PayPal Ventures invests in team that revives Diem Blockchain

PayPal Ventures invests in team that revives Diem Blockchain

Aptos Labs announced a $200 million funding round in March. Now it has been announced that PayPal is among the backers, marking the payment giant's first investment in a Layer 1 project.

Aptos Labs, a team bringing Facebook's star-crossed Diem blockchain to life, told CoinDesk that PayPal Ventures was one of the investors in a $200 million funding round confirmed in March. The investment was PayPal Ventures' first in a base layer project.

"We believe in the work the team at Aptos Labs is doing to build a secure and scalable Layer 1 blockchain," PayPal Ventures Investment Partner Amman Bhasin said in a statement. "With the promise of improved reliability and security, faster transactions and lower fees, the Aptos blockchain is designed to appeal to new track builders, as well as corporate customers and crypto developers."

PayPal (PYPL) was involved in the initial launch of Libra and contributed at least $10 million to join the Libra consortium. The company quickly pulled out after facing headwinds on Capitol Hill.

The Aptos funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z); participants included Multicoin Capital, a16z alum Katie Haun, Three Arrows Capital, ParaFi Capital and Coinbase Ventures. PayPal Ventures' involvement was not disclosed at the time of the initial announcement.

The Aptos team consists of the original creators, researchers, designers and builders of the Diem (formerly Libra) blockchain. Meta (formerly Facebook) announced the blockchain as the backbone of a stablecoin project in 2019, but never made it out of the launch hole due to regulatory hurdles.

Earlier this year, Meta confirmed the closure of Diem and sold the technology and other assets to Silvergate Bank. However, much of the work done by the teams associated with Diem was placed under open-source licenses, meaning the intellectual property is fair game. Aptos is led by Avery Ching and Mo Shaikh. Ching co-developed the Diem blockchain's consensus protocol DiemBFT, which Aptos uses.

Aptos' developer test network launched two months ago. The company expects to launch the main network in the third quarter.