What is ARK?
Ark (ARK) is a cryptocurrency and decentralized network, built atop and connecting with pre-existing blockchains, which aims to increase consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, providing practical services for a wide array of users. The Ark team describes their project as being “an ecosystem meant for cryptocurrency and mass adoption.”
History of ARK
Ark was first launched by François-Xavier Thoorens and Lars Rensing. The Initial Token Exchange ran from November 7, 2016 to December 11, 2016. A total of 93,750,000 ARK, which is 75% of the 125 million tokens, went to the initial buyers. Bitcoin (BTC), Lisk (LSK), and other altcoins supported by Shapeshift crypto-exchange were accepted as payment for ARK tokens. The ARK Network officially launched in early 2017. By September of that year, Ark had surpassed a market capitalization of $300 million for the first time.
How ARK Works
ARK is a framework which is diverse in nature because it is attempting to create a crypto ecosystem around itself. It is comprised of several different, interacting features that all work to comprise the Ark ecosystem. One of its core features is that of bridging blockchains using Ark Smartchain, which makes interoperability of different blockchains possible, currently including Bitcoin, Link and Ethereum. The Hypermedia Protocol Platform uses Ark’s decentralized InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), to make peer to peer media sharing and hosting possible. IPFS allows Ark to carry only the header file in its blockchain so that the chain remains lean. Ark’s Physical Card System works like a debit/credit card for the cryptocurrency wallet of the user, combining a physical card with the features of a crypto wallet.
In addition to providing as a bridge between the blockchains of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, Ark offers the following advantages as a platform:
- An Ecosystem: Ark is not a currency or a DApp, but an ecosystem in and of itself. Ark is compatible with the OS, Android or iOS, allowing for communication with almost every app that has already been developed. This means that millions of Apps can utilize Ark’s platform.
- Bridging of Blockchains: The mutually exclusive blockchains of different networks leads to unavailability of data to users of different networks. With Ark’s Smartchain project, developers and companies can now make use of data from any blockchain for their apps and development.
- Sustainable: The Ark developers maintain a fund called ArkShield which provides for future developments, improvements and sustainability of the platform. This will help ensure a bright future for the network.
- Private Transactions: Ark allows private transactions for users, offering increased anonymity and safety of users if they should desire their transactions remain private.
- Native Coin: The network offers its own coin (ARK) which is trade-able at different exchanges and can also be used to pay for services and products online, as well as for Ark platform related features.