The newest crypto on the block, Aptos, launched its mainnet this week to considerable buzz around its token airdrop to early users, but also questions about whether the network—which has raised $350 million in VC funding—can live up to the hype about its tech.
The blockchain's first real test may come soon, however, as a rush of NFT projects prepare to launch on the network. NFT trading has in the past put the Ethereum and Solana networks under considerable stress.
The Aptos launch came with sizable expectations, in part due to the ample VC funding and also its origins from Facebook’s scrapped Diem initiative. But some of the buzz also came from claims that Aptos can scale to handle dramatically more transactions than any current layer-1 blockchain—over 160,000 transactions per second (TPS).
But if Aptos really can handle such huge technical demands, we haven’t seen evidence of it yet on mainnet. When it launched on Monday, Aptos was only processing a few transactions per second. As of today, the figure is hovering around 10 TPS.
Among major smart contract platforms that run autonomous code to power decentralized apps, Ethereum handles about 30 TPS on its mainnet, with Solana at around 3,000 TPS. But testnet claims don’t always match real-world conditions on the eventual public mainnet—Solana, for example, claimed hundreds of thousands of TPS on its testnet years ago.
Aptos co-founder Mo Shaikh tweeted Tuesday that the “current TPS is not representative of the network capacity—this was the network idling ahead of projects coming online. This number is expected to increase with more activity.” In other words: there’s not a whole lot happening yet on Aptos, but it’ll be ready for action.
That increased activity could be right around the corner as Aptos users prepare to mint their first NFTs, with dedicated Aptos marketplaces already live with a handful of collections. A number of additional collections are expected to launch this week and next after amassing significant social media traction.
Already, the NFT scene on Aptos is growing. Topaz, one of the marketplaces that is already facilitating trades for a handful of collections—like CryptoPunks knockoff Aptos Punk—tweeted Thursday morning that it had already processed about 12,000 APT (over $87,000) worth of trades, with about 3,700 NFTs listed on its platform.