Thank you to the NanoNews Community for participating in Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Ark Ecosystem April 19, 2022. This guest Ray Alvarez, CEO at ARK Ecosystem SCIC. If you were unable to join the live AMA, no worries, here comes our 134th AMA recap!
We are glad to meet here:
Ray Alvarez, CEO at ARK Ecosystem SCIC
For taking your time out from busy schedule for the AMA!
Q1. Could you give an introduction of yourself And how you can play an important role in Ark Ecosystem?
Hi everyone! First off, thank you for coming. My name is Ray and I am the CEO of ARK Ecosystem SCIC. In my current role, I coordinate a lot of the big picture things at the company ranging from accounting to taxes to legal. In addition to that, I also work closely with every department at the company and I’m more than happy to roll up my sleeves and help everyone. At ARK we are all working towards the same goal so its very normal for all of us to pitch in and help each other.
My role in the ecosystem is that of a facilitator. We have 100+ partners ranging from exchanges, to commerce services, to integrations, to other popular projects within the industry. Not only are we working on bringing more partners into the ecosystem but we also have our eyes set on expansion. Protokol, an enterprise company focused on blockchain solutions, is the sister company of ARK and has been working diligently with a lot of commercial clients.
Our ecosystem is by no means small and the next coming years will see the creation of more products, more services, and a new direction for ARK that will make us truly competitive.
Q2. What is Ark Ecosystem? And how is the story behind the Ark Ecosystem Creation?
The ARK team came together in early 2017 to build a decentralized network of products and services that rely on simplifying blockchain for everyone. We have 30+ team members and more than 100 open source contributors from around the world working around the ecosystem.
When we say decentralization we truly mean it. The company that first created the ARK blockchain, ARK SCIC, is primarily a software development company. We created the network, pushed the main products, worked on the Core, and we gave everyone the tools necessary to go out and build their own blockchain framework.
The ARK Public Network is a decentralized network that has 51 delegates (validators) that secure the network. It utilizes DPoS consensus and delegates receive rewards for maintaining the network. Different delegates on the ARK Public Network perform different services as a part of their proposals. Some have built games, others have built tools to interact with the blockchain and optimize some of its processes, while others have created videos and marketing around the network.
Q3. What is so exciting about Ark Ecosystem, which might make Ark Ecosystem different from all other projects out there?
Since ARK first started, the amount of projects in the space has grown exponentially. I think one of the things that make ARK different from other projects is the amount of polish that goes into our products. Just look at our web wallet payvo, or the social platform we created MarketSquare.io
The most successful teams in the next 5 years will be those that create useful products that onboard the next thousands/millions of users into our space. This idea has been the centerpiece of a lot of our products.
That’s already one of the main differences…ARK has shipped products. We have a track record for it and our team is fully doxxed.
Not only this but we have a large community of contributors that are always trying to expand on what we have built in new and interesting ways.
Q4. Please provide some information about your Roadmap, How Ark Ecosystem is progressing so far? And what Ark Ecosystem is currently focused on?
ARK doesn’t believe in roadmaps. We’ve been around since 2017 and since that time we’ve released 8 different products and we are always focused on delivering quality in everything attached to our name. We’ve delivered extensively on a lot of the times we had originally promised when ARK was first created with more on the way.
Right now we are focused on preparing some large announcements for the Ecosystem and how ARK will continue to build and expand over the next few years. We really hope you can join us for that and the best place to do so would be to join ARK’s community discord or stay tuned via our social media channels.
I know the answer is vague but this will likely be the largest shift undertaken by the company since its inception.
Host: Can you share the details of some of those products with us?
- ARK Explorer: view transactions, activity, and wallet addressed on-chain
- ARK Mobile Wallet
- ARK Desktop Wallet
- MarketSquare: A social platform that provides a spotlight for projects, educational materials, and informative videos.
- ARK Blockchain Framework: A complete suite of developer tools for working with blockchains.
- Payvo: Our new and intuitive web wallet
- Platform SDK: A software development kit that allows developers to interact easily with 10+ different cryptoassets
- Nodem: An easy way to manage your servers and infrastructure (in development)
- Deployer: A quick and simple way for anyone to launch their own blockchain, all done through a graphical user interface.
Q5. What do you think about NFTs and the Metaverse and will ARK be making any movements in that area?
I think that the level of innovation we’ve seen in the NFT space and Metaverse platforms this past year has opened a lot of people’s eyes to Web3. We’ve seen billion dollar IP being put in the hands of their users, we’ve seen regular individuals become metaverse land owners, we’ve seen people build incredible things.
This is only the beginning in my opinion. I will say that a lot of the ways we’ve seen projects and different brands connecting with their communities are incredibly innovative. A lot of traditional brands can learn a lot from what is going on right now in our space. What this means for ARK is that we have been paying attention to these developments and we will continue to build strong products that will align us in this space in very interesting ways.
Q1. How can the community contribute to the progress of your project? Do you have a Governance model? Do you care about community request while you decide?
Sure so the community doesn’t have a governance model similar to DAOs or other projects on Ethereum or Polygon for example.
However, people who hold the ARK crypto asset do vote for different delegates on the network. Delegates contribute in lots of different ways and do take into account suggestions from voters. Like I’ve said some have dedicated their delegates to security, games, tools, and other things which grow the ecosystem.
In addition there is also the ARK Community Fund. Which is a decentralized group of ARK community members which take in proposals from the community and vote on issuing grants. In the past they have issued grants for marketing, meetups, and technical implementations of ARK’
Q2. Do you have plans to build your wallet and what wallets can support your tokens?
We’ve actually just released our new web wallet in beta: https://payvo.com
ARK is also supported by the ARK Desktop and Mobile Wallet. In terms of third party solutions there is also Atomic Wallet and Exodus
All of our wallets also have extra features within them such as news and third party swap providers like changelly and Changenow
Q3. How does the implementation and integration of new blockchains into ARK Deployer and ARK’s plug and play modular core work? How easy is this process to perform? Is Ark Ecosystem compatible with any existing blockchain in the DeFi world?
Our deployer is currently in development but we’ve had V1 and V2 in the past which made the process a lot easier than if you were starting from scratch. In terms of how we’ve built Core and how modular it is, Solar one of the blockchains building on ARK was able to get their blockchain up and running in just a few months. Compendia, Unikname, Qredit, are other projects which have done so as well.
Q4. Apparently, many blockchain projects are not solving any real problem, they just exist to sell their tokens. What problems exactly is “ARK Ecosystem’ solving, and solutions are you provide?
There are a lot of positive things about blockchain/crypto but there are also a lot of problems with the industry as well. A lot of it could be pointed directly at products which only exist to pump the value of a token, create some defi protocol, or create a system that just inserts a new middleman.
Originally a lot of the tools we see in blockchain were a direct response to web2. Look at Paypal and the fees they charge or Western Union for sending remittances. Blockchain and a lot of the services created stemming from people wanting more economic freedom, paying less fees, and using products which simply worked and weren’t there to make some other person rich.
ARK’s products are all free to use. We empower users and give them the tools necessary not only to build out their ideas but we support economic freedom.
Q5. Many of the projects decided to implement NFT and it is one of the ways to attract users. What are Your project plans to include NFT in your project? Will you implement them?
A lot of the ARK community is curious about this question as well. I think NFTs are innovative but we have only seen a small part of their potential. In terms of ARK we are looking at the best possible solutions on how to incorporate NFTs.
It won’t be NFTs as you know them now. We are thinking in broader terms and not just on how to work in the Web3 space but on how we can do this on a wider scale.
Q1.Is your platform suitable for crypto beginners? Or does it only limited for professional users ?
I would honestly say that our platform is really beginner-friendly. We have good documentation for going through our multiple products and blockchain framework. Also, we have a lot of delegates in the community chat which have worked on ARK-based tech for multiple years. So if there are things you can find the answer to in the docs there are always helpful people within the community that can lend a hand
Q2.What is your strongest advantage that you think will make your team leading the market?
Being competitive is important to us. We have a slogan at ARK that says “ARK has no competitors. Only future partners” While this is true I also want to focus on creating products that make ARK competitive in the wider blockchain industry.
I think our strongest advantage is our people. We have a talented team and because of that we’ve been able to foster important connections among the space. Secondly, the way in which we build our products is always being streamlined. We want to make sure that our UI/UX makes sense to the average user. We aren’t building just for the experienced veterans in crypto, we want to build from the perspective of newcomers…Can they understand our products? Is it easy to use? For us that’s a major strength and something we focus on
Q3.Regulations are very important. Many projects are closed in many countries due to improper use of regulations and permits. How does your team address these issues?
For one thing we always keep our company and the ARK Public Network. The company itself has no responsibility to manage and take care of the ARK Crypto Asset. That is done on the ARK Public Network and supplemented by the delegates and other projects building there. We are very aware of regulations and successfully have insulated our company from any future regulatory issues by not engaging in price discussions, making sure that we had the proper legal guidance/memos drafted, etc.
Q4.What are the attractive features in your project? What is the vision and goals in your project that you want to achieve in 2021 and beyond?
All the “attractive features” come down to polished products/user experience. Think about how you want the next 1 million people to enter the crypto space…why is Coinbase and FTX and others so popular…because they are easy to use.
In 2021 and beyond what we really want to achieve at ARK Ecosystem SCIC boils down to creating products that bring our space together. We want to focus on positive user experiences and creating tools that are not only easy to use, but fill a real need in the industry.
Q5.Do you have user manual or short videos that would guide potential users of project to safely navigate your platform?
A lot of our documentation found at https://ark.dev/ takes everything step by step. We are also working on our docs moving forward and the people working on them are refining them in a way that will greatly improve the user experience. We also have an in-house video team that will be creating tutorials that will help guide users for simple things such as setting up their wallets
Q6.So many projects just like to speak about the “long term vision and mission” but What are your short terms objectives? What are you focusing right now?
n the short term we will be making announcements that will expand the ecosystem first and foremost. That means creating new partnerships and also creating a truly competitive path for our products and future products.
I’ve been current CEO of ARK Ecosystem SCIC for about 9 months and in that time I’ve worked on a lot of internal matters to solidify our company and the way we do things. The next coming months will be a result of all that work and will give us more confidence as we push our new direction
Q7.Southeast Asia is a very vibrant market and many project developed here so what do you think about Southeast Asia and do you have any plan to develop here?
We’ve definitely seen a lot of activity in different parts of the world. Especially when it comes to P2E, NFTs, and other novel use cases I think that Asia cannot be overlooked. This is why we went out and looked for a marketing manager that knows the region. This is why we are working on translating future announcements and videos. Not just for Asia but so that everyone, no matter where you come from, can understand our products and enjoy them
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