Why would industry heavyweights pour $350 Million into Aptos Labs before it even launched? Is the tech that good or is this just another VC pump and dump?
What is Aptos?
Aptos is a layer 1 blockchain that claims to be a safe, scalable and upgradable Web3 platform.
This is something we’ve heard before, but Aptos does seem to have some differentiating factors over other blockchains like Ethereum.
Aptos Programming Language
Aptos uses the new Move programming language. The language itself was custom created for blockchains by the Meta Blockchain Labs team. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Meta’s project came to a halt. However, much innovation had already taken place.
From that innovation, Aptos and Sui, two highly anticipated blockchains spun out to go it on their own. Both teams have a complete redesign of blockchains from the ground up.
Similar to the way Ethereum did back in the day, Aptos created its own smart contract programming language, Move, which has advantages over Ethereum’s Solidity.
Aptos Key Features
Here are a few key features of Aptos Blockchain.
The Move Prover – Smart Contract Security
The Move Prover is a security feature that provides additional safeguards for smart contracts on the Aptos network. This is helpful for developers deploying applications on Aptos.
Pre-Signature Transaction Transparency
There’s also pre-signature transaction transparency to give users a safer and more trustworthy experience. This feature describes, in plain language, the exact outcome of the transaction to the user BEFORE signing. This is great to help safeguard everyday users from accidentally signing a malicious transaction that does things like steal their NFTs rather than mint a new NFT.
Parallel Transaction Processing / Modular Approach
Perhaps most impressively, is Aptos novel batch transaction processing and metadata decoupling functionalities to reduce latency and increase transaction throughput.
Thanks to the Move language, Aptos has the ability to break apart transactions into separate modules and have them all executing in parallel. This means rather than all transaction happening linearly in blocks, Aptos has them happening simultaneously. The transactions are then rolled up and reconciled via optimistic roll ups.
Aptos claims to be able to process 160,000 transactions per second, though, since launch that number has been much lower.
However, the team claims that the number will increase, as the network sees more usage and matures.
Who is behind Aptos Labs?
The team behind Aptos is not your average anon devs.
Avery Ching the Co-founder and CTO was a principal software engineer at Facebook, eh em sorry, Meta, for over 10 years. This includes being the former tech lead for Meta’s crypto arm Novi, also known as diem and libra.
Mo Shaikh, The Co-founder and CEO, was also on Meta’s Blockchain team and has worked with or advised for some of the biggest names in Web 3. These include, R3 and ConsenSys, and also his own start-up Meridio, which aimed to tokenize real estate and put it on the blockchain.
So, with Aptos we have a solid team, with plenty of funding and the tech seems to be holding up reasonably well. Could Aptos become the Solana killer, mooning 1000x in value, or is it destined to dump?
Well, next we’ll take a look at their tokenomics which at this point… are a little fishy to say the least.
Less Than Transparent Tokenomics from the Aptos Foundation
Let’s start with the basics. As of the Aptos main net launch in October of 2022, there is an initial token supply of $1 Billion APT tokens.
Of that supply, roughly:
- 51% go to the community
- 19% to core contributors
- 16.5% to the Aptos foundation
- And 13.5% to investors.
At the surface, all seems well and good. Over half of the token supply to the community. But, not so fast, let’s dig a little deeper.
For now, those “community tokens” are actually controlled by the Aptos foundation and Aptos labs. Of the 510 Million community tokens, 410 million are controlled by the Aptos Foundation and 100 million are controlled by Aptos Labs.
They claim their plan is to distribute those tokens over a 10-year period in order to incentivize projects and development. That’s a fair plan, but there isn’t much detail beyond that. Make no mistake the current “community” is the aptos company itself.
Aptos Token Airdrop
As for the real community of normies, upon launch, Aptos did airdrop 20 million tokens to users who participated in their pre-launch testnet. However, 20 Million accounts for less than 2% of the total token supply.
With massive VC names behind the launch and the APT token being available to trade on major exchanges from Day 1 – you have to wonder if these insiders are in it for the long term.
Aptos APT Token Release
If you scroll to the bottom of the Aptos tokenomics announcement you’ll see that they do have honorable 10-year vesting periods for the token, which is a good signal for long-term building.
Another thing to note is that 1 billion isn’t a fixed supply of Aptos tokens. APT is inflationary, rewarding validators at a rate of 7% a year and falling. Numbers like that are to be expected from a layer-1 blockchain and are perhaps even on the lower side.
So we’re good there, but the next odd thing. Aptos is a marvelous piece of tech. Its creation was 4 years in the making and yet..
Despite having major exchanges lined up months in advance to list from day 1, the project waited until 24 hours before the token went live to make its tokenomics public.
This gave outside buyers basically no time to evaluate decisions before tokens were listed on the market.
On top of that, their official tokenomics announcement contains a disclaimer on the bottom that specifically states: “ THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS HYPOTHETICAL, FORWARD-LOOKING AND/OR PROJECTED FIGURES WHICH ARE NOT GUARANTEED; ACTUAL NUMBERS MAY VARY.
Hmm, ok. The team acknowledged a rocky launch, but seems a little strange. That said, while it’s strange, and not the best foot to start off on, we’re not ready to count Aptos out from becoming a major player quite yet.
Perhaps the company just wasn’t ready with their tokenomics come launch. Definitely an oversight, but in our opinion, not a death blow.
Take none of this as financial advice and do your own research, but our conclusion is to not ape in right away but certainly, keep an eye on the Aptos ecosystem and APT.
The tech and team are legitimate, but perhaps it’s best for the market price and token terms of APT to stable out and become a bit more transparent before joining the party.
Thanks for reading