ARK, a delegated proof of stake (DPOS) blockchain that hopes to connect blockchains through so-called, ‘smartbridges’ has announced ARK Core v2 is now ready for launch on Wednesday, November 28th.
The Core v2 codebase is entirely new and has been developed from scratch. The ARK team reports it has been through relentless testing and is now finely tuned and ready for launch on mainnet to become the backbone of the ARK blockchain.
ARK Core v2 Features
- Dynamic fees — most noticeable for end users is the addition of dynamic fees enabling delegates set their own fees for different transaction types. Users have the option to modify and pay fees they are comfortable with for sending transactions.
- Plugin system — ARK is the first blockchain protocol released that allows users to easily develop customized modules or plugins, to leverage the power of blockchain. The majority of ARK’s processes have been decoupled, modularized and developed as plugins. Only a few lines of code are required to add or remove new plugins to the system. The goal of developing the ‘WordPress of blockchains’ has been realized. Users can now develop their own plugins and easily include them into their own blockchain.
- Increased TPS (Transactions per Second) and TPB(Transactions per Block)— Transactions that can be included in a single block are increased from 50 to 150. The total increase in TPS is threefold from 6.25 to 18.75. This is not a TPS limit and can be easily raised in the future. Currently, this level of throughput is more than adequate. For bridgechains, this value is completely customizable.
- New API — A much more powerful API provides additional endpoints, is much more stable and follows the latest API standards, giving developers more options to get necessary information and interact with ARK’s blockchain.
- Webhook support — Webhooks allow applications to provide other applications with real-time information. A Webhook delivers data immediately as it happens as opposed to a typical API where polling must occur very frequently and inefficiently to get real-time data.
- Better transaction pool management — a newly developed transaction pool (transactions are kept in this pool before inclusion in the blockchain) is leveraging the power of memory and SQLite, providing superior stability, reliability and a foundation for future optimizations.
- Better verification systems — the legacy code has multiple drawbacks with how blocks and transactions are verified and included in the blockchain. The new Core verifies database integrity at the start of each node process, checking its validity and continuing with much-improved efficiency and handling. These actions also bring additional security to ARK.
- Speedier rebuilds & synchronizations — starting a user’s own node from block 0 with the new system is much faster. Previously, rebuilding from 0 to current block height (~ 6,450,000 blocks) required around 50 hours. ARK Core v2 can do it in approximately 12 hours (depends on the server specifications and overall network state). As a result, synchronizing becomes much faster when stopping and starting the node process, or when rebuilding from a snapshot.
- Better decentralization through a new snapshot system—the old code was very dependent on the ARK team for snapshots when building or rebuilding a node. An all new local snapshot system has been developed allowing node operators to use their own copies of the database when needed. When starting a new node or rebuilding a node due to errors, local copies will allow for fast and safe synchronization and will reduce dependence on the ARK team. This development brings wider decentralization to the ARK ecosystem and is a much safer and faster way for nodes to recover in case of emergencies.
How The Transition Occur
On November 28th, 2018 the ARK team and delegates will coordinate a switch to the new Core by installing the new Core on servers. This is a hardfork, which means that it will NOT be backward compatible with the old code. All node operators will need to replace their old deprecated ARKNode code with ARKCore. Old nodes will NOT be able to communicate with new nodes, as they will be automatically banned. The upgrade process may result in small network downtimes — please bear with us.
End users will only need to install updated wallets that support the new protocol (either Desktop or Mobile Wallet). Current desktop and mobile wallets will be updated and all information and guides will be available prior to launch.
Along with ARK Core v2 comes a totally new Desktop Wallet also built from scratch. The new wallet will provide dynamic fee settings right out of the box. More information will become available as we near the release.
There will be plenty of time for exchanges to transition to the new protocol, however, exchanges may be intermittently down during this process. ARK will be providing assistance to all exchanges during this transition. Fortunately, the new Core is much easier to integrate, and by default comes with a JSON-RPC plugin. If any exchange is reading this — The ARK team says to contact them if they want to integrate with ARK.
Following the mainnet launch, the first focus of the ARK team will be to monitor and address any issues or bugs that may arise. After that, the focus will be on building Core v2.1, the next major release for ARK, which is due for launch in early 2019.
Core v2.1 includes new transaction types such as timelocks, updated multisignatures, multipayment support, increased size for SmartBridge field from 64 to 256 chars and will allow “Push.Button.Blockchain.” to be fully realized with bridgechain interoperability options. More information on v2.1 will be released in due time.
Before the end of 2018, ARK will be implementing the following:
- ARK Desktop Wallet v2 —a new desktop wallet built from scratch brings in a new codebase, improved UI, dynamic fee support and much more. The release is due with the release of Core on mainnet.
- Whitepaper v2 — rewritten whitepaper that will cover ARK basics, and go into more details of some of the aspects of it, along with our near and far end vision for ARK. Expected completion and release towards the end of the year. Depending on when ARK complete the final v2.1 (and beyond) technical specifications, WP v2 may be delayed to Q1 2019 to allow time to include the updated technical details.