Understanding Ark: A Project To Connect Blockchains
Point. Click. Blockchain. That’s the slogan of Ark, a coin on the rise offering an easy-to-use way to link blockchains.
PROJECTS THAT CONNECT BLOCKCHAINS ARE HUGE
Point. Click. Blockchain. That’s the slogan of Ark, a coin on the rise offering an easy-to-use way to link blockchains. Development teams are cranking out unique blockchains left and right. But Ark takes things one step further, by linking blockchains together for real-world utility. Below, we’ve got your guide to this intriguing project.
Ark was born from Lisk, another coin we’ve covered. A few key members of the Lisk team surveyed the cryptocurrency landscape, and noticed that most blockchains were isolated, with a winner-take-all mentality. Minimal consideration was given to interfacing with other blockchains. Realizing that linking blockchains together would boost real world utility, The Ark team envisioned an ecosystem where this was possible and easy. Thus, Ark was born.
The possibilities of Ark are limitless, and its still early days. Ark founder Travis Walker provided some great examples earlier in the year. The keys are Ark’s Encoded Listening and SmartBridge features. If you wanted to trigger an Ethereum smart contract, but don’t hold any Ether, you could send instructions through the Ark SmartBridge. This would jump blockchains and trigger the contract. Or an Encoded Listener could pick up a request to change currencies. You could send Ark to an Ethereum wallet, and the listener would read the transaction as an exchange, convert it, and finish the transaction into your wallet. The possibilities are truly limitless.
ARK HAS A STRONG CRYPTO TEAM
Speaking of Travis, Ark’s team is another huge plus. Many new coins are slapping together patchwork teams of developers with barely any experience, let alone cryptocexperience. Ark snagged some of the top talent from Lisk, and consists of over 30 employees from around the world.
Managing Director Mike Doty has heavy blockchain experience, previously co-founding Bitseed and Crypti, a Lisk forerunner. Head of Development Francois-Xavier Thoorens was Lisk’s core developer. There’s an assortment of other full-stack developers, as well as qualified advisors and finance-focused employees. Having team members with previous experience working on a coin is a massive advantage.
Ark has cooked up a modified Delegated-Proof-of-Stake system to address some flaws inherent in Bitcoin’s proof-of-work system. An 8 second block time keeps transactions quick and efficient. This is huge, since Bitcoin transactions have gotten expensive and slow. Side chains will handle non-essential transactions, keeping the main chain free for essential information.
The DPoS was originally created by Bitshares. Ark implemented it, with some twists, to solve the mining issues Bitcoin is currently grapping with. With electricity so much cheaper in some places, it’s become easy for certain mining pools to control production of Bitcoin.
Another plus for Ark is staking – you hold Ark in your wallet, you can stake it and get more coins. In addition to earning coin holders some passive income, it’s a great sign that 90% of Ark is currently staked. It indicates many owners of Ark are in it for the long haul, and not just looking to trade the coin.
There’s a lot to like long-term in Ark’s whitepaper, and the team’s long-term vision belies their prior crypto experience. For example, many coins launch proclaiming to be completely decentralized from the get-go. What “decentralized” means is debatable, but very few coins will have an origin story like Bitcoin, where the founder disappeared. True decentralization for most coins is likely something they’ll have to work towards, and the Ark team tacitly admits that they presently are not truly decentralized. For instance, Ark’s consensus.
The team’s whitepaper also lists a series of upgrades the team plans to take as they progressively scale up. It’s rare for a whitepaper to outright admit that at certain points, their coin will struggle. Most currencies launch proclaiming they’re ready to take over the world from their ICO on. The whitepaper also explains clearly where most of the tokens and funding will go. We’ve identified transparency as one of our keys to a successful ICO.
We’d be remiss not to mention the downsides. One is that the Ark token seemingly has no purpose. Some investors have speculated it represents a bet on whether or not Ark technology will succeed. Bitcoin, the granddaddy of all cryptos, currently isn’t useful for much and it’s doing alright. Still, there’s currently no clear use for an Ark coin.
Overall, Ark is a project with high potential. With platforms like Nxt, anyone can now launch their own blockchain. But projects that connect blockchains are a huge, untapped market. We’ll be monitoring Ark closely, with high expectations.
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