The brains behind Meta’s former Diem project have unveiled plans to launch the blockchain network as a separate protocol with support for other web3 solutions. Also, the announcement includes a name change to Aptos.
Former Diem Developers to Relaunch Protocol
Some members of the now-defunct Diem blockchain project have teamed up and announced plans to proceed with the network’s development and deployment. The news was shared via a medium blog post published on Thursday (February 24, 2022).
According to the statement, the new team called Aptos Labs has assembled experts, including original creators, researchers, designers, and builders of Diem. The effort is geared towards creating a new, independent project focused on delivering the safest and most production-ready layer 1 blockchain protocol in the world.
Also, the team said it had leveraged the original thesis from Libra’s white paper to build its revamped decentralized network.
In addition, Aptos is led by Avery Ching and Mo Shaikh, who both previously worked on building Meta’s Novi digital wallet. Ching is also regarded as a co-creator of the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus protocol deployed on the Diem blockchain. BFT ensures that complex computer systems continue to function even if a few components break down.
Regarding the motive behind relaunching the project, Shaikh highlighted that Facebook’s initial idea was to deliver a safe, scalable, and credibly neutral solution accessible by billions of users. Although pressure from regulators eventually led the social media giant to shut down the project, Shaikh opined that the vision behind Diem is not over.
An excerpt from the blog post authored by Sheikh reads:
“We have had the luxury of thinking about these problems alongside some of the brightest engineers in the world for years. Since departing Meta (formerly Facebook) we have been able to put our ideas into motion, ditch bureaucratic red tape, and build an entirely new network from the ground up that brings them to fruition.”
Aptos also reportedly plans to secure $200 million in funding from major venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz along with a host of crypto investments from industry stakeholders.
Regulatory Pressure Forces Libra Sell-Off
CryptoPotato reported that Libra was originally created as a global payment method by Morgan Beller, David Marcus, and Kevin Weil back in June 2019. The digital asset project was also backed by Facebook and garnered support from major financial service providers like PayPal, eBay, Visa, and MasterCard, to name a few.
However, regulators in the U.S. and across Europe expressed concerns that the virtual asset could circumvent established anti-money laundering systems. The project eventually rebranded as “Diem” in December 2020, but the move did little to staunch mounting pressure from financial watchdogs.
Later in December 2021, Marcus stepped down as project lead after multiple failed attempts at receiving approval and licensing from regulators. A few weeks after, Facebook, now renamed Meta, announced a decision to sell assets from the Diem project and return capital to investors.
Silvergate Capital Corporation acquired the intellectual property and other associated technology from the project in a massive $180 million deal.