Diem Developers Raise $200M to Build Aptos Blockchain

Meta (formerly Facebook) threw in the towel on its grand plans to create a digital currency last year. Earlier in 2022, though, it sold the remaining assets to Silvergate Capital for $182 million.

The team behind the original Diem project announced they were working on a new blockchain called Aptos in late February. On March 15, they outlined massive funding round from crypto VCs.

The startup has closed a $200 million strategic investment led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from Tiger Global, Multicoin Capital, Three Arrows Capital, FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, among others.

Building Their Own Blockchain

The Aptos team stated that they will not be licensing or utilizing any of the Diem intellectual property that Silvergate owns because they built their own blockchain, according to Tech Crunch. The company’s valuation was not disclosed, but it is likely to be over $1 billion according to the founders, who said it was well “into the unicorn territory.”

Aptos is another layer-1 blockchain that puts it in competition with Ethereum and Solana. It uses a coding language called Move, with which it aims to attract a large number of developers from existing networks.

Aptos CEO Mo Shaikh, who previously worked on Meta’s wallet Novi, said he had close connections with the Ethereum community, which the team wants to be a part of:

“We want to be part of that ecosystem. We’re not here to necessarily compete. We want to complement [them] and the challenges [the community faces] — whether it’s something like the wormhole event that took place — give us clear indication that things have to be built responsibly from the ground up,”

Aptos Mainnet in Q3

Furthermore, Aptos has formally launched its devnet, allowing programmers to experiment and build apps on the blockchain ahead. The team hopes that the mainnet will be launched sometime in Q3.

The report added that a number of prominent crypto firms have already engaged with it, including  Anchorage, Binance, Coinbase, Livepeer, Moonclave, Paxos, Paymagic, and Rarible.

Aptos CTO Avery Ching commented that “current blockchains are just not as reliable as existing financial rails, we’ve seen issues of downtime and outages that last for hours,” presumably in reference to Solana’s multiple recent outages.

Aptos is entering an increasingly crowded space that already has countless blockchain networks essentially doing the same thing.

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