Aptos Labs CEO Says NFTs Will Push Boundaries of Previous Generation Blockchains

Mo Shaikh, co-founder of the layer 1 blockchain, predicts NFTs will be used as a means of payment and will also go mainstream via big brand partnerships.

AccessTimeIconJan 27, 2023 at 7:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 30, 2023 at 5:23 p.m. UTC

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have the potential to be about more than just collectibles, Mo Shaikh, co-founder of layer 1 blockchain Aptos Labs, told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Friday.

“The way we think about NFTs is pushing the boundaries of what we’ve seen in previous generation blockchains,” Shaikh said. In the past, “you couldn’t really take them [NFTs] across different protocols [and] platforms,” he said.

Earlier this week, Aptos’ token, APT, surged to an all-time high, reaching a peak of $16.46, according to CoinDesk data. The token gained 350% in value since the start of the year.

According to Shaikh, Aptos is primarily banking on its established and incoming users and developers to drive the platform’s success. That’s despite pushback from those who worried that Aptos’ APT token distribution veered in favor of the platform’s investors and its foundation, which received nearly half of the 1 billion tokens issued during the October mainnet launch.

“We really pushed the boundaries of what we think an egalitarian distribution should look like,” Shaikh said, referring to Aptos’ tokenomics. “For folks like investors, we have among the lowest distribution for any investor across any protocol at launch,” he said.

NFTs, a crypto asset that gives holders the ability to prove ownership of a digital item, should have “an opportunity to live in things like games [and] social platforms,” Shaikh said.

Pushing the boundaries of NFT use cases can also connect communities across the world, according to Shaikh. In 2023, he said, he expects NFTs to expand into the mainstream via big brands and as a form of payment.

“You can now exchange economic value, you can connect with creators and you can be empowered to do it in a way that not one entity controls that,” Shaikh said. This year, things are likely to change and get “a bit funky.”


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.