ARK is a blockchain platform meant to let anyone deploy their own independent blockchain. It was created in early 2017 with architecture borrowed heavily from Lisk, Crypti, and Bitshares. The platform has since been continuously developed with several partners onboarded, making it a platform able to compete with the likes of Ethereum, or even Microsoft Azure and other big-name blockchain ecosystems.
The beauty in the ARK platform lies in its development team facilitating the migration offchain, a problem that plagued early adopters of Ethereum’s platform. With this secret sauce already in hand, ARK is quickly navigating to the front of the blockchain race.
Business Use Case
The business use cases of ARK are the use cases of blockchain itself. The platform wasn’t developed to recreate the wheel – it’s more of a factory designed to mass produce them.
When blockchain became a buzzword in 2018, businesses, governments, and charitable organizations around the world rushed to it. But it quickly became clear that nobody knew what to do with it. Everyone rushed to create the next big cryptocurrency or blockchain for profit, and soon platforms like Ethereum were being bottlenecked and overloaded.
Although Ethereum was the first, it’s now just one of dozens of solid smart contract platforms. The competition between them is practically an industry by itself. And ARK is leading the pack with a sandbox environment that lets developers pull away from dependence on third-party blockchains to create their own platforms.
Notable Partnerships and Investors
Say – Say is a fintech startup hoping to bring more transparency into shareholder communication. Although cryptocurrency ICOs garnered a lot of heat for being unregistered securities, registered securities and stocks aren’t exactly bulletproof. Remember Theranos, Worldcom, Enron, and Countrywide? From the hidden escrow accounts on mortgage statements to confusing and often misleading financial statements, the average consumer demands more financial transparency, and Say/ARK are at the forefront.
nOS – nOS is to NEO/GAS what EOS is to Ethereum. That is, it’s meant to act as a decentralized operating system on top of the blockchain. However, difficulties with the NEP-5 smart contract system made it easier for the team to simply start from scratch on ARK. This will almost certainly start a wave of other projects migrating.
Sandbox Blockchain Deployment – What makes ARK unique over Ethereum is the ability to launch an independent blockchain. Projects like EOS and Tron started on Ethereum, but they were always planning to migrate to their own native platforms. Of course such a migration is a lot easier said than done, and that’s the genius behind ARK. It relieves the friction of migration by letting new businesses go straight to their own platform without the need for the middleman.
DPoS – The initial PoW and PoS mining schemes run into flaws when scaling over time. This pushed a lot of projects to migrate toward DPoS, which ARK already has. Think of blockchain governance like political governance – DPoS (like the U.S.) is a representative democracy versus a pure democracy.
Language Support – Ethereum uses the proprietary Solidity coding language, which put a barrier to entry on its platform. Some projects attempted to recreate Ethereum with a more accessible language, like C# on Stratis. But ARK opened the floodgates, supporting over a dozen programming languages, including C++, Java, Python, and Swift iOS. This makes it a valuable tool for developers looking to transition into blockchain.
Competition – Despite the many calls from analysts and experts about its death, Ethereum is very much still alive and kicking. In fact, a July 2019 SFOX report all but confirmed it’s the first blockchain project to finally start pulling away from Bitcoin’s influence and stand on its own. This is great news for Ethereum (and the industry in general), but competition like NEO/GAS, ARK, and others, now face increased pressure to do the same. And ARK has a longer way to go to prove itself than some other projects.
ARK Core 2.6 Upgrade – The next big update is coming by the end of 2019. It brings with it new transaction types and functionality enabled by AIP11, AIP18, AIP103, and AIP29 upgrades. Development is about two thirds of the way to completion and is scheduled to be finished by the end of September. Even if it drags into the holiday season, it looks like a solid bet that it’ll be in place by the end of the year, making 2020 the Year of ARK.
ARK Deployer v2 – ARK Deployer v2 just launched at the end of May 2019. This is the catalyst that’s drawing in new partnerships, so its utility will be truly tested as third-party partner projects continue to onboard. Advanced features have been integrated, and maintaining and servicing this environment is what will ultimately drive further expansion of the ARK ecosystem while avoiding the pitfalls front-runner Ethereum experienced.
ARK is a solid project that creates a sandbox ecosystem to launch blockchains. It also supports a wide array of programming languages. By removing these technical barriers that bogged down earlier blockchain pioneers, ARK is positioning itself as a go-to solution for projects wanting to leave other platforms like Ethereum but not having the resources.
And it’s already working, a herd of projects left Ethereum for greener pastures, and ARK already snagged a project originally conceived for NEO/GAS. These are strong indicators that it may have the solution some companies are looking for.