What is Aptos (APT)?

Paul Sazan
| Editor:
November 6, 2023
4 min read

What is Aptos crypto?

With the popularity of crypto on the rise in 2022, the problem of scalability that plagued the crypto industry for years took the center stage once again. The crypto heavyweights, such as Ethereum or Solana were struggling with the ever-increasing demand, resulting in networks being overloaded, transactions taking ages, and network fees going through the roof.

Amidst all of that, a new player in the market came to the forefront. Aptos crypto, led by Aptos Labs claims to provide a scalable, safe, reliable, and upgradable network, ready to solve the aforementioned scalability issue.

Aptos is a layer 1 blockchain, using the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism and a new smart contract programming language called Move.

All of that might sound all too familiar - a new smart contract-based network popping up out of nowhere and claiming better scalability than everyone else. But Aptos is not, in fact, a new project. It has been in development for over three years.

From Meta...

Aptos has been in development for over three years. It is the successor of Diem (formerly known as Libra), a blockchain project of Meta (formerly known as Facebook). While Diem was abandoned by Meta in January 2022, the team behind the project continued working on it which eventually gave rise to Aptos we know today.

...To Aptos Labs

Nowadays Aptos blockchain development is led by Aptos Labs, founded by former Meta employees: Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching.

Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching. Source: Aptos Labs

Mo Shaikh, the Aptos Labs CEO, is a scaling specialist with experience in the venture capital market and private equity.

The CTO of Aptos Labs, Avery Ching is a software engineer and used to be one of Meta's principal software engineers.

The Aptos team is, of course, not limited to just these two. It is a group of seasoned engineers, researchers, strategists, and designers, all dedicated to bringing universal access to decentralization to billions of people.

Attracting talent

Besides, the team at Aptos has been expanding and hiring more people. What's worth noting, is that several former Solana staff members such as Austin Virts, former Head of Marketing at Solana have also joined Aptos. It's notable because many people consider Aptos and Solana to be direct competitors. Solana is one of the best-performing layer 1 blockchains out there and in terms of transaction speed, the two are on par right now.

Raising funds

The team's experience in venture capital allowed them to raise considerable funding for Aptos. In March 2021 Aptos Labs managed to get $200 million in funding from such companies as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), FTX Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures among others.

An additional $150 million were raised in July 2022 from FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto. Other crypto heavyweights, such as Binance Labs stepped in as well, investing an undisclosed amount in Aptos.

Launching the mainnet

Despite such impressive funding, the mainnet launch of the Aptos crypto did not happen until October 2022. Prior to the mainnet launch, there was a testnet running from May to October 2022. It was known as Aptos Incentivized testnet. It's a perfectly reasonable decision, since running a testnet allowed the team behind Aptos to stress test the network by inviting and, as the name suggests, incentivizing developers to run applications, set up nodes, process transactions, etc.

Oct 12 2022 saw the Aptos genesis with Aptos mainnet launch (also known as Aptos Autumn) taking place in the same month - on Oct. 18.

Apt technologies

So, is there anything unique with Aptos crypto other than its connection to Diem? How does it differentiate itself from other layer 1 blockchains? Well, there are several unique features about Aptos that make it stand out.

Aptos ecosystem on the Move

One of the key features is the Move programming language Aptos is using. According to the Aptos team, this new programming language is perfect for fast and secure transactions. It was initially developed for Meta's Diem project, but after it was shut down, many of the original creators of Move joined the Aptos team. Move programming language also allows for easier audit and analysis of the blockchain data, making it more transparent and secure.

Move also has a compiler, a virtual machine, and a verifier for smart contracts known as Mover Prover. Special attention is paid to resource scarcity, along with access control. That approach guarantees memory safety even in such cases when an untrusted code has been used. These features ensure that any new coin is created with proper credentials, etc. Move also allows for parallel transaction processing, provided the data is not overlapping or causing any conflicts.

Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT)

Aptos mainnet is using AptosBFT as its consensus mechanism. It utilizes the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism. In short, it's a mechanism to insure that in order to avoid a catastrophic system failure, the system's actors agree on one strategy, when some of these actors are unreliable.

An actor in a decentralized network, such as a server or a node, may provide conflicting data to other nodes regarding its state. Thusly, the network cannot reach a consensus regarding whether to exclude such an actor from the network or not. BFT is a mechanism built to be resilient, or as the name suggests, tolerant, to such issues. This mechanism aims to minimize the potential impact of a failed validator on transaction speed and latency, considerably improving blockchain performance.

Aptos have already announced that a new version of AptosBFT (version 5, that is) is being developed and will be released in a future upgrade.

Aptos Bridge

The Aptos Bridge went live on 19th October 2022. This is a feature that allows users to move USDC and USDT tokens, as well as ETH coin to the network from a variety of decentralized systems, such as Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain. Aptos Bridge also allows users to withdraw their crypto from the Aptos network, albeit with a 3-day transfer window to insure network stability. This window, however, will decrease over time as stability and operational time increase.

It's worth remembering, that since Aptos is a relatively new ecosystem, there are no other tokens on the network, other than the APT token. In other words, the Bridge serves as the only way of getting other assets into the ecosystem.


Like any other respectable crypto project, Aptos allows for decentralized applications or DApps to be built in its ecosystem. In the Aptos crypto ecosystem, there are such DApps as decentralized exchanges, NFT marketplaces, DeFi platforms, and more.

Aptos network throughput

Aptos team claims that the ecosystem will be able to process 130 000 transactions per second (TPS) using its parallel execution engine - Block-STM.

Most projects in the blockchain industry are processing transactions sequentially (one by one or batch by batch). Bitcoin is one such blockchain. It is a perfectly reasonable approach, however, a single failed transaction or a high enough demand might overload the network and the blockchain grinds to a halt.

What makes Aptos unique in that regard is that all the processing is done simultaneously and transaction validation is done afterward. A failed transaction is then aborted and re-executed, using the software transactional memory - or STM - libraries.

The combination of all these features allows for much higher throughput in comparison to other layer 1 blockchains, such as Bitcoin. Even during the testnet, the Aptos ecosystem managed to achieve a whopping 40.000 TPS, in comparison to 7 TPS of Bitcoin or around 15-40 TPS of Ethereum (that is Ethereum before the merge).

The ultimate goal of Aptos Labs is to create a decentralized cloud infrastructure that would encourage faster mainstream adoption of the Web3 protocol.

Aptos Blockchain tokenomics

APT is the native token of the Aptos blockchain. At the time of writing this article, Aptos price is USD 4,76 which is almost half of its all-time high - 10,05 USD that it reached in October 2022, a week after launch. APT price has seen ups and downs, which happens with every crypto out there, after the initial fluctuations, Aptos price seems to have stabilized at around 4 USD at the moment. But we must keep in mind that this is still a very young project, even though its foundation has been years in development. Meaning, it is probably too early to speculate about what the future has in store with regard to APT price.

APT to USD price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap.

The 24-hour trading volume currently sits at respectable 107 348 703 USD. With such impressive funding, it is no wonder that APT has reached a total market cap of 619 171 537 USD. Out of its 1 billion total supply, 150 million APT coins are currently in circulating supply.

To properly celebrate its mainnet launch, the team at Aptos launched a token airdrop of a total of 20,076,150 APT tokens to a total of 110,235 eligible addresses, which is about 2% of the initial total supply. According to the people behind Aptos, this airdrop was based on community data.

Now the tokens are distributed among 4 groups: Community which holds 51.02%, Core Contributors holding 19%, Foundation with their 16.50% and finally, the Investors who are allocated 13.48%.

When it comes to community, there are further subdivisions: about 80% are held by the Aptos Foundation, and the rest - about 20% - by Aptos Labs. Funds held by the Aptos Foundation will be used to support the community's growth as well as various future initiatives.

It's worth pointing out, however, that according to the block explorer - Aptos Explorer - around 800 million APT tokens are staked, meaning that around 80% of the total supply is collectively owned by early adopters, private investors, and the Aptos team.

When it comes to the future prospects of APT tokenomics, the Aptos Team anticipates the total circulating supply to gradually rise over the years.

APT circulating supply projections. Source - Aptos Foundation.

It is also worth noting, that aforementioned investors and core contributors have a 4-year lockup period on their tokens, excluding token rewards.

More about APT token

The APT token is used to pay for transaction and network fees on Aptos.

Every transaction on the Aptos blockchain, or any other blockchain for that matter, requires a fee to be paid. The fees on the Aptos blockchain are to be paid in Aptos tokens. Validators on the Aptos network may choose which transactions, are to be processed first (based on their value). What that means is that the blockchain would still be running, even if the network has reached its peak load.

Also, APT can be used for governance voting regarding the updates of the Aptos ecosystem. This is one of the features of a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

Validators having a minimum required number of staked APT tokens can take part in transaction validation on the Aptos blockchain. Being a validator is profitable since validating transactions is rewarded with APT tokens. These tokens are then distributed among the users that have staked their funds with that specific validator. Users, in the meantime, can stake their APT with any number of validators to maximize their rewards rate.

What's next?

We rarely get to cover assets at the very beginning of their path and Aptos is definitely one such asset. For now, the team is planning to continue growing the network and making it even more accessible to the world at large.

Their recent partnership with MoonPay proves their commitment to the promise of accessibility since it allows even people to buy Aptos more easily regardless of whether they're paying with USD via their Apple Pay or Hong Kong dollar in a debit card. Their other recent partnerships include such players as Google Cloud and NPIXEL, focusing on web3 gaming and building the web3 infrastructure.

It's fair to say that we can expect Aptos to continue going in that direction as the crypto market keeps growing and people's interest in web3 is on the rise.

APT in Atomic Wallet

APT is fully supported in Atomic Wallet. Why would one choose Atomic Wallet though?

User-friendly interface

Atomic Wallet presents all the info you need to know about the asset. You can keep track of the price, market cap, price change over the last week, and other useful data. No swings in Aptos price will escape your attention.

Hold and manage APT

If you already managed to buy Aptos and wish to store it in a secure, decentralized wallet, then Atomic Wallet will suit your needs perfectly. In a non-custodial wallet only you get full control of your private keys, and, by extension, your tokens. You can simply deposit it into Atomic and store it safely.

Exchange APT

If APT price is what you're interested in the most and you intend to get the most out of any potential price swings, Atomic Wallet's built-in exchange is exactly what you need. A decentralized exchange, not requiring any KYC procedures. You can also keep track of assets that have gained or lost in price with the 'Gainers & Losers' feature to make sure you're always getting the best deal.

To summarize

Why does Aptos exist?

The goal of the project was to offer a solution to the blockchain scalability issue. The goal is to create a scalable, reliable, and upgradable network, giving more people access to web3 and decentralized finance.

What makes Aptos unique?

The blockchain is built on the Move programming language, designed to make the network scalable and reliable. Additions of BFT and proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms further contribute to the network's stability and reliability.

How valuable is APT?

Aptos price has somewhat stabilized at around 4 USD at the time of writing this article. With a total market cap of 619 171 537 USD. Aptos price has been as high as 10,05 USD and as low as 3.8 USD, making it one of the more stable assets on the market. Its circulating supply is 130 000 000 APT. Given that the asset is still relatively new, both Aptos price and its market cap are sure to change in the future.

What are the things to look forward to?

The team behind APT is always working on new features. Upgrades that are aimed at wider accessibility of web3 seem to be at the forefront at the moment. New features are announced via a blog post on their website or Twitter.


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Meta description:
Aptos is a layer 1 blockchain, using the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism and a new smart contract programming language called Move.

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