May 26, 2022

Facebook’s bold attempt to create a cryptocurrency payment network went unnoticed earlier this year when Silvergate Capital acquired Dim’s technology assets for $182 million. The deal shows that Facebook, now Meta, has a regulatory-blessed path to becoming a central player in the blockchain ecosystem that cost the company many talents, including crypto boss David, to achieve. Mark.

Some former META employees are starting to take over the open-source Diem blockchain in an attempt to realize the concept of a decentralized network that they say is built to serve billions of users and serve large corporate businesses. First stage. One such initiative, called Aptos, led by former META employees who didn’t leave the company until December, has already received unicorn funding from Andreessen Horowitz and a host of other leading Web3 investors.

“We are the original creators, researchers, designers and creators of Diem, a blockchain created for this purpose. While the world has never been able to see what we have built, our work is not over yet,” Aptos CEO Mo Sheikh wrote in a blog post last month.

The startup tells gaming-updates that it has closed a $200 million “strategic” investment led by a16z that involves Tiger Global, Katie Hawn, Multicoin Capital, 3 Arrow Capital, FTX Ventures and Coinbase Ventures. Another notable first-round investor is Silvergate Capital, although the Aptos team vows that they will not license or use Silvergate’s Diem IP ownership rights when building their blockchain.

The founders did not disclose the rankings, but said they are “on their way to unicorn territory.” (According to an investor memorandum obtained by gaming-updates, the value of the shares in the round is estimated at $1 billion, but with tokens it is much higher. The Aptos team declined to provide exact figures.)

The Aptos blockchain will be a so-called layer 1 system, which means that it will not be designed to be placed on top of existing blockchains like Ethereum or Solana, but will instead build its own decentralized network. In addition to the company’s funding news, Aptos also revealed that it has officially launched its “DevNet” which will allow developers to experiment and build the Aptos blockchain ahead of the public release the team is hoping for. third quarter..

The Aptos team said that several companies, including Anchorage, Binance, Coinbase, Livepeer, Moonclave, Paxos, Paymagic, Rarible, and Streaming Fast, are already working on the launch by providing feedback and contributing code to the DevNet.

Aptos aims to create a more scalable blockchain with faster transactions and lower costs than existing main chains. The founders hope to be able to develop a more reliable and predictable network for large clients interested in blockchain adoption.

There are many ways to scale a blockchain. For example, proponents of Ethereum and its scaling solutions are betting on the use of convolution and sharding — techniques that break the blockchain into smaller pieces and then put them back together — to scale.

But some other players think there is a better way to solve this problem.

Avery Ching, CTO of Aptos, said in an interview with gaming-updates: “Existing blockchains are not as secure as the current Financial Railroad. We’ve seen downtime and crash issues for hours.”

Kyle Samani, managing partner of Multicoin Capital, a venture capital firm known as one of the early proponents of several blockchains including Solana, argues that the above approach increases latency, increases technical complexity for developers, cross-chain makes the application “inherently vulnerable” and breaks creativity.

“The crypto industry formulates this debate relatively binary. But there are nuances. These approaches are not mutually exclusive. While many in the industry have traditionally advocated splitting state into multiple chunks, we have sought to optimize UX, DX, and single shard performance to maximize the space to develop custom cryptographic applications. This belief is driving us to triple Solana by 2019 and 2020 and see rapid growth in 2021,” he wrote on his blog.

While Dim proponents like Andreessen Horowitz may rally around the team that Facebook is trying to build with Dim and Libra, others in the crypto world are sticking to the Web3 vision originally created by Facebook and are more skeptical of the implementation. imaginary.

“To be clear, we have no formal relationship with Facebook and no investment from them,” Sheikh told gaming-updates.

“We are certainly glad that we have a common vision for the Web3 world. One of the nice things about our outer nature is that now that we can focus on everything, we don’t have to focus only on meta. We are committed to partnering with some of the biggest brands and technology companies in the world to create a true Web3 ecosystem for the masses.”

Another challenge/opportunity Aptos faces is how quickly it can get developers on board. The company is hoping to win over some developers by using Move, an open source programming language developed by Meta. “Move is designed for secure resource management, it is deterministic and measurable,” Ching said, noting that the language is well suited to rigorous audit and verification processes.

“Secondly, our team has developed a Byzantine low latency fault tolerance protocol that we have extensively tested and validated over the years. We are basically in the fourth iteration of this protocol and we are pushing for an update to the protocol,” he said, adding that the protocol claims that there has been no downtime in private network trials over the years.

In a statement to gaming-updates, Multicoin Capital’s Samani said, “The Move programming language has been extensively tested and provides an excellent environment for building secure, production-quality contracts that can serve billions of people. We will completely stop using Aptos, and layer 1 will become a real contender in this fight.”

To make it more attractive to developers, Aptos is considering various ways to support Ethereum and Solidity on its network.

“I have a very close relationship with the Ethereum community. It is clear that this is a multi-chain world: people have built bridges, solutions that solve scalability or are able to move from one L1 to another in search of larger markets,” said Sheikh, who previously led said strategic partnership for Meta’s Novi Wallet. ,

“We want to be part of this ecosystem. We are not here to compete as such. We want to complement and complement these issues – whether it be something like the wormhole incident – ​​to give a clear indication that everything needs to be built responsibly from scratch,” Sheikh said.

“The feedback we’ve heard from the developers of Solidity and Ethereum is that they run into limitations, running into issues where you have to spend hours validating your smart contracts. These days, only smart contract auditors have this capability. These things remain a sore point. They are looking for other L1s to build seamlessly, not just move assets or transfer across bridges, as this often compromises security. ,

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