A Chaotic Crypto Launch Reveals How Hard It Is to Beat Ethereum

Other community members have attacked Aptos for its failure to release the tokenomics—a description of the distribution of tokens, how they will function, and when they will be released into circulation—ahead of the launch date, which is considered bad form. It’s a little like asking someone to enter into a contract without first setting out all the terms.

Despite these problems, Aptos CEO Mo Shaikh dismisses much of the criticism of the launch. “[The] Mainnet launch has gone better than expected for a brand-new network. The network reached close to 3 million transactions and peaks of over 100 TPS in under just two days,” he says. This TPS figure is higher than the performance of some rival networks but lower than Solana’s, which currently hovers around 4,500 TPS.

Shaikh says the priority now is to ensure developers are supplied with everything they need to begin building applications on top of Aptos. Only then will we “see the impressive transaction numbers the Aptos blockchain is built for,” he claims.

Aptos is backed by heavyweight VCs like Andreesen Horowitz, FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, and Binance Labs. Although the specifics of the most recent funding round were not made public, one Bloomberg report pegged its valuation at $4 billion.

These VC backers are each set to gain a proportionately large volume of tokens, according to the tokenomics Aptos eventually published. Developers and private investors will be handed a combined volume of 32.48 percent, raising questions about whether this could skew the economics of the network. Although VCs and developers can’t offload any tokens for at least a year and can’t access their full allocation until 2026, this protection does not apply to staking rewards (equivalent to interest payments). In theory, Aptos backers could earn large sums on their holdings, which could then be dumped onto the market, creating downward pressure on the price.

Shaikh admits the tokenomics “should have come out sooner,” an oversight he attributes to the team’s workload prior to launch. But as for concerns about the amount allocated to investors, he claims the share is “among the lowest […] for any blockchain in the market today.”

Shaikh and his cofounder Avery Ching previously worked together on Novi, a crypto wallet built to support the Diem stablecoin. They refer to the Aptos network as the “layer 1 for everyone”—a reference to the ambition to develop a blockchain that is cheap, scalable, versatile, and easy to use.

Whether Aptos is able to meet this objective will have plenty to do with the programming language underpinning its chain, called Move, which was developed from scratch to power the Diem blockchain. The language enables a peak theoretical performance of 160,000 TPS, far higher than the theoretical peaks of both Ethereum and Solana.

Publicly, the Aptos team resists the “Solana-killer” designation. But much as Solana was designed to process transactions faster than Ethereum, Aptos promises to outperform Solana.

This competition is healthy for a blockchain ecosystem, says David Shuttleworth, senior DeFi economist at ConsenSys, a development studio set up by Ethereum cofounder Joe Lubin. “Advancements in technology should always be pursued, at every level, not just blockchain, and should not be limited to one particular ecosystem or protocol,” he says.

Leave a Comment