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On December 23rd, 2022, we hosted a community call with the Aptos Foundation to have an in-depth discussion with the Director of Ecosystem Austin Virts. The discussion aimed to extensively explain what Aptos does, how it works, and the unique functions of the Aptos Ecosystem.

You can listen to the full audio recording on YouTube to get an awesome feel of the discussion.

Designing Aptos For Evolution: Transforming A Foundation Into A Dynamic Ecosystem

Aptos Foundation is the company behind Aptos, a layer 1 blockchain network that was created for the secure development of crypto projects, with user experience as a core focus.

Aptos Foundation Was Created By A Group Of ex-Meta executives – Mohammad Shaikh and Avery Ching, who currently serve as the Business and Technology leads of the Aptos foundation.

Mo and Avery were passionate about the project and believed it had the potential to make a significant impact. The team raised capital and launched Aptos, which has been live for about ten weeks but has already seen an impressive 50+ projects launch across NFT, DeFi, and even the metaverse and gaming space.

The network's success is demonstrated by its all-time high TVL of 54 million, which is a significant accomplishment considering Aptos is a new network in comparison to some that have been around for years. This is a testament to the continued strength and support for Aptos, and it's clear that the network has a bright future ahead.

What sets Aptos apart from other blockchain networks is its goal to be the most efficient and friendly blockchain network available. The team has achieved 100% uptime and has not experienced any real issues thus far. Additionally, Aptos continues to ship a robust set of products and tools to help grow and scale the network.

The Career Journey of Austin Virts And Its Impact on The Development of Aptos

Austin Virts is a seasoned professional in the blockchain space and the current Director of the Aptos Ecosystem. His responsibilities include managing and developing relationships with partners, third-party developers, and other external stakeholders to create a thriving ecosystem for Aptos products and services.

Before Aptos, Austin spent most of his career at Solana, where he was responsible for scaling up the community and marketing efforts. At Solana, he learned a lot of lessons that helped make the launch of Aptos a soft landing.

The strategies adopted were making the Aptos documentation easy to read and understand, thus making it straightforward to navigate and build any project on the Aptos network.

Building a Dedicated Ecosystem: A Vital Aspect of Project Success

According to Austin Virts, community involvement is crucial for the success of any project, especially in the NFT ecosystem. This has been a key focus during the testing and deployment of Aptos.

Aptos is a new player in the NFT game and sets itself apart by being the first network to launch since NFTs became mainstream, allowing it to learn from the successes and mistakes of its predecessors.

The Aptos team believes in empowering both the builders and users of their network by fostering direct communication and collaboration. This approach allows them to gather valuable feedback and implement innovative ideas.

This has led to the network surpassing layer one predecessors such as Ethereum and Solana in terms of capacity and scalability, despite being launched during a bear market. This makes Aptos not only a great investment but also a powerful platform for creating groundbreaking projects.

Grassroots Growth: The Role of Community-Driven Projects in Aptos

Recently, Aptos signed a partnership with one of the largest gaming companies in Korea, Metapixel. This is a large investment into the web3 gaming ecosystem and is expected to bring on a new set of users. This partnership is expected to have a significant impact on Aptos, bringing more exposure and adoption to the platform.

Nevertheless, projects that are built from the ground up by dedicated communities, can also make a significant impact on the ecosystem. These projects are often focused on a specific community or niche and can drive growth through community building and organic user acquisition.

Examples of such projects include Solana Monkey Business, which is now run by a DAO, and DeGods, which is led by a team that treats it like a community-making business, shipping features, products, and updates regularly.

It's worth noting that these projects are the ones that truly move the needle and shape the ethos and vibe of a network. They may not have the same level of funding or resources as large projects, but they can still make a significant impact on the ecosystem.

From Small Team to Big Success: The Story of Dust Labs

In bear market conditions, it's not surprising to see teams struggling to raise capital. However, the key to survival in these conditions is not just about raising money, but about sustainability. The projects that can preserve their capital and navigate the market efficiently will be the ones that come out on top when the market inevitably turns bullish.

This is where the story of the DeGod team becomes particularly inspiring. They started with a small team and a limited budget, but through smart decision-making and a clear roadmap, they were able to raise 7 million dollars for Dust Labs. This is a testament to what can be achieved when a project is run sustainably and efficiently.

It's important to note that not every project or team will have the same goals or desired outcome. Some may see their project as a full-time job, while others may want to keep it as a side hustle. But what's clear is that, regardless of the level of dedication, a solid plan and the ability to adapt to market conditions are crucial for success.

Building for the Future: Pontem's Vision for a Thriving NFT Market

As the NFT market continues to evolve, it's the conviction and determination of projects to push forward that truly sets them apart. But it's not just about individual success, it's about building a strong and supportive ecosystem for all NFT projects to thrive. This is where the idea of decentralized communities or DAOs comes into play, as these groups have a moral responsibility to contribute to the growth and success of the NFT market as a whole.

Pontem is taking the responsibility for providing more use cases for NFTs to heart, and we intend to use our resources to support the community by building boosts, and rewards for NFT farms and collections. This will not only add utility to a set of NFT projects but also helps to continue building the ecosystem in a supportive way.

While the market may be unpredictable, the hope is that with the support of projects like Pontem, we will be well-positioned to capitalize on the next bull market and collect the value that the NFT market has to offer. The Pontem team is leading the charge in this effort, working tirelessly to support and grow the NFT market for the benefit of all.

Streamlining DeFi: Building a  DeFi super app

The recent FTX implosion has left many people feeling hesitant to trust centralized exchanges with their assets. As a result, decentralized exchanges have emerged as a solution to this problem by providing infrastructure and products that allow people to use blockchain rails as their main banking system without putting them at risk of malicious actors.

Decentralized protocols have been proven to be more reliable than their centralized counterparts. They have adequate risk management protocols implemented on the smart contract layer, making them trustless and safe. This is in stark contrast to web 2 incumbents, which have struggled with trust and security issues.

The world of decentralized finance is an exciting place, and it's no surprise that there are platforms like GMX that allow users to take perpetual positions on some of the biggest crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the results have been nothing short of astounding.

However, there's a new development brewing that could change the game entirely. We at Pontem are working on ways to bring the convenience and user-friendliness of centralized exchanges to decentralized apps. This means spot trading, perpetuals, and loans all facilitated through a streamlined and consolidated user experience.

Imagine, a one-stop-shop for all your DeFi needs, where you can trade, invest, borrow, and lend all through one convenient platform. This is the future of DeFi and it's closer than you think. The goal is to create a DeFi "super app" that can compete with centralized exchanges like Binance, while also making the best use of Aptos' high throughput and low transaction costs.

To achieve this, we intend to create a consolidated front end that allows for easy linking of use cases. This means you could access the full range of DeFi services all in one place, without having to navigate through a maze of different platforms. It's a game-changer and one that could lead to the next big thing in crypto.  

Balancing Innovation and Safety in the Crypto Ecosystem: The Experimentation Sandbox

A major question that has been on the minds of many is how to balance innovation and experimentation with the safety and security of users. After all, unlike traditional technology, there is real money at stake in crypto, and many have argued that the "move fast, break things" ethos of traditional tech development may be irresponsible when applied to crypto.

One potential solution that has been discussed is the creation of a "sandbox" environment for experimentation within the crypto ecosystem. This would essentially be a separate, isolated network where developers and builders can test and experiment with new ideas, features, and projects without risking the safety and security of users on the main network.

One example of such a sandbox environment is Kusama on Polkadot, which serves as a "canary network" for the Polkadot ecosystem. However, some have argued that this type of environment could be taken a step further by becoming more centralized, with procedures in place for rollbacks and a centralized insurance fund to protect users in case of any accidents or mishaps.

Of course, this raises important questions about the role and responsibility of developers in the crypto ecosystem. Some argue that creators have a responsibility for what they create, even if their creations take on a life of their own. Others point out that it's not just the responsibility of the developers to be cautious - the community also plays a role in being responsible and not risking more than they should.

Ultimately, the key to finding a balance between innovation and safety in the crypto ecosystem will likely be a combination of various solutions and approaches. But one thing is for sure: as the crypto world continues to evolve, it's important to keep exploring new ways to protect users and make the ecosystem more sustainable for everyone.

The Conundrum of Original Creators' Responsibility in Decentralized Projects

The ethics of decentralized projects have long been a topic of debate in the crypto community. One of the biggest conundrums is the responsibility of the original creators of these projects. For example, is Satoshi, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, responsible for what he has built?

Many argue that at this point, Satoshi is no longer responsible as Bitcoin has reached a point of decentralization where it can live on without him. However, other projects like Ethereum have a different story. Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, understands the weight that his words carry and the impact they have on the direction of the project.

This raises the question of whether original creators should have a sense of responsibility for the projects they create. It's a philosophical discussion that delves into the morality of creating something that has the potential to change the world.

Unfortunately, some projects focus on short-term value and high inflationary coins, leading to negative consequences for users. This can lead to projects like Fantom getting a negative reputation for having a lot of "rugs" or Ponzi schemes.

The culture of a project is also incredibly important. The founding team members and community leaders set the tone for the project, and it's crucial to get to know them on a personal level to understand their values and how they plan to implement them in the project. By understanding the people behind the project, we can get a sense of the direction they will take and the level of integrity they bring to the table.

Collaboration and Support: Sustaining A Vibrant and Supportive Ecosystem

It's been incredible to watch how the major projects in the Aptos Ecosystem are actively working together, helping each other out, and even sharing resources when needed. It is a testament to the passion and drive of the community to push the boundaries of what is possible.

For those who are just starting their journey, you can start by checking out the Twitter, Discord, and Telegram channels of the community. These channels are incredibly welcoming, with a plethora of knowledgeable community members more than happy to guide you in the right direction and answer any questions you may have.

If you're looking to start developing on Aptos, you can dive into the documentation and the Discord channels for developers. We have an incredible team of developers who are working tirelessly to make the documentation as easy to follow as possible.

Also, don't hesitate to reach out to Austin or anyone on the team for help - even the core engineering team occasionally monitors the Discord and will be happy to assist with any questions you may have.

About Aptos

Aptos is a web3-focused layer one blockchain developed by Aptos Labs. It uses the Move programming language and emphasizes user experience, security, scalability, and speed. Aptos is built on the same technology that was used to create the Diem blockchain and uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm.  

Aptos features parallel transaction processing and has an architectural design that allows for scalability and easy upgrades. The Aptos token, APT, is the native cryptocurrency of the network, serving multiple functions such as payment, governance, and as a store of value. Overall, Aptos is a noteworthy blockchain network that strives to bring the best experience for developers and users in the blockchain space.

About Pontem

Pontem is a product development platform that enables global financial inclusion through blockchain technology. Pontem is developing the infrastructure and decentralized tools necessary for the adoption of the fastest and most scalable layer-one blockchain – Aptos

The Pontem wallet is the gateway to the Aptos ecosystem and it is available as a Chrome extension,  Firefox extension, and an iOS application. Users of the Pontem wallet can send and receive tokens, connect to decentralized applications, and explore the Aptos ecosystem.

As a result of its partnership with Aptos, Pontem has developed the foundational dApps, EVMs (such as the Move Playground), AMMs (such as Liquidswap), and other infrastructure (such as ByteBabel) needed to adopt its layer one blockchain.

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