Aptos lures Solana developers tired of ‘eating glass’

Filip Dragoslavic has been involved in his share of Solana projects. A blockchain explorer, a digital wallet provider and a prize-winning decentralized fund management platform called Solrise. To say he’s a fan would be to state the obvious.  

That was before one of his investors nudged him in the direction of a brand new blockchain, Aptos, that billed itself as cheaper and faster than the rest.  

“We were actually dead set on staying just Solana,” Dragoslavic explained in a recent interview, citing the blockchain’s potential to go “mainstream.”  

But Dragoslavic and his team – drawn by the simplicity of the chain’s technical documentation – hunkered down over a weekend and decided to test out this new chain. Two days later, what was recently unveiled as Rise Wallet was well on its way.  

“We’ve seen that we could do 90% as a proof of concept build just over the weekend,” Dragoslavic said. “We had a fully functioning app as well … everything that we have in SolFlare, that we have been building for the last two years, now we have an app like over the weekend but just as a proof-of-concept.”  

Dragoslavic’s team aren’t the only ones flirting with Aptos. Many Solana developers are window shopping on the blockchain and investors are throwing money at it. FTX, a16z and Multicoin Capital have all contributed to the $350 million Aptos has raised even as other projects saw their funding dry up as the bear market took hold.  

Aptos sets itself apart in several ways. It is built on Move, a programming language that builds on Rust — which is used in the Solana blockchain — and implements novel methods of parallel execution, which is the ability to execute tasks at the same time, making transactions faster and cheaper.   

The Move language also enables Aptos to use a resource model where assets can be subject to restrictions, meaning, for instance, that they cannot be copied or accidently destroyed, helping to avoid some of the common smart contract attacks that occur on existing blockchains.  

“Developing on Solana, especially in the early days, was like a nine out of 10 complexity,” said Dragoslavic, describing his co-founder’s reaction to building on the chain. “Developing on Move in Aptos is like a four out of 10 complexity.” 

Solana’s struggles

It wasn’t so long ago that Solana occupied Aptos’s position as the next big thing in blockchain. Last year, it raised $314.15 million in a private token sale and secured high praise publicly from investors. It was billed as the latest of the “Ethereum killers,” based on its faster speeds and lower costs compared to the more popular Layer 1 chain. Instead, it has struggled with frequent outages and frustrations from developers.   

Venture funding for projects built on the Solana blockchain is now shifting toward non-fungible token (NFTs) and gaming use cases, instead of DeFi trading, according to data from The Block Research.   

Solana funding from The Block Research

“I’m not sure it’s necessarily a move in terms of there’s less money going to DeFi than there used to be,” said Austin Federa, head of communications at the Solana foundation. “There’s definitely a much broader scope of projects that are receiving significant funding on the network.”  

Developers tire of “eating glass”

Aptos was founded by Avery Ching and Mo Shaikh, both of whom are refugees from Facebook’s Diem project. It’s only in the testnet stage but has over 100,000 members on its Discord and is supported by over 20,000 nodes, demonstrating its burgeoning developer community.  Then there’s the blue-chip crypto backers that riddle its cap table. 

But Aptos’s momentum is most visible in both the projects and developers, like Dragoslavic and his team, dipping their toes in the chain even as they continue to work with Solana.  

The Solana blockchain explorer and indexing provider SolanaFM is hoping to take full advantage of this trend. The startup recently raised $4.5 million in seed funding and now plans to expand to Aptos alongside continuing to develop on Solana.  

Source : theblock

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