In-depth research on the emerging public chain Aptos

foreword

After years of regulatory compliance efforts, Facebook/Meta’s cryptocurrency payments project Diem came to an abrupt end in 2022. All its assets are sold, including the underlying blockchain network. Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching, former employees of Meta, have worked hard for the project for 3 years, and of course were reluctant to accept such a result. So, they decided to continue their unfinished business, only this time as CEO and CTO of the newly formed Aptos Labs.

Based on the knowledge its employees have acquired in the Diem codebase, Aptos Labs seeks to create a general blockchain network that pursues the following goals:

  • Reviving Diem technology by leveraging its programming language Move, creating a scalable, secure, and flexible infrastructure that can compete with existing blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Ensuring high throughput, low latency, and verifiable state synchronization in a decentralized network by leveraging Diem’s ​​architecture and a wide variety of new technologies.

Aptos Devnet went live in March this year, allowing developers to build decentralized applications and run/test them immediately. Additionally, in preparation for the expected public mainnet launch in Q3 2022, there will be multiple incentivized testnets involved, generating community feedback.

financing

Although Aptos was only launched 4 months ago, in March 2022, the company has reportedly raised $200 million at a valuation of over $1 billion. This round of financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with investors including Tiger Global, FTX, Coinbase, Three Arrows Capital (3AC) and other well-known companies. While there is no exact valuation information on the round, Aptos CEO Mo Shaikh said they have reached unicorn status.

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Aptos Company Profile

On July 25, Aptos Labs announced the completion of a Series A financing led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto, including investments from companies such as Andreessen Horowitz, Multicoin Capital, and Circle Ventures. Aptos Labs’ latest $150 million funding round more than doubles its previous valuation of $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. By comparison, Ethereum raised about $18.4 million in 2014.

Architecture

Aptos is running the fourth iteration of their consensus protocol, Aptos BFT, which they claim is the lowest latency, most advanced iteration to date. This consensus protocol is a derivative of the underlying consensus protocol HotStuff originally used by Diem. The latest updates to the system are as follows:

  • A new innovative reputation system is added, which is especially suitable for a decentralized environment. It can check the data on the chain. If the verifier is in an unresponsive state, it can automatically change the leader rotation without manual intervention.
  • The block commit time is significantly reduced (only 2 network round trips), making the average commit completion time less than 1 second.

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While the current TPS on the testnet is around 1000 TPS, Aptos Labs is following their own roadmap, which they believe will maximize their engine utilization, which they claim has a maximum TPS capacity of 100,000+. According to their roadmap, the process of achieving this feat can be summed up in three milestones:

Milestone 1: Decoupling consensus from execution

The first architectural milestone is the complete separation of the consensus mechanism from transaction execution. The consensus protocol accepts the proposed transaction order. Validators execute transactions in different protocols, away from the critical path, and agree on the final transaction order and execution results. Achieve higher throughput and lower latency by eliminating the interdependence that comes with combining consensus and execution. Aptos Labs is working on decoupling for the next iteration of the protocol, which is expected to be integrated into the testnet later this year.

Milestone 2: Transaction Execution Time

Generally, when projects mention how well their systems perform, they tend to emphasize finality and system throughput. Finality is the interval between when a client creates and submits a transaction and when another party confirms it. Throughput is described as transactions per second (tps), which measures how many transactions each node in the network can complete in one second. That said, smart contract execution is a critical throughput bottleneck.

Validators must execute the transactions in the ordered block after submitting the block and agreeing on the block order. The validator must then reach the same conclusion that is consistent with the in-order transaction. This sequential process can hurt network performance, which becomes more pronounced when network activity increases. Unfortunately, current blockchain systems lack inherent scalability solutions to this problem: they operate sequentially, or take advantage of extremely inefficient off-chain workloads.

Aptos Labs has designed an in-memory smart contract parallel execution engine called Block-STM. STM stands for Software Transactional Memory, a new technology approach to flexible transactional programming that supports synchronization processes. However, when widely applied, the STM model suffers from performance limitations due to the conflict between accounting and aborting. Based on the evaluation, Aptos Labs concluded that when applied to specific use cases such as DLT and a combination of innovative technologies, they were able to achieve 10K+ TPS using 32 cores in terms of execution alone. Furthermore, their experimental evaluations also show that Block-STM outperforms sequential execution by a factor of 20 under low contention loads and 9 times under high contention loads.

Milestone 3: Optimizing Authentication Data Structures

The final milestone is to implement an optimized authentication data structure. To address the scalability issues that come with writing Merkle-trees to persistent storage, Aptos is developing authenticated data structures that aim to achieve a scalable, database-friendly solution. This will be achieved by evaluating higher branching factors, access pattern optimization caching, and careful versioning.

Move programming language 

The Move programming language was created to provide a secure, programmable foundation for Aptos’ vision to create a financial infrastructure that empowers the masses. Around this, Move aims to address the main pain points of current blockchain languages. So, the solution proposed by Aptos can be summarized into four key goals: best-in-class resources, flexibility, security, and verifiability.

The main feature of Move is the ability to define custom resource types, which statistically ensures that resources can only be moved between program storage locations and not cloned or deleted. By effectively preventing the above-mentioned vulnerabilities and other problems, the security is greatly improved. Resources are managed by Move modules, which are similar to smart contracts in that they control the process of encoding the rules for creating, updating, and deleting declared resources. The benefit of Move modules over smart contracts is that Move performs data abstraction, which means that resources are transparent inside their declaring module and opaque outside. Furthermore, with the help of an expressive specification language, the Move Prover validator can formally verify the features of Move modules and is efficient enough for continuous integration testing.

Protocol on Aptos

While Aptos is relatively new, developer activity has grown exponentially since the incentivized testnet first launched in March of this year. With every new blockchain, the most important protocols to watch are those that bring real value to the chain through infrastructure — similar to how money markets like Compound and oracles like Chainlink enable mainnet DeFi to grow .

Thala Labs – Most recently announced its stablecoin protocol in June. There was very little information about Thala Labs prior to the release of the agreement document. Stablecoins are critical to the growth of the nascent ecosystem, as stablecoins create liquidity incentives for other projects, driving up TVL.

Pontem Network – Pontem recently released a generic roadmap iteration where they intend to build multiple products on Aptos, the first of which will be a decentralized exchange (DEXs). DEXs present a sufficient liquidity structure that can be automatically exchanged between different tokens, while encouraging liquidity growth through liquidity mining incentives. Other products on the Pontem roadmap include a yield aggregator, an Aptos-compatible EVM layer, a dApp integration wallet, and a governance protocol.

Switchboard  – Solana-based universal oracle network emphasizing universal price information.

Vial – Vial is a combined interest rate protocol that allows users to lend assets on Aptos. Money markets deliver value by implementing effective capital management and diversification methods, as well as using on-chain leverage, which in turn drives liquidity across the ecosystem.

Aptosphere – Aptosphere is an indexing protocol for querying Aptos data. The indexing protocol is critical to the success of a new blockchain.

Team & Support

As mentioned above, Aptos was founded by Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching, who currently serve as the CEO and CTO of Aptos Labs, respectively.

Other members of the Aptos founder team include Alden Hu, Alin Tomescu, David Wolinsky, Greg Nazario, Jake Skinner, Josh Lind, Max Kaplan, Mo Ahmed, Neil Harounian, Rati Gelashivili, Rustie Lin, Sasha Spiegelman, Sherry Xiao, Sital Kedia and Zekun Li, they all have admirable qualifications and brilliant achievements in their respective fields.

Notably, Aptos’ social dissemination has also been paying off recently, as the narrative of scalability solutions has grown. According to data from The TIE’s Apefluencer tool, which helps institutions track key opinion leaders’ concerns, 19 of the 50 most-followed crypto accounts recently came from the Aptos ecosystem.

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in conclusion

The report introduces Aptos, a BFT general public blockchain, a scalable, secure, and flexible infrastructure that can compete with existing blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Scalability has been a common topic in this field for the past few years. It is clear that many of the widely used blockchain systems themselves will not be fundamentally optimized to support the continued development and application of blockchain technology. Aptos addresses these pain points by implementing a new approach focused on performance, scalability and user operability. All of these aspects highlight the continued value that Aptos will bring to the field, with the fundamental goal of creating an infrastructure that can compete with existing blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/in-depth-research-on-the-emerging-public-chain-aptos/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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