By Roger Aitken for Forbes
Following previous Forbes despatches about advanced blockchain platform Nxtthat has extended the basic functionality of the initial wave of cryptocurrencies, from this weekend retail investors have for the first time been able to buy and store a number of currencies and assets on the provider’s new Ardor platform.
As a Decentralized Asset Exchange or stockmarket (i.e. trading without a centralized system), Ardor is described as a “secure and scalable environment” that is free from third-party involvement. The developers who designed it had in mind that Ardor functions beyond financial exchanges.
And, from Saturday 16 July investors outside the blockchain community have been able to purchase NXT and claim Ardor tokens as an investment with euros.
In what could be described as democratizing the blockchain and enabling further access to the technology, the platform will be open to everyone, including individual users, banks, fintech start-ups and even governments. This is whether they want to use such scalable blockchain technology and/or invest in it.
Users will be able to create their own blockchain technology with Ardor’s ‘Child Chains’, which are based on technologies built on the Nxt 1.0 cryptocurrency and the blockchain.
Child Chain: Concept
As a ‘Blockchain-as-a-Service’ (BaaS) platform, the child chain is effectively a ‘light’ blockchain that can be customized to a certain degree and has been designed to allow easy self-deploy or create your own blockchain.
Nxt, which was established in 2013, claims that users will “not need to worry” about security, as that part is now handled by the main blockchain. And, this it is claimed is the main innovation of Ardor.
By virtue of a child chain, users have a decentralized infrastructure that allows them to build an ecosystem that they can manage “without any chance of unwanted censorship, downtime or third-party interference” according to Nxt’s tech pioneers.
In terms of main chain features, this is where all the Ardor tokens will reside and serve as the system supporting all of the child chains. It is also being held up as reducing so-called blockchain bloat, whereby through a scalable system child chains’ transaction data will be ‘pruned’ about every 24 hours.
The pitch for the new platform asserts that it will be “truly scalable” and easy and fast to code on, giving start-ups and businesses the power to use blockchain technology. Business security is guaranteed with their applied Smart Contract technology, called Smart Transactions, designed for easy use in finance and governance.
Ardor’s Innovation & Features
The Ardor platform enables trading and interaction of assets on any child chain. This creates what is described as a “thriving economic ecosystem” on the blockchain, which already has companies utilizing the exchange to pay dividends and source international investors to fund operations.
Other innovations include Decentralized Voting (secure and anonymous voting via decentralized polling) and Governance Systems, and, Smart/Phased transactions, whereby users will be able to set multiple conditions to execute a transaction, such as the completion of contracted duties. The child chain will facilitate secure messaging where encrypted messages and files can be sent without a centralized system.
Furthermore, it will also enable businesses to automate their payments and transactions. As with Nxt, Ardor will have speedy transaction times that are purported to be c.60 seconds or less. But it should be noted here that child chains will have the ability to slow down the transaction time, if so desired.
Dave Pearce, Director of Nxt Foundation based in The Netherlands, commenting says: “Ardor will deliver the functions that many of our users have requested and suggested. Given recent concerns regarding security within the digital currency sector, the architecture behind Ardor will open up opportunities to a broad base of potential users who wouldn’t normally interact using blockchain technology.”
A Slice Of Ardor?
For those investors who wanted to secure a stake in Ardor, they were able do so by holding Nxt when version 1.9 launched on Thursday, July 14. Subsequently from that point until to around mid-October 2016 (Block 1,000,000), all NXT currency owners will be given a stake in Ardor, at a ratio of 1:1.
Partnership With Bitpanda
The Nxt team has partnered with Bitpanda, and Austrian-based platform, in the EU to enable anyone to buy the NXT currency with euros. This is the first time people outside the blockchain community will be able to invest in an easy and secure way.
BitPanda.com is a fully automated platform developed by Coinimal GmbH, an Austrian start-up company formed in 2014 specialising in buying and selling Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
As soon as payment is confirmed, Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are automatically sent to the buyers. This technique is touted as allowing the provider to offer their customers with what they tout as “the best and fastest service in the business.”
Buying NXT On Exchanges
If investors participate through exchanges they can acquire NXT through a number of exchanges including Poloniex, BTC38 and Bittrex. These exchanges have agreed to work with Nxt and coordinate the recording of NXT balances for the Ardor distribution.
For others who do not have a relationship with an exchange or do not wish not to use one, NXT can be acquired by investors in Europe by a number of payment systems through BitPanda – including Visa V +0.03% Mastercard, Neteller and SOFORT Überweisung amongst others.
Nxt’s market capitalization shot up around 25% in six hours on rumours of Ardor’s launch last month, with its market capitalization rising at the time to become the 15th-largest decentralised platform.
Having traded at $0.011450 almost a month ago (21 June), which implied a market cap of c.$12m, by this weekend and at the time of writing it was at$0.024580 with market cap of $24,555,220 (36,824 BTC) on 24 hour volume of$426,979 acording to the charts. Something is clearly perking the price up even if it’s not yet back to its all-time peak. Carpe diem.