This piece was written with input from the Aptos Labs team.
Aptos is a novel layer-1 chain — built by former Meta employees that worked on the Diem blockchain — which aims to provide the benefits of decentralization and bring about mass adoption of Web3 to the masses. In this guide to the Aptos ecosystem, we will look at:
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What Is Aptos?
Aptos is a layer-1 blockchain focused on scalability, safety, reliability and upgradeability as its key principles. Built by a team of more than 350 developers over the course of the last three years, it aims to revitalize the layer-1 space with novel ideas for consensus mechanisms, smart contract design, system security, performance and decentralization. Its vision is a blockchain that brings mainstream adoption to web3 and empowers an ecosystem of DApps to solve real-world user problems.
The fundamental building blocks of Aptos are:
Native integration of Move: Move is a Rust-based programming language for fast and secure transaction execution with a focus on security.
Flexible key management and hybrid custodial options: Aptos aims to provide a safer and more trustworthy user experience through this custom solution.
Modular transaction processing: Transaction dissemination, block metadata ordering transaction execution, batch storage and ledger certification work in parallel.
Atomicity without upfront knowledge of the data: This allows Aptos to increase throughput and decrease latency.
Modular architecture: Allowing Aptos to offer frequent and instant upgrades.
Innovative scaling solutions: Aptos supports internal sharding of a validator and homogeneous state sharding.
The Aptos Team, Investors and Roadmap
The Aptos team previously built the Diem blockchain, which was deployed in early 2020 to more than a dozen node operators. It was founded by Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching, former Meta employees with several years of experience in the blockchain industry.
The blockchain has raised $400 million from crypto funds like FTX Ventures, Jump Crypto, a16z, Multicoin Capital, Dragonfly and Binance. Yi He, Head of Binance Labs, said:
"We’re excited to be working closely with the Aptos team. At Binance, we’ve always believed in the power of blockchain technology to benefit the masses, just like the Internet. However, infrastructure building remains a bottleneck within the industry. We believe that the technological competitiveness of the Aptos team could bring increased scalability to the blockchain infrastructure while also supporting novel use cases for Web3."
Furthermore, Aptos will be integrating with Blocto, a software wallet cooperating with other major blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, Flow and Tron. Blocto will build full functionality for Aptos in its wallet, including for NFTs, web3 browsing and native staking.
According to the roadmap, the project is currently in an incentivized testnet, where the community can run nodes. The mainnet launch was announced on Oct. 18, 2022 by the team. New network updates are planned for Q4 2022.
First, fast and secure execution with simple auditability and mechanical analyzability. Aptos uses Move, a new smart contract programming language based on Rust, emphasizing safety and flexibility. It focuses on resource scarcity, preservation and access control and was enhanced by the Aptos team with support for broader web3 use cases. For instance, DAOs can collaboratively share accounts, and NFT collections can be minted in a single account.
Since Aptos is built using Move, the project claims to offer several advantages that Ethereum does not. For instance, blockchain commands can be easily verified, and Aptos allows users to modify their private keys. Furthermore, the modular design of Aptos allows it to upgrade without disconnecting the entire network.
Second, Aptos' batched, pipelined and parallelized approach to transaction processing allows for extremely high throughput and low latency. Put simply, each transaction stage on the Aptos blockchain is completely independent and individually parallelizable, resembling modern, superscalar processor architectures. This modular design aids development speed and facilitates frequent updates through faster release cycles. The low-latency BFT consensus mechanism secures the blockchain, while simultaneously allowing it to hit transaction speeds of up to 150,000 transactions per second (tps) in testnet conditions. By comparison, Ethereum mainnet’s current tps is around 12 to 15.
Finally, the upgradeability and configurability of Aptos allow it to embrace new use cases, while the horizontal throughput scalability preserves decentralization. In doing so, Aptos natively implements design features like sharding that other blockchains have to add through improvement protocols, like future planned Ethereum upgrades.
Aptos launched on mainnet with an initial total supply of 1 billion APT tokens. The distribution is as follows:
Core Contributors (19.00%)
Under the Community allocation, around 80% (410,217,359.767 APT) are held by the Aptos Foundation and the remaining by Aptos Labs. This will be used to support community growth and Aptos Foundation initiatives, and the remainder will be unlocked monthly over the next ten years.
Investors and core contributors are subjected to a four-year vesting schedule from mainnet launch, and more than 82% of circulating supply are currently staked on the network. The Aptos team has not made any announcements regarding a token airdrop.
2. Click “Create a New Wallet” and then “Continue.”
3. Set a password and click “Continue.”
4. Store the recovery phrase and click “Continue.”
5. Open the wallet from your browser extension and send and receive tokens and NFTs.
DEXes on Aptos
Pontem Network is incubating Liquidswap, the first AMM for Aptos. It will support uncorrelated token swaps, stable swaps for correlated assets, DAO treasuries and dynamic fees. The DEX is written in Move and will thus benefit from the high speed unique to the Aptos blockchain. According to Coin98, it currently has 75,000 testers in the testnet stage.
Laminar Markets brands itself as the first fully decentralized spot DEX on Aptos. It is still in development and will rely on key features like delayed orders and interface through SDK, UI, or API.
Hanson is an AMM for trading assets. The project is seemingly still in development, as no more info is available.
NFT Marketplaces on Aptos
Topaz is an NFT marketplace that will enable users to create, collect and explore NFTs on Aptos. It is thus far in Devnet only.
Wallets on Aptos
Petra is a native wallet developed by the Aptos Labs team. Users can install it as a Google Chrome extension and use it to store and transfer digital assets, create and hold NFTs, and interact with DApps on Aptos.
Martian Wallet is the most used wallet on Aptos with over 160,000 downloads. It is integrated with several other services like the Aptos-native Switchboard.
Fletch Wallet is another popular wallet that has integrations with several protocols in the ecosystem. It is also available on Android and iOS.
Aries Markets is a decentralized margin trading protocol that allows lending and borrowing with dynamic interest rates and liquidations. It uses order book trading and AMM swaps through leverage-enabled swapping on whitelisted pools. The project is still in development.
Vial is an autonomous algorithmic liquidity protocol with a pooled interest rate. It allows users to lend and borrow assets with algorithmically determined interest rates based on pool utilization. The project is currently in devnet demo stage.
Aptosphere is a real-time on-chain activity indexing service with a developer-friendly API. It allows users and developers to index their marketplaces, wallets and decentralized applications to be found more easily within the ecosystem.
Thala Labs is developing a decentralized stablecoin called $AST. It will utilize collateral assets with a focus on yield-bearing collateral to remove bridge-related risks and create a stable and useful stablecoin powering the Aptos DeFi ecosystem.
Seam Money is a yield aggregator that uses single and multi-asset positions and auto compounding to create structured DeFi products. It is also a distributed yield and staking solution and already boasts 24 integrations with other protocols.
Oracle on Aptos
Switchboard is a permissionless, customizable multi-chain oracle. It is still in devnet and provides general-purpose data feeds and verifiable random functions to Aptos.
Pyth Network is an oracle backed by Jump Crypto. Pyth partners with some of the world’s biggest exchanges and market markers to bring off-chain data to DeFi, and is available on multiple blockchains, including Aptos. At the time of writing, Pyth is deployed on the testnet and will be available once Aptos mainnet goes live.
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