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Aptos: A MOVE Towards Scalable and Composable Web3 Future


Episode 11 - The Open Metaverse Podcast

In this episode, Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching share their origin stories, highlighting their unique paths to the world of blockchain.

Together, they co-founded Aptos with the goal of addressing blockchain scalability issues. The podcast also covers Aptos' unique use cases in social media, gaming, and finance, as well as the importance of on-chain identity and the challenges of scaling and composability.

The Aptos team is committed to fostering a strong ecosystem through global hackathons, accelerator programs, and grants aimed at supporting developers and artists alike. This combination of cutting-edge technology and community building makes Aptos a promising player in the Web3 space.

Origin Story (0:21 - 5:37)

Mo’s Origin Story (0:27 - 3:54)

First-generation immigrant - raised in Brooklyn, NY

Father worked as a taxi driver - realized how many middlemen are involved in this industry

Studied economics and psychology at Hunter College in New York City

Worked in the financial industry after university

Discovered that most of the value being created went to middlemen, just as it did with taxi drivers

Worked at Boston Consulting Group where he discovered blockchain while working on a consulting case

Realized that blockchains are an efficient system for sharing value among participants

Joined Consensys - one of the main companies working on Ethereum infrastructure and applications

Saw that blockchains can be much more than a permissionless payment system

Joined Facebook (now Meta), where he met Avery Ching

Avery’s Origin Story (3:55 - 5:20)

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii

Studied Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Northwestern University

Earned a Ph.D. in High Performance Computing from Northwestern University

Spent time at multiple national labs (Argonne, Los Alamos, Sandia)

Worked on supercomputing infrastructure and message-passing interface

Worked at Yahoo for 4 years on web search

Developed Apache Giraph - a large-scale graph processing infrastructure project

Joined Facebook (now Meta) in 2011 to work on data infrastructure

Transitioned to the Libra Project (renamed to Diem) in 2018

Eventually became tech lead of blockchain team

Focused on applying concepts from supercomputing and distributed systems to blockchain technology

How Will Aptos Solve Blockchain Scalability Issues? (5:37 - 8:45)

Began designing chain and language in 2018

Designed to support billions of people — all Meta (Facebook) users

When leaving Meta (Facebook) to create Aptos, the mission became to be able to support the entire world, not just Meta users

Aptos plans to tackle scalability in two ways:

Move Language was created to help developers take their ideas from the ideation phase to production

Simple, specialized language designed for smart contract programming

Move Prover allows developers to formally verify different aspects of their program

The Aptos software stack was designed to support as many resources as possible

The network already supports tens of thousands of transactions and sub-second latency


Why Should Developers Build with Move? (8:48 - 12:19)

As Web3 grows, it will become harder to scale the EVM

Move has new features available almost every month

Recently deployed resource groups to optimize gas costs

New innovations to allow for composability and dynamic behavior in NFTs

Plans to continue building out the Move Prover and support for different VMs

Developers are able to build impressive applications in short periods of time

Singular focus was to build the best developer experience possible

Developers understand that Web3 is a core component to their product but it may not be the only thing they want to focus on

Ethereum is heavily focused on maximum decentralization, which inhibits developer experience


Can / Will Aptos Support Solidity in the Future? (12:20 - 13:40)

Can support Solidity

Community members have built tooling to support EVM in different ways

Translation to Move

Implementing down to the core stack

The downside is that there will be limited performance capabilities with EVM-compatibility

There is a benefit to EVM-compatibility in that you can leverage the existing network effects of the Ethereum community

How to Achieve a Scalable, Sufficiently Decentralized Application? (13:43 - 17:37)

The goal is to offer a high throughput, low latency decentralized database

The network will likely not support 1 million plus validators — the more validators you add, there are diminishing returns with respect to security

Less focused on number of nodes and more focused on resiliency of the system against different failures / faults

Nakamoto Coefficient : minimum number of independent entities that can shut down a blockchain

Liveness Coefficient : minimum number of machines required to make forward progress

Many networks have thousands of nodes but a large number of those nodes contribute nothing to the security of the network

Reducing the number of nodes allows for significant cost reduction and to more easily come to consensus / move quicker

Additionally, they are focused on:

Number of node operators : having 1 node operator for many nodes is not resilient

Geopolitical risks

Cloud provider risks : may be a centralized point of failure

Currently, Aptos hosts approximately 102 nodes with a Nakamoto Coefficient of 13

There will be a report coming out to detail the Nakamoto Coefficient in regards to nodes and validator operators

The goal is to see it improve over time

TPS Goals by 2025 (17:39 - 20:31)

TPS is generally an undefined metric in terms of blockchain — becomes a very hard metric to compare between networks

Each transaction is an “individual atomic operation that are signed by a particular authorizer”

From this perspective, Aptos has the highest throughput out of all existing networks

Expect to see 1 million plus TPS in 2025 when validator network is expanded

Need to be able to build the best infrastructure to support applications in a decentralized fashion

Aptos Unique Use Cases (20:32 - 24:54)

Social Media


Media / Entertainment


Traditional payments vs. capital markets — frictionless transfer of money / assets between all parties

DeFi is a space that may take decades to figure out

On-Chain Identity on Aptos (25:02 - 30:26)

On-chain identification must start with all involved parties agreeing on what metrics need to be measured and recorded to create trust

Will likely come down to protocols partnering with existing identity providers to do the same verification, but on-chain and in an auditable, verifiable way

In terms of blockchain engineering, there needs to be infrastructure for identity protocols and support for zero-knowledge proofs

Aptos supports multiple zk-proof verifications : bulletproofs, SNARKs

Additionally, developers are able to custom build their proofs and change the schemes and curves to be more flexible

Straightforward to implement zk-proofs onto Aptos

Publish proofs on-chain → verify through Move contracts (native functions that can support different curves)

Rollups on Aptos (30:27 - 33:17)

Rollups exist on Ethereum as a means of scaling the chain

Rollups can provide other things:


A synchronous environment where proof generation is expensive but verification is very cheap

Aptos provides a scalable, low-latency network where it is unlikely that rollups will be necessary for scaling

Rollups are not a long-term sustainable solution for scaling as more activity moves on-chain


Unique / Current dApps on Aptos (33:18 - 43:26)

Aptos is designed to be user-centric chain from the developers down to the end users

Topaz Marketplace - NFTs

Multiple DeFi applications - access is region-dependent

$APT staking directly from wallets has just recently gone live

Multiple blockchain games (Gran Saga: Unlimited, Pixelcraft) being released in the future that have been designed to host millions of users

Chingari (social network) - incorporating a token model to reward creators — plans to bring vision to fruition on Aptos

The goal is seamless integration to Aptos to where users are unaware that they are even using a dApp

Aptos Business Development / Ecosystem Strategy (43:27 - 48:36)

Web3 is creating a similar paradigm to the creation of the internet

There are already many existing, innovative Web3 products that have been built in the last 5 years

The goal is to have these communities join Aptos — augment existing communities by joining Aptos ecosystem

Multiple hackathons around the world to include developers everywhere

First hackathon in Palo Alto, California

Second was in Seoul, South Korea — over 50 projects participated

Third is coming up in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ecosystem growth and Web3 growth as a whole comes down to hard work and bootstrapping from the ground up

Aptos Accelerator / Grants Program (48:37 - 50:35)

Opened up Bay Area (San Francisco) office to any developers who are looking to build on Aptos

Are now accelerating hackathon members from Seoul, South Korea

Anyone with an idea can apply to the accelerator program (new developers, developers from other ecosystems, large companies who have ideas that they want to bring to Web3, etc.)

Accelerator program gives financial support, go-to-market support, and office space for team to work

Grants program offers grants from Aptos Foundation to grow the community

Recently announced one of the largest artist grants program in the world (includes everything from large distributors to upcoming solo artists)

Rapid-Fire Round (50:36 - 53:32)

Better technology or stronger network effects? (50:44 - 51:22)

Better tech (Avery)

Better tech followed by network effects to keep the application progressing (Mo)

Which ecosystem would you build in, if you were not building Aptos? (51:26 - 52:26)

Nothing else they would want to be doing

If they were not working in tech, Mo would be writing raps and Avery would be beatboxing for Mo

Have never had the opportunity to directly impact the world in a positive way, so it motivates the team everyday to come to work (Avery)

Scalability or Composability? (52:27 - 53:01)

Do not need to make a tradeoff between the two — all about software that scales across machines but provides composability for the users

Was a tradeoff in the past but Aptos is aiming to solve this

Question that Mehdi should have asked? (53:02 - 53:32)

“You should have asked Mo what he uses to treat his hair” — “nobody knows. Even I don’t know.” (Avery)

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