ARDOR AMA: Recap
On August 21st, Ardor’s very own Senior Sales Engineer Francisco Sarrias had an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session in ChangeNOW's Community Chat. We had a lot of engagement — because the discussion has been really awesome! Our community got to learn a ton about the great project that Ardor is and we should definitely do this again! Here is a recap for those who missed it: Q1: Could you please tell us a bit more about yourself: what are your interests and hobbies, how did you become familiar with crypto, and how did you join the Ardor and Jelurida team? Francisco: I studied telecom engineering in Barcelona and after working for a big corporation I decided to work on my own collaboration with different companies and planned to create a couple of startups. In 2016 I owned a small web hosting company when cloud computing went mainstream. I was trying to make some profit from all the hardware and datacenter space I already invested in, and this is how I discovered cryptocurrencies. I was shocked when I learned about NXT, a crypto that did not need expensive mining because it was based on the Proof of Stake algorithm. As I have been always concerned about protecting the environment and the development team was amazing I quickly became part of the NXT community. After the Ardor ICO in 2017, I joined the Jelurida staff as a Senior Sales Engineer. Q2. What are the most special features of the Ardor Platform? What has the Jelurida team achieved so far? Francisco: Around 2016, the limitations of the existing single chain / single token architecture of existing products (BTC, ETH, NXT) were already clear to us. The problem with these early products is that for example if your token becomes very popular it also becomes too expensive to use as we clearly see with BTC and ETH these days. And this is how Ardor came to be, with Ardor/ARDR as the parent chain responsible for the PoS consensus and multiple child-chains which provide the platform for decentralized application development. The benefits of this design include the bundling process which improves on-chain scalability to around 100 TX/Sec as well as the ability to remove child-chain transactions from the blockchain after they are confirmed to reduce blockchain bloat. An additional asset for the businesses is to sponsor the transaction fees for their child-chain users. This whole architecture was launched on mainnet in January 2018 and it has been working without problems ever since. We top the architecture with multiple transaction types, hundreds of available API which the wallet user interface we provide out of the box implements as a reference implementation. The design is very flexible and easy to enhance with, for example, a contract framework, server-side add-ons, and wallet plugins. All of this is available today on mainnet, ready for use! Q3. What are your visions, plans, and goals? Can you share any particular info about the upcoming updates of the network? Francisco: In the blockchain architecture side the near future will see the ability to split the network into sub-networks, each one responsible for its own decentralized application. We have a wonderful contracts framework that can implement oracles as good as Chainlink using a popular programming language like Java, our goal is to bring more devs to our platform that create exciting things with it. Q4. Oh, so Ardor may replace Chainlink in the near future? Francisco: Ardor can do now everything Chainlink promises, but we are not connected to the Ethereum network, we have our own consensus algorithm. Q: That's cool! I think the community will do their own research regarding this. Francisco: Yes, sure, they could learn about our lightweight smart contracts, we do not execute the smart contracts in the whole network but only on selected nodes, which makes interfacing with the external world very easy using Java libraries. Questions From the Live Session Q: What are the requirements to take advantage of the Ardor Proof of Stake? What is the estimated percentage of the annual profit? Francisco: The requirement is to stake 1000 Ardor either on your own node or to delegate it to a forger node. So far the annual profit is limited because the number of transactions is still low, but the good thing is that every new permissioned or public chain joining the Ardor multichain architecture will generate transaction fees for the forgers (miners). Q: How secure is the Ardor security system? And what is the highest priority data that Ardor protects? User data, etc? Francisco: Indeed a huge barrier to blockchain adoption is security and privacy. We put a lot of focus on securing user funds using mechanisms such as HD wallet integrated with Ledger, Shamir Secret Sharing, Encrypted messages, and shuffling. We are not building privacy coins but give our users multiple mechanisms out of the box to secure their coins and maintain their privacy. All of this is operational now, not a whitepaper. Q: Can you list 1-3 killer features of Ardor that put it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your platform has that you feel most confident about? Francisco: Try us, we have a working product right now, not in three years, we have full documentation for every function and we have already ironed out many of the "childhood" problems of new platforms. I don't believe there is anyone right now with a mainnet blockchain with the same depth of multichain solution as us. Ardor is a level 1 protocol, so it’s independent and competing with Ethereum. Sharding architecture is working now, gas fees of child-chains can be subsidized by the dApps, permissioned child-chains are on top of a public blockchain. Q: In which countries is Ardor company service available right now? Francisco: As a public blockchain you can use Ardor in any place of the world. Q: Could you share about Ardor token allocation from the current circulation supply? Francisco: There are 1 000 000 000 $ARDR issued and there will never be more tokens available, no inflation, no fake staking rewards. Q: We see many projects that claim to be fully decentralized but they have done their work in a centralized way. How can we be sure that Andor is fully decentralized? Can you please tell us about Ardor’s work methods? Francisco: Our platform is fully decentralized, anyone can download the software and install it on their computer, buy some Ardor and start receiving staking rewards but we are focusing on boarding real use cases that use their own child-chains on top of Ardor. To launch your child-chain on Ardor you need a real user case and an agreement with Jelurida. You get your own blockchain out of the box with your own token of value without the need to set up a new network and with very little development effort. An agreement with Jelurida is necessary since we don't want scam tokens on our platform which is, unfortunately, a natural result of having a fully decentralized platform. We believe that decentralization should come at the transactional level, not necessarily at the application level, and we also support permissioning, you launch your permissioned child-chain on top of the Ardor permissionless blockchain with very little coding or setup. Q: How smart contracts and IoT work in the Ardor platform? Francisco: Our approach to smart contracts is different, our smart contracts do not hold token balances, so they are more secure and less prone to hacks. Q: Is there any staking rewards for the community itself? Francisco: If you stake Ardor in a forging (mining) node you earn the fees of the blocks you mine plus a special reward that we are sponsoring for 6 months to help you cover the costs of the server hosting until the transactions increase. I see that many of the questions can be quickly answered simply by heading to jelurida.com and reviewing the resources and extensive documentation we already posted online. So I'll focus on more up to date and trendy questions. Q: DeFi is one of the hottest topics in the blockchain space right now. Could you share your opinion on the DeFi application for your platform? Do you think DeFi will disrupt the current financial system? Francisco: DeFi is the new trending topic in crypto like ICOs were in 2017, of course, you can build exciting DeFi applications using Ardor, but most of the recent projects are just looking for a quick buck playing the speculative FOMO. All this happens in the Ethereum blockchain because most of the protocols are written for that platform. The consequences for that are that Ethereum fees have skyrocketed and legitimately decentralized projects are in urgent need of an escape from the Ethereum ecosystem because their applications can no longer be used with those high fees and long confirmation times. Ardor definitely has a solution for them, our technology is rock solid (our consensus algorithm has been in production since 2013), our transaction fees are very low and our blocktime can include up to 100 transactions in one minute per each child-chain. Q: What the Ignis blockchain be used for? Francisco: For those who just want to build crypto applications but do not have the development skills, we launched a child-chain in Ardor called Ignis, which holds a dozen pre-programmed smart contracts that you can use via the wallet web interface. So you can issue your own equivalent to an ERC-20 token, sell it on our decentralized exchange, pay dividends, organize a poll and send encrypted messages without having any idea about Solidity or Java — just an easy to use web interface. Q: Does Ardor blockchain have a program to help developers get involved in its platform? Francisco: We recently contributed to our community hackathon (https://ardor.tools/hackathon.html). We encourage developers to participate in those hackathons, they can earn prizes and gain visibility. If the project is popular we may contribute to it, but we do not have an official grant program. Q: Will Ardor holders get any airdrops again for new child-chains and or GPS? Francisco: Ardor holders never get airdrops, sorry! They, however, get the benefit of the staking rewards. On the other hand, holders of the other two tokens around Jelurida technology, $IGNIS and $NXT, do get airdrops. Q: How can Ardor applications be used in education? Francisco: We use Ardor in blockchain education a lot because its wallet is very easy to use so people can understand with hands-on workshops how a blockchain works, my colleagues and myself give classes in different masters and trainings. For general education, I can point you to one of our ambassadors who is specialized in gamification in education: https://www.alexpfeiffer.at Q: Child-chain transactions are removed from the system once they are no longer needed. When is that? Is it impossible to review an old transaction? if I send proof of withdrawal how long would it last on the network? Francisco: Well child-chain transactions are not removed completely, they are moved to "storage nodes" in the network, so you can always recover them when needed. To set up a storage node you can just select that when you install the software on your server. Q: Coin shuffle, a feature from Ignis, allows users to shuffle tokens into newly initialized accounts, without any connection to the source accounts. Many privacy features have the capacity of hiding data, but not erasing it completely, and sometimes the paths can be unveiled following some complicated steps. Is this the case with Coinshuffle or the data disappear completely? Francisco: Coin shuffling mixes transactions from different accounts so it is impossible to track them back. We are a blockchain so we never erase anything in the blockchain, we just move it from the main database to a secondary one. Q: Ignis has three different DEX, why are all three necessary? Why not have all those features in just one? Francisco: Well, Ardor has one DEX that allows a market between native tokens of the different child-chains (shards). Then there is another DEX for trading assets (equivalent to ERC-20s) with some child-chains (not just Ignis). Then there is another DEX to trade currencies which are a kind of special tokens that could have their mining themselves. So each DEX has its function and they are very easily accessible through the wallet or through the API, which gives people the choice to do amazing things with very little effort. Q: Ardor child-chains depend on it completely, Ardor represents the security of all the networks. How is it customizable to so many kinds of blockchains that could be created? What makes Ardor especially trustworthy? Francisco: Each time a customer (startup, corporate, community) asks us to include a new child-chain they choose what it will look like, what features are included, which permissions, etc… We can customize it, the advantage for the $ARDR holder is that it represents more transaction fees for their stake. Q: Due to the feature of child-chain interoperability many objects such as assets, account properties, currencies, are "global" for the whole ecosystem and can be accessed from any child-chain. Is it mandatory for all this kind of data input by users? Couldn't that represent a privacy problem on the network? Francisco: A child-chain can decide whether their assets are globally accessible or not, also they could set up special properties, so for example without the signature of one particular account that asset/token cannot be traded. This is very useful for KYC and regulatory requirements. Q: How many projects are built on Ardor? Francisco: We have a lot of projects that use the permissionless child-chain Ignis like GiveSafely.io and tarasca.org. Regarding projects that require their own child-chain (shard) we currently have running Triffic (https://triffic.app) and MPG (https://maxcrowdfund.com/en/buy-mpg). Q: Knowing how fragile the market is and that a debacle can fall as in the past months, losing the reliability of investing in crypto, what reliability does Ardor offer us to invest in it? Francisco: Ardor is based on the code of NXT, one of the first cryptocurrencies born in 2013 and running without issues since then, the technology is reliable, the company behind it is serious (we did not disappear after the 2017 ICO, we are still here and growing the development team), we do not play speculative games like DeFi for the sake of a quick increase in our token value. We are playing for the long term and increasing the transaction fees to our $ARDR token holders as we add new child-chains that increase the number of transactions in the platform. Q: It is unfortunate that some projects are built halfway because their developers abandon the concept since they cannot achieve the desired capitalization in the long term. How do you plan to make this project sustainable for its development? Francisco: After the ICO we made a business plan (most of our competitors did not), we earn money for the company by selling child-chains licenses, consulting, and running workshops for corporates and public administrations. We do not depend on selling tokens to make money, we earn money selling our software and knowledge, and the more we sell, the more transactions appear on the platform and our $ARDR token holders earn more fees, so everyone is happy. Q: Which challenges does Ardor face right now while crypto/blockchain market is still young and needs time to grow? Francisco: One of our main advantages is that the platform and the smart contracts are written in Java language. Since there are millions of Java programmers out there, they could easily jump into Ardor to develop their stuff on it. The challenge is that the blockchain technology is still not popular enough and some of the programmers are not yet crypto aware. Q: What do you think is holding the DeFi space back? What is preventing the mass adoption of DeFi products? Francisco: DeFi is currently built on Ethereum so it is not scalable, it is not secure (lots of hacks), and complicated (you need to be a developer to audit a smart contract). For DeFi to go mainstream, the protocol must be different. Q: Ardor has been great, but as an investor, we're always concerned about the potential hacking attacks. Does Ardor have any mode to help users like me feel more secure? Francisco: The best way to secure your funds is by using a Ledger hardware wallet, Ardor is compatible with it.