Understanding Aptos: How its Technical Architecture and Modular Design Transcends Monolithic Chains

Chorus One
Chorus One
May 16, 2024
5 min read
May 16, 2024
5 min read

In blockchains, reliability and accessibility are key factors for increased web3 adoption, addressing certain bottlenecks in existing layer-1 protocol implementations. In distributed systems such as blockchain, the process of carrying out a transaction differs from modifying the ledger's state and recording the outcomes.

Aptos is designed in a modular way, which enables quick development and facilitates faster release cycles. Unlike monolithic architectures that require extensive time for editing, auditing, and testing, this modular approach allows changes to be focused on specific modules. This offers a systematic way to expand validators beyond just one machine by granting them access to more computational power, network capabilities, and storage options.

A brief introduction to Aptos

Aptos is a Layer 1 Proof-of-Stake blockchain. It uses Move, a programming language developed from Meta’s Diem and Novi projects. Move is designed for safety and reliability, harnessing the power of Rust, a low-level programming language.

Aptos’ technological stack features many novel models, including the AptosBFTv4 consensus mechanism, the Quorum Store mempool protocol, the Block-STM parallel execution engine, and Move on Aptos. The transaction flow on Aptos is distinctly different from most competing networks, with every step of the process—from broadcasting transactions, ordering block metadata, to consolidating storage—happening concurrently in a modular fashion.

Deep Dive into Aptos Consensus Mechanism - AptosBFT

AptosBFT, originally named DiemBFT, is a consensus algorithm developed by Diem’s core blockchain developers, many of whom now contribute to Aptos through Aptos Labs. AptosBFT implements increased throughput and lower latency compared to existing PBFT through a round-by-round consensus and block chaining. AptosBFT v4 enhances transaction processing speed through linear communication and chaining, improving synchronization speed among validators via a 'Pacemaker' and 'Timeout' mechanism.

The Aptos Labs team also introduced Quorum Store, an implementation of Narwhal. Quorum improves consensus throughput by decoupling data dissemination from network consensus. Before Quorum Store, transaction processing involved two major phases: Mempool and Consensus. An intermediate phase, the Quorum phase, was added between them. The Mempool holds potential user transactions, Quorum Store pulls batches of these transactions, broadcasts them, and forms proofs of their availability. Consensus orders these proofs, and execution uses Quorum Store to map them back to the corresponding transaction batches, thereby solving the problem of transaction redundancy efficiently.

Architectural Design

DPoS - Delegated Staking: This serves as an expansion of the staking protocol. It involves a delegation pool acting as an intermediary between the stake owner and the validator. This pool can gather stakes from delegators and include them in the native stake pool linked to the validator on their behalf. This system enables various entities to meet the criteria for a validator to join the set by pooling stakes. Delegators have the option to contribute to an inactive pool, but rewards are only earned once it becomes active. The minimum stake is 11 APT, with the option to unstake at any time, but funds are not available until the next validator unlock date. Delegators are paid 8% of the service fees.

Move: Aptos blockchain seamlessly incorporates and utilizes the Move programming language for rapid and reliable transaction processing. The Move Prover, a formal validator for smart contracts written in Move, offers security against common errors, providing builders and developers tools to defend projects against attack vectors like double-spending.

Parallel Execution: Aptos handles transaction processing in parallel without requiring an upfront declaration of user-known dependencies, unlike other blockchains such as Solana and Sui. This approach facilitates more intricate transactions, reducing costs and latency for end users.

Transaction Flow: Aptos maximizes throughput and reduces complexity in transaction processing by dividing it into three stages: pipelining, batching, and parallel execution. These stages can be parallelized, enabling novel modes of validator-client interaction and enhancing development timelines by treating each phase as a separate entity. Transactions are organized into batches by each validator, merged into blocks through a consensus mechanism.


The native token of the Aptos ecosystem (APT token) serves multiple purposes:

  • Transaction Fees: The native token pays for network transactions and rewards validators.
  • Validator Staking: Token holders can stake their APT, contributing to the network's security and stability, and earning additional APT tokens.
  • Governance: Token holders can participate in on-chain governance, voting on protocol upgrades, changes to economic parameters, and other proposals.

As of October 2022, the total token supply of APT is 1 billion tokens, with a circulating supply of 130,000,000.

Aptos Ecosystem

The Aptos ecosystem is growing thanks to continued efforts to improve UX through safety and performance.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Several DeFi projects are building DEX Aggregator, DeFi HyperApp, Liquidity engine, and perpetual DEX on Aptos.

Improved User Experience (UX): Platforms are building tools and products to simplify the process of building scalable applications on Aptos.

On-chain Gaming: Platforms are using Aptos SDK to build multi-platform applications by bringing decentralization to Unity developers.

Aptos is also facilitating interoperability by launching bridges like Wormhole on Aptos that allow native Ethereum and Solana users to move into the Aptos ecosystem.

Aptos’ Future

Technical Improvements: Contributors to the Aptos protocol are committed to making the network more scalable, performant, and robust. The team at Aptos Labs developed a solution for deep testing called  Previewnet that replicates what Aptos mainnet will look like in the coming months.

The team also unlocked a new record of >30k TPS  (Transaction per seconds) in the Previewnet. Aptos is striving to expand scalability even more, aiming for >100k TPS as their next goal on the path to surpassing 1 million TPS. This bold target is in line with Aptos' goal of building a platform that can cater to billions of users, paving the way for widespread adoption of Web3 technologies.

Ecosystem Partnerships: Aptos collaborates with industry leaders like Google Cloud, Microsoft, and MoonPay, indicating potential for future growth and adoption.

Further Reading and Resources


Developer Documentation:





About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally, operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks, including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near, amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures. We are a team of over 50 passionate individuals spread throughout the globe who believe in the transformative power of blockchain technology.

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