Ark is an “all-in-one” open-source blockchain solution intended to make blockchain technology easy to use for everyone. Its platform is useful for every spectrum of the cryptocurrency world – from developers and businesses to investors and users. The currency (ARK) and its platform were introduced in October 2016, and have since risen to become one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world.

Unlike other traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, Ark is not so much a “currency” as it is an ecosystem. The Ark ecosystem is meant to help the world adopt blockchain and digital currency by offering a user friendly platform that is simple for anyone to use.

Ark Value, Market Cap and Volume

ARK is one of the more affordable cryptocurrencies and has historically traded under $5.00 USD per coin. When the ARK currency was launched in 2016, it traded between $0.03 and $0.10. In August 2017, the new digital currency started gaining some momentum and jumped from $0.60 up to an all-time high of $4.60 on September 14th.

As of November 25th 2017, the market cap of ARK was $308,856,603 USD (35,785 BTC). There was a circulating supply of 97,981,284 ARK coins with a total maximum supply of 129,231,284 ARK. During any 24 hour period, between $1 million and $50 million worth of ARK coins can be traded on the market.

Where to Buy ARK

Because ark is not as well-known as many other cryptocurrencies, you are basically limited to buying Ark coins in the BTC/ARK or ETH/ARK pairs. This means you need to already own Bitcoin or Ethereum and use a cryptocurrency exchange to execute a trade. If you don’t already own Bitcoin, you can buy them from a number of websites, such as Coinbase or P2P exchanges like LocalBitcoins.

If you are already holding Bitcoin or Ethereum, you can buy ARK on most major cryptocurrency exchanges. The most popular exchange based on daily ARK trading volume is, by far, Bittrex.

How Ark Works

In short, ARK is a blockchain-based digital ecosystem that is equipped with SmartBridge technology. Ark’s SmartBridge technology, developed by the Ark Ecosystem Team, is the first blockchain technology of its kind and gives ARK a unique angle in the cryptocurrency space.

SmartBridges enable the Ark ecosystem to communicate with multiple blockchains at once which allows the Ark blockchain to execute contracts on any other compatible blockchain. For example, if you wanted to complete an Ethereum contract, you would be able to execute it using the Ark ecosystem.

The hope is that with SmartBridge technology, Ark will become a better solution when it comes to executing cross-blockchain transactions and smart contracts compared to other cryptocurrencies that have sidechain capabilities, such as Lisk.

Delegated Proof of Stake with Forging

Ark uses a Proof-of-Stake concept called Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). In a DPoS environment, all holders of the cryptocurrency tokens have a chance to vote for a delegate. There are a total of 51 delegates on the Ark network, and as a delegate, the members are responsible for representing all of the “stakeholders” (Ark owners).

Each delegate has the opportunity to apply one update to the database by creating a block via what are known as “rounds”. There is a randomly generated list for each of these pre-defined rounds and this list specifies when each delegate is allowed to create a new block.

When one delegate is chosen, they add the transaction to the block during the forging process. Each of these forging transactions are confirmed using cryptography and hashes. Owners of ARK, or anyone else who is otherwise interested, are able to check on the blockchain to see if a transaction has been confirmed.

How is ARK Different From Other Cryptocurrencies?

Ark is different from most other cryptocurrencies in a number of ways. First off, Ark is a complete ecosystem and blockchain platform, instead of just an exchangeable digital currency or asset. This is much different from many mineable cryptocurrency coins, like Bitcoin or Litecoin.

One major advantage that Ark has when compared to other cryptocurrencies is related to confirmation times on its blockchain. The average block time on the Ark blockchain is only 8 seconds. When compared to Bitcoin, which has about 10 minute blocks, Ark confirmation times are about 75x faster.

As we mentioned above, Ark’s ecosystem is capable of completing cross-blockchain contracts and transactions. This capability, referred to as SmartBridge technology, was a true breakthrough in blockchain technology, and still has huge potential that many developers are only beginning to unlock.

The Ark Ecosystem Developer Team

Ark was started by a group of community members and developers from another cryptocurrency; Lisk. Several of the community’s most influential members had disagreements on how the currency and its blockchain should be developed. Unable to reach a solution to their differences, this group of Lisk community members decided to start their own project; Ark, to try to solve some of these problems.

Though there are many developers behind the Ark Ecosystem, two of the most influential members are Mike Doty and Francois-Xavier Thoorens. Doty is the Founding Managing Director of Ark, while Thoorens, an ex-Lisk core develoeper, is the Founding Chief Technology Officer. Though the Ark Ecosystem is an open-source project, Thoorens and Doty play a large role.

It is worth noting that Ark is still in the development phase. There is certainly a lot of potential with Ark and all it has to offer, but it is possible that new blockchain technology could be developed at some point in the future and render Ark obsolete.