What is ARK Coin? – Beginner’s Guide
The ARK coin is the only currency of Ark; an ecosystem that was created in late 2016 which – among other things – wants to unify new and existing blockchains by acting as the core, decentralised, underlying blockchain. It also provides businesses, developers and users with a means of creating their own blockchains. Their goal is to make their services as accessible as possible to the ‘average consume’ by providing a fast, secure, adaptable core technology and incorporating a wide range of different blockchains, to the point where the user may not even know they’re operating on a blockchain at all. What stands out while reading the ARK Whitepaper is the scale of their project – they have multiple crypto 2.0 features, some they are working on and some they have completed, with the ultimate aim of having mass adoption of their service.
How does ARK work?
ARK’s core goal is to increase user adoption of blockchain technology by making it easily accessible to consumers. This is being executed through ARK’s SmartBridges which is a bridging technology built into the ARK core, and allows well known blockchains to connect and communicate, meaning they can trigger events faster, such as transactions. ARK is just the middleman. By providing this bridge for any two blockchains who wish to communicate, the only thing they will need to do is implement a line of code into their respective chains. This allows them to interface directly through a section of ARK’s core code, like a messaging system.
Something that ARK developed alongside SmartBridges is encoded listeners, an encoded listener node is a way for exchanges to use SmartBridges. So for example Coinbase could act as a medium for SmartBridges and in return would collect transaction fees for operating via SmartBridges.
Read more: Coinbase Review
Another great quality of the ARK ecosystem is its scalability. Due to their conceptualisation of their web of blockchains, they are able to offload what they call ‘non-essential functions’ onto hundreds of side chains through the use of SmartBridges. This means the main ARK blockchain will always be lean and fast.
The ARK Ecosystem
This SmartBridge technology is a big deal, every coin and every blockchain has a greater potential, they will become more accessible just through the simple act of the blockchain having a new line of code in it. What’s more ARK doesn’t just stop at faster transactions, they’re aiming at becoming an ecosystem, where their products and services are pillars of any modern society.
- Push Button deployable blockchains – This is a way for any company to create a blockchain that is SmartBridge compatible with the push of a button.
- Smart Cards – These are their very own crypto debit cards which they want to reduce down to minimalist wearable NFC devices such as rings and bracelets. This is great news for people who don’t have access to credit/debit cards!
- A peer-to-peer Hypermedia Protocol Platform – The best way to think of this is to compare it to a service like Dropbox. ARK wants to create a decentralised media service on top of their own platform.
With plenty of projects in the works we could see a huge surge in the value of ARK coin when their projects start rolling out into the mainstream, assuming they are successful with all of their innovations.
Delegated Proof of Stake
Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) is the consensus mechanism developed by Bitshares that ARK operates on. DPoS produces/confirms blocks in the blockchain, and is very fast, with 8 second block times. For comparison Bitcoin’s block time is currently around 10 minutes.
In short, DPoS requires coin holders to vote on ‘delegates’ who are responsible for maintaining the blockchain by validating transactions, this means there is no mining and there is no proof of work generating new coins. In the ARK ecosystem there are 51 delegates who are chosen by ARK token holders, these token holders are continuously voting on hundreds of potential delegates to crown the top 51.
How to earn money with the ARK crypto
ARK coins are used to vote/un-vote for delegates, these delegates can be anyone from projects, pools or friends. This is the biggest incentive to invest in ARK tokens, as every time you spend your ARK voting on your chosen delegate, you will get a daily profit share from said delegate. These dividends can be up to 10% and can be paid up to daily, which means you’ll theoretically be earning money as quickly as a day after you vote for a delegate. How much you recieve from voting is up to the delegate and not up to the ARK crew, so make sure to check their proposal before voting. At the time of writing this the transaction for voting costs 1 ARK, however this will be reduced to 0.02 ARK after the next core update, there has not been a specified date for this yet.
For more information on Delegate Proof of Stake voting you can go to ARK’s description on their FAQ.
One of the most impressive parts of the ARK project is their openness, especially with their roadmap. This isn’t a traditional single image roadmap that gives a general overview of the past and future. Instead it is like a fully detailed checklist of everything they are currently working on and have completed, with only the except of a timeline with dates.
For example, the entire project is broken down into smaller “sub-projects” that need to be completed. Each of these has a percentage that shows how near to completion the sub-project is and what needs to be finished to complete the sub-project. The images below will help you understand better. For a full understanding of the ARK roadmap, we’d highly recommend visiting their site and looking for yourself.
Ark is also very open with their team members. It was founded by 27 member from all over the world, creating one of the most decentralised cryptocurrency teams around. They currently have a team of 17 core team members coming from 11 different countries.
One of the notable team members if Francois Xavier (FX) Thoorens. FX, how is the CTO and co-founder, used to work as a core developer on the Lisk project back in 2016. Since then he has founded ARK, which uses a similar infrastructure to Lisk and a few other projects, especially in the use of the delegated proof of stake consensus algorithm.
The ARK cryptocurrency had it’s ICO in 2016 and has seen a gradual rise in its price ever since, with a dip after its all time high in January 2018. Use the interactive graph below for more information about the ARK coin price.
How to Buy Ark (ARK) Coin
You have quite a few options when it comes to buying ARK coin. Initially you will need to buy it from an exchange or from a current holder of ARK coins, the current supported exchanges are listed below:
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How to Store Ark (ARK) Coin
ARK coins are stored just like every other coin – in a wallet. ARK has their own wallets for the storage of ARK tokens.
The best ARK crypto wallet is the official desktop wallet. This wallet is well designed, with a clean interface which makes using it very simple. It also has the ability for you to vote for a delegate from within the wallet.
Another great feature of ARK is the mobile wallet that was recently released.
Ledger also announced a partnership with ARK to allow ARK tokens to be stored on their hardware wallet, the Ledger Nano S. We’d highly recommend using a hardware wallet to store your cryptos long term and the Nano S is one of the best around.
Read our Ledger Nano S Review for more information and what we think of it.
Check the latest price of the Ledger Nano S on Amazon.
ARK Coin Competitors
There are other companies out there that are trying to do very similar things to ARK. For example ICON and AION are both somewhat similar. ICON aims to build decentralised networks and is part of the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance, which directly competes with ARK’s main aim of connecting isolated blockchain networks. AION is doing something very similar and is also a member of the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance.
Other companies could be considered competitors as ARK is attempting to do somewhat similar things. For example Stratis is looking to develop relatively similar blockchain development platforms.
The positives here for ARK coin is that they have a good lead on any competition. ARK have a working project whereas any competition just has good intentions at the moment.
Our Opinion on ARK
ARK has a lot of great backing, with an impressive partnership with the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet and a mention on Forbes. I also love the layout of their website, namely their Roadmap. ARK’s team and their respective capabilities has also definitely made an impression on me and increased my trust in the project.
Pros and Cons
- Speed – The speed of the ARK network is a huge positive. The fact that the block times are only 8 seconds helps this and allows the network to run very efficiently.
- Smartbridges and Encoded Listeners – These two features really put ARK at the top of the pile. The ability for independent blockchains to be able to connect and work together could be hugely valuable.
- Working Product – In business a lot of the time the first company to have a working product can take home a great portion of the market share. The fact that ARK has a working product and no other competitors do at the moment gives it a lot of potential for the future.
- Roadmap – Whilst the roadmap is a great feature with a lot more detail than that of other cryptos, it lacks any dates. Without a given time scale and only a percentage to work on, it all comes down to a guessing game. If they could add a time scale to their roadmap it would be practically perfect.
- Promotes Holding instead of Spending – The great returns that users can get from voting on delegates means that people are more likely to hold their ARK instead of use it. This is great if you’re an investor but for the whole ecosystem it could eventually become quite a problem.
This is a very interesting application of Crypto 2.0, with many different aspects that are extremely fascinating, I am personally intrigued by the Smart Cards and what they can offer. I feel like the team driving it has a huge amount of dedication to their project and to the scale of what they want to achieve. I have had doubts about the scope of their project, with such a comprehensive ARK ecosystem in mind I would hate to see it fall short in any way, especially as their ICO raised $1,000,000 which could be considered small in comparison to other ICOs raising upwards of $100,000,000. Regardless of this I see ARK coin as having huge potential and I think it offers something very substantial.
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