Protocol Highlight
June 14, 2024

Protocol Highlight: Aptos

Meet Avery Ching, Co-Founder/CTO of Aptos Labs

Jon Ma
Co-Founder / CEO
Andrew Van Aken
Data Science

Welcome to the 2nd ever protocol highlight of the month! Each month we bring on a contributor of a protocol to better understand the protocol’s story.

Today we highlight Aptos Labs, the world's most internet-scalable blockchain. Today we chat with Avery Ching, Co-Founder/CTO of Aptos Labs.

You previously spent time at the Apache Software Foundation, Facebook, and Yahoo. What is your story into crypto? Why did you and Mo decide to start Aptos?

I enjoyed building open source scalable software back in during my PhD with contributions to MPICH/MPI-IO, PVFS, and open-source parallel systems benchmarking. I continued to build large-scale web search and open source developer software at Yahoo! - including founding Apache Giraph. I then joined Meta in 2011 to build out the data infrastructure stack and was responsible for company-wide big data batch & ML workloads powering all Meta products. My road to Web3 began when I read the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2017 and was fascinated by how decentralized systems could be secured through programmatic economics. A year later I joined Novi, a Meta company, and soon became the technical lead building Diem, the first blockchain powered by the Move programming language, and eventually the overall web3 lead.

Since then– along with my co-founder Mo Shaikh and a world-class team of blockchain developers, PhDs, cryptographers, and GTM specialists– I’ve aimed to advance what we started at Meta: building a secure, reliable, and performant platform for creating, scaling, and upgrading Web3 experiences across use cases and with interoperability and user experience top of mind to support all 5 billion Internet users. In May, the L1 that we launched on mainnet in October 2022 just set a new industry bar with over 180 million transactions in 24 hours without any change in gas costs, failure rates, or other disruptions. It looks nothing like the initial work we did at Novi, but continues with the same first principles of transparency, decentralization, security, scalability, and interoperability geared toward onboarding billions to blockchain.

Today, I’m excited to be a co-founder & CTO of Aptos Labs. Our core mission is to help builders and users leverage Move to expand what’s possible on Aptos, a blockchain for the people, built and iterated on by the people. In addition to supporting a growing number of Move developers in markets worldwide, we offer technical expertise to develop and ship innovations to market, and partner with both tech giants like Google Cloud and startup Web3 companies to uplevel UX and DX across use cases from DeFi to commerce to gaming to loyalty to entertainment that is open to everyone.

Why should developers build on Aptos? What is Move? Why should developers build on Aptos over other L1s like Sui?

Aptos is the world’s most Internet-ready, fastest, scalable, and feature-rich L1 blockchain. Everything we’ve built at Aptos Labs puts the experience of developers and their end-users first. We aim to make building top-notch, decentralized, interoperable dApps as seamless and simple as possible. Move from ideation to production as quickly and safely as possible.

Aptos devs have been developing their programming language, Move, for many years. Move is designed to evolve, improve performance, and strengthen Web3 safeguards automatically so developers don’t have to. Move creates an environment where developers only have to worry about bringing their creative dApp visions to life – because critical security measures and safeguards are part of the core language and tooling (e.g., the Move prover for formal verification and a formally secured Aptos framework). Secure on-chain randomness supports new classes of gaming applications. Aptos Aggregators (aka deferred objects) is an innovation that enables parallelism on shared objects (e.g., global counters, scalable NFT mints, etc.). Keyless and passkey technologies support a secure web3 user experience familiar to existing Internet users.

Being first to sub-second end-to-end latency for all transaction types is also an Aptos hallmark. For users, all of their on-Aptos transactions, from gaming to everyday purchases to crypto investments, are confirmed almost instantly. Massive throughput is only available on Aptos, demonstrating the ability to run more than 2.1B transactions (>25,000 TPS) end-to-end over a 24-hour period in a mainnet-like environment last December. The Aptos Labs team has developed a series of reproducible benchmarks that focus on end-to-end transaction processing, creating benchmarks that reflect true user experience, rather than relying on internal metrics that might capture only a portion of the whole picture. 

Because Aptos' architecture is designed to support high throughput and low latency even under heavy loads, it’s an ideal platform for building scalable, responsive dApps. Aptos is also built with upgradability in mind, allowing developers to continuously innovate and improve their applications without facing limitations common on other blockchains. 

The Aptos’ ecosystem also has one of the best global Web3 communities out there. Collaboration over competition reigns. Aptos developers and the Aptos community work together towards the same goal of mass adoption. They push Move on Aptos forward to make it better and more accessible for a broader user base. Technical members of the Aptos Labs team continue to play a chief support role – we’re always there for ecosystem members.

Congrats on Aptos Ascend and the partnership with BCG, Microsoft, Brevan Howard, etc. Can you share more how enterprise and institutions are or are hoping to use Aptos Ascend?

Aptos is a blockchain designed for bridging the TradFi-DeFi gap in a secure, scalable and global way. Aptos Labs, alongside Brevan Howard, BCG, SK Telecom, and Microsoft, recently announced Aptos Ascend, a set of institutional-level solutions designed to deliver the benefits of DeFi to the global financial market. Aptos Ascend’s solutions include custom and flexible permissioned token standards powered by Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Service, SKT’s Wallet-as-a-Service product, and the benefits of the scalable, secure, high-throughput Aptos blockchain. 

Aptos Ascend provides a Web3 path for any major bank or financial institution in the world to begin offering digital currency and asset management to their clients responsibly and at scale. It represents a massive step forward in bridging the gap between TradFi and DeFi innovation with the industry’s key stakeholders.

Ascend will also enable organizations worldwide to unlock unparalleled transaction efficiency on the Aptos blockchain thanks to an industry-leading sub-second latency—recently setting industry scalability records with no change to gas fees, failure rates, or other disruptions.

What is driving user adoption and how do users use Aptos? 

The Aptos ecosystem has reached a significant milestone in its growth: there's no more playing catch-up to Web2. We've got developer rich technology, a vibrant builder community, and strategic partnerships to onboard users and developers globally on Aptos.We’re the only blockchain built to support Web2 applications, as they transition into the world of Web3.

Take KYD Labs, for example. They're reinventing live event fan connections for artists, venues, and concert promoters, empowering stakeholders across the music landscape to seamlessly reach and engage with their ideal target audience. Artists and event creators can take control of ticket resale and use ticket data to secure lucrative event sponsorships, drive repeat fan engagement and loyalty, and provide a more transparent and fair event experience for attendees.

Tapos, a recently launched “tickle-to-earn” game on Aptos, has captured the attention of thousands by leveraging nostalgia for classic clicker games. They achieved over 323 million transactions over the course of their three-day campaign, demonstrating how projects across Aptos are finding engaging and authentic ways to connect with people globally.

We’ve supported protocols, projects, and apps that have expanded what’s possible on what’s become the world’s fastest, most reliable, and interoperable L1 blockchain. We’ve worked directly with Move developers and cross-chain builders to pressure-test and validate a bounty of features, including end-to-end sub-second latency, 99.99% uptime across the ecosystem, and gas fees that are 100 times lower than prominent L1s. We provide go-to-market support that helps OpenFi and DeFi builders move from onboarding to market with confidence.

What are some interesting applications built on Aptos? What are the applications that you get most excited about on Aptos?

The Aptos ecosystem developers have achieved so many wins since mainnet – it’s truly difficult to cite them all, but we can share a few recent examples. 

Tapos has been making headlines, and it's hard not to get excited about how it perfectly exemplifies what's possible when you're able to package engagement, value, and a fun, dynamic user experience together. It's no surprise that this led to huge gains in daily transaction tallies.

The Aptos open finance ecosystem is thriving. One such standout is Ondo, which seamlessly merges institutional-grade experience with Web3 decentralization. Its collaboration with Thala labs, integrating USDY into Thala’s AMM pools, is particularly noteworthy. Merkle Trade has also seen such an impressive trajectory, reaching $4 billion in total trading volume earlier this year. Thala, with $199 million in TVL and Thalaswap processing $19 million in transactions within 24 hours on March 19, demonstrates Aptos’ robustness and the breadth of transaction activity it makes possible. Additionally, Jambo Phone, available in over 100 countries and preloaded with Web3 gateways to the Aptos ecosystem, empowers users worldwide with immediate financial agency, fostering a truly global financial community. 

Where do you think Aptos will be 10 years from now?

At Aptos Labs, we believe that the nascent Move developer experience, UX technology, novel feature sets, and Internet-ready backend advancements are already driving and will accelerate a significant shift in Internet technology in the coming years. We already see the movement of a unique and powerful open finance stack built on Aptos and developers taking advantage of the newest Aptos features in the largest Move ecosystem today (with hundreds of decentralized applications currently in development). The future financial, social / traditional media, and gaming applications that billions use will have open and composable protocols at their core. AI will transact on a large part of our behalf and thrive on open protocols. Users will just consider web3 as a part of the normal Internet and developers will build decentralized applications in Move more efficiently than they could in any traditional programming language. In short, the world will be a better place - imagine a future where people safely, scalably, and instantly transact with each other in a decentralized and composable Internet - all with more control and protection than they have ever had in the past. The future of Web3 is happening on Aptos right now, it will only expand and improve in the coming decade. 

How does Aptos use or hope to use Artemis?

Artemis enables users and institutions alike to fairly analyze the capabilities of different blockchain technologies. Both Aptos and Artemis are leaders in transparent, verifiable, and reproducible data and performance insights. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Artemis to advance the start-of-the-art methodologies in this space!

Key metrics: Aptos vs L1 Networks

Andrew here, data scientist at Artemis! You can also find me on X here

Aptos made headlines in May, with Tapos achieving over 323 million transactions over the course of their three-day campaign. This campaign drove Aptos to the top of the Artemis L1 dashboard in terms of transactions per day and set a record for transactions in a single day by chains we track.

YTD, Aptos TVL has grown an impressive 232% and has similar growth trajectories to other L1s launch during the same timeframe. Aptos has a combination of Aptos native DeFi protocols (Echelon, Aries) while also attracting leading existing protocols on other chains (PancakeSwap, Ondo Finance). 

Finally, Aptos offers very low fees compared to other blockchains. Aptos consistently has average fees below $0.01 and ranks as one of the lowest fee options of blockchains Artemis tracks. Even as transactions surged on the network during the Tapos campaign, Aptos still maintained sub $0.01 transaction fees.

Thanks for reading! Want to get in touch with Avery at Aptos? Feel free to email us at team at artemis dot xyz and we'd be happy to introduce you over!

Artemis Disclaimer: The authors, affiliates, or stakeholders of Artemis may hold interests in the tokens or protocols mentioned in this content. This disclosure highlights potential conflicts of interest and is not an endorsement to buy or invest in any specific token or protocol. The content is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice in any form.

Readers should approach this information cautiously and consider their unique circumstances before making investment decisions. The views and opinions expressed are subject to change without notice, and Artemis bears no liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of this information.

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