Episode #012 – ARKv2 Testathon, New Hackathons, Halloween Clues & Justin Renken ARK Interview With ALTCOIN Magazine Oct 29, 2018
The twelfth episode of the ARK Crypto Podcast is here! I am in Las Vegas at the World Crypto Con Conference, a three day event full of event space, speakers, and panels. I am also participating in a blockchain-oriented Poker tournament while I’m here!
This episode is a reading of my recent interview with ALTCOIN Magazine, where I outline introductory ARK concepts and goals. This is a great one to share with friends because it’s easy to follow along and I speak nice and slow. Keep your ears perked for any Halloween clues of the ‘Arkening!’
Expect the next few weeks to be loaded with Las Vegas news and content here on the ‘cast.
For more episodes & insight into all things ARK, follow us on facebook, twitter& instagram or subscribe with your favorite podcast app. We are currently live on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, and Spotify. As always, thanks for listening!
This episode is hosted by Justin Renken.
Cheers and Enjoy!
Hello, crypto-land. I’m Justin, it’s Friday, and this is the ARK Crypto Podcast, episode 12. Well, first things first. Did you finish one of the things I said last week? That’s due today. It’s cool. I’ll give you til the end of the day if you procrastinated, and it’s gonna be on your permanent, immutable record. World Crypto Con is upon us! I’m in Las Vegas right now. Today is the last day of the conference, and the day that I will be on the interoperability panel as a panelist.
But hey, you want to know if I won the poker tournament! Did I get to the final table? Did I get ambushed in the first 30 minutes? Well, I can’t tell you, because it’s Tuesday and this is a prerecording. Sorry to trick you, but I’m only one person who can be in one place at one time. Expect the next few weeks to be filled with news and interviews from WCC here on the cast. I hope you enjoy the content.
Guess what else? The upcoming ARK v2 protocol update is really heating up now, with the ARK v2 test-a-thon offering bounties of ARK to programmers, testers and users like you, you and you! Maybe you’re even all thre.e you can even suggest something, without knowing quite how to solve it, and if it’s valid, receive some ARK. The test-a-thon includes everyone. How cool is that? Check blog.ark.io for details.
Not only that, but hack-a-thon season is back! ARK will be attending and sponsoring two hack-a-thons in November: Hack PHS and Hack Princeton. There’s gonna be crazy stacks of prizes there, and the buzz is afoot. Travis is also cultivating ARK’s new partnership with Major League Hacking to crate a workshop that anyone will be able to use for their hack-a-thon or future meetup or event. More details on that are on the blog as well.
Well, let’s get right into this episode. This is going to be a recording of an interview that I recently conducted with Altcoin Magazine. Altcoin Magazine is a great source for news and exclusive content about, you guessed it, alt coins. You can check them out and subscribe on medium.com/altcoin-magazine.
Well, let’s get started with the reading. I really had a lot of fun on this interview, and the interviewer was very kind, courteous and professional, and I hope you enjoy it. In the written interview, Altcoin Magazine said, “Give us a brief introduction to the project. What have you created, why have you crated it, and how do you plan on making it? How will your project make an impact on the world?”
Well, Altcoin Magazine issuing the plural you in this case, in the interview questions. So I’m not personally making any of these modules, codebases. I’m not building these smart bridges. Okay, I’m just a guy talking about ARK, and on that note, the podcast is just talking. It’s not financial or investment advice, but you knew that. So I said in response to this, I said, “My name is Justin Renken, and I am ark.io communications specialist. The ARK ecosystem is a spiderweb of teams, operators, users, participants and other blockchains, united ina common goal: to bring the power of blockchain to as many people as possible. ARK empowers everyone, regardless of their aim or technical background, to quickly and easily leverage blockchain technology.
ARK achieves this through a high-performance mainnet blockchain, with block times of only eight seconds. This mainnet is powered by what are called delegates, or nodes run by people or teams of people who secure the network and deploy every-expanding community services. These delegates are voted in by the people of the ARK community, and ark.io does not run the network. The consensus model of ARK is known as delegated-proof-of-stake.
ARK also has intuitive, instant-launch wallets, geared for the common user, including full-featured mobile wallets available for Android and iOS. ARK caters to all developers with a powerful sandbox of tools and models, enabling any developer to create a customized blockchain in mere moments, and enhance their new change with well over a dozen different programming languages, including C and C++, recently released in the ARK SDK.
Finally, ARK enables interoperability with both ARK bridgechains, which is what ARK calls blockchains that use its codebase, and other blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, by way of its unique smart bridge technology. ARK’s end goal to impact the world is to make creating and using blockchains so easy it becomes an afterthought.”
Altcoin magazine continued, saying, “Tell us about your accomplishments so far, and tell us what you are most proud of having accomplished in the history of the project.” Well, I said, “The simplest way to highlight all of ARK’s many accomplishments is to visit the community resource, arktimeline.com, which is a vast, interactive experience tallying every ARK event since its inception in late 2016, and mainnet launch in early 2017. All ARK events are searchable, easily categorized, and filterable, giving anyone an immediate bird’s-eye view of ARK’s ability to deliver. Arktimeline.com was built and deployed by the ARK Community Committee, which I run.”
Altcoin magazine continued, saying, “What is the single coolest thing about your project? It can be something you developed or something you achieved.” Well, I responded to that question by saying, “I would be remiss to try to answer this on my own, so I’ll start with something most community members would probably say, given the chance. The coolest thing about the ark.io project is very likely the wallets. ARK has beautiful desktop, mobile, paper and web wallets, focused on ease of use for the general public. The wallets run instantly, without needing to sync, and users receive voting rewards even when their wallets are offline.
“Voting rewards are similar to the staking rewards you hear about on some other projects, and they’re a voluntary aspect of the ARK delegate system. Ark.io does not control the ARK network. Delegates give voting rewards voluntarily, and voting rewards are not part of the ARK protocol. I strongly recommend experiencing our wallets, as they are a big reason our community has grown so large.”
Altcoin magazine then said, “Give us a quick rundown of the future of the project. What are you seeking to bring to life, and what will it mean for the overall project?” I responded with, “In the short term, our goal is to complete the newly rewritten core codebase, dubbed ARK Core v2. This new core, which will be at the heart of ARK and ARK-based chains, achieves monumental strides in reliability, power, versatility and convenience. This is the next logical evolution of ARK’s grand vision, and it will deal away with the old Lisk and [Crypty 00:07:46] code beneath the current ARK codebase. ARK v2 is a bottom-up redesign, built by ARK, with love. No forks, no derivation.
“ARK v2 sports unique solutions to complex blockchain architecture problems. Once ARK v2 is purring along on mainnet, our next major plan is to compete and implement powerful plugin modules that can interface directly with the new ARK core: namely, ARK Virtual Machine for smart contract execution, similar to Ethereum, and ARK IPFS, or Interplanetary File System, for decentralized large-format file storage. Concurrently, we will be completing and releasing a core 2.1 release for new transaction types and protocol functionality, as well as complete our pushbutton blockchain graphical user interface, for intuitive customization and deployment of impressive blockchains.
“All ARK products have easy baked into nearly every aspect, and anyone can check ARK’s efforts and progress at ark.io/roadmap. ARK’s vision will be realized when anyone who needs blockchain technology can deploy their own custom implementation of the tech in a reliable and secure manner, all without much, or any, programming knowledge at all. These user-deployed chains are all optionally linkable, forming the larger ARK ecosystem.”
Altcoin Magazine then became curious about our team, saying, “Tell us about your team. Who are the people behind the screens?” Well, I responded by saying that anyone can meet the ARK team at ark.io/team. There are 27 original founders of ARK, and currently over two dozen team members collaborating all over the world within ark.io. This of course does not include the countless community teams working on ARK-based products and ideas of their own, or contributing to our GitHub. This also doesn’t include the delegate teams constantly developing, deploying and enhancing valuable and unique community services, which of course utilize ARK technology.
“Even the average ARK user is contributing to the project via valuable feedback on our GitHub and social media channels. Participation is a cornerstone of the ARK culture, and we all strive for a common goal together. Sure, the team has the coveted ark.io email address, but our community supports us just as much as we support them. Some other crypto projects may have mentioned they’re a touch jealous of our strong community, but let’s keep that between us. The other three Medium writers for the ark.io blog are BoldNinja, Matthew DC and Travis, so make sure to check out their profiles for more information on ARK.”
Altcoin Magazine became curious about our partnerships, asking, “What partnerships have you formed so far, and which ones are the biggest?” I responded by saying, “Well, we tout about a dozen and a half partnerships and growing, and we are listed on over a dozen and a half exchanges as well.” We are pleased with our partnership with Ledger, allowing users to send ARK, as well as vote, using the ARK desktop wallet, in a secure environment. We are rubbing elbows with some projects that have huge potential to change the crypto landscape as we know it, in our opinion. We provide a helping hand, and they help us as well.
“For example, our partnership with MARAchain, a project for secure, GDPR-compliant document transmission, opens doors to collaboration on our upcoming Interplanetary File System module. Our blog has articles describing all of our many partners, and those articles and more can be found at blog.ark.io, or arktimeline.com, after choosing only the partnerships tag.”
Altcoin Magazine then moved into marketing, asking “What kind of marketing do you practice to let the world know about your project, your product and your mission? Do you attend any events or conferences?” I responded by saying, “On the whole, we tend to place a bit more emphasis on partnerships, hack-a-thons and organic growth over traditional marketing tactics you may have seen in the crypto space. Our aim is to expose our products and our culture to other individuals and groups on a more personal level, and let quality and curiosity take over. However, we have also been known to attend and sponsor many notable conferences around the world. ARK commanded a massive [inaudible 00:12:39]
Hello? I seem to have broken through the communications. You there, quickly, listen up before it’s too late, ’cause I don’t have long to tell you this. You must go to an internet place in which the Mongols of today [inaudible 00:12:59] where ideas are brought to life and updates are penned. Once you’ve reached this golden land, search for your heart’s desire. Find the map within, and start your path to glory, for evil must be crushed, and this can’t be done without you, so heed these words. Best of luck. Darkening is upon us.
[inaudible 00:13:23] sponsor many notable conferences around the world. ARK commanded a massive presence at Consensus NYC 2018, and sponsored more than a handful of hackathons globally, to entice developing talent to dive into our codebase. This comes full circle by way of our partnership with Major League Hacking, a large organization fostering computer science competitions, totaling some 60,000 participants to date. Ark.io also enjoys doing interviews with online magazines, hence.
“On the community side, the delegate culture breeds outreach for ARK as well. The supplemental services that delegates deploy have been known to draw newcomers into ARK. We also have some founders using their personal funds for pet projects in ARK marketing, namely co-founder and board member Travis Walker sponsoring multiple racecar teams, including the ARK 72 NASCAR. The ark.io crypto funds are ample, yet best served in development at the moment. You could say ARK’s philosophy is, “Build fast and outlast.”
“ARK does not have to spend exorbitant amounts of money competing with the marketing of other projects who may run out of money in a matter of months or simply just implode. ARK has been in the game for quite a while, in crypto terms, and possesses enough funding for 10 or more years of operations. ARK is a very ambitious project with the long game in mind.”
Altcoin Magazine then asked, “What is the best article that has been written about your project so far? Throw a link below and let us know why.” I responded by saying, “From a technical standpoint, Mario Vega’s “Dipping our toes into the ARK Core” series is a dream of a read. It familiarizes developers with ARK’s codebase and approach, and pops the hook on our brand new core. At that time, Mario was a community member, and since then has been hired onto the team to assist with documentation and other writing.
“That is a common theme with ARK. Community members can’t help themselves, they just want to get involved. One day they wake up with a job interview. I was the same way, having been very active with ARK for about 10 months now, building resources on my own and running services like arkstickers.com, delivering ARK sticker packs anywhere in the world. Now I am proudly on the ARK team as communications specialist, and it’s a new adventure every day. Whether team, delegate or community, there are always fun challenges, exciting opportunities and great people. Here are the links to Mario’s two-part article.” And I gave those links. Cool.
Altcoin Magazine continued, asking, “What are the coin metrics, and how do they lead to a stable and balance system?” I responded by saying, “The ARK Genesis block, circa March 21, 2017, crated 125 million ARK, with some locked for the team, and some other ARK reserved for special development in a fund called ARK Shield. To reward delegates for their node operations and delegate services, two ARK are forged in each block, which clocks in at a brow-raising eight second block time. This results in approximately 7,884,000 new ARK per year. Because this number is fixed, this results in a healthy, declining inflation rate instead of a harmful, fixed inflation rate. This arrangement, combined with the delegate system, comprises ARK’s delegated-proof-of-stake consensus algorithm.
“ARK has made a number of critical improvements on delegated-proof-of-stake that gives it the edge over other delegated-proof-of-stake-based projects, albeit the details may not be appropriate for an abridged article such as this. There is a helpful presentation, though, available here, and that presentation link can be found on arkdirectory.com/kits.”
Altcoin Magazine continued the interview, asking, “If people want to follow you on social media, visit your website or read your important documents, what are they links they need to visit? Please list them below.” Well, ark.io has a lot of links, and if you’re in front of your computer, check one of these out. I answered by saying, “It’s quite easy to learn about ARK on our website, ark.io, or our documentation portal, which is at docs.ark.io.
“However, for the more visual people, we also have informative yet concise videos at our official YouTube channel, which is at youtube.com/arkecosystem. If audio is more your tune, it’s thearkcryptopodcast.com. that’s where you can hear me speak about ARK every Friday, and it’s easy to subscribe using multiple platforms. But you already knew that, because you’re listening to me right now. Thanks! To communicate and chat with me directly, or to join the ARK Community Committee and collaborate on ARK projects, which are mostly non-programming, and earn ARK, locate me on the Discord, which is discord.ark.io. Moreover, many community members can be found on the ARK Slack, which is at ark.io/slack. And we also have a very nice subreddit at reddit.com/r/arkecosystem.”
Altcoin Magazine began to wrap up, asking, “Where is the best place for people to start acquiring your currency?” Well, I responded with some very carefully worded thoughts, starting with: “While this article is not intended as investment advice, or to convince anyone to buy the ARK mainnet token, and all investments carry risk and may lose value … A very easy way to obtain ARK would be to buy it on Binance, Bitrex, UPbit, or over a dozen other exchanges viewable on ark.io on the bottom of the homepage. Our partnership with Changelly allows you to buy ARK from directly inside our desktop wallet, even with [inaudible 00:19:27] depending on your country or region. However, a truly rewarding method to obtain ARK is to earn or win it. There are over a dozen ways to do that, outlined in the ARK Crypto Podcast episode five.”
Nice. Altcoin Magazine then asked me to provide any final thoughts, and I said, “Sure. Learning more about ARK on Medium is easy, by visiting blog.ark.io, or following one of our more notable team members on Medium: BoldNinja, Matthew DC, Travis, or me, Justin. Our ARK desktop wallet v2 is on its way, so be sure to stay up to date with the latest announcements to get a notification once it’s out. Thank you for including me in Altcoin Magazine, and please let me know if there is anything ARK can do for you in the future.”
Well, that was a really fun interview, and I had such a good time talking about ARK. I always do. You can probably tell, because I’m willing to go anywhere and talk to anyone about ARK. I really like ARK’s products because they’re so easy to us, and anyone can use them to participate in the blockchain space. Not only that, but one of ARK’s main goals is to reduce the barrier to entry for someone utilizing blockchain technology to achieve a goal or provide a use case. And someday, the types of people that utilize ARK blockchain technology and deploy their own blockchains may surprise you.
All right, that’ll just about do it for this episode of the ARK Crypto Podcast. Tun in next week for episode 13, which will most definitely be hot Vegas news and content. I can’t wait, mostly because I don’t know what it is. It’s still Tuesday, remember? You can learn more about the ARK Crypto Podcast on our website, thearkcryptopodcast.com. You can subscribe directly via iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify and … which one? Hold on. Okay. ARK Crypto Pod … Which one was it? Oh, crap, I typed it in wrong. Hold on. Arkcryptopodcast.com Yeah. Wait, no. Thearkcryptopodcast.com. Got it, got it, got it. Thearkcryptopodcast.com. Right, okay. Castbox. You can also subscribe on Castbox, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at ark_podcast. As always, thank you for listening, and thank you for supporting the ARK ecosystem. We’ll see you next time.