and Security Features: Aptos includes features like multi-account privacy, where multiple accounts can be controlled autonomously by a single account without linkage. It also has the Move Prover for auditing smart contracts and a private key delegation function, allowing temporary control of wallets to third parties​​.

Part 3: Community Engagement

1. Social Media Followers

  • Twitter: Aptos has 132.4k followers on Twitter, indicating a substantial following on this platform​​.
  • Telegram: The Aptos Telegram group has 51.8k subscribers​​.
  • Discord: Aptos' Discord community is quite large, with 238,184 members​​.

2.User Sentiment

The sentiment within the Aptos blockchain community appears to be mixed:

  • Skepticism: Some skepticism and criticism are evident among members of the crypto community, particularly on Twitter. Concerns have been raised regarding the speed of the Aptos network, lack of clarity about Aptos' tokenomics, and other issues such as the project being perceived as a "VC sham chain" with no unique value proposition​​.
  • Excitement and Support: Despite the skepticism, there are also voices of excitement and support. Some community members and analysts regard Aptos as one of the "hottest blockchains on the market" and express eagerness about its mainnet launch and the potential of its ecosystem​​.

Part 4: Recent Developments (2023)

  • Foundational Strength and Financial Backing: Aptos's team, originating from Meta's Novi project, has contributed to developing technologies like the Move language and the Narwhal/Bullshark/Shoal consensus mechanisms. It secured over $400 million in funding in 2022, demonstrating strong financial backing and credibility​​.
  • Technological Innovation and Network Scalability: The blockchain leverages the Move programming language for efficient and secure smart contracts. It stands out for its implementation of parallel execution, enhancing network throughput and scalability​​.
  • Robust Total Value Locked (TVL): Aptos's TVL has surpassed $50 million, indicating growing adoption and trust within the crypto community, despite the blockchain's relative youth and challenging market conditions​​.
  • Expanding Network Activity: Aptos consistently records high daily transaction volumes, sometimes surpassing one million, and has seen a rapid influx of new accounts. This level of activity rivals established blockchains like Ethereum, suggesting potential for widespread adoption​​.
  • Ecosystem Expansions and Partnerships: Key partnerships in 2023 include the integration with Sushi, a leading decentralized exchange platform, and Coinbase Pay. These collaborations enhance financial products, services, and user experiences within the Aptos ecosystem​​.

Part 5: On-Chain Data (As of November 2023)

  • Peak Transactions Per Second (TPS): Over 5,800 TPS, indicating a high transaction processing capability​​.
  • Monthly Active Users: More than 1.4 million, showing significant user engagement and adoption​​.
  • Total Transactions: Over 318 million transactions have been processed, reflecting the blockchain's widespread usage​​.
  • Total Nodes: The network comprises 485 total nodes, supporting its decentralized architecture​​.
  • Validator Nodes: There are 114 validator nodes, essential for maintaining the blockchain's integrity and security​​.
(Aptos On-chain Activity. Source:Aptos Foundation)

Part 6: Ecosystem Projects

Validators and Node Operators

  • Role of Validators: Validators on Aptos are crucial for validating transactions and creating new blocks within its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain​​.
  • Node Operators: The network has 104 node operators from 23 countries and 40 cities, providing robust decentralization and network stability​​.

Liquid Staking

  • Platforms: Key players like Ditto Finance and Tortuga Finance offer liquid staking on Aptos, enabling users to stake $APT and receive derivative tokens​​.
  • Growth: These platforms showed significant growth, with Ditto and Tortuga witnessing a 31% and 25% increase in TVL, respectively​​.

Tooling and Developer Ecosystem

  • Explorers and APIs: Aptos offers explorers like Aptos Explorer, Aptoscan, and Apscan, and APIs like Aptos Node API and Moralis for robust blockchain interaction​​.
  • Oracles: Platforms like Switchboard provide oracle solutions for Aptos, integrating external data into the blockchain​​.

Wallets and Authentication

  • Wallets: Aptos supports several wallets, including Petra Wallet, Rise Wallet by Solflare, Martian Wallet, Fewcha Move Wallet, and Pontem Wallet​​.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

  • DeFi Platforms: Aptos hosts DeFi applications like PancakeSwap, LiquidSwap, Aries Markets, and AUX Exchange, offering a range of financial services from trading to margin trading​​.
  • Stablecoins: Argo introduces a decentralized stablecoin, USDA, in the Aptos ecosystem​​.

NFTs and Marketplaces

  • NFT Integration: Aptos supports NFTs, with marketplaces like Topaz, BlueMove, Souffl3, and STARSPACE providing platforms for various NFT projects​​.

Games and Launchpads

  • Gaming Projects: Aptos is launching Web3 games like Gran Saga Unlimited and supports other games like CyberPet, Lamdamoon, Aptos Flip, F1 Dog, and Plasmaverse​​.
  • Launchpads: Platforms like Meeiro and Orion Protocol assist in token launches and provide access to CEXs and DEXs​​.
(Aptos Ecosystem Overview.

Part 7:Tokenomics and Market Performance

  1. Tokenomics
  • Initial Total Supply: The initial total supply of Aptos tokens (APT) at mainnet launch (October 12, 2022) was 1 billion tokens​​.
    • Token Distribution: The distribution of the initial tokens was as follows:
    • Community: 51.02% (510,217,359.767 APT)
    • Core Contributors: 19.00% (190,000,000 APT)
    • Foundation: 16.50% (165,000,000 APT)
    • Investors: 13.48% (134,782,640.233 APT)​​.
(Aptos Allocation,Source:Coingecko)
  • Distribution Schedule: The tokens for the community and the Aptos Foundation are anticipated to be distributed over a ten-year period, with a portion of the tokens unlocking each month​​.
  • Lock-up Schedule for Contributors and Investors: Investors and current core contributors are subject to a four-year lock-up schedule from the mainnet launch, with a gradual unlocking process​​.
  • Staking Rewards: Token holders who stake their tokens may receive staking rewards, with the maximum reward rate starting at 7% annually and declining by 1.5% annually until a lower bound of 3.25% is reached​​.
  • Upcoming Token Unlock: On Jan 12, 2023, approximately 24.8 million APT tokens will be unlocked, amounting to 8.14% of the APT circulating supply​​.
(Aptos Vesting Schedule. Source: DefiLlama)
  1. Market Performance (as of Dec 18, 2023)
  • APT Token Price: $7.83
  • Market Cap: $2,389,797,438
  • Circulating Supply: 305,181,235 APT
  • Total Supply: 1,070,004,726 APT
  • All-Time High: $19.90 (January 30, 2023)​​.
  • Ranked 34th out of all 8,872 active cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap.
(The price of $APT over time. Source: CoinMarketCap)
(The Market Cap of $APT over time. Source: CoinMarketCap)
  1. Additional Notes
  • Staked Tokens: More than 82% of the tokens on the network are staked, and a majority of these are currently locked in accordance with the distribution schedule and not available for release​​.
  • Remaining Unreleased Tokens: As of the data available, only 175.43 million APT have been unlocked, amounting to 17.54% of the total APT tokens created. There remains 824.57 million APT, equivalent to 82.46% of the total supply, yet to be released into the Aptos ecosystem​
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