What bear market?
Layer-1 blockchain Aptos just closed a $150 million series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto that included big-name investors Andreessen Horowitz, Multicoin Capital, and Circle Ventures.
With this latest raise, Aptos’s 2022 fundraising tally stands at $350 million.
Naturally, this leads people to think, “what is Aptos?”, “why are VCs so interested?” and maybe most importantly, “Is this something I should be keeping an eye on?”.
What Is Aptos?
Aptos’s origins can be traced back to the failed Meta blockchain project, Diem. Created in 2019 under the name “Libra,” the goal of Diem was to create a stablecoin that could serve as the currency for a new financial system.
A worthy goal for sure, but one that government regulators were not excited about. Ultimately the regulators had their way, and Diem was shut down in 2022.
But, just because Diem failed, it doesn’t mean that its developers gave up their cryptocurrency dreams. Instead, they have used their experience with Diem to create Aptos, a Layer-1 blockchain meant to be “the safest and most production-ready blockchain in the world.”
Why are VCs So Interested?
There is no shortage of layer-1 blockchains these days. Solana, Avalanche, Fantom, Tron…the list goes on and on. Where Aptos stands above the rest though is the huge amount of money raised in such a short amount of time. Something unique about it must appeal to VCs.
That unique trait is its use of the Move programming language initially created for Diem. The main advantage of Move is that it enables performance that the dominant blockchain programming language, Solidity, doesn’t. One hundred thousand transactions per second, sub-second transaction finality, parallel execution of transactions, and speedy testing are all made possible with Move.
Scalability is a massive hurdle for blockchain adoption. VCs are betting big that Aptos and Move is the answer.
Should You Keep an Eye On It?
Short answer: yes. Anytime bigwigs throw hundreds of millions of dollars at a new project, you’d probably be wise to keep an eye on it. One has to look no further than Solana to see that following VC money into new scalable blockchains can pay off big-time.
Long answer: yes, but… It’s still very early days for Aptos. It’s still in development. Mainnet hasn’t launched yet. There is no token. There is no release date. You couldn’t invest in it right now even if you wanted to.
Furthermore, the conditions are different now than when Solana was coming up in 2020-2021. It’s just not as easy for new blockchains to rocket up. We’re in a bear market now. The macro is terrible. Ethereum is becoming more scalable soon. Layer-2 rollups are booming.
Alternative layer-1 “Eth Killers” are down a ton this year. VCs are betting that Aptos will buck that trend. We’ll have to wait to see if they are correct, but in the meantime, keep cautiously following this story.