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ARK, the decentralized digital asset token based on advanced blockchain technology such as its SmartBridge, allowing it to communicate with other blockchains has announced extensive improvements to its desktop platform. One of the most important updates on the new release is that it now includes native Ledger hardware wallet support, this feature was first announced last month.
Being able to use Ledger adds another layer of physical security and eliminates the need to input an entire passphrase when sending funds or voting from within the wallet. The team is confirming that the Ledger desktop wallet integration is now complete on Ark’s end. It is currently awaiting the official software update from the Ledger team, now scheduled for September 1st.
Once Ledger releases the updated firmware to support ARK natively, ARK Desktop wallet version 1.3 and later will be able to recognize and communicate with the Ledger hardware wallet.
ARK Wallet Version 1.3 Changes
During the past two months, the ARK development team in coordination with the ARK community have pushed over 100 commits to the desktop wallet code alone. While obviously not every single change is listed, below is a look at the most noticeable upgrades:
- Improved account creation — When creating a new account, users now need to input several words from the newly generated passphrase in the confirmation step, as opposed to copying/pasting, to confirm the passphrase saved.
- New version button alert – If there is a newer version of the desktop wallet available, users will now see a button saying “New version available!” in the upper left corner that opens the wallet release page on GitHub.
- Show amount sent in local currency – When sending a quantity of ARK, it will also show the current market value of the transfer in local fiat currency. The local fiat currency can be chosen in the settings menu.
- Verifying and signing of messages within ARK Desktop – With version 1.3, users can now sign, verify, and store any messages from the ARK Desktop wallet. Thus proving ownership of an ARK address. It can also be used to pass along custom verifiable messages to other ARK users.
- Easier network selection – There is now a button in the top menu bar to change what network the wallet is using (main net, devnet, and custom private or public networks).
- Theme and color customization – Option added for users to select different color themes for the ARK desktop according to personal preferences. There is also a new ly implemented algorithm that can automatically adjust the color palette of the client when choosing a new background. This update allows for improved aesthetics and allows for a better user experience.
- Added delegate drop-down menu for voting – As an alternative to typing the delegate name to vote for, a drop-down menu with all registered delegates is now available.
- Added a sound effect when receiving funds – By default sound is disabled, but users can enable it in the settings menu.
- Rewording of “Delete Account” to “Remove Account” – In the previous version, ARK says it didn’t like the phrasing of the “delete account” option. Users are only “deleting” the account from displaying in the wallet, not removing it from the blockchain. The account will always exist on the blockchain, complete with current balance and transaction history. As such, ARK changed the terminology to read “Remove Account” to better reflect what is taking place and limit confusion.
- Option to show/see inserted passphrase – When sending ARK, users now have an option to display the passphrase while writing or pasting it.
- Added language selector – Changing language is now easier and offers a better UI.
- Address Book – The ARK Desktop wallet now contains an Address Book with options to add, delete, and modify contacts. To open it users can click the book symbol in the top menu bar. It also features auto-completion in the send ARK function. When starting to type a username from the address book, the text field will fill in the receiving address.
- Added tool tips to the navigation bar – Hovering over top menu icons will pop up nice text on what clicking on the icon will do.
- Option to clear localStorage – Users now have an option to delete all locally displayed accounts and settings from the wallet.
- Lots of UI improvements – Clicking on menu icons now has cleaner look as does when clicking the button for options under ARK address.
- Adding / deleting new custom network is now easier — It is now a lot more UI friendly to add new custom networks to ARK Desktop Wallet (Settings -> Manage Networks ->New) as is deleting it (Settings-> Manage Networks -> Select the network to remove and press ‘Remove’ button and confirm).
- Network token name – When adding other coins that are using the ARK ecosystem, it will change to their preferred token name and symbol when accessing other tokens to differentiate it from ARK and not cause confusion.
The ARK team also gave a hint to the future and listed current top priorities as follows:
- Mobile wallets for Android and iOS – A few weeks back ARK introduced a newly developed TypeScript ARK API, which will be a main “ingredient” for our upcoming mobile wallets.
- Setting up a legal entity in France — Hired a law firm in France to set up a legal entity so ARK can contract with partners in a more formal manner, have more contractors working on ARK, and interface with other business entities.
- Designing and coding a new website — New website has been designed. It is currently in transition from design to code. After complete, ARK is asking for community help translating to a few of the most common languages used worldwide to make the website multilingual.
- Pushing DEVNET (developers network) – will allow ARK to start testing new protocol changes, ARK core improvements, and key innovations. Community members running DEVNET nodes will play a major role in testing and helping to find any bugs that may occur while advancing ARK further.
Some upcoming protocol upgrades include:
- Reducing fees in ARK core (transaction fees, voting fees, 2nd passphrase registration fees and delegate registration fees), enabling fees market.
- Implementing IPFS.
- Upgrading time-stamping protocol to support time verification of document integrity and native immutability via ARK blockchain.
- Increasing the number of transactions per second and reducing the payload circulating on the network.
- Adding a mechanism to safeguard payments on Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.
- SmartBridge improvements and integrations.