Former Diem Team Working on New Aptos Blockchain
- Aptos is being developed by former Meta programmers
- It aims to compete with Ethereum and others
- The blockchain project is entering an already crowded space
A number of programmers and executives that worked on Facebook’s now-defunct stablecoin project have announced a new venture that they claim will be the “safest and most scalable Layer 1 blockchain.”
On Feb. 24, CEO Mo Shaikh unveiled Aptos with a mission to create “universal and fair access to decentralized assets for billions of people.” Although hundreds already exist, Shaikh said that a new Layer 1 blockchain is needed to solve the issues that existing ones have such as scalability, reliability, and safety.
He added that the team was not working from scratch as they have already done the groundwork for Facebook.
“We are the original creators, researchers, designers, and builders of Diem, the blockchain that was first built to serve this purpose. While the world never got to see what we built, our work is far from over.”
The embattled cryptocurrency project started off as Libra in mid-2019 but was rebranded to Diem in 2020. However, it faced an avalanche of regulatory backlash across the globe due to the firm’s already tarnished reputation when it comes to personal privacy and data security. The project was finally axed earlier this year with assets being sold to Silvergate Capital for $200 million.
Shaikh added that since departing Meta, the team has been able to “put ideas into motion, ditch bureaucratic red tape, and build an entirely new network from the ground up,”
Aptos will use a programming language called Move, which was the basis of the Diem token and blockchain. A developer network will be launched in the coming weeks, he added, then a testnet and mainnet launch “later this year”.
He also mentioned a number of partners but did not specify. Citing anonymous sources, Coindesk reported that the team is raising $200 million at a $2 billion valuation to develop the network. It added that venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and several other crypto venture capital firms were involved.
A Crowded Space
Aptos is entering an already crowded space in which Ethereum (ETH) dominates. The world’s largest smart chain platform has had scaling uses recently but it will be alleviating some of them this year with planned upgrades.
There is also a slew of competing blockchain platforms such as Solana (SOL), Polkadot (DOT), and Cardano (ADA), to contend with, all offering essentially the same thing. The success of Aptos is likely to hinge on how much it can distance itself from Facebook (Meta).