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In the battle for the emerging dominant smart contract platform, the ledger and decentralized blockchain wars have seen many enter the fray. Perhaps no other project is ambitious as Ark and its ark coin. Can it be the Ethereum slayer?
What is Ark?
Ark is a next-generation blockchain platform, built with Web 3.0 in mind. The Ark blockchain is a project with the forward-thinking vision, of not only being a solid stand-alone platform, but also a protocol to merge its ecosystem with other blockchain ecosystems, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lisk.
Its smart bridge technology will eventually allow for the execution of cross chain smart contracts. Ark further raises the bar by seeking to implement push button blockchain deployment for users of the network, so they can launch blockchains of their own. The icing on the cake is Ark’s delegated proof of stake consensus algorithm, and eight second block times, giving it one of the fastest confirmation times of any cryptocurrency, with the ability to scale.
Ark coin price
As of this writing, the Ark coin price in the cryptocurrency market is currently 34,856 Satoshis, or $3.15 USD. It was rejected by the moving average and is in day eight of a short-term correction.
The ICO was not the most successful, with the team unable to raise enough to meet their stated fundraising goal. They even offered refunds to investors in the token sale, although they decided to go ahead with the project despite the lackluster performance of the crowdsale.
The token sale price was a penny per Ark token and there were 2135 participants. They raised 1279.67 BTC, worth about a million dollars at the time of sale in the price of bitcoin.
Ark: How it works and its key features
Let’s take a look under the hood, and see what makes Ark tick. Ark’s Delegated proof of stake consensus algorithm, was created by Dan Larimer of Steemit fame but has quickly become the consensus mechanism of choice for many blockchains that wish to have a more secure, faster, and scalable improvement over standard proof of stake coins.
Ark is no exception, and it has 51 delegates that are voted on by the users of the network, who process blocks and secure the network, for block rewards. Its smart bridge technology uses code snippets to integrate Ark with other chains, in conjunction with special nodes called encoded listeners, which “listen” to other chains in order to execute cross chain smart contracts.
Ark Coin: Use and utilities
Ark tokens are first and foremost a digital currency. They are also used to pay any transactions fee on the network. The digital currency is used for voting for delegates, and also for staking, to earn passive income. Last but not least, Ark tokens can be used to send data messages similar to the Omni protocol, which USD Tether is based on.
Ark: Platform and technology
Smartbridge technology incorporates hard-coded integration and encoded listener nodes to integrate Ark’s smart contract VM with other chains to allow it to execute Ark smart contracts across other chains or execute smart contracts from another blockchain on the Ark platform. The ArkVM will allow for secure smart contracts, similar to the Ethereum platform.
Ark’s push-button blockchain deployment is similar to launching an ERC-20 token on Ethereum, or an NEP-5 token on NEO. The push button blockchains will not run on the Ark main chain but will run on blockchains of their own, setting them apart from ERC-20, or NEP-5 style tokens built directly on top of competing chains.
The push-button blockchains will also be smart bridge compatible to allow them to have the same kind of cross chain integration capabilities of Ark itself. Ark is integrating the Interplanetary File System, which is a peer to peer hypermedia protocol that allows for immutable timestamps to deal with large amounts of data. Last, is Ark’s ACES technology, the first implementation of an encoded listener that allows Ark to harness the power of Ethereum smart contracts.
Ark coin competitors
Ark’s competitors are other blockchain & smart contract platforms, like Ethereum, Neo, Qtum, Lisk, Waves, Aion, and Icon. Aion and Icon specifically have very similar goals and use cases to Ark, being platforms aimed at also merging and integrating different stand-alone blockchain platforms. And also both being members of the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance, an organization aimed at seamlessly integrating blockchain platforms.
Ark: Team and founders
Behind the project is the Ark Foundation, as well as many former members of the Crypti (a forerunner of Lisk) and Lisk teams, led by former Lisk core developer Francois-Xavier Thoorens, and Mike Doty. The Ark team is international with members in more than ten countries.
Ark’s wallet has been touted as one of the most user-friendly, and versatile wallets in all of the cryptocurrency market. Ark does a great job of maintaining functionality while still making the presentation of the wallet unique. There is also Light and Dark mode options, on the wallet depending on your preference.
Ark: Can you mine Ark?
Ark is not a coin that you can mine in the traditional sense like some proof of work based coins. The Ark DPOS consensus algorithm allows for members of the Ark community to vote for one of 51 delegates that process transactions and secure the network and they’ll receive a portion of this block reward which the delegate shares with the voters who have shown him support.
The Ark roadmap is one of the most ambitious and forward-thinking roadmaps. They have a well-planned set of milestones to reach Ark’s full potential and technical goals. You can follow the progress of the project, and also see the status of tasks under development. Some of their goals are:
- Ark Core v2
- Technical documentation
- Smartbridge Partnerships
- Alternative Development Implementation and Programming Languages
- Push Button Deployable Blockchains
- Integration of Inter-planetary File System (IPFS)
- Deployment of TestNet clones for start-ups.
- SmartBridge Documentation and Instructional Videos
- Integrating ARK as Payment for Merch Store
- Development of Various Smart Card/NFC Materials
- NFC/Contactless Chip Wearable Devices and Hardware Wallets
- Point of Sale Hardware R&D
Ark: How to buy Ark
Ark is available for purchase from an Ark community member who currently holds Ark tokens, or from one of the following online crypto trading exchanges. The best bet to buy Ark peer to peer, is to attend a meetup, and transact in person. Here is the list of online exchanges:
Strengths: Eight-Second block times, Smartbridge technology, ACES, Encoded listeners, Integration with other blockchains, Push-button blockchain deployment.
Weaknesses: Lackluster ICO, Slow Development, Lack of PR, Several competitors, goals may be too grandiose.
Opportunities: Ark can turn most of its weaknesses into strengths by successfully implementing a smart bridge to integrate with competitors effectively converting them to partners.
Threats: Better funded projects like Icon and Aion may beat Ark to the punch, and fill the inter-blockchain operability niche before Ark can realize it’s roadmap.
Ark: Final thoughts
Ark is a project with a lot of potential and ambition. The scope of what they are trying to do is truly impressive. I would like to see them succeed. I just wonder if maybe they have too much on their plate. The main barrier to Ark’s success is if another platform executes a similar idea, sooner.
Highly capitalized projects like Icon may simply be able to throw money at the problem and execute first. With so many facets to Ark’s roadmap, I just wonder if they have spread themselves too thin. Only time will tell.