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Aptos targets institutional digital assets. Partners Microsoft, SK Telecom, Brevan Howard


Aptos is a layer 1 blockchain founded by part of Meta’s Diem team and uses Move, the smart contract language created for the Diem stablecoin system. Today Aptos Labs announced a major initiative, Aptos Ascend, targeting institutions. With the new offering it aims to address institutional needs for participant allow lists, permissioning and customizations. At the same time the solution includes some big name partners such as Microsoft, South Korea’s SK Telecom, Brevan Howard Digital and Boston Consulting Group.

Other blockchains, including Polygon and Avalanche, have been targeting institutions by supporting permissioned offerings.

The Microsoft and SK Telecom alliances aren’t new. Last August it announced its was partnering with Microsoft to use its Azure OpenAI Service to provide an assistant to help with onboarding people to web3. In other words, it’s paying Microsoft to use its AI services. That said, the partnership also mentioned the potential exploration of asset tokenization, payments and central bank digital currencies.

In November SK Telecom announced it was integrating its web3 wallet service with Aptos, its first with a blockchain that wasn’t using the Ethereum Virtual Machine. The SK Telecom alliance is smart, given that Korea is one of the most active crypto destinations. Korean institutions are also eyeing steps closer to DeFi than TradFi.

To our knowledge, Brevan Howard Digital didn’t invest directly in Aptos’ $350 million funding rounds, but the investor has previously stated it’s an Aptos fan. Other asset managers that have invested are Franklin Templeton and Apollo. Brevan Howard Digital is providing strategic input and BCG will also offer consultancy to potential clients.

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