What is Aptos, the Complete Blockchain Guide

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Exploring the APT token, validators, wallets, block explorers and the best projects building on Aptos

Aptos is a Layer-1 blockchain network with a focus on decentralization, speed and scalability, and it supports the use of decentralized applications. The blockchain came from the ashes of Libra and Diem, the blockchain initiatives originally launched – and later canceled – by Meta. 

Aptos was founded in 2021 by Mohammad Shaikh and Avery Ching, and the network was inspired by the Libra blockchain. Meta discontinued the development of Libra, and Aptos continued development. The Aptos mainnet then launched on 12 October 2022, allowing dapp developers to deploy smart contracts. 

Aptos explained

Aptos is a Layer-1 blockchain, developed by Aptos Labs. This studio was founded by core contributors of Diem, the blockchain ecosystem by Meta that never saw the light of day. Like many other blockchains, Aptos wants to be scalable, safe, reliable and upgradable. 

Consensus mechanism

The network uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism where validators need a minimum amount of staked APT tokens. Aptos chain has validators that receive and process transactions using Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) and Proof of Stake (PoS).

Aptos data model

Data is an important feature of the Aptos blockchain. They see data as resources, which are objects that cannot be copied or dropped. Smart contract calls don’t waste resources by default. Each user account stores resources, which enables decentralization. Only the user can register resources to their account, thus making it impossible to spam tokens. 

Programming language

Contrary to many other chains, Aptos uses the Move programming language. There are Move modules (smart contracts) that users can alter by submitting transactions. They can also upgrade ones that already exist, execute certain entry functions etc. The module can then interact with public interfaces. The Aptos ecosystem uses the Move Prover to verify the functional correctness of a program. 

Sharding

Initially Aptos has one ledger or blockchain. However, in order to scale and handle more activity, the protocol will implement shared ledger states. Through ‘sharding’ an extra layer goes on top of the mainnet, and there will be a homogeneous bridge between the two ledgers. Both users and developers will then be able to pick their own sharing setup, based on their own needs. 

What is the role of the Aptos Foundation?

The Aptos Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports the network, educates the community, and creates grant programs to accelerate growth. Decision making happens through community governance, driven by Aptos Improvement Proposals (AIPs) and voting by APT token holders. 

The Aptos Foundation supports the ecosystem through grants in various categories, including for example: 

  • Developer toolking, SDKs, libraries, documentation, guides and tutorials
  • Tools and frameworks for governance, DeFi and NFTs
  • Core protocol contributions, like token standards and protocol upgrades
  • Development of open-source and public goods
  • Launching initiatives to educate developers and users alike
  • The development of applications in DeFi, SocialFi, gaming, DAOs, bridging and so on.

APT tokens and governance

To participate in governance or submit transactions, users need APT tokens. These were initially only used for transactions, but since the Spring of 2023 the network supports delegated staking. 

Those who hold APT tokens can interact with dapps on the network. However, they can also participate in governance processes. For example, tokens holders can vote on proposals, or even submit their own proposal. Both validators and delegators can submit and vote on Aptos Improvement Proposals (AIPs). 

APT isn’t ERC-20 compatible, meaning that we can’t move it to Ethereum, Polygon or BNB Chain. However, on DappRadar we do track the price of the APT token.

Validators and staking APT to earn

At the core of the network, there are validators which process the transactions within the network. At the time of writing, the network counts 511 total nodes, while 126 of them are validator nodes. 

Validators which have been selected to process transactions, receive rewards in APT tokens. These APT tokens then get split by the validator itself, and the delegators who stake their tokens with the validator. Rewards per block decrease 1.5% per year. 

Validators decide the split between them and delegators / stakers. Stakers then decide which validator node to support. After that, stakers and validators receive their rewards at the end of every epoch. 

Best wallets for Aptos blockchain

Aptos is a Layer-1 network with its own programming language, which means you will need a wallet that specifically supports it. These wallets are a sample of the ones that support Aptos: 

  • Petra – the Aptos wallet developed by Aptos Labs, for mobile and browser
  • MSafe – a multisig wallet for Aptos and Sui Network, web only.
  • OKX Wallet – the multichain wallet from the OKX Exchange, for browser and mobile
  • Trust Wallet – one of the most popular multichain wallets, for browser and mobile.

Use cases

Aptos is still a young ecosystem, but it’s finding traction in various industries. Below you will find a quick sample of some projects launched on the Aptos blockchain. 

  1. KYD Labs built a ticketing system for real-life events, including the WonderBus Festival
  2. Mastercard is using Aptos to build an onchain identity and verification tool for payments and ticketing.
  3. Various DeFi platforms are already active on Aptos, including established ones like Sushi, PancakeSwap, CoinSender and OKX DEX
  4. Video and social media platform Chingari expanded to Aptos last year, and is also active on Solana. 
  5. Various gaming projects are already building on Aptos, including the casual MMORPG Bitmates, action role-playing game Plasmaverse and esports organization STAN. 

Closing words

The Aptos ecosystem is now pushing for growth. For example, they organize hackathons to attract developers. In addition, they make onchain data insightful thanks to partnerships with platforms like Dune Analytics and of course DappRadar. As more developers launch high quality products, then the network will find traction.

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