Updated: Dec 20, 2019
Ark is an open-source and decentralized ecosystem, which attempts to bridge different blockchain technologies for creating a single hybrid blockchain, called “ARK SmartBridges”. The platform trades under the ticker symbol ARK. The beauty of Ark is that it is not just a cryptocurrency but a secured blockchain network, which runs on the Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism.
This short guide will discuss the purpose for which Ark is designed, the developing team behind it, the way it works, and the various uses and applications of the coin and platform.
What Is Ark Designed For?
Ark is designed to increase user adoption of blockchain technology. The project is inspired by other cryptocurrencies like Crypti, Lisk, and BitShares with various modifications in the codes. This is done by introducing unique changes for improvising and improving Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm.
The self-named development team, the Ark Crew, has clearly outlined in their whitepaper that they intend to bring blockchain to the masses, regardless of the use case or technical level, by building “a fast secure core technology with practical services for real people.”
The team also has the intention to create a solution that allows the interconnectedness of blockchains. Currently, Ethereum and Bitcoin are the two strongest players in the crypto world and they are unable to transact with each other. The Ark Crew plans on changing this by using Encoded Listeners and SmartBridges
Who Is the Team Behind Ark?
The Ark Crew is a well-known group of industry veterans, based out of France and have a proven track record of accomplishing all milestones on their roadmap. Francois-Xavier Thoorens is CTO and Co-Founder of Ark. He is a former leading developer on the Lisk project.
Lars Rensing is the CFO and co-founder of Ark. His expertise in the cryptocurrency space is valued by many and helps fuel Ark towards its end goals.
Ark has managed to gain certain strategic and commercial partnerships that have allowed it to drive adoption. Some of the more significant partnerships include Onos, Wolfram, Ledger, Changelly, Spend, Exodus, Major League Hacking, and Hiway among many others.
How Does Ark Work?
Ark uses several notable features – SmartBridges, Alternative Programming Languages and Push Button Deployable Blockchains to make the platform’s underlying goal of making blockchain readily acceptably by the real world, a reality.
SmartBridges act as bridges, which connect separate blockchains by using the Ark core platform. The Ark platform becomes the intermediary between these different chains and allows them to communicate with each other. This also allows the triggering of events across chains – something which is not currently possible.
Enabling SmartBridges is a piece of cake. It is highly beneficial to exchanges like Coinbase and Shapeshift, that can use encoded listeners to act as an intermediary for SmartBridge transactions, while still charging regular transaction fees.
Ark works using a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm in which, miners secure network transactions by delegating the authority to the Ark network. ARK token holders are not allowed to vote on more than one delegate at a time.
The mining is undertaken by using 51 delegates, responsible for running each network and validating transactions. These delegates are provided 2 new ARK tokens as a reward for the new block. Reputable delegates manage written proposals in all operations which are documented. Many of the popular delegates even include profit-sharing from the rewards received through forging new blocks. Users who vote for a delegate for profit sharing get dividends over time.
Other delegates on the network run with the intention of funding development projects, to give voters an equity stake, or to provide services on applications that may seem unprofitable. Users can make their own choice where their votes are concerned.
What are Current and Future Applications of Ark?
The Ark Crew is focused on two primary areas - to allow practical services for real people and to create a fast secure core technology.
Towards these goals, Ark has been successful in integrating technology like InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). This has allowed the platform to develop a decentralized media services platform, which in turn helps in facilitating the Ark crew to build new revenue streams using audio and video streaming services, and file sharing.
The Ark platform has already developed a working blockchain and do not have to depend upon other blockchains, like Ethereum. This gives ARK token a remarkable advantage over its competitors, like EOS and OmiseGo who still exist on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ark has some detailed plans to launch other blockchain integrated services, such as media streaming services, community sales platforms, and a digital collectible card game among others. These services are expected to help the Ark Crew build new revenue streams.