One of the most frustrating elements of the cryptocurrency industry is sluggish transactions. Sometimes, transactions can take hours to process and are constantly subject to the business of their native blockchain. Aptos, a new blockchain network, claims to be able to tackle this issue. But what exactly is Aptos, how did it start, and will it become a Solana killer?
What Is Aptos?
At its roots, Aptos began within Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. In 2019, as the cryptocurrency industry’s prevalence grew, Meta decided to give blockchain technology a go. In this venture, Meta came up with Libra, which was then renamed Diem. This was a permission-based blockchain with its own native stablecoin that went by the same name.
But the Diem dream didn’t last long. In early 2022, Meta decided to sell its Diem holdings to crypto-focused bank Silvergate for roughly $200 million. But Diem wasn’t technically dead in the water. While the company itself had called it quits, Diem stood as an inspiration for other developers, giving way to Aptos’s creation.
Aptos’ story officially began in 2021 in Palo Alto, California. Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching joined forces as the company’s co-founders, intending to develop a Layer-1 blockchain using Diem’s “parallel execution” technique. So, what is parallel execution?
The Basics of Parallel Execution
Parallel execution is a technique whereby independent transactions are processed and verified simultaneously. The majority of blockchains out there today use sequential execution, which follows a single line of transactions, each processed one at a time. This can be a big problem when the network gets busy, giving way to hordes of pending transactions waiting to be processed.
Parallel execution can help mitigate this issue by simultaneously processing masses of transactions, lowering the verification waiting period for many users.
Is Aptos a Solana-Killer?
The term “killer” is often used in the crypto industry when discussing one blockchain that may one day overtake another in capabilities or popularity. You may have heard of the term “Ethereum killer” before, which describes a blockchain that may outshine Ethereum.
So, as you’ve likely guessed, a Solana killer is a blockchain that has the potential to surpass Solana. Over the past few months, people have speculated that Aptos may be a Solana killer. But why?
Though Aptos is still very much in its early days, many are excited about its possible ability to create a blockchain incredibly well-suited to smart contracts. This could make it a competitor to Solana, as it may become the perfect place to develop DeFi platforms, DAOs, and more.
But again, this is speculation. Many blockchains have been dubbed “x-killers” in the past, many of which never live up to the name. Note how none of the so-called Ethereum-killers ever managed to displace Ethereum? However, this doesn’t mean that blockchain killers cannot exist. Could Aptos actually deliver the technology and framework to outshine Solana?
So far, we haven’t seen much of Aptos. Its mainnet launched in October 2022, but some interesting opinions have formed quickly since its launch.
Has Aptos Lived Up to Expectations?
With the hype surrounding Aptos growing, the pressure was certainly on for the company to stick to its word and provide superfast transaction times. So, did Aptos deliver?
In short, not really. On October 17th, 2022, the day of the Aptos mainnet launch, Twitter user ParadigmEngineer420 claimed in a comment on their own post that the network was only processing around four transactions per second. The original post was also critical of the launch, with ParadigmEngineer420 claiming that Aptos is “broken.”
Even Bitcoin, a blockchain known for its slow transaction times, can offer a higher rate than four transactions per second.
Four transactions per second is a far cry from the company’s past claims of 130,000 and didn’t make for a very good first impression among users. After all, this was the star feature of Aptos that had conjured up a lot of excitement.
But the criticism didn’t stop there. Users also complained that they couldn’t connect to validators, who are responsible for verifying transactions in the first place. The tokenomics of the platform are also a little unusual, with Aptos releasing over half its circulating supply instantly and bidding to release the remainder over the next decade.
On top of this, Aptos has stated that its private investors and core contributors will have to deal with a four-year lockup of their APT tokens after the mainnet launch. These tokenomics aren’t exactly ideal and may put potential buyers off.
Will the Aptos Price Recover?
All in all, the controversy surrounding the Aptos mainnet launch has called into question its overall potential. While the platform is still experiencing growing pains, the wave of criticism it has already received may affect its reputation and trustworthiness in the eyes of prospective users.