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Ark markets itself as a project to bring blockchain technology to the average consumer. At least in its white paper, it promises to be much more than simply a coin to store value and pass low-cost, possibly anonymous transactions. Ark claims it is yet another ecosystem for cryptocurrency adoption.

But how is it different from other projects that have also built the very same thing: a community, a token and a set of options for developers to use the blockchain and build apps. Ethereum does that, Stratis does that, and many other blockchains and tokens at least aim to do a similar thing.

Ark went through the ICO at the end of 2016, but went to trade on markets in the spring of 2017. The market price of Ark is going through a short-term boom, so we better look under the hood and see if this recent ICO token is worth the hype.

The Ark Idea

The Ark project aims to link existing blockchains and offer usable consumer products. But Ark seems to be an open-ended project, making a vague promise that it would keep adding technologies to its portfolio. Only time will tell which of these technologies would be brought to market on time, and which ones would become a hit with users. With so many other apps and possibilities vying for attention, Ark will have to show that it is indeed different, or fall into obscurity with a lot of other projects and tokens.

For now, Ark is an ecosystem under construction- and we don't know when or whether developers would be drawn to it, and why they should choose it before other ecosystems, such as the Ethereum or Bitcoin-based blockchain projects.

The Ark Blockchain

Ark is not a Bitcoin-based token, and not an Ethereum-based token. If you want to diversify into different blockchains, then Ark will give you that opportunity. The system is derived from the Lisk, Crypti and BitShares projects, with some key differences that aim to give an improved product.

Currently, Ark uses a delegated proof of stake, meaning some users would be more equal than others. This is not a Proof-Of-Work blockchain, and there may be an evolution on how the consensus is achieved.

The chain promises an 8-second block generation time, with 25 transactions per block, at least per white paper specifications. All those rules and limitations may change with time. We know from other coins that while code is law, code is also easily changed to give the token and the blockchain completely different features.

The blockchain aims to offer features such as physical cards for people that do not have access to bank accounts.

The Ark ICO

The Ark ICO raised more than $5 million, although it could not compare to the hit success of projects like Komodo, who are sitting on more than $30 million in funds for development. There were 2,135 participants, less than other ICOs.

Who Created Ark?

The ARK Crew, not to be confused with the crew of Transformer robots, is a loosely knit group spread out worldwide. Тhe head of development is Francois-Xavier Thoorens, and the team seems to be well-staffed with advisors and developers. Francois-Xavier was the former core developer of Lisk, but moved into a new project, despite the healthy funding of Lisk. And before that, Francois Xavier served as a scientific expert and advisor in various functions related to the European Commission.

The team is indeed global, with a varied group of experts- from full stack developers to financial experts. And the Ark project has its idea leaders and promoters, just like other coins. The success of a project often depends on publicity and a friendly Internet presence. Ark certainly tries to do that. It can be found on all the usual social network channels- it seems cryptocurrency projects still depend on the older layer of Internet technology to take off.

Mark Doti is the managing director of the project. He has a background in mechanical engineering, but is a long-term developer of cryptocoin projects, including Crypti, the predecessor of Lisk.

Ark Market Price

The ARK token market price has been volatile, and in mid-August had a surge in trading volume. The market price shot to a temporary peak above $1.80. Volumes surged from their usual levels of around $200,000 to a peak of above $40 million per 24 hours. For the ARK token, whenever volumes peak, there is also a peak and crash in the price, which is a pattern related to pump-and-dump activity. This has happened three times since the ICO and since ARC began trading.

[caption id="attachment_288" align="alignright" width="1077"] source: coinmarketcap.com[/caption]

And this is no surprise, since 99% of ARK trading happens on the behemoth of an exchange, Bittrex. Having a presence on that exchange means a token is exposed to highly speculative trading activity. A token benefits from investors who hold it, and for ARK, there is always the option for immediate selling on Bittrex.

Investing in Ark

If you were not a part of the ICO, it is up to your discretion to pick a price at which to buy ARK tokens. Just recently, Ark improved its proprietary desktop wallet to fix bugs reported by the community. So if you want to own ARK, you will have to keep yet another wallet, it is not compatible with other platforms. It is best to only invest funds you can afford to lose due to technical problems or market volatility.

The ARK currency pairs are limited compared to other tokens. Here is how ARK can be exchanged:

Currency Pair Exchange
ARK/BTC Bittrex (99% of trading)
ARK/BTC Cryptopia, COSS
ARK/LTC Cryptopia
ARK/ETH COSS
ARK/DOGE Cryptopia
ARK/EUR LiteBit.EU
ARK/USDT Cryptopia

 

The offers for ARK vary between exchanges and pairs. As of August 2017, ARK traded at $1.45 on Bittrex, but was quoted at $2 against Tether (USDT).

If you like the Ark project, feel free to support it by owning its token. Currently, more than 96 million tokens are in circulation, out of a total supply of 128 million. The market capitalization is above $140 million as of August 2017.