What Is ARK?
The ARK crew plans to bring blockchain to the masses by building a sandbox DIY ecosystem of blockchain development. The ARK platform uses SmartBridges and listeners to connect blockchains and has built-in support for over a dozen alternative programming languages, including Python, Java, Swift iOS, and Ruby. Recently, it launched the ARK Deployer, a graphic tool to create your own blockchain in minutes. The ARK coin is used to fuel transactions on the platform.
ARK launched in February 2017 with an infrastructure borrowed heavily from Lisk, Bitshares, and Crypti. It then launched a second version of the Ark Core blockchain in November 2018, with a revamped code base and many improvements to the system. While a lot of blockchain projects are open source, ARK takes it a step further by making the blockchain palatable for both developers and users. This all-in-one, turnkey solution is basically like an Adobe Dreamweaver for blockchain.
Ethereum learned the hard way in hosting a dApp ecosystem that it creates dozens of competitors looking to take it out. ARK is going a different way, encouraging blockchain development, and giving everyone an instant blockchain-in-a-box that goes beyond the blockchain-as-a-service concept offered by marketplaces like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
ARK boils down to a smarter way to execute and market a decentralized app platform just like Ethereum, NEO, and others. But its accessibility may prove to overcome any obstacles in ARK’s way.
Let’s start our examination of the ARK network with the ARK token, the platform’s native cryptocurrency coin.
ARK Cryptocurrency Summary
ARK currently has a circulating supply of 112,551,204 out of 141,865,466 ARK as of May 30, 2019. Its peak price so far was $10.62, which occurred on January 9, 2018.
The ARK ICO occurred from November 7 through December 11, 2016. A total of 125,000,000 ARK tokens (75 percent of the total supply) were distributed to ICO investors at this time, raising $22,000,000.
Of the remaining supply, 15 percent was retained by the founding team, 7 percent was reserved for the ARKShield program, 2 percent set aside for bounties, and 1 percent held in escrow. ARKShield acts as an investment firm to help fund ARK and blockchain development.
The ARK token is mined using a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus. Node operators who wish to become forgers must pay 25 ARK to register in the node selection voting. Only the top 51 nodes are allowed to create blocks, and are awarded 2 ARK for every block forged, which occurs approximately every 8 seconds. Each ARK network block contains 150 transactions.
ARK transaction costs are determined by a market rate set by delegates. As network traffic gets higher, so do transaction fees.
Exchanging ARK tokens is easy, as it’s accepted on a wide variety of cryptocurrency exchanges. ARK trading markets include Binance, Bittrex, Upbit, OKEx, LiteBit.eu, and COSS. Nearly $1 million worth of ARK is traded on a daily basis. ARK trading pairs include BTC, ETH, TUSD, USDT, and fiat currencies like EUR and USD.
The ARK Crew has official ARK wallets available for desktop, mobile, and web platforms, along with a paper wallet.
Raiders of a Lost Art
In every discipline, there’s a platform everybody knows they need a competency in. For photographers and designers, it’s Adobe’s creative suite. Recording musicians know Pro Tools, and bloggers are typically competent in WordPress. Blockchain doesn’t really have that popular tool that’s penetrated the market for being powerful and intuitive.
This is the gap ARK is hoping to fill, making blockchain development as easy as Dreamweaver makes web development. But how does it actually accomplish that goal?
The first part is through building SmartBridges between the ARK blockchain and other traditional, distributed, and decentralized networks. This makes it easy to connect to blockchains like Ethereum, payment networks like SWIFT, game networks like Steam, and any other proprietary connection.
The second part is the Deployer, a GUI-based tool to launch a custom blockchain based on Ark’s technology and DPoS consensus model.
Because most heavy lifting happens offchain, the ARK network doesn’t get bogged down, making it more scalable than Bitcoin.
Hoping to reduce attack susceptibility, ARK Core features two versions of the node software:
- Relay nodes – These are API nodes meant to gather data from outside the network, similar to oracles.
- Forging nodes – These are the mining nodes that process transactions.
The ARK SDK supports over a dozen programming languages, including:
- Swift iOS
- TypeScript API
Pretty much any developer can use the ARK platform to develop their own dApp, just like on the Ethereum blockchain. However, many popular Ethereum-based projects eventually migrated either to their own chains or another dApp ecosystem like NEO.
Understanding this, ARK developed a push-button system to deploy blockchains and relieve the problems associated with moving off chain.
It seems counterintuitive, but ARK isn’t trying to keep everything on its chain. The team’s goal is to feed into the natural evolution of the blockchain industry, rather than swimming against the stream.
This DPoS blockchain isn’t just standing on its own in the cryptocurrency ecosystem – it’s helping anyone who wants to do the same.
If you’re looking to build a secure, efficient blockchain but don’t know where to start, the ARK network is waiting for you.
ARK is a crew, token, and blockchain launched in February 2017 to make cryptocurrency and blockchain development accessible to everyone. While a lot of modern blockchain projects corrected for Ethereum’s technical mistakes, ARK fixed its vision, creating a sandbox environment to launch your own blockchain. ARK’s success lies in these key features.
- The ARK network uses a blend of Lisk, BitShares, and Crypti principles to create a lean, secure blockchain. SmartBridges connect it to other blockchains and legacy networks.
- ARK token is tradeable on a lot of crypto markets, making it a useful investment. It’s push-button deployable blockchain feature creates a lot of potential trading pairs.
- ARK aims to make blockchain development accessible to anyone and supports more popular programming languages than anyone else in the industry.
With these pieces in place, the ARK Crew may have built a sustainable blockchain network focused on community rather than centralization. Critics point out, however, that the ARK network itself is more centralized than other blockchains. Time will tell if ARK can weather the storm.