What is Ardor?
Ardor is a stable, light weight and advanced blockchain platform. The platform can scale due to Ardor's parent/child chain architecture, while still being energy efficient as well as cost effective for businesses, with its inbuilt smart contracts. Ardor solves the blockchain bloat problem by "pruning" itself.
Why the ARDR token?
ARDR is the consensus token that "forges" and secures every child chain transaction on the Ardor parent chain and secures the entire Ardor network. "Forging" is the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism's equivalent to "mining" in PoW-systems like Bitcoin. Forging can be done on low-cost devices.
What is Proof-of-Stake?
In a PoS blockchain the ability to mine ("forge") is directly proportional to your “stake” - your account balance. All tokens already exist and were created when the blockchain launched, so there are no new coins mined. When you add a new block to the blockchain, you (generally) receive the transaction fees in that block.
The PoS architecture makes Nxt and Ardor very energy efficient. Any computer with 2 GB of RAM can run a node and forge with a sufficient balance - the entire Nxt and Ardor blockchain can be run on a Raspberry Pi.
How do I "forge"?
You forge independently, or you lease your ARDR forging power to a hub. The amount of blocks you get to forge is proportional to your ARDR balance vs. the total 1,000,000,000.
Imagine one account with 1,000 ARDR and one account with 10,000 ARDR. Both are eligible to forge a block and be awarded with the transaction fees associated with that block, but the account with 10,000 ARDR is 10x as likely to "win" the next block and forge it, as the account with 1,000 ARDR.
Learn more about the Ardor forging/leasing here.
Unique to Ardor, the bundling process is used to group transactions from a Child Chain into a transaction on the Ardor chain - this is the linking process between the Child Chain and Parent Chain.
Bundlers charge Child Chain users Child Chain tokens, for bundling their transactions, and pay forgers on the Parent Chain ARDR to secure them. A business can bundle user transactions and offer its users zero fee transactions - if a they are willing to pay the ARDR. Bundlers can be selective about which transactions they bundle. Learn more.
What is Blockchain Bloat?
Blockchains, by design, keep every transaction record - every day the blockchain grows and becomes slower. "And with the costs (both in time and money) of storing the state increasing, fewer and fewer people are choosing to run full nodes, which many worry will centralize the network into the hands of only a few arbitrators", writes "indie" CoinDesk.
While others still discuss, the team that founded Jelurida recognized early that this issue would impede blockchain adoption in the long run, and they came up with a novel solution, without sacrificing blockchain security, and implemented it into the Ardor platform.
What is "Pruning"?
Pruning is the process of keeping a blockchain fast and lightweight - free from bloat.
Ardor addresses the blockchain bloat problem by "pruning" all irrelevant data from the blockchain. The security of the blockchain is not compromised as all transaction records are verified and condensed into a cryptographic hash, which can always be reversed to recover the contents. But instead of having to store the entire history of the blockchain, Ardor nodes just validate the previous day. This pruning process prevents the blockchain from becoming bloated and slowing down. Running an Ardor node is for everyone.
What is an Ardor "Archival Node"?
Ardor Child Chain transactions data are pruned on nodes that are not configured to archive them - but nodes can opt to store one or more child chains longer, or even indefinitely; archive them.
You don't need to query an archival node in order to get the actual pruned data. Any node with open API will do, as long as you specify the retrieve=true parameter which is added to most relevant API functions. By doing that on a non archival node, it will locate the data from an archival node and return it.
Archival nodes are Service Providers, and can provide this archival function for a fee, yet in a trustless way.
The Crosschain DEX
The Ardor platform has an inbuilt Coin Exchange; a decentralized trading engine, where all of Ardor's child chain tokens can be traded against each other P2P and also against the ARDR token. One child chain token is AEUR, a "stable coin" pegged to the Euro and backed by Euros.
Ardor supports a cross-chain decentralized Asset Exchange too. Anyone can issue asset tokens on Ignis - they will be instantly tradeable on the DEX for all Child Chain tokens that support it. Every Ardor child chain sets its own rules and permission levels for its users, and asset trading or creation of currencies can be restricted by the child chain issuers, for example.
Who needs ARDR?
The common Ardor Child Chain user does not. S/he only needs the token of the Child Chain s/he uses.
Only if they'd like to earn fees and support the Ardor network by forging or running a supportive node.
Businesses, non-profits, service providers, and advanced client users that have issued assets or MS coins, or have their own Child Chain, or developers that use IGNIS or another Ardor Child Chain token inside their Dapps, will likely be running bundlers. By "bundling" all the transactions that are relevant to their own project, their users don't have to own ARDR or any other blockchain token - or even know they use one.
How do you get ARDR?
You will have to buy some.
If you own other crypto tokens, you can easily exchange them inside the Ardor client by using its instant (3rd party) cryptocurrency exchange.
Third-party exchanges are oftentimes the most timeconsuming and frustrating process of using a blockchain. To buy crypto, whether it be ARDR, NXT, Bitcoin or any possible other tokens, you need to create an account with an exchange. If that exchange allows you to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency then you need to go through the KYC/AML process. Ready?
There is a list of ARDR exchanges available here.
Which features can an Ardor Child Chain have?
A lot. To get a full picture, I recommend that you look into IGNIS, as Ignis is the most advanced and only full featured and 100% permissionless child chain. IGNIS and ARDR together give you the full performance of the Ardor platform.
image by Madfox
Can the Ardor platform be cloned, and another entire ecosystem emerge from this?
In theory, yes. Given that Nxt has been cloned so much by the many, and that Jelurida charges for Ardor Child Chains. Both Nxt and Ardor are released under the JPL license, which requires cloners to distribute 10% of their tokens to NXT or IGNIS holders, as a compensation for potentially devaluing the original - the NXT or ARDR token.
It takes a special use case for it to make sense, because by cloning Ardor, instead of joining, cloners loose the direct access to the great ecosystem of Ardor Child Chains, as well as the safety of being under the protective wings of the developers from Jelurida's core development team. An example of a successful team collaboration (instead of competition) could turn out to be global payments technology company, Wise MPay, that cloned Ardor to benefit both financial institutions and unbanked individuals seeking access to digital financial services. Such a clone makes sense, as Nxters can help them bootstrap their parent chain (forge with the airdropped parent chain tokens), and their fiat pegged Child Chain tokens can - in time - be made available (permissioned) also to the Ardor platform users. If everything goes well. It's a new situation, we can only advise you to follow it.