NXTER.ORG

Rawr XD Means Suppertime

UPDATE: SOLVED

Any crypto geek knows about evolution. It all started with Bitcoin.

Or did it?

This week's Nxter Puzzle is a simple crossword, there's 100 IGNIS in the prize account, which you can transfer out if you solve it first. We all have a dinosaur within us just trying to get out. Name your dino peers, don't rawr the solution before you have grabbed the IGNIS in the account - the passphrase is the dino names, written in lower case, divided by a single space, ordered by the numbers given in the crossword below. Attack!

Account ID is ARDOR-Y7DN-TCKS-47EX-7ZYGZ.

Mr. Madfox is - as always - the creator of this roarsome puzzle. The prize was donated by the ANG. Thank you!

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Ardor Rocks!

UPDATE: 3000 IGNIS is now in the prize account!

Ardor.rocks' minivan was packed with famous guitars, but suddenly the door opened and all the guitars fell out! You know how it goes - they are now spread throughout the festival square. Festival bangers and hippies grabbed the guitars - you must find all the guitars and guess the names of their owners! There are 30 well-known instruments. Their owners' names, written in lower case (alphabetical order, divided by spaces) will form the passphrase to account ARDOR-MJES-YL5S-72LT-74UFZ. The first to get access can transfer the IGNIS out.


Click the image to download it in high resolution (about 30 MB!)

Artist's credits: https://www.behance.net/Adamada

Idea and 30 guitars added by @madfox. The 100 IGNIS in the prize account is kindly sponsored by ANG.

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New Ardor series on YouTube

Today, Jelurida’s Youtube channel got itself a new URL. Why should you care?

The Ardor Updates and Lightweight Contract videos were the first to be uploaded to this channel, and if you have been hyperlinking to any videos on this channel lately – note the links in your posts might stop working and need to be updated. So writes CyptoDemetrius, host of both shows and so, indisputably the biggest and unparallelled contributor to the new ArdorPlatform channel.

CryptoDemetrius started off as an independent crypto YouTuber, researching blockchain technologies and sharing what he learned. After his premiere on the youtube.com/c/ardorplatform channel (yes, that’s the new URL!), I reached out to him and asked him about his vision for the Ardor and NXT shows.

Read his story in our conversation below the first episode of ‘Ardor Updates’…

Nxter:

Congrats with the premiere!

CryptoDemetrius:

Thanks!

Nxter:

Awesome start! So, what is to expect from the series in the future?

Same format? Same sofa? Weekly or more sporadic updates?

CryptoDemetrius:

It’s exciting to see the enthusiastic response to the first episode of Ardor Updates. It has taken a lot of work behind the scenes to figure out a format for the program to feel fresh – particularly since there are already so many incredible community members providing regular updates at NXTER, Ardor.World, ANG, and several others.

The idea with “Ardor Updates” is to release a 5-minute video at the end of each month with two segments: one providing rapid fire updates on noteworthy achievements, and a second segment focusing on an alternating “main topic.” I will also do my best to get comments from the team at Jelurida on progress each month.

This format should allow newcomers and more casual blockchain enthusiasts to get a sense of what’s happening and what features make the Ardor platform so special. The description of each of these videos will always be a valuable place for viewers to find resources to continue their learning.

“You can’t get to the use case and business discussions if no one knows the key benefits of your platform, or where to go to understand how to use or build using your product.”

Over time, I’m interested in finding ways to get the community and other team members at Jelurida more involved with the format of the show. Moving forward, “Ardor Updates” could also expand to include special editions of the series whenever there are particularly newsworthy announcements or events.

Nxter:

Interesting. But you also host another series, ‘Blockchain Ardor’, that you actually started off on your own channel. Is there a future for this series as well, or will the more “educational” content be for others to create?

CryptoDemetrius:

Since July, the Ardor youtube channel release schedule has been focused primarily on the technically-focused “Blockchain Ardor” series. As a complementary resource, the first 9 parts of a written version of the Blockchain Ardor video series will be launching on the Ardor Medium publication soon. Around the same time, the new Ardor wiki with extensive API and developer documentation should launch. Furthermore, I hope to see the Ardor Blockchain Bootcamp remain free on Udemy.

This collection of developer resources lays the foundation for myself and everyone else in this community to shift gears and begin having more articulate discussions around use cases and business implications. It also means more time to begin implementing a marketing strategy that goes beyond simply explaining how this thing works. “Ardor Updates” will serve an important purpose as the key tool for communicating progress and interesting discussions around each of those initiatives.

Nxter:

You have been hanging around in the Nxt and Ardor community since the beginning of this year – you created some great introductory videos, you interacted and learned, and you also put your finger on a variety of issues we have, like the lack of easy-to-understand information, marketing, and documentation for developers.

For the readers who don’t know you at all, could you please share some insight into your background, skillset, and motivation for doing all this? How long have you been into crypto, what is your main interest in blockchain and why Nxt and the Ardor platform?

“We need to lay the foundation for businesses to feel confident building their house on top of this blockchain infrastructure because that’s essentially what Ardor is.”

CryptoDemetrius:

I come from a different background from many people in crypto – while I had an initial run-in with Bitcoin back in 2010, I didn’t truly begin educating myself more deeply on the potential (and pitfalls) until January 2017. At the time, I was working at an environmental nonprofit as a grant manager focused on financial capacity building.

I started looking back into Bitcoin during a work trip to Cambodia – it started with an article about using “excess energy” at dams to power massive mining facilities. I read more about the energy demands of Bitcoin and the mining cartels dominating the Bitcoin network. Then, I read more about the underlying technology.

I quickly got excited as I began to recognize the potential value adds this technology could have for things like sustainable rice supply chain tracking, fair timber trade certifications, carbon credit exchanges, local cooperative financial structures, and more. That said, I couldn’t reconcile the resource drain of a network operating on Proof of Work.

“It was a big deal to me that there was this community that was open to critiques in the face of having actually delivered a groundbreaking product.”

After a few more months of research, I started passively hanging around this community in October or November of 2017 when I did my first review of Ardor and NXT on the CryptoDemetrius youtube channel. Around that time, I had been releasing 3-4 reviews of different cryptocurrencies each week. While many YouTubers were bounty hunting and shilling coins, I was using my channel as a space to look at the pros and the cons of each project. For obvious reasons, many projects disliked the fact I poked holes in their claims.

To my surprise, when I released a follow-up review of the Ardor mainnet launch in January 2018 – this community was receptive to the criticisms. I was already tired of reviewing whitepaper after whitepaper and pointing out the shortcomings, so it was a big deal to me that there was this community that was open to critiques in the face of having actually delivered a groundbreaking product.

After a few more days of research and engagement with the community through the Slack, I decided to commit myself to doing a series of videos and written pieces to try to help shed some attention on the Ardor platform. As I mentioned earlier, the potential use cases for blockchain technology are plentiful. That said, a major part of the problem in cryptoland is around educating people on what each platform can (and can’t) do. You can’t get to the use case and business discussions if no one knows the key benefits of your platform, or where to go to understand how to use or build using your product. And let’s be clear – most businesses still think blockchain is a technology with no use case. If you give them a reason to doubt you, they will.

We need to lay the foundation for businesses to feel confident building their house on top of this blockchain infrastructure because that’s essentially what Ardor is. If someone hears about Ardor and its features at a conference or in an online forum, we need to be certain there is a prescribed path with guideposts and checkpoints along the way to ensure a secure journey into this new land of blockchain technology. If we want businesses or developers to use our technology, we can’t allow them to get lost on their first day.

In the past two months, there has been a massive amount of progress in developing technical resources and guides – the fruits of that labor will be on display for the community in the next several days. As each of these keystones is set in place, the time is finally arriving to shift gears and begin more public engagement around the benefits of building on this platform.

To subscribe to the channel, you know what to do, and we, at NXTER, look forward to more episodes of both the ‘Ardor Updates’ and the ‘Blockchain Ardor’ series. There is plenty to look into, plenty to analyze and pass on. Our ecosystem is seeing rapid growth alongside the upgrades that Jelurida is pushing to the Nxt users and the Ardor platform. And Demetrius can think that our community is unique because we’re listening, but also, personally speaking, I’d say that it’s rare these days to see an outsider come in, who actually cares about understanding the benefits of the tech, the vision, and the future of blockchain.

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TOKOK Exchange Platform supports IGNIS

In the process of updating Nxter.org to reflect the latest state of our ecosystem, I have been updating myself on exchanges that have IGNIS listed – not all of them are represented on CMC.

One new exchange on the block is TOKOK, launched just months ago, July 2018. NXT and ARDR are supported (due to a community vote), and now it also got IGNIS implemented. Appreciated, of course, not least because IGNIS buyers and traders currently have limited options for choosing exchange, and a wise decision from TOKOK’s side, possibly, for the same reason.

What is TOKOK?

Let’s take a look at the information available. TOKOK is Chinese based, located in the British Virgin Islands, affiliated to Kindly Keep Network Technology Limited (Registration No. 1967379 ). No fiat deposits, so if you want to trade on TOKOK, you need to own cryptocurrency already. It has ETH, BTC and USDT markets. NXT, IGNIS and ARDR trade against ETH.

It’s AML-compliant, so you have to identify yourself before using their services. Picture, social security number, all that… let’s not go into that discussion here, nothing THEY can do about THAT. Upload your full identity to a private company’s central server you must, not. their. fault.

TOKOK wants to focus on projects with a good technical background and future application scenarios in the blockchain field. They are here to contribute, they say, to make a social contribution to the industry by growing a consensus community, and by adding to the development of blockchain technology themselves. TOKOK releases development reports in English on Medium and their website, so everyone can follow the ongoing development of the platform, new listings, and promotional programs. They actually communicate well in English.

Security

Safety first. To protect its trading platform and customers against bad things, TOKOK has partnered with John Wick Security (JWC), a Beijing based security service solution for Blockchain. It’s founded by core members of the security team from Baidu (one of the largest AI and internet companies in the world), 360 Enterprise Security Group, which – according to their website – has provided “security capabilities for companies such as Microsoft, Google, 360, Facebook” with JWC being on a mission to provide comprehensive and in-depth security solutions for blockchain companies and ecosystems.

Not bad, cryptocurrency exchanges should, after all, ALWAYS be safeguarded professionally – unfortunately, unbelievably, and as proven by too many exchange hacks, it just isn’t so! Centralised exchanges are by far the greatest danger to people’s blockchain tokens, so good to know that TOKOK is alert and takes their security measures. TOKOK also keeps a so-called “Risk Reserve” of frozen funds, for further customer protection, and promise that if any user’s assets on their platform “suffer abnormal losses, such as system failure loss, hacker attack loss, etc., [TOKOK] will make corresponding compensation for them after investigation, evidence collection and elimination of the user’s personal reasons”.

Fees for trading

The transaction fee is 0.1% of purchased assets. If you hold their token, TOK, you can use the equivalent value in TOK to deduct the fee. When using TOK, the transaction fee is reduced by 50%, to 0.05%.

No fee for Withdrawal

Withdrawing is free, except for the necessary transaction fee to blockchain forgers/miners.

Interest for hodling?

On September 7, 2018, TOKOK announced a “Deposit With Interest Program”.

What they want is to hold your coins in cold storage and pay you 0.005% in daily interest. The platform scans all coin balances daily at 0:00 (UTC+8) and generates the interest between 0:00-1:00. Users must actively claim their interest (daily) before it expires after 23:59 (UTC+8) or it will not be accumulated.

The money to pay for the Interest Program comes from the 6% of TOK total supply that has been set aside by the team for promotion. As interest is paid in the corresponding currency, TOK is used to buy up these currencies from the market. I asked my contact, June Chen, about this and got this information but no further details, as this is handled by another part of the team. The idea is clear though – “promotion” isn’t just buying ads, sponsored articles and going to blockchain events, but also creating benefits for users, rewarding and building community. Give and thou shall get more in return.

What is the TOK token?

You should know Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. And if you do, you probably also know about Binancecoin, BNB. It’s their ICO token and gold calve, giving traders a 50% discount on fees when they pay fees with BNB or trade other cryptocurrencies against it. Oh, and it just so happened to become a Top20 coin by marketcap within less than a year after its ICO in July 2017. Early investors saw a high return, and as a loyalty/utility token, it must be considered as nothing short of a success. And like any success (take NXT, as an example), others will want to follow in its footsteps.

TOK does smell like BNB. You can choose to pay fees on the TOKOK exchange with TOK, and you’ll get a 50% discount on the trading fees. 1 billion TOK were issued. Some gets burned (destroyed) weekly. No more will ever be created. TOK currently can be traded on the exchange against ETH, BTC, and USDT.

Tongue in cheek, let’s take a look at what else is offered TOK holders:

TOK fees:

70% of the TOK that are paid as trading fees are re-distributed equally as a dividend to each TOK on the platform. Holding is like mining, we get it. The remaining 30% is burned weekly (destroyed) and because no new TOK tokens will ever be issued, this is supposed to push up the value of the remaining TOK (and be reflected in its price), as the amount of TOK tokens decrease with every burn.

The non-TOK fees:

Then we have the non-TOK transaction fees. 80% of the non-TOK transaction fees is used to repurchase TOK, which is also distributed to users (TOK holders). The more TOK you hold, and the more trading orders you execute – the more TOK rewards you get. Hold TOK, spend TOK – get TOK.

Other rewards…

25% of the profit earned by the platform (which is of course not just fees) will be equally distributed to each TOK on the platform in the form of BTC, ETH or other currencies. When TOKOK cooperates with crypto teams about their coins, some of the tokens obtained from project cooperation will also be equally distributed as a reward to each TOK. TOK holders have other exclusive privileges, in proportion to their holding percentage – these are announced on the TOKOK blog and include lucky draws (for example, TOKOK recently gave away 100 iPhone X). 

TPS Rewards Points

Finally, TOKOK has TPS points.

These cannot be withdrawn or traded, but are awarded to users that participate in certain activities on the exchange. I couldn’t find much information about this and reached out to June again. He got back to me almost instantly: “A fairly large number of our users hold TPS and we are considering to prepare a gift exchange but for now the platform development shall prevail”.

If you want to buy or trade IGNIS, NXT or ARDR on the TOKOK platform, you can SIGN UP HERE. That’s an affiliate link. By using it, you will be supporting Nxter’s work. Remember – the blockchain wasn’t invented for you to keep your funds in 3rd party wallets – your tokens are safest in a blockchain wallet you control, and our security advice is always to keep them there, use them there, trade on the platform. But when you want to buy tokens with BTC, ETH or trade against them, you can’t do that on Nxt or the Ardor platform (yet), and also, daytraders do prefer the speed of centralized exchanges. The further incentives pushed forward by TOKOK in the form of interest, TOK fee discounts and dividends will likely help them to establish the liquidity and community they need to grow from here. We’ll follow them, as an interesting token use case to watch and not least, a place to buy and trade IGNIS, NXT and ARDR.

Source

Blockchain will save your business. This is not a drill! /// Part V ///

 

An entire Residence in every confirmed transaction:

The Blockchain Promise

How do we define real? The ability to touch, see, feel with our senses? All the brain relays and nothing more if you ask me. Another question…what do you and I understand by the term ‘death’? The end of the ability to talk, move or do anything expected of a living body, right? But then, how do we know we are really alive and all we see aren’t just what our brains interpret as real? I mean, the brain plainly is the source of all our understanding of the meaning of life. I mean, sometimes a movie on a large screen can get so interesting that I get carried away thinking I was in there seeing all that’s going on and feeling it as well. You know what I mean, if you’ve been there.

These days, we have more than the flat large TV screen, we have 3D – and God knows how many other D’s on display there are, 3D printers capable of printing a whole house, a virtual reality game as real as what we believe to be real among others. The rate of adoption of these things is alarming. We endlessly crave for something new, different, an imaginary reality, a virtual world where we only have to imagine things to have it so.

The world is going digital, but you and I are aware of only little of this. How much do you know about digital products? The technology behind them is advancing at such a rate that I think, soon, we will live in a digital world where real people will exist but only virtually. Let me take you on a little journey of what you may call the Utopia of Impossibilities. A world as real as it gets where the dead lives on.

Prolonging a life may be difficult in this world, but not in the world I am about to paint for you. Remember the Mr. and Mrs. AI that recently moved into the neighborhood? Yes, our dearest neighbor, Artificial Intelligence. Word has it that they learn pretty fast. How difficult do you think it is for them to learn to speak like you, think like you, and do all the things that you do just like you do them when they have years and years to live within the same space as you? Not so difficult, right? They are already doing it.

So, there’s this virtual world you can get plugged into for days using a machine stationed but dynamic at the same time. All you need to do is to get strapped in, wear the gloves, the helmet, and the earplugs among others. Powered by the sun, to ensure it gets all the electricity it needs. Part of the machine is a well-preserved source of nutrients in liquid passed into your veins as prescribed by your vitals to keep you nourished throughout the entire time you are connected. Inside this virtual world, you get the opportunity to go to work or do whatever it is that you do in this life, make friends, buy houses. You get to start over and live the life that you want, all your dreams can be achieved as virtually everything is made possible.

For every character in this world, an Artificial Intelligence is dedicated to learning all of his/her attributes and a 3D scanner will create a digital copy of him/her to be brought to life in the other world. In summary, while you live in this world, the AI learns all there is to learn from you, but when you are gone, it will keep on learning from the available sources as it will choose different oracle sources in the same way that you would have. So your thought/mind lives on.

Funny thing is this isn’t a topic up for discussion on our list of Blockchain possibilities. At least, not just yet. It’s a journey for another time. Perhaps I will write an article on blockchain immortals next time. Representing each human with certain codes compiled together and documented to be kept alive on the decentralized ledger.

Today, we talk about the digital marketplace. Just another wonder of possibilities of the digital ledger. Blockchain isn’t real; it’s a created virtual world which of course poses an obstacle to a “real” marketplace in the beginning as only digital products can be transacted. This was at the beginning of course; over time somehow a lot of products have been digitalized. Our focus will be on establishing a market for the digital products on the Blockchain, enhanced using a lightweight contract.

The usual digital products that are sold include:

  • eBooks (being the most common of all)
  • Apps
  • Video tutorials
  • Members-only content or discussion boards
  • Tools or templates
  • Coaching
  • Webinars
  • Original music
  • Stock photos
  • Online courses

I will like to add another which is the “Digital/Electronic prints”.

One of the challenges we often face when we buy internationally is the long wait for the shipment to arrive or having to pay extra for the delivery or even realizing that we aren’t allowed to trade with the country among many other reasons. A lasting solution will be to be able to order an artwork from China and be able to hold it physically in the U.S. a few minutes later after printing it.

My idea is to create a marketplace on the Blockchain where digital designs such as 3D arts and other 3-dimensional objects including houses can be traded and then printed a few minutes later. Thanks to advancing technology, a house can now be printed in 24 hours for as low as $4000 in cost. So, in such a marketplace, all I need to do is buy a duplex design for a cost, then rent a mobile large 3D printer and an operator to print the house. The same is applicable for artworks.

3D printing is commonly known as the action or process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many thin layers of a material in succession. It enables you to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods. To create any complex shape in different sizes, you will need the digital model and that’s the market we want to add to the Blockchain.

Although the technology is quite new and testing isn’t done, it is a solution to printing many things including spare parts of various products, print clothes and in the medical lines for replacing artificial limbs etc. All these can be designed aesthetically with improvements and sold in the Blockchain marketplace. The house printing suits itself quite well in disaster areas or developing nations where the houses can be built very rapidly and with a smaller set of skills. With simple requirements which exclude recruiting hundreds of laborers, all you need is a skilled laborer to operate the printer. Even better, the printer can work around the clock.

Few of the existing marketplaces where the usual digital products are sold include:

1. Bamazoo
2. Payhip
3. Gumroad
4. Sellfy
5. Kimgarst
6. Society6

An example of a decentralized marketplace is the type originally built into the NXT Blockchain and now a feature on the Ignis child chain. To initiate a trade, the process is as follows:

  1. A developer uploads a message describing a product (it’s stored on the Blockchain).
  2. A user sends a payment to the developer’s account over the blockchain.
  3. The developer sends an encrypted message with a link or a code (stored on the Blockchain as well).
  4. The user decrypts the message and uses the code to unlock premium in the application.

Trading with an unknown buyer or seller in most cases can be dangerous being in a dark and black market. Products can’t be guaranteed. But with the advent of some recent developments including Lightweight Contracts, and the use of Oracles on the Blockchain, these issues can finally be put to rest.

Selling and buying on the Blockchain will still follow the same procedure as stated above, but a new seller or product will need to undergo certain processes. Thanks to the Account Properties feature of the Nxt and Ardor Blockchain platform, accounts can be ascribed with descriptive data which is also visible on the Blockchain. The Oracle source will be used to display products from sellers who have had their real identity confirmed, and the quality of their product confirmed, with the confirmations recorded on the blockchain (tagged to their account). Now to the question of how trust is earned.

Trust is earned by recommendation which can be explored on the Oracle, possible in two categories: by the buyers and by the previous sellers.

  1. We all understand how recommendations by the buyers work.
  2. Seller’s recommendation is attainable in hierarchy. The first seller on the platform to achieve buyers’ trust must test the subsequent seller’s product and vouch for it. A seller needs to select another seller on the platform, send a copy of the product to him/her for his/her recommendation before the product can be confirmed as trusted. Of course, everyone will be free to use the platform, and buying products without recommendation will be at the risk of the buyer. But in order to protect the buyer’s interest, the above-described process needs to be put in place.

Lastly comes the challenge of the best platform to choose when considering starting. I’m sure this is obvious already. A platform that needs no introduction. Fully scalable with the ability to integrate the Oracle and deploy blockchain-based contracts easily. A blockchain platform displaying a five-year success of harnessing the power of the sun. Chose wisely by going for the Ardor blockchain platform and you need not worry about security.

Read more from this series: Part I | Part II | Part III Part IV |


Further reading:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2018/07/printing-homes-3d-printed-houses-change-world-180722081917866.html

3dnatives.com/en/top-10-3d-printing-art-141020174/

3dnatives.com/en/3D-compare/filament

kimgarst.com/how-to-create-and-sell-profitable-digital-products-and-services

nxtplatform.org/what-is-nxt/marketplace/

Nxt [CORE]: Marketplace

10 Cities Names

Welcome to outer space. We made it.

This week, we'll be zooming in on 10 different cities.

Get the city names, write them down in lowercase divided by a single space
- and wait for the 11th and 12th city to be announced.
These 12 city names will form a passphrase, and the account this passphrase opens holds 500 IGNIS.

Keep an eye on the usual Nxter hangouts.

Where the 11th and 12th city will be announced is not yet known.

CITY 11

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

CITY 12

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

The first puzzler to access the account can transfer the tokens to his/her own account.
The 500 IGNIS was kindly sponsored by the ANG. Bonus tokens may occur along the trip.

NxterPuzzle | Travel Around Moldova

UPDATE:

So…. someone happened to find the secret passphrase to Alice’s account. 23 hours after the release of last week’s NxterPuzzle, the IGNIS moved. Some readers found it hard to understand the rules. Others not worth their precious time to solve a puzzle for a $4 reward. Confronted with this information, madfox, the puzzle creator, responded, in a private chatroom:

madfox [9:41 PM]

これは新しいパズルです…..

This week we set our focus on the Republic of Moldova, Eastern Europe.

The puzzle consists of a rectangular grid divided into regions. Draw a single continuous non-intersecting line that passes through all cells. It can enter and exit each region only once. The numbers you wander across from the beginning to the end of this journey will form a passphrase that opens account ARDOR-L4GP-7DUP-X459-72F5E.

Click the image to enlarge it

private hells made public
often puzzle the readers:
they wonder how this one
or that one
can endure and
continue.
well, there’s a secret:
don’t expect too
much of Alice and Bob,
they have been
practicing hatred
for centuries,
it’s passed down
refined and
perfected.
a note on the masses

Madfox writes:

I see two ways for Sept II
1 – Easy puzzle with the final word to be announced
2 – the hardest one :slightly_smiling_face:

This week’s NxterPuzzle prize is – again – kindly sponsored by the Ardor and Nxt Group.

Summer Quest

Summer Quest is part of the Nxter Puzzles series, created by madfox, sponsored by the ANG.

 

The Summer Quest is over (for now)!

Welcome.

The Summer Quest will take you on an adventure as you walk across parts of the world to find very specific numbers and words. The words of each stage of the quest will give you access to an Ignis account with an encrypted message. Find all the words and reap the final reward: 1000 IGNIS.

madfox wrote:

Prepare yourself for travels!

Use Google Maps to explore some of the cities that are important to members of the Ardor/Nxt project, as we invite you on a unique tour; walk the streets and uncover hidden words on this hunt for 1000 IGNIS. You must solve all parts of all stages of the quest to win.

In the Nxter Newsly (July V), Stage I + Stage II are presented. Their 12 words in total will together form a passphrase that gives you access to a Nxt/Ardor blockchain account. The passphrase unlocks an encrypted message in this account to let you know that your solution is correct. Check the message, keep a backup of the passphrase and wait for the next stage.

New stages (and bonus puzzles) will be announced every week in the Nxter Newsletter.

After Stage 5 one word remains to complete the passphrase. It will unlock the Prize Account with 1000 Ignis, sponsored by the awesome ANG! The final word will be announced during the Hackathon / Gamejam, August 24-26th in Austria, so stay tuned.

Unannounced bonuses in the form of Nxt or Ardor based coins and tokens might be sent to the Summer Quest accounts along the way. Nxters with the Summer Quest account passphrases at hand can transfer them to their own accounts. First come first served.

Good luck as you unravel your wanderlust.

 

STAGE 1 /July V

The first area to search is Hadera, Israel, where Lior Yaffe (co-founder, managing director @Jelurida) lives.

Search this area (using Google maps) to uncover the hidden words in the picture below.

 

Click the image to enlarge it

STAGE 2 /July V

The second area is Lancaster, PA, home of Elizabeth Mong, Director of the Ardor and Nxt Group (ANG).

Wikipedia:

In 2009, the LCSC’s expansion from a 70 to a 165-camera network attracted national attention, including a front-page article in the Los Angeles Times: “Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself”. The article quoted city police chief Keith Sadler as saying, “Years ago, there’s no way we could do this... It brings to mind Big Brother, George Orwell and 1984. It’s just funny how Americans have softened on these issues.”

This is especially funny if you know the history of Nxt > Ardor. Short version.

Walk through and search this area (using Google maps) to uncover the hidden words in the picture below.

 

Click the image to enlarge it

STAGE 3 /August I

The third area is Lugano, home of Jelurida's main office.

Search this area (using Google maps) to uncover the hidden words in the picture below.

When you have unlocked the Stage III account, there's a bonus puzzle for you to solve HERE.

 

Click the image to enlarge it

STAGE 4 /August II

The fourth area in our Summer Quest is Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where Dominium, one of the new upcoming Ardor child chains, is located.

Search this area (using Google maps) to uncover the hidden words in the picture below.

Click the image to enlarge it

BONUS: DOM Puzzle

When you have unlocked the Stage IV account, there's a bonus puzzle for you to solve. Combine the words from the Stage IV and the August II bonus puzzle below, then wait for the final word to be announced on Dominium's official Twitter account to get access to the bonus account - you will find a redeemable singleton asset there, which represents 1000 DOM tokens.  Read more...

Countdown to the announcement of the SECRET WORD from Dominium

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STAGE 5 /August III

The final area to explore on this journey, dear wanderer, is in the city of Krems, Austria.

Walk through and search the area (using Google maps) to uncover the hidden words in the picture below.

Then wait for the final word to be announced. This will be the last word in the passphrase that opens the account with 1000 IGNIS sponsored by the ANG. The word will be announced during the hackathon in Krems by this account on Twitter.

Click the image to enlarge it

Take it away.

All letters are lowercase, divided by spaces - exactly like the passphrase for your Ardor account.
The formula of the final passphrase is: (Stage I + Stage II) + Stage III + Stage IV + Stage V + FINAL WORD.

TIP:
It's worth watching the Summer Quest accounts as bonus tokens are occasionally sent to them along the way.
Nxter Alerts will notify you by email of any in or outgoing transactions from any Nxt or Ardor/child chain account you subscribe to.

Dear Investors, It’s Time To Face The Real Facts

Many of the existing blockchain startups that are looking to raise money are not real businesses. Yes, they have ideas, often brilliant ones that almost sound too good to be true. And then… that’s it. Nothing but ideas put on paper with no clue on how to fully execute it to make the promised prototype. So, time goes by with no real tested product and the investor’s trust starts to diminish.

“Many of the existing blockchain startups that are looking to raise money are not real businesses.”

Several business consultants and companies are out there now. Each with the determination to stand out from the crowd in what they do. They specialize in helping startup companies / dreamers craft their whitepaper and business plans in order to attract investors. Next time you see a beautiful whitepaper think of this. Endeavour not to have so much conviction in its content but also Do Your Own Research. Don’t get me wrong, whitepapers are and should be the first step, but it should be a determinant for the first 10% of the investment decision only. The real determinant goes far beyond this.

“Business consultants and companies…. specialize in helping startup companies (dreamers) craft their whitepaper and business plans in order to attract investors.”

Choosing the right blockchain token to invest in takes more than just skimming a whitepaper, a great promise, and a fancy website.  What you need is in the real details from the team to the existing product and the future expectations for its adoption. See the whitepaper as what it is, a means of coercion and the fancy websites as a possible means of deceit.

Let’s recall that investment by definition is the act of putting money or effort into something (a business) to make a profit after a scheduled time. Determining the worthwhileness of the investment for your hard-earned money is of extreme importance. Making investment decisions requires time. Time is very precious and time is what you might not feel you have. Time to learn and know more about a new industry. This could very well be associated with why many investors tend to make costly mistakes. They do not take their time to learn or they don’t have the interest to know more about a new industry.

“…determining the worthwhileness of the investment…. requires time…. to learn and know more about a new industry.”

Let me tell you a few things that you need to know about the Blockchain industry. Call it the summary of all important points, or a thousand pages in few lines. Blockchain is a public ledger in which peer-to-peer transactions are stored securely using cryptography in a verifiable and permanent way creating endless chains of data blocks that can’t be tampered with. It is a way to structure data, decentralized and secured with Cryptocurrency as one of its outstanding by-products.

It’s not up for debate anymore that an investment in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency can be very worthwhile, but it needs to be done right. As an investor, aren’t you tired of false promises and failure to deliver and market hypes with no real achievements? Failures always eventually lead to a dump and this we all know. The sad and bitter end of the few minutes of fame. This can all be averted if only we take a few minutes or even hours, weeks, months to learn about what we invest our hard-earned income of years into, for years to come.

Now that we have got the basics out of the way, let’s talk about a few investment options. Most importantly, let’s talk about the blockchain platform that can be powered by the sun. Let’s dialogue about the blockchain platform with a built-in Decentralized Exchange. With fully developed features such as voting, encrypted messaging, p2p marketplace, basic cloud storage and more. Let’s dialogue about Ardor and Nxt blockchain technologies.

“Let’s talk about the blockchain platform that can be powered by the sun.”

A worthwhile blockchain investment will satisfy some conditions if it were to be successful. Ardor satisfies these conditions:

  1. It will not be costly for the environment
  2. It is a working product not just a promise.
  3. The team is proven professionals and experienced blockchain engineers
  4. The tech solves the Blockchain bloat problem-it can scale globally
  5. Ardor brings the true nature of decentralization into effect by giving everyone the chance to participate and earn interest for securing the blockchain network.

These conditions are already fully developed and functional on the Ardor and Nxt blockchain. Below are some bullet points that can really be useful in getting to know more about these real investments opportunities and what makes them so different from the rest:

  • The Nxt asset exchange can be and has been used as a crowdfunding platform to kick-start projects and businesses.
  • Nxt also offers a classic ICO platform. It automatically returns the funds to the investors, if the fundraiser’s monetary goal isn’t met.
  • Nxt provides an authentication system that allows Nxt accounts holders to prove they are in control of the account.
  • Nxt offers a “Plugins” feature enabling third party software developers to add functionality to the Nxt client.
  • Nxt offers a bank statement similar function called the ‘account ledger’ enabling users to see what in-and outgoing transactions have been made from their account.
  • Some of the other tested features of Nxt includes but are not limited to: an asset exchange, a monetary system that allows you to create coins, voting, Data cloud and account control.
  • Nxt also offers a blockchain creation kit that allows you to easily launch a clone of Nxt, 10% of the Nxt clone’s tokens must be distributed to Nxt holders according to the JPL.
  • Ardor can be as reliable as Nxt, as it has the same years of experience in team and technology using PoS consensus algorithm eliminating mining competition and high energy usage.
  • Ardor invented the concept of child chains,  where transactions are removed from the blockchain and stored in the cloud once they are confirmed, hence solving the blockchain bloat problem, a major blockchain issue.
  • Ardor is developed in Java, same as Nxt, the most popular development language for commercial production.
  • Ardor’s parent-child chain architecture allows companies to build their products and services using ready-to-use and interconnected child chains relying on the security provided by the parent chain. Ignis being the first permissionless child chain, with all the features of Nxt and the Ardor platform.
  • Ardor offers lightweight contracts that don’t require the whole network to confirm all transactions for each dApp, and Jelurida is working on child chain subnets, decentralized storage, researching DAG implementations, and more.

In this new era of ICOs and new exchanges coming up, you will notice fake volumes, deceitful hypes, and pump-focused marketing plans. Sometimes it’s like a battle of who can fake it best and run away with billions in funds. A once great idea remains a great one but too often it is used for a selfish purpose in a short-term profit con. The resulting major problem is that blockchain startups are now being judged by biased analytics, fake adoptions and the high expectations of traders looking to get to the moon from the deep bottom of the planet in seconds.

We, as investors, need to judge right and ask the factual questions. Once again, look beyond the fancy websites, and perfected whitepapers, fake volumes, paper ideas and cunning promises. If you must judge, which you should as an investor, take a look at the founders, the team as a whole, the existing technology, future plans and their probability of success. Take, for example, a closer look at Jelurida’s projects. Look deep into Nxt, Ardor, and Ignis and rest assured you will not have to look any further.

This is a call to all investors, prospective and existing. A call to follow the voice of guidance through the dark path of deceit and choose wisely. Below are what others have to say about the company and their blockchain projects:

“For a property project with potentially millions of users and assets worldwide, blockchain bloat and functionality are of a primary concern to us”, says Dominium’s Managing Director, Mark Lloyd.

“Having closely followed several blockchain technologies from conception, including Ethereum, we strongly feel that Ardor is the platform with the best features for our business, especially the controlled trading of assets”, says Joost de Kruiff, a Dominium Blockchain Advisor.

“Ardor is doing some pretty important work thinking about new ways to structure blockchain infrastructure and security. If done correctly, the end result could be a solution that any business could implement without needing extensive technical expertise or ongoing maintenance”, says Bennett Garner, Coin Central.

“Nxt is an amazing and ambitious project. I’m truly excited to see Ardor in operation”, says Coinist.

“Ardor operates on a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) model, supporting many use cases out of the box and makes it easy for anyone to get into the blockchain space, while also allowing developers to build their own solutions on top of it”, says TROND VIDAR BJORØY, Head of Product development and Implementation- ATPI Nordics.

“Ardor is also a platform well suited for running ICOs — anyone is able to create a new currency and issue an ICO in a few minutes, making it a more accessible alternative to Ethereum”, says TROND VIDAR BJORØY, Head of Product development and Implementation- ATPI Nordics.

“Ardor is a major blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that helps companies to share digital currency with ease”, says Bitcoin Exchange Guide.

“Jelurida is not just another blockchain service provider. It has developed a customizable blockchain infrastructure that is ready for customer use”, says Cryptovest.

“Ardor solves the blockchain bloat issue with its prunable child chain infrastructure, which side chains do not solve”, says Fintech.finance.

“Ardor is the “WordPress of blockchain”, it was designed with simplicity, as such, offers a stress-free interface to users without the need for coding”, says Yusuf Olayode; Oracletimes.com.

 

Further reading?

Whitepaper

https://oracletimes.com/ethereum-eth-and-ardor-ardr-are-in-a-lifetime-war/
https://www.fintech.finance/01-news/ardor-blockchain-platform-launches-public-testing-forum/
https://cryptovest.com/reviews/private-blockchains—the-good-the-bad-and-all-the-misconceptions/
https://www.coinist.io/what-are-nxt-and-ardor-blockchain-platforms/
https://coincentral.com/what-is-ardor-blockchain-as-a-service-explained/
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/ardor/
https://venturebeat.com/2017/09/21/ardor-could-fix-key-blockchain-weaknesses-if-it-can-get-its-message-out/


The views, opinions and positions expressed within blog posts on Nxter.org are those of the author alone and do not (necessarily) represent those of Nxter. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

Ardor API | Nxt API | Developer resources

A Review of Dominium

I suspect I wasn’t the only Nxter to be caught off guard by the articles from several weeks ago describing how a company called Dominium will build a platform on Ardor for investing in, listing, and managing real estate. Here was a project that was simultaneously extremely ambitious and quite close to launch, with the first features coming online by the end of 2018, and I had never even heard of it! So you can imagine my surprise when, a couple of days later, a member of the Dominium team reached out to me to see if I would be willing to write a review of the project for you.

After several emails, three phone calls, and a few days’ worth of research, I’m happy to share with you what I’ve learned about Dominium.

Before I begin, though, I need to make a couple of disclaimers. First, Dominium has not paid me to write this article, nor will they. I hope you will find it objective and unbiased. Second, I am absolutely not an expert in real estate investing or management, and while I have tried hard to learn about some of the problems that Dominium is attempting to address, I encourage you to do your own research and think critically about the information I’m presenting here.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about Dominium.

Dominium will be:

  1. a platform that allows companies to create real estate funds, bonds, and loan notes, with these assets represented by tokens on Ardor, in a way that complies with government regulations;
  2. a marketplace for investors to buy and sell those tokens in a compliant way;
  3. a set of tools to help fund managers, including templates for regulatory documents, a support ticket system, and marketing materials;
  4. a marketplace for users to list, purchase, and rent properties; and,
  5. a public database that records historical data related to properties, such as changes of ownership, payments by tenants, maintenance records, and the like.

The Dominium platform will have its own child chain on Ardor to enable these services. Users will pay transaction fees to Dominium using the child chain’s native token, DOM, which should not be confused with the tokens representing the securities and properties for sale on the platform.

At the risk of slightly oversimplifying, I’ll divide Dominium’s features into two main categories: those related to creating, managing, and trading real estate funds, and those related to managing individual properties.

A Platform for Investing in Real Estate

Traditional private real estate funds suffer from a few drawbacks: they are illiquid, typically requiring that investors tie up large sums of capital for years; they are often accessible only to institutional investors and high net worth ($1M+) individuals; and, while government regulations usually require fund managers to make certain disclosures about their funds and the assets they hold, these funds are not always as transparent as they could be.

Publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and similar instruments address some of these problems but also have their own complications: listing a fund on a large stock exchange is expensive and usually entails complying with a slew of extra regulatory requirements, and smaller funds that cannot benefit from economies of scale often charge correspondingly higher fees.

Dominium aims to address these problems by moving the creation, financing, management, and trading of real estate funds to the Ardor blockchain. Companies will be able to issue assets in Ardor’s Asset Exchange representing shares of their funds, and will sell them directly to investors to raise capital for purchasing properties (equity funds) or for making loans for the purchase or development of properties (debt funds). As these activities earn revenue, fund managers will be able to pay dividends to investors using Ardor’s dividend payment feature.

This approach has several advantages. Investors will be able to enter for as little as the price of a single share and will be able to exit whenever they wish. Fund managers will have access to a wide cross section of investors, including ordinary retail investors, on a single platform and without having to deal with brokers. Meanwhile the blockchain will automatically handle the logistics of tracking who owns shares of a fund and what dividend payments they are owed. It will also provide a liquid marketplace for investors to trade shares of funds peer-to-peer without fund managers having to incur the costs of listing on centralized exchanges.

This picture looks a lot like the fulfillment, at long last, of the Asset Exchange’s immense potential. And yet, if this were all there was to creating and trading funds on Dominium, the project would have failed before it even hit the mainnet.

I say this because governments heavily regulate securities of all kinds, and real estate funds launched on Dominium will certainly be no exception. Regulatory compliance is a difficult subject for many blockchain-based projects, but Dominium, using features of the Ardor platform built specifically for this purpose (more on that below), has been designed to accommodate the demands of securities laws.

First and foremost, the Dominium child chain will be a permissioned chain, meaning that accounts will not be able to transact on it without first registering on the platform. This allows Dominium to collect sufficient personal information to comply with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Any user who wishes to be able to trade shares of real estate funds, for example, must provide his or her name, email address, phone number, and date of birth, plus a picture of a government-issued photo ID, a picture of the user holding the ID, a proof of the user’s current address, and a proof of the user’s tax ID number. On Dominium they classify this as Clearance Level 2 (see below for more details about clearance levels).

The purpose of collecting this information is to firmly tie each user’s real-world identity to an account authorized to transact on the Dominium child chain (though, of course, this information will not be made publicly visible on the blockchain). Fund creators thereby know exactly who is purchasing their shares, and they can demonstrate to regulators that they have taken proper precautions to prevent money laundering and the financing of crime.

Importantly, compliance with KYC and AML regulations necessitates a degree of centralization. Not only must the identities of all participants be verifiable—a problem which is quite difficult to solve in a decentralized way—but it must be possible to forbid certain users from accessing the platform, and it must be possible to revoke other users’ access if they are later determined to be involved in criminal activity. Perhaps it will one day be possible to satisfy these criteria in a decentralized way, but for now, they require a central authority who verifies users’ identities and determines who is eligible to participate.

You might be wondering, then, why Dominium is interested in using a blockchain in the first place. Many blockchain enthusiasts, myself included, tend to take a hard line on decentralization, and compromising even a little bit on this criterion in order to achieve some other goal (e.g., scaling) immediately raises our suspicions that a centralized database might be a better tool for the job. More on this question below, but for now, suffice it to say that regulatory compliance is a real issue, that Dominium is taking it seriously, and that the result will necessarily include at least some elements of centralization. This is reality, and blockchain diehards will need to accept it or else renounce our ambitions to create new financial instruments.

One other aspect of Dominium’s approach to regulatory compliance that is worth mentioning is the company’s plans for creating standardized templates for certain legal documents. Specific requirements vary by jurisdiction, but generally fund creators must produce at least a prospectus, which often contains a rather small amount of important, fund-specific information interspersed with a generous helping of legal boilerplate. Dominium will hire a law firm in each jurisdiction where funds can be created to prepare standard templates for the prospectus and other legal documents that fund creators can use to comply with local securities laws. This is one of the primary ways that Dominium aims to streamline the fund creation process and to keep fees low.

A Platform for Managing Individual Properties

Quite apart from activities related to creating and trading real estate funds, the other focus of the Dominium platform is on listing, purchasing, renting, and managing individual properties. Owners, managers, tenants, maintenance workers, real estate agents, and other parties will be able to record information about properties on the blockchain, creating an immutable historical record that could be useful in a number of different contexts.

To make this idea more concrete, consider a few examples. Tenants and managers could record rent payments and receipt of those payments. A tenant might open a maintenance ticket with the manager (Dominium will include a support ticket system), who might hire a contractor to make a repair, and all parties might acknowledge that the work was done satisfactorily. The owner or manager might record receipts of tax and insurance payments. Prospective buyers might register their bids for a property that is listed for sale. And so on.

Want to see whether tenants pay rent on time before buying a rental property? Check the blockchain. Want to know whether the current owner actually paid for a new roof last year? Check the blockchain. Want to know whether there really are three other buyers who have entered bids on this property, and what those bids are, without having to take your realtor’s word for it? Check the blockchain. You get the idea.

In the near term, of course, government registries will still maintain the legally significant records of ownership of properties. To sell a property on Dominium would therefore require two separate interactions between buyer and seller: a transaction recording the sale on the blockchain and a traditional transfer of the title as recorded in a land registry. But looking ahead a few decades, it is exciting to speculate about whether governments might begin to acknowledge tokenized titles to real-world assets as authoritative records of ownership. And meanwhile, a great deal can still be recorded on a blockchain, including the information described above that can make real estate dealings more transparent.

Why Use a Blockchain?

But surely some of these benefits can be achieved with a fully centralized database as well. And as I mentioned earlier, the platform is already partially centralized in order to comply with KYC and AML laws. So why use a blockchain at all?

One way to answer this question is to consider what the platform would look like as a fully centralized service. Dominium would effectively be a broker for the real estate funds that companies create on the platform, and would have to establish its own exchange for investors to trade those funds. It would also have to take deposits from investors and secure those deposits without making withdrawals too inconvenient. And of course, it would have to accept the massive legal liability of operating these services and comply with a host of additional regulations placed on brokers and exchanges.

Needless to say, Dominium has no interest in being a brokerage or an exchange, and I’m sure they will be quite happy to avoid that kind of liability. Instead, peer-to-peer transactions in Ardor’s decentralized Asset Exchange will perhaps more closely resemble over-the-counter trading, except with greater transparency and potentially greater liquidity.

Moreover, while Dominium will necessarily have the ability to restrict access to the platform to meet KYC and AML requirements, this process will be more transparent than in a fully centralized service. In particular, if Dominium were to revoke a user’s permission to use the blockchain, there would at least be indisputable proof of this action in the transaction history, which is, after all, public record.

It seems to me that investors, for their part, also benefit from this structure. Rather than having to trust a brand new brokerage—which might be legitimate or which might be a boiler room operation, for all they know—investors will be able to see for themselves important details about all the funds available for purchase and to verify from the blockchain that they are indeed getting genuine shares. As each account’s holdings are recorded on a public ledger, investors will also have access to information they don’t typically get with funds traded on centralized exchanges, including the distribution of shares across accounts and the other holdings and transaction histories of those accounts.

But will the funds themselves be more efficient by virtue of launching and trading on a blockchain? This is a far more complex question than I can competently answer with my very limited knowledge of investing, but I can at least speculate about potential cost savings and you can tell me where I’ve gone wrong in the comments section. 🙂

One task that all investment funds must face is keeping track of who holds their shares, not just for regulatory compliance but also to know who to pay dividends to and in what amounts. I imagine this can be a costly process for smaller funds with a large number of shareholders, but the blockchain (and Ardor in particular) makes this kind of bookkeeping trivial. Also, as I mentioned before, listing a fund on a centralized exchange is an expensive undertaking, whereas a blockchain-based decentralized exchange could still provide liquidity while saving this expense.

As for listing, purchasing, renting, and managing individual properties on Dominium, in my view the case for using a blockchain seems to rest almost entirely on how much management information users commit to the blockchain. There are already plenty of centralized real estate listing websites, and they seem to work rather well as marketplaces for connecting buyers and sellers. In contrast, the notion of storing historical information about a property in a decentralized way sounds like something new.

But does such a service really need to be decentralized? Couldn’t somebody build a “Carfax for real estate” without all of the limitations of using a blockchain? I think the answer is probably yes, but I can still see an advantage to the decentralized version, namely that no one entity will be able to selectively modify or delete historical data.

While that might sound a little paranoid, I do think there’s some precedent for concern. Look at the allegations of extortion that businesses have made against Yelp, for example. They claim that Yelp selectively filters out positive reviews of their businesses, leaving a disproportionate number of negative ones, unless businesses pay a hefty advertising fee, which makes the negative reviews disappear. Regardless of whether this is technically extortion (it appears that it isn’t, by the way) and whether Yelp is actually guilty (which they deny), it at least seems plausible that a centralized ratings service could pressure users this way. A decentralized alternative, in contrast—and especially one that establishes users’ real-world identities before allowing them to contribute information, as Dominium does—might provide a safeguard against this kind of abuse.

Finally—and this is perhaps the most exciting possibility, in my opinion—if Dominium’s users eventually record ownership and management information for enough individual properties that those properties make up a substantial fraction of the holdings of the funds listed on Dominium, then investors will have an unprecedented (as far as I know) degree of transparency about the quality of the properties those funds own.

Why Use Ardor?

I suppose the folks at Dominium could have chosen Ethereum over Ardor, but then they would have had to build a number of features themselves, including most notably a permissions layer for all transaction types and a mechanism to restrict trading of certain funds to specific subsets of accounts. On Ardor, these features are built in: permissioned child chains, coming Q3 of this year, will automatically restrict access to authorized accounts, while the Asset Control and Vote by Account Property features enable a finer degree of control over which accounts will be able to exchange certain tokens.

This latter point is especially important for Dominium, which will grant different permissions to users based on how much personal information they provide, where they live, and whether they qualify to invest in unregulated funds. Specifically, Clearance Level 1 users will provide basic identity information and will be able to buy and sell DOM utility tokens and list, purchase, or rent properties; Clearance Level 2 users will provide full KYC information and will be eligible to purchase shares of regulated real estate funds from jurisdictions where they can lawfully invest; and Clearance Level 3 users will attest that they are qualified investors (generally either high net worth individuals or professional investors) and will be eligible to invest in both regulated and unregulated funds.

Implementing these tiers is straightforward on Ardor: Clearance Level 1 is established by authorizing an account to transact on the permissioned Dominium chain, while Clearance Levels 2 and 3 are enforced using asset controls to restrict the trading of regulated and unregulated funds, respectively, to accounts that Dominium has marked as eligible. Further constraints on investors’ eligibility to purchase funds in specific countries, for example, translate rather cleanly to additional account properties establishing the countries an investor is allowed to invest in and additional asset controls to enforce those policies.

On a different note, keep in mind that Dominium’s child chain will be permissioned in the sense that only authorized accounts will be able to transact on it, but it will be public in the sense that anybody will be able to examine and verify the transaction history. This hybrid design combining permissioned transactions with public validation is more controlled than a fully public blockchain, where KYC and AML compliance would be much more difficult, and more transparent than a fully permissioned blockchain. As far as I know, this combination of traits is unique to Ardor.

Beyond issues related to permissioned access and regulatory compliance, other reasons that Dominium chose Ardor include its novel approach to combating blockchain bloat, its wide array of built-in features, and the stability and resilience of its codebase, most of which has been in production since 2013 as part of Nxt. Since I’ve written at length about these aspects of Ardor elsewhere, I won’t repeat myself here.

I would like to point out, though, that Ardor’s built-in features make it much easier to deploy a platform like Dominium securely than would be the case on a smart contract platform like Ethereum. The functionality that Dominium requires is not trivial, and coding it from scratch as a set of custom smart contracts, some of which could be fairly complex, would incur the risk that one of those contracts contains a subtle flaw that could be exploited to cause catastrophic failure. With Ardor, in contrast, predefined building blocks for on-blockchain tasks have been thoroughly peer-reviewed and battle-tested, while all custom code runs off-blockchain, where it is easier to patch as flaws are discovered.

A Word About the ITO

One additional aspect of the Dominium platform that differentiates it from other blockchain projects is its plans for its initial token offering (ITO). Dominium will invest most (>80%) of the money it raises from its ITO in real estate, and it will use the dividends from these investments primarily to fund the development of the platform. In addition, though, it will use a portion of these returns to buy back DOM tokens and burn them, thereby decreasing the total supply of DOM. As people use the platform Dominium will also collect transaction fees denominated in DOM tokens, and again it will burn them to make DOM more scarce.

In my humble opinion, Dominium’s decision to invest the proceeds from its ITO in stable, real-world assets instead of leaving those funds in hyper-volatile cryptocurrencies shows that the Dominium team is serious about the long-term development of this project. It is a refreshing change and surely lends credibility to the team.

On the other hand, I don’t think the ITO will be completely without controversy. Dominium’s legal team insists that DOM is a utility token and not a security. As it will be the sole currency for paying fees for all business conducted on the platform, there can be no doubt that DOM is a utility token. But I suspect that regulators might decide that it could also be a security, owing to Dominium’s plan to buy back tokens using the earnings of its real estate holdings. In the U.S., anyway, an investment contract is defined as “an investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others,” and all investment contracts are securities. It is at least a legal gray area, and perhaps it will take some time for governments to clarify how tokens like DOM are to be understood.

Then again, if regulators do indeed decide that DOM qualifies as a security, Dominium will be in an excellent position compared to other ITOs as a result of the KYC controls it has implemented. To participate in the ITO, users will need to register at Clearance Level 1, so Dominium will already have satisfied some of the KYC requirements. I don’t think that a ruling that their ITO token is a security would pose the same kind of existential threat to Dominium that it would pose to the vast majority of other ITOs.

Closing Thoughts

There is much more to say about Dominium, but this article is getting quite long, and I have already trod well past the limits of my knowledge of real estate investing and securities law, so I will conclude here.

Reflecting on the structure and features of the Dominium platform, and especially on the measures that Dominium has taken to comply with government regulations, I’ve changed my opinion on permissioned blockchains with a centralized authentication service. As I wrote elsewhere, I had previously been quite skeptical of blockchains controlled in some significant way by a single entity. A private database, in my estimation, was almost always a better solution.

Dominium has shown me that I was wrong. It is possible for the power to control access to a blockchain to be quite centralized, but for other aspects of the business conducted on the blockchain to be decentralized in a meaningful way. Government regulations, legal liabilities, and other real-world concerns add to the analysis some nuances that I had failed to appreciate until I started researching Dominium. I’m glad I did so.

On that note, I’d like to sincerely thank the folks at Dominium who have taken time out of their busy schedules to answer my sometimes naive questions about real estate investing, property management, and other aspects of their platform. I truly wish them the best of luck with their launch, and I’m very excited to see what the future holds!

Ardor Contract add-on examples

Jelurida is Developing the Contract Concept

Jelurida continues to hone and further develop their Lightweight add-on contracts concept. In the second week of March, we introduced this in the Nxter Newsletter.  

Lior wrote:

You don’t need to pay gas for these contracts and you can program in Java. On the other hand the “contracts” are only executed by anyone running the addon and it’s not part of the consensus i.e. you can verify that anyone who created a transaction based on the contract did not cheat, but if they cheat or just choose not to run the contract then you cannot fix it. i.e. some trust in the contract executor is required.

Lior continues deploying example contracts to the decentralized data cloud, and we expect to see a number of blog posts from him soon going into detail about the add-ons concept. Until then, here’s the first view, as posted in the #developers channel in ArdorNxt.Slack.com.

 

Hello World 

Lior –

While we continue to develop our contracts concept, you can experiment with it by sending a message transaction, on the Ardor testnet, with text:

{ “chain”: 2, “fullHash”: “53758cc1f44a3eaf86cc187cbd2b73c2a60c0cf60adafb734fc42477bf6d29c2” }

to account ARDOR-NFAY-XYBA-SZ4G-H8SHA

In response, you should receive an automatic greeting message from the HelloWorld contract deployed to cloud data.

The contract code is:

 public void processTransaction(TransactionContext context) {
      if (!context.validateSameRecipient()) {
          return;
      }
      JO transactionJson = context.getTransactionJson();
      int chainId = transactionJson.getInt(“chain”);
      Chain chain = Chain.getChain(chainId);
      String recipientRS = transactionJson.getString(“senderRS”);
      JO params = new JO();
      params.put(“recipient”, recipientRS);
      JO message = new JO();
      message.put(“text”, “Hello ” + recipientRS);
      params.put(“message”, message.toJSONString());
      params.put(“messageIsPrunable”, “true”);
      context.createTransaction(“sendMessage”, chain, params);
  }

The contract transaction is 2:71660bdaa260d790772e3fc64470a8db465f6b395a0e134f921d57d6fd9589f0

The PingPong Lottery

Send any amount in any chain, on the Ardor testnet, with attached message text:

{ “chain”: 2, “fullHash”: “798131112caf0f417abd44eaac64f432d0dac147a0d7021b9232d726e215b4be” }

to account ARDOR-NFAY-XYBA-SZ4G-H8SHA

In response you will receive back amount between 0 and 2x your investment.

Contract code is:

public void processTransaction(TransactionContext context) {
if (!context.validateSameRecipient() || !context.validateTransactionType(PaymentTransactionType.ORDINARY, FxtTransactionType.findTransactionType((byte)-2, (byte)0))) {
return;
}
Random r = context.getRandom();
long amount = context.getAmountNQT();
long returnAmount = BigInteger.valueOf(Math.abs(r.nextLong())).multiply(BigInteger.valueOf(2)).multiply(BigInteger.valueOf(amount)).divide(BigInteger.valueOf(Long.MAX_VALUE)).longValue();
Logger.logInfoMessage(String.format(“amount paid %d amount returned %d”, amount, returnAmount));
Chain chain = context.getChain();
long recipient = context.getSenderId();
JO input = new JO();
input.put(“recipient”, recipient);
input.put(“amountNQT”, returnAmount);
context.createTransaction(“sendMoney”, chain, input);
}

The contract transaction id is, of course, the transaction id we mentioned in our message 2:798131112caf0f417abd44eaac64f432d0dac147a0d7021b9232d726e215b4be

Oracle

Here is an example for an “Oracle” contract.

Send 1 IGNIS or more with attached message:

{ “chain”: 2, “fullHash”: “409c120e6e7551927be4856389bb34cd257ccb84cfb202569327c4a3a89f0e7a” }

to account ARDOR-NFAY-XYBA-SZ4G-H8SHA

In response you will get back a message with the calculated rate of IGNIS per ARDOR from both Bittrex and the Coin Exchange to help you identify arbitrage opportunities.

Contract code:

package nxt.addons.contracts;

import nxt.addons.TransactionContext;
import nxt.blockchain.ChildChain;
import nxt.util.Logger;
import org.json.simple.JSONValue;

import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStreamReader;
import java.io.Reader;
import java.math.BigDecimal;
import java.math.RoundingMode;
import java.net.HttpURLConnection;
import java.net.MalformedURLException;
import java.net.URL;

public class IgnisArdorRates extends AbstractContract {

/**
* Sample contract which receives amount from the trigger transaction and returns a random amount between 0 and twice the received amount
* @param context contract context
*/
@Override
public void processTransaction(TransactionContext context) {
JO response = new JO();
if (!(context.getChain() == ChildChain.IGNIS) || context.getAmountNQT() < ChildChain.IGNIS.ONE_COIN) {
context.setErrorResponse(10001, "Oracle requires a payment of 1 IGNIS to operate");
return;
}
// {"success":true,"message":"","result":{"Bid":0.00003072,"Ask":0.00003098,"Last":0.00003090}}
JO ignisTickerResponse = getRate("IGNIS");
if (ignisTickerResponse.get("errorCode") != null) {
context.setResponse(response);
return;
}
Double ignisLastTrade = ignisTickerResponse.getJo("result").numericToDouble("Last");
JO ardorTickerResponse = getRate("ARDR");
if (ardorTickerResponse.get("errorCode") != null) {
context.setResponse(response);
return;
}
Double ardorLastTrade = ardorTickerResponse.getJo("result").numericToDouble("Last");
long ignisNQTPerARDR = BigDecimal.valueOf(ardorLastTrade).
multiply(BigDecimal.valueOf(ChildChain.IGNIS.ONE_COIN)).
divide(BigDecimal.valueOf(ignisLastTrade), RoundingMode.HALF_EVEN).
longValue();
response.put("BittrexIgnisNQTPerARDR", ignisNQTPerARDR);
JO requestParams = new JO();
requestParams.put("chain", 2);
requestParams.put("exchange", 1);
requestParams.put("firstIndex", 0);
requestParams.put("lastIndex", 1);
JO getCoinExchangeTradesResponse = context.sendRequest("getCoinExchangeTrades", requestParams);
JA trades = getCoinExchangeTradesResponse.getArray("trades");
if (trades.size() > 0) {
JO trade = trades.get(0);
response.put("BlockchainIgnisNQTPerARDR", trade.get("priceNQTPerCoin")); // TODO test with real data
}
JO input = new JO();
input.put("recipient", context.getSenderId());
input.put("message", response.toJSONString());
input.put("messageIsPrunable", true);
context.createTransaction("sendMessage", context.getChain(), input);
}

private JO getRate(String coin) {
HttpURLConnection connection;
JO response = new JO();
String protocol = "https";
String host = "bittrex.com";
int port = 443;
String urlParams = "/api/v1.1/public/getticker?market=BTC-" + coin;
URL url;
try {
url = new URL(protocol, host, port, urlParams);
} catch (MalformedURLException e) {
response.put("errorCode", 10002);
response.put("errorDescription", e.getMessage());
return response;
}
try {
Logger.logDebugMessage("Sending request to server: " + url.toString());
connection = (HttpURLConnection) url.openConnection();
connection.setRequestMethod("GET");
if (connection.getResponseCode() == HttpURLConnection.HTTP_OK) {
try (Reader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(connection.getInputStream(), "UTF-8"))) {
return new JO(JSONValue.parse(reader));
}
} else {
response.put("errorCode", 10003);
response.put("errorDescription", "No response");
return response;
}
} catch (RuntimeException | IOException e) {
response.put("errorCode", 10004);
response.put("errorDescription", e.getMessage());
return response;
}
}
}

Class file is deployed as cloud data txid 2:409c120e6e7551927be4856389bb34cd257ccb84cfb202569327c4a3a89f0e7a

Note that when you send a message to the contract you always use this txid in the message

ProbertyBasedLottery

And contract 2:ab2ee853bf8bf57b550d16d2ffd1bed087b79eefb8b879f8d22f9ec969960a41 is a new version of the PropertyBasedLottery contract used by Bitswift to determine the winner of their twitter campaign: https://www.nxter.org/nxter-news-april-2018-i/#Bitswift_childchain_thread

UPDATE:

Lior has published a series of articles about Lightweight Contracts on his Medium blog, since this post was written. You should check them: https://medium.com/@lyaffe/lightweight-contracts-articles-49c3032a50da

Follow Lior’s blog on Medium.

ARDOR: A TOUR THROUGH UTOPIA (II)

If you have been a follower of the biggest development in the cryptoland, Ardor, then you must have read the first episode of this article series. Well, if you haven’t read it or you haven’t been following, then I say congratulations to you for seeing this sequel. Verily, you have finally found the future; now it lies in your hands. In the first episode, we discussed some of the adorable features of Ardor. They are adorable for, with Ardor and all which it represents, Cryptocurrency becomes worthwhile and interesting. Now, we shall discuss another feature of Ardor, by discussing what it involves and basically how it works.

May 2017, Jelurida’s Co-founder and Senior Developer, Lior Yaffe, was in Spain where he presented a voting use case based on the Ardor Blockchain platform at a live broadcasted Blockchain event organized by El Pais Retina in Madrid. The demo was prepared and demonstrated in collaboration with Accenture Spain and it showed how easily our Blockchain and its voting feature can be adapted to this important real world use case.

Well, you may begin to wonder what voting has got to do with activities in the cryptoland. You are probably asking if Ardor has secured the contract to organize the next presidential elections. Fortunately, we are here for you, for everyone, and for every organization. Since we often make decisions from time to time, we have established the voting features for use by our members.

Using the Voting System, any account can create a poll with one question and up to 100 answers. The creator of the poll qualifies who can vote based on the account, the balance per voting account, an asset, or a currency. Here is a summary of how it works.

#Poll creation: This is the first step in the voting system. Here, the administrator will be eligible to create specific questions and add them in the blockchain.

#Registration/Notification: The registration will be received through a medium which shall be received by stakeholders or eligible candidates.

#Casting of Votes: While votes are being cast, counting of the votes is on, and this will be done by the Blockchain itself.

#Poll Validation: The votes are confirmed and validated.

#Poll Ends: Here, the voting is brought to an end, after which nobody will be eligible to vote.

#Poll Results: Results are instantly presented in graphics and other forms.

The voting system allows for an online database, unlike the manual voting based on paper. A consensus method is adopted in casting and the results are released instantly; so no more waiting or unnecessary delays. Also, votes can be cast from anywhere, whether browser or mobile application. The system is user-friendly and there are in-built fraud avoidance features, which make it immutable, traceable and reliable.

So do you get the idea? The Cryptoland has been hit by changes, and the only solid ground is that which is open to positive changes. Not anymore is it just about the coins or trading in them, but a whole lot more. We are glad that Jelurida, the umbrella under which these groundbreaking ideas surfaced is at the forefront of this evolution. This is just the beginning. The wonders of Utopia cannot be comprehended or experienced in few days in time or pages in tales.

NXT/ARDOR: A SKY OF CLOUDS

There is no gainsaying that information rules the world, for information is simply knowledge and knowledge, they say, is power. Come to think of it, what can we do without information? Exactly! Information is everything we need to survive, and at the heart of that surviving factor (information) lies data. Everybody has got a need to put data together, to put them into use when the need arises and to keep every detail for future reference.

Of course, information has always been gathered several decades before now. But the reality of today has shown that things have changed drastically, new ideas have emerged and developments have taken place. One of such developments is the inclusion of additional data storage features as part of the blockchain. This is possible on NXT, Ardor and its child chains, such as Ignis, with the Data Cloud feature. Data that can be saved on the cloud range from data derived from the blockchain itself, to every other kind of data, including personal data.

The Ardor platform provides more information on this great feature. It states, “The Nxt Data Cloud is a decentralized data storage system. In addition to keeping a record of Nxt transactions, the Blockchain can also be used to store user-defined data. All forms of data can be uploaded to the Nxt Blockchain, providing a secure (and, if desired, permanent) method of storing, retrieving and publishing information.

“One of the most important features of data storage on the Blockchain is that the Nxt Blockchain is a permanent and immutable record that provides a tamper-proof time stamp. This allows for legal records (such as contracts) to be embedded in the Blockchain, with absolute certainty about the time at which they were created.”

The platform, while buttressing the encompassing nature of the Data Cloud gives instances of data that can be saved therein. It includes: use cases; land titles, vehicle registries, business license, business incorporation/dissolution records, business ownership records, regulatory records, criminal records, passports, birth certificates, death certificates, voter IDs, voting, health/safety inspections, building permits, Gun permits, Forensic evidence, court records, voting records, non-profit records, government/non-profit accounting/transparency.

It can as well be used to store private records; contracts, signatures, wills, trusts, escrows, and GPS trails (personal). It may also be used for other semi-public records; degree, certifications, learning outcomes, grades, HR records (salary, performance reviews, accomplishment), medical records, accounting records, business transaction records, genome data, GPS trails (institutional), delivery records, arbitration and so on.

Take a closer look at the sky and tell me what you see. Clouds within and around which lies the wonders and gateway to the constellations. Look deeper and we get into the imaginary world that is never the same in the eyes of every observer. When the team looks at the Blockchain and its unachieved and untamed possibilities, they see what others do not. They see endless use with the tendency to change the world.

The future is here. Blockchains are no longer as rigid as blocks for, with NXT/Ardor, we make them flexible enough to improve existing processes and solutions. So, if you haven’t started moving with the train, it’s time you do. It’s time you took control of the future. What’s more, it is high time you saved those pieces of information on the Cloud, and remained as confident as a bird in the sky.

Ardor, A tour through Utopia (I)

One of the previous publications on Ardor addressed a germane issue in the Crypto-land. This issue is that which is concerned with investment, patience and ultimately, the need to make massive profit after strategically adopting the former concerns. The publication was inspired by a conversation among Crypto actors on the expected return from their investments in Ardor. Fortunately, they were later convinced that Ardor is no scam or fraudulent scheme, but a platform that has come to stay and also a platform, where the future of blockchain lies.

But let’s put that aside. Have you realized that Ardor has some adorable features which makes cryptocurenncy worthwhile and interesting? No? Ooopppsssss, you are definitely missing out.

MARKETPLACE:
Yes! You might probably refer to it as E-commerce in a new dimension, but it is certain that this is one feature which you will definitely enjoy. Buying and selling has been made easy with Ardor and members of the blockchain can easily trade goods win one another. Easy, right? Definitely. Here, two things come to play -members buy from and sell to others on the blockchain; and enterprising members are empowered to market their products to others on the Ardor platform.

So, Ardor allows you to have a blockchain marketplace where anyone can buy and sell physical and digital items. The Marketplace is already a part of the Ignis child chain and any other child chain to be established under Ardor shall possess this great feature. This is cryptocurrency renewed, this is adorable, this is Ardor.

The Ardor platform describes this feature thus; “The Marketplace enables direct peer-to-peer trading on the blockchain. It is an open decentralized store for all digital goods. You may sell or purchase software, music, video, ebooks or any other kind of digital good here. Simply browse the available products, place an order and the seller will send you information of how to download the good (usually a link) inside the blockchain system.”

The platform acknowledges a development which shows progress and commitment, thus “although Marketplace was designed for buying and selling digital merchandise, physical items have also been listed for sale”.

ACCOUNT CONTROL:
It is well known that security is key to the success of any business -online and offline. In the case of online businesses, like operations in the crypto-land, it is always of great need and emphasis with the aim of protecting online actors, avoiding exploitation and manipulation of various kinds. Therefore, it is for this reason that Ardor and it’s child chains possess the Account Control feature, which is a security measure that ensures that access is rightfully restricted and unapproved transactions are prohibited.

The Ardor platform explains the features further. It states thus; “Restrict access to a blockchain account or prohibit transactions without approval by multiple parties. Rules can be written for each account to limit the terms of a transaction. Features of Account Control include setting a lock on an account to prohibit any outgoing transactions and defining a set of rules for unlocking the account”.

It should be noted that above are just two among the several features of Ardor. While other features shall be discussed in subsequent publications, it is already evident that with Ardor, activities in the Crypto-land is interesting, enjoyable and adorable. If you want to journey to a far land, yet so near; with beauty beyond which words can describe; and have an interesting voyage same as the rest but with a different experience, then take a journey to Ardor. The Utopia of Crypto-land. The chains have gathered, the train is moving and the destination is nowhere but the future of blockchain.

The Equal Market You Ought to Explore

Equality has always been a farfetched term and only exists in the dreams. Unfairness and inequality have gone beyond the five fingers and have eaten deep into all systems. But then, this isn’t a conversation that concerns us at the moment. However, the market is. Who can survive without a market? No living man can, unless he provides everything he needs all by himself. The greatest of all markets of course is the financial market, as money is another commodity one can’t do without and a conversation everyone wants to engage in. After all, it makes the world go round. So, let’s talk about “The Market”, “The Money Market”.

Let me throw out a rhetorical question to my dear readers. “Have you ever been to a market place?” The obvious answer is that nearly everyone has – whether from the corner of our rooms through the internet windows on our mobile phones, or actually through physical interactions. It’s a place for all commodities essential to human life. Several years back before the introduction of the Financial Market system, it will be deemed a myth to forecast a future of such market. Today we have Foreign Exchange Markets and, even more, we have the Exchange for Digital currencies. Now, that’s a market everyone is talking about. A future some few are afraid of.

The idea of having a decentralized, difficult to corrupt system and a future of independent financial structure terrifies me. I am the man behind the corrupt politics, a wealthy aristocrat who wants it all for himself.  But then, the world we know has become little and encircled by the Crypto-space. Cryptocurrency is here to stay. Cheers to the common man as he at last has a fair and equal opportunity in the space.

Available materials show that Cryptocurrency came in as a side product of another invention. Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown inventor of Bitcoin, the first Cryptocurrency, never intended to invent a currency. In his announcement in late 2008, he declared that he had developed a ‘Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Satoshi’s invention was a successful creation of a decentralized digital cash system, which came in after several attempts had failed. Well, that was about ten years ago when Satoshi made his invention, which is still raising questions, fear, as well as optimism among the populace.

Years have passed and the rains of ideas have fallen unto the plains of execution effecting sudden germinations of several digital currencies. They rose from all directions with similar offer but only a different name and people behind it to distinguish them. Few stood out with more to offer and determination to bring that future even nearer. From BCNext came the idea of such a rare currency in 2013. A second generation of cryptos that was developed from scratch. It came with it many features that would have been thought of to be the future of digital currency such as shuffling, decentralized DNS, peer-to-peer exchange, voting system to mention a few. It emphasized on the broad nature of blockchain which was more than just a currency.

As a continued effort of the 5-year Legacy of NXT came Ardor in the earliest hours of 2018. A second iteration of NXT, a whole new exciting journey of cryptocurrency with new and interesting features. Sitting on the throne as the first parent chain, Ardor welcomed the first child chain, “Ignis”, each with individual differences and goals in the blockchain vision realization. To the team behind it, the future is all that matters. A future with a carefully laid foundation is definitely a never-ending one. Part of the features that makes the whole development more than just a currency to be traded is the Market Place. The end dream of every currency is to be spent and not just traded of. Paving the path to the future where cryptocurrency realizes its goal of being a genuine means of exchange makes it a cryptocurrency of the future.

As the Ardor Platform puts it: “The Marketplace enables direct peer-to-peer trading on the blockchain. It is an open decentralized store for all digital goods. You may sell or purchase software, music, video, ebooks or any other kind of digital good here. Simply browse the available products, place an order and the seller will send you information of how to download the good (usually a link) inside the blockchain system. Although Marketplace was designed for buying and selling digital merchandise, physical items have also been listed for sale.”

So, when the idea crossed your mind of being part of the great future in the emerging blockchain industry, think no further. It can’t get any better than the one that builds on the two greatest entities, Market and Money. This is the big thing. It is a market for you, me and every one of us. It is a market you ought to explore.

Nxt and Ardor hackaton March 22, Norway

NFEA Autonomy Conference + Ardor/Ignis Workshop and Hackaton


At the upcoming NFEA Autonomy Conference in Norway, there will be hands-on Ardor/Nxt workshops and a hackathon for developers on the 22nd. Bring your own laptop.

riker:
Developers are invited for the March 22nd hackaton.

Details:

March 20-21, The Autonomy Conference 2018, Scandic Bystranda Hotel, Kristiansand, Norway
Go to the Registration Site for the conference (in Norwegian).

Full program

March 22, Ardor Hackaton, Scandic Bystranda Hotel, Kristiansand, Norway
Go to the Registration Site for the hackaton. This event is sponsored by SFI Offshore Mechatronics and is free for the participants, but the number of seats is limited to 50.

Program for the hackaton event:
08:00 – 08:30 Coffee/tee
08:30 – 10:00 Ardor API programming, test page, account creation, node JS module, security considerations
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee/tee
10:30 – 11:30 Using the Ardor API exercises (Javascript skills recommended)
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 14:00 Ardor server side add-ons, custom bundlers, dbshell
14:00 – 14:30 Coffee/tee
14:30 – 16:30 Building Ardor add-ons exercises (Java skills required)

What Good is Ignis, Anyway?

Recently there have been several posts on the Nxt and Ardor subreddits asking about Ignis: Why did Jelurida create it? What problems does it solve? Why would people want to use it?

I suspect that for a lot of longtime members of the Nxt community, the answers to these questions are self-evident. For newcomers, though, it’s a fun and helpful exercise to brainstorm interesting applications of the Nxt/Ardor tech. In that spirit, I replied to one of those posts with a few thoughts about what you can do with Ignis. I figured Nxter readers might be interested to hear them, too, so I’m posting them here for you to consider.

So what’s special about Ignis? In a nutshell, Ignis is the only child chain on the Ardor platform that is guaranteed to be permissionless and to support all available features. It will have basically all of the features that Nxt currently has, plus a few new ones (see apenzl’s excellent write-up for a survey of the new functionality). If you’re new to Nxt and Ardor and haven’t spent some time with the full client yet, I’d strongly recommend you do so. It’s quite impressive just how much you can do with the built-in features.

IGNIS

Without further ado, here are a few examples of ways you might use Ignis, most of which apply to Nxt, too.

Co-Ownership of Property

Suppose you and some friends own a rental property. You can create an asset on Ignis to represent shares of the property and distribute the shares among the co-owners. As the property earns money, you can pay dividends to the owners in proportion to the amount of the asset that they hold (this is a built-in feature). They can freely buy or sell their shares in it (another built-in feature), making it easy for them to take on as much or as little risk as they are comfortable with. If you need to make a collective decision, like whether to remodel it, you can conduct a poll of your asset holders (another built-in feature) where their votes are weighted by their share of the asset, or where each person gets an equal vote, your choice.

Decentralized Crowdfunding

Suppose you want to conduct a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding campaign, where your supporters don’t have to pay unless you meet your fundraising goal. The Monetary System on Ignis supports exactly this application, among many others. You can issue your own “currency” (token) to represent a receipt of payment from your backers, set a deadline for the fundraiser, and make the transfer of funds conditional on raising at least some minimum amount of money. All of this is built-in functionality. As your project progresses, you can send your supporters messages using the Messaging System with updates on important milestones. Finally, when your project turns out to be wildly successful, you can pay bonuses to your early backers proportional to their share of your tokens.

Retail

Suppose you own a video game store and Nintendo announces that they’re selling a Nintendo64 Classic. You know that you’ll only receive a limited quantity. To save your customers the hassle of lining up outside your store at 5 am to try to get their hands on one, you decide to offer them an opportunity to buy vouchers ahead of time, which they can exchange at their convenience for the game system. You’re worried that scalpers will buy up all of your vouchers at MSRP and resell them for a huge markup, though.

You decide to issue your voucher through the Ignis Monetary System as a controllable currency. This means that you can sell it at a fixed price and buyers can’t resell it later to anybody but you. When the account holder later visits your store, you buy back the voucher for next-to-nothing and give him or her a Nintendo64 Classic in return.

Fintech

Suppose you want to start a hedge fund like Numerai. You want to issue a token that can only be held or traded by data scientists, whose models you want to collect and evaluate.

You first solicit applications from data scientists through your website and decide whether they’re worthy to participate. The candidates you’d like to enroll send you their Ardor addresses, and you use your account to mark their accounts with a special property indicating that they are eligible to participate. Next, you issue an asset on Ignis using the new Asset Control and Vote by Account Property features, and specify that your asset can only be traded by accounts with the property you used to designate eligibility. You then make payments of your asset to each account proportional to how well the account holder’s models perform, and you pay dividends to all asset holders in proportion to their holdings. The result is that people who submit the best models get the biggest shares of your dividends.

Perhaps you charge your users a fixed quantity of your asset for each model they submit, both to ensure they have some skin in the game and to help redistribute the asset away from the users who submit the worst models. Since Ignis supports sending short messages along with payments, a user could annotate such a payment with an ID number that corresponds to the submitted model, allowing you to easily track which models’ submission fees have been paid.

Venture Capital

Suppose you want to start a crowdfunded venture capital firm. You want to sell shares of your firm to raise money, allow shareholders to vote on which projects to invest in, and pay them dividends in proportion to their holdings. You like the idea of making the investment decision somewhat decentralized, but you’re nervous about using a strict decision-by-majority investment model. As a hedge, you’d like to allow a supermajority of your board members to veto investment decisions made by your investors.

You can issue an asset on Ignis representing shares of your company, then make payments to the companies you invest in using composite phased transactions, another new feature. You can set the phasing conditions to say that each payment succeeds if at least a majority of your asset holders approve of it and less than eight out of your ten board members try to veto it. If these conditions are met, the company gets funded. Otherwise, the transaction does not occur. And how do you elect your board members? Why, the built-in voting system, of course.

Conclusion

These examples barely scratch the surface, but hopefully, they give you an idea of the kinds of things Nxt and Ignis can do.

Note that you can do any of these things using just the standard Ardor wallet. If you’re a programmer, though, and you want to make things a little easier on the people you’re interacting with, you can write an app with a custom interface that interacts with Ignis only on the backend. Your users don’t even necessarily need to know that they’re transacting on a blockchain.

Along those lines, I’d suggest that most of the things you would want to do on Ethereum can also be done on Ignis. As I’ve argued before, writing secure smart contracts on Ethereum generally requires either keeping them very simple or introducing some trust between users and developers. In the former case, Ignis’s smart transactions often substitute directly for smart contracts, and in the latter case, you might as well move most of your code off-chain and only use the blockchain for the parts that really need to be trustless. Either way, I don’t think the extra flexibility that smart contracts offer is quite as big an advantage as it appears to be at first blush.

So if you find yourself wondering what value there is in Ignis, first ask yourself what value there is in Ethereum. For each example application you come up with, try to convince yourself that you absolutely could not use Ignis to accomplish the same goal with a similar degree of decentralization. If you share my concerns about the security of complex smart contracts that are truly immutable, you might be surprised at how similar the potential applications of both platforms are.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that there might be significant non-technical challenges to a couple of the examples I’ve given. In particular, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission ruled several months ago that some tokens traded on blockchains can be considered securities, especially in cases where investors have “a reasonable expectation of profits derived from the managerial efforts of others.” In such cases, issuers of those tokens must register with the SEC in order to do business in the U.S. I suspect that this is not as big a deal as a lot of blockchain enthusiasts make it out to be, but that’s probably the subject of a different article. 🙂

In any event, I hope these examples help put into concrete terms just how much functionality Ignis offers. If you can think of other (better?) examples for how to use Ignis, please add them in the comments section! And as always, I’d greatly appreciate constructive criticism.

IGNIS Airdrop

The holiday season is upon us and soon free IGNIS tokens will rain down into your Nxt accounts! 500M IGNIS tokens will be airdropped on NXT coin holders at the New Year!

What is Going On?

On Dec 28, 2017: a snapshot of the Nxt blockchain will occur:

Jelurida takes a snapshot of all NXT accounts with everything in them, including the NXT you hold, your registered aliases, account properties, your NxtAE (asset exchange) portfolio, Marketplace items, Monetary System coins, etc. The state of the blockchain. Your NXT balance @ the snapshot block determines how much IGNIS you will get: 1 IGNIS per 2 NXT.

With the snapshot block, some coins and trading markets will be temporarily frozen.

These tokens will, temporarily, become untradeable: ARDR (the Nxt asset which represents ARDR tokens on the Ardor blockchain platform), JLRDA (which represents the IGNIS tokens sold during the ICO), Janus (which will be re-issued on IGNIS/Ardor), and also BITSWIFT, which will be reborn as an Ardor child chain, along with Ignis, with the Ardor Genesis block.

The Ardor platform and its first child chains will launch on 1/1-2018 0:00 ETC.

From that moment, when the Genesis Block is forged, the markets for the beforementioned tokens are open again. For every 1 NXT you have in your Nxt account on Dec 28, at the time of the snapshot, you will find an additional 0.5 IGNIS, on the Ardor blockchain. You can already log in to the Ardor testnet with you current Nxt account ID and see how it works. Also, 10% of the BITSWIFT child chain tokens will be distributed to IGNIS holders. Not because of the JPL license, but because Bitswift has decided to reward the Nxt and Ignis community, with an extra Xmas gift to holders!

NXT and IGNIS

IGNIS is the transactional token of the unrestricted open to all blockchain 2.0 Ignis child chain, spawned from Ardor, the scalable disruptive platform that Jean-Luc, Nxt lead developer since 2013, and Jelurida, have created.

Those that listened know that the Nxt platform will not become obsolete but will be taken care of, as a perfect showcase for Jelurida and a still relevant featureful public blockchain, under the JPL license. The JPL (Jelurida Public License) aims to protect investors in the NXT token, while at the same time keeping the core code open source. According to the JPL, any clone of Nxt must distribute 10% of the newly issued tokens among NXT holders, proportionally according to their stake in NXT.

Jean-Luc explained:

[With JPL], unlike the GPL, in addition to the copyright owner (Jelurida) any token holder can initiate a claim, because he has incurred a loss. It will also be much more straightforward to demonstrate the total monetary value of such losses, as 10% of the marketcap of the infringing clone.

IGNIS inherits all the features of NXT. Plus more. Much more.

Ignis is spawned from Ardor. The Ardor server software can run on a mobile phone, a Raspberry Pi or a VPS, and anyone with ARDR can earn fees from forging ChildBlocks (blocks of bundled transactions made on Ignis and other Ardor child chains). Forging is Nxt and Ardor PoS’s equivalent to PoW “mining” and secures the full Ardor network.

Other ways to support and monetize the network is (currently) Bundling or running Archival Nodes.

Child chain transactions are not forged on the child chain but are bundled and sent in blocks to the Ardor parent chain, which forges, files, and secures them. Anyone can become a Bundler, and bundle child chain transactions. It takes ARDR to be a Bundler, because the Bundler must transfer ChildBlocks (those consisting of bundled child chain transactions) to the Ardor parent chain. Ardor only accepts ARDR. Bundlers are paid in child chain tokens for their service. They set their own fee.

Archival Nodes expand the default network when it comes to storing data on the blockchain. Messages sent between accounts as well as other kinds of encrypted or public data uploaded to the network are “pruned” from child chains. Only hashes are stored, which makes the child chains scalable – unnecessary bloat is removed at regular intervals. Archival Nodes, on the other hand, store pieces of data, so they can be dug up and used. Thus, Archival Nodes provide a distributed data storage network to Ardor’s blockchain ecosystem – which, of course, also can be monetized. This is already built into the platform. The first archival node service provider will be Jelurida, but competition is welcomed.

Smart Blockchain

IGNIS lives on and communicates with this full network. It’s part of a scalable platform; Ardor, the advanced EXISTING BaaS platform, which allows transactions to be sent across the full network of child chains, globally. For example, an asset that is issued on Ignis will become instantly tradeable on all child chains that support the AE. Be they business token child chains or simple gateway child chains with tokens pegged to other cryptocurrencies or a bank/government-backed fiat coin, like DKK, EUR, USD, YAN, which you can deposit/withdraw directly to your bank account. On top of this, Asset tokens can be issued with their own unique rules set and specified- like, if they can be traded by all, or only by selected accounts, pre-approved by the issuer of the asset, or tagged in the blockchain as KYC/AML/CTF compliant accounts. Also, Ignis currency tokens (MS-coins) can be traded between child chains. Whatever you do, you can scale it. Whatever you do, it is in your control, finally.

I think that the Nxter Magazine should soon begin talking about use cases. Or about building commercial applications on the public blockchain. Maybe we could even run a contest! Describe a use case that solves a problem for you, and win!

It could be a lot of fun. Those that win the contest by vote, could get an advisory board, some initial funding, marketing and possibly a partnership arrangement with core Nxters. Nxt, IGNIS, and Ardor are supposed to solve real problems, you know, and the tech is capable of it. As IGNIS and ARDR appreciate in value, and with our sponsorship with Jelurida we *could* make this happen. Follow, learn about Nxt and Ardor, sign up for the news. Maybe we will make such a contest. Until then, feel free to post ideas for use cases in the comment field. Here’s why:

Use Cases

One of the most important aspects of Ignis is what it offers to the developer; e.g. businesses, local societies and even to national governments. All the advanced basics of connecting your use case to the blockchain are covered. Tested, reviewed and approved in the wild, Ignis (and the NXT and Ardor platforms) offers working executable secure inbuilt smart contracts, that developers can combine into the use cases he/she/the customer wants, as easy as with Lego bricks, with the API.

Right off the bat, Ardor is a well-prepared infrastructure of an entire economic system, with all its twists and turns, an infrastructure built on the blockchain, which is ready to go global on January 1st.

New GUI’s, apps and Dapps (decentralized apps) are expected to emerge:

Bitswift:

The child chain infrastructure seemed to solve all of the problems we were looking at, blockchain bloat, reducing fees, fast confirmations, everything we want it comes with to start building on.

Our rewards network is built on top of this blockchain technology which ensures stability, reliability and transparency, while maintaining exceptional performance.  

Dan Charbonneau, CEO of CBT Nuggets:

[Our] learners will buy training content with crypto and consume the content. We’re developing a cryptocurrency to be deployed as an ARDR child chain that will provide a financial incentive to learning. There are quizzes throughout the content so you can prove you learned the material. When you answer the quizzes correctly, 30% of your purchase price is returned to you. In addition, everything you learn is stored in the blockchain so we will maintain a lifelong record of learning for you.

When you interview for a job, you’ll be able to show the interviewer everything you’ve learned. The transcript will of course be private only for you and shared with the people you choose. The value of our cryptocurrency will be pegged to ARDR on a 1-to-1 basis. The initial launch will be with 50M of the new cryptocurrency paid for with 50M ARDR. The currency will be redeemable on a 1-to-1 basis for ARDR so it has value out of the gate.

I’m hoping this changes education worldwide, providing greater access to quality content and adding competition and the principles of the free market economy to education at all levels.

Alex Pfeiffer, University of Danube – Center for Applied Game Studies:

As we talk on a daily basis with Jelurida (…) at the moment I am 100% sure about doing the following “proof of concepts”. I can speak about my plans but I don’t like to reveal any partners before the ink is dry ;).

Doing my research for several months I switched all my developing plans first from Ethereum to Ethereum Classic and finally decided to fully go on Nxt and later Ardor for my plans regarding setting up new ecosystems.

I also decided to work with Ardor and Nxt for a very simple personal reason. I am economist, social scientist, game designer and conceptional developer. I am not! a “real” technican. Working with Ardor gives me the chance to understand most of the stuff the tech people are doing with it and it enables me to chance things and not crashing the system.

Adel:

Adel is built on the Nxt platform which has numerous features that will be extended to the Adel ecosystem. [Adel] will move to the Ardor platform, once it is deemed suitable. With this foundation of advanced blockchain features, the Adel ecosystem can focus on project development, best-in-class business practices, and an efficient and self-sustaining community. Adel will continue to capitalize on the features of Nxt and Ardor as both evolve.

So, What Is Next?

The “Bitcoin-thing: transferring money, is one use case of the blockchain; but Ignis and Ardor bring ALL the Blockchain 2.0 ideas to life. Ideas like running secure proven smart contracts on a scalable decentralized blockchain infrastructure, not with the old energy-wasting PoW algorithm but an energy efficient and green 100% PoS algorithm.

You can build decentralized applications with little coding experience on Ignis. Run your own business on Ignis, even create a DAO. Or with Ardor you can get your own child chain, it’s scalable, connected to the network. The impact and transformative nature of the changes to businesses and governments that the Ardor / Nxt / Ignis blockchains bring are unimaginable.

To old Nxters, this is not news. But it must be said: on January 1st, 2018, Ignis, Bitswift and Ardor will launch. Almost everything envisioned by the great, early Bitcoin (and Ethereum) blockchain visionaries will be doable and live with Ignis and Ardor. One can only hope that the launch on Jan 1st will spark a disruptive network effect. And oh yes, you can be part of it! Begin by sharing this article.

Learn about the utilities of Nxt and Ardor, and apply it to your own life and see which problems you can solve with it. Share it with us.

Exchanges

We have all seen the price of NXT and ARDR increase. I see it talked about a lot in forums, slacks, and on social media, and I spend a lot of time giving answers to folks who want to know if they will get IGNIS, ARDR and BITSWIFT if they hold their NXT on either this or that centralized exchange. Short answer: Why would you?

I have used NXT for a long time. Now Ignis and Ardor are coming. I know, for a fact, that in a not so distant future I will never have to use a centralized exchange ever again. If YOU don’t know that, you don’t know what you’re investing in. You invest in disruptive tech. Not like Jelurida is against the established system, with its taxes and governments, they will work with them all. Yet, their tech is public. Anyone can use it out of the box or build applications on top of it, change things.

Maybe NXT and ARDR exchanges like Bittrex will support the snapshot. Maybe Poloniex will, and AEX, Bitcoin Indonesia, HitBTC, Litebit, all of them – and maybe they won’t! None of these exchanges have made an official announcement about the IGNIS airdrop yet, the date is closing in, but what they all want is to get paid. By Jelurida.

UPDATE: These exchanges have announced support of the airdrop

So you ask me: Will the airdrop be supported by this or that exchange?

No one knows yet. IMHO, centralized exchanges act like they are banks, nowadays. They will list IGNIS, as well as NXT and ARDR, of course, they will, they earn millions in trading fees, but that’s not enough. Profit maximizing middlemen, some of them are, and they do not even provide an indispensable service. We do not really need them. Nxt and Ardor have inbuilt unhackable decentralized exchanges. So, to make sure you get your IGNIS and Bitswift tokens for holding NXT, and your Ardor tokens for holding ARDR, I strongly recommend you to simply claim your own private account on the network.

Create it offline, with a web client, or locally, by downloading and running the NRS client from Jelurida. The web client is the fastest and easiest, requiring only a minute or two of simple setup. Be sure to keep your passphrase safe!

Personally, I care about supporting blockchain technologies that I know will accomplish great things. I do not buy and trade shitcoins. And I do not know how many day traders, dolphins, whales, and bots manipulate the price of each coin, including NXT. That’s not my thing.

Buying cryptocurrencies seem like a (risky) get-rich scheme to a lot of people today. Even “average Joes” seem to think they know the market and that it’s probably a good time to enter. But a lot get burned. There’s no cancellation of transactions. Do your due diligence. Make your own decisions. And never invest more than you can afford to lose.

 

nxter.org/assethub

 

What is Bitcoin’s Ceiling?

Just a year ago, a post here on NXTER relayed predictions saying that Bitcoin’s value would reach or go beyond $500 by the end of 2016. True enough, it exceeded $800. This value, however, is minuscule given the fact that the cryptocurrency recently hit $16,000 per unit – a record high. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin (BTC) has also fueled massive growth in other tokens, like NXT and ARDR. Why now though? What has fueled this recent growth spurt and is Bitcoin, and the wider cryptosphere, due for a harsh correction?

NDTV indicated that the likely cause behind the surge in price is the recent announcement that CME Group Inc. and CBOE Global Markets were allowed by the main U.S. derivatives regulator to list Bitcoin futures contracts. This was seen as another step towards mainstreaming the cryptocurrency, although the rates also led to petitions for more regulations. In fact, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz even called for Bitcoin to be outlawed. Regardless, distributed ledger technologies remain poorly understood by the average person and as a result many analysts predict Bitcoin and crypto to be a huge bubble, ready to pop at any moment.

The unfavorable view towards the cryptocurrency is understandable, considering its volatility. Just last month, Coinwire reported that the cryptocurrency breached $11,000, only for its value to drop below $10,000 just a few hours after its price surge. Nonetheless, the unpredictability of Bitcoin has not dissuaded investors from using their real-world money to purchase these virtual coins. Fortune surmises that the reason behind the continuing rise in value is largely due to increasing public awareness. The mystery surrounding it has captured the interest of many buyers, and the absence of any central regulatory body further added to its appeal.

Moreover, the increasing number of buyers caused a domino effect, which led to even more investors. It’s linked to a mindset of FOMO, or fear of missing out, with regards to trending investments. For instance, more than 100,000 people have opened new Coinbase accounts from November 22 to 24. By the end of that month, an estimated 13.1 million accounts have been created in the system.

The popularity of Bitcoin among investors lends credence to the prediction of financial adviser Tom Lee. Business Insider conveyed his forecast, stating that Bitcoin’s price will reach $25,000 within 5 years. He based this projection on Metcalfe’s Law, which estimates that the value of a network is the square of the number of users belonging to it. Lee stated that the increasing number of Bitcoin investors will also lead to an increase in the value of the cryptocurrency. He likened Bitcoin to Facebook’s growth in market value, which is now more than double the number of its users.

Still, even financial experts have made mistakes in forecasting the value of Bitcoin. Although, economist Yves Lamoreux, whose sentiments echo that of Lee’s, also pointed out the times when analysts were wrong. Tim Draper’s 2014 price forecast was mentioned as an example. Back then the analyst predicted that the cryptocurrency would have reached $10,000 by 2018, an estimation that was proven wrong recently.

The bottom line is while Bitcoin’s value and that of proven technologies like Ethereum, Litecoin, and Nxt / Ardor are looking good right now, there is no way to tell if this trend will continue in the coming months. A lot of analysts say that it’s a double-edged sword – an assumption that still remains to this day.