New Blockchain Project ‘Aptos’ Gets $200 Million Funding From Diem Team Members

We’ve been able to put our ideas into motion, cut through bureaucratic red tape, and develop a whole new network since leaving Meta (previously Facebook),” Aptos said.

Former Meta personnel and key players from the company’s now-defunct stablecoin project Diem have secured $200 million to build a new project called “Aptos.”

Mo Shaikh, the former head of strategic alliances at Novi — Meta’s crypto subsidiary — and Avery Ching, the head of technology, cofounded Aptos. The two are now the new company’s CEO and CTO. Before Diem’s sale to Silvergate Capital in February of this year, both left the company in December.

The team is working on a decentralized Layer 1 blockchain that is partly based on Move, a coding language that was created specifically for Diem. The firm is currently working to expand its developer ecosystem and entice projects to the blockchain, which it claims will be a cost-effective, secure, and scalable network.

Aptos’ $200 million strategic funding round was headed by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from leading firms like Three Arrows Capital, FTX Ventures, Paxos, and Coinbase Ventures, according to a March 16 release.

The money will be used to hire additional employees and support “businesses, brands, and builders” that want to develop projects on the Aptos blockchain, with the company hinting that multiple DeFi, NFT, Web3, social media, and payments initiatives are already in the works.

Aptos declined to give a particular valuation in an interview with TechCrunch but said it is “far off into unicorn territory” of approximately $1 billion.

Aptos also established a public devnet with an open-source codebase in conjunction with the investment announcement. Anchorage, Binance, and Coinbase, among others, have assisted and contributed code to the devnet, according to the team. According to the press release.

“Later in Q2, there will be an incentivized testnet to help scale the network and stress test it as it marches toward manner. We invite validators and other infrastructure providers to join our community now in anticipation of that.”

Aptos anticipates the launch of Mainnet in Q3 of this year, giving developers around six months to complete applications before the network goes public.

Aptos stressed in a blog post late last month that the aim of their blockchain is “perfect safety, extensible scalability, and credible neutrality,” while also being free to work on its ideas without being subjected to rigorous regulatory scrutiny, as in the case of Diem:

“Since departing Meta (formerly Facebook) we have been able to put our ideas into motion, ditch bureaucratic red tape, and build an entirely new network from the ground up that brings them to fruition.”

“Aptos makes use of Move, a safe and dependable programming language that was initially created for Diem. The concepts we developed back then are still applicable and will form the foundation for a secure, scalable, and upgradeable Web3. “Our plans for decentralization and permissionless access are moving forward swiftly and will be established in the open,” according to the post.