All about IGNIS, wild child on the Ardor blockchain platform
What is IGNIS?
IGNIS is the core token on the Ardor blockchain platform - it supports all smart transaction types that Ardor has to offer, it's permissionless and adds important functionality to all other Ardor child chains. Ignis is scalable, as unimportant data is removed (pruned). Ignis was issued by the core developers, with an ICO in late 2017, which funded the Nxt and Ardor developers with 15M USD for further development.
Why is Ignis Unique?
It's the only child chain with which you can make account settings, issue assets globally, set trading permissions globally, issue stateless lightweight contracts and shuffle coins, tokens, and assets for your privacy. Ignis is permissionless, meaning that anyone can use it freely. A showcase of all Ardor's functionality, developed by Jelurida and therefore it gets all new Ardor contracts / features implemented on main net.
From pre-scheduling payments to setting up polls, issuing tokens, crowdfunding, trading on the decetralized token exchanges, wheeling and dealing in the digital marketplace, exchanging messages securely, or paying dividends to your shareholders with a click. Almost anything you can dream of can be done with Ignis - even without much blockchain knowledge. It all can be accessed from the Wallet or by using API.
Unique Ignis Features
Have an ICO
Issuing tokens take less than five minutes with Ignis. You set the amount you want, the properties, and after its release, they can be sold and traded on a decentralized exchange across the Ardor platform, for example for AEUR, a EURO-backed "stable coin". You can choose which accounts are allowed to trade your asset (KYC approved?), and you can message or pay dividends to all holders with a single click from within the Wallet. All transfers are recorded.
With IGNIS you can add a layer of protection to your Ardor account. You set an "approval account" which must approve all outgoing transactions - it's like a decentralized 2-FA, but written in the blockchain. Or you could control an account - let your accountant prepare all transactions - they will not be sent until you - or a trusted board - approve them. Up to 10 accounts can vote for the transaction to happen or refuse to approve it. DAO?
Shuffling is a privacy feature available only on the Ignis child chain. If you "shuffle" your coins or asset tokens with others - they will disappear from the shuffling accounts and turn up in new accounts with no backstory, that you control. Ignis shuffling is decentralized - no central server can see your IP, confiscate your tokens, or be taken down. Other child chain coins can be exchanged for IGNIS on Ardor's Coin Exchange (DEX) and be shuffled too.
So, you need a single unique token to represent an item, like a piece of art, a car, a house? A license to hold it, resell it, with an inbuilt way to trace the history of ownership on the immutable blockchain? Ignis has this built right in.
Ignis lets you "tag" any account and disallow untagged accounts to trade your assets. Or maybe you have a shop and want to keep track of your customers? You can tag their accounts - and of course un-tag them again.
Build Dapps with Ignis
All Ignis' Smart Transactions can be used from the Wallet GUI. But developers can create alternative clients or utilize the smart contracts and create additional functionality by using the Ignis API in their projects.
Aliasing allows one piece of text to be substituted for another, so an easy to remember words or phrase can be used to represent other things – names, telephone numbers, website URL's, long account numbers, email addresses, product SKU codes… anything you can think of.
Send small amounts of text between accounts or make a public statement on the blockchain. Encrypted messages can have a shared key which allows it to be shared with a 3rd party. The term ‘message’ is a loose one: It can be used to send and timestamp any kind of data on the blockchain.
The Data Cloud can be seen as an extension of the (public) Messaging feature - with searchable metadata fields for the uploaded data. It is not meant for storage of larger files, and the data gets pruned from the blockchain, so only hashes are stored, while the data is kept on Archival Nodes.
Assets issued with Ignis are tradeable across all Ardor child chains, creating a fully decentralized, multi-currency, fast, low fee, globally scalable market for any kind of asset. Assets can be designated to represent other crypto coins, fiat, stocks/bonds, property, commodities, precious metals, or even ideas. The Asset Exchange matches buyers and sellers, in a similar way to the centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.
With the Voting System, any user can create polls with one question and up to 100 answers. Accounts are eligible to vote in the poll based on existence, on a minimum required balance of a token, an asset, or a Monetary System coin. The poll results are collected automatically on a pre-defined block height, they are completely reliable, and instantly visible for all, as all votes and results are recorded in the blockchain.
You can list goods, set a price, upload a picture, change or cancel listings, and communicate with customers through encrypted messages. Buyers are able to search for goods by issuer, item name or by tag (category). Buyers can set an order expiration date, and also leave private or public feedback after receiving a product. A fully decentralized peer-to-peer trading space on the Ignis blockchain.
The Coin Exchange is Ardor's cross-chain p2p trading engine. Here you can trade IGNIS against the AEUR token or any other child chain token, or buy ARDR if you want to forge / bundle your transactions.
Create a transaction for an account, push it directly to the account owner and ask him/her to sign and broadcast it. Most simple use case: send an invoice, ask for a vote, or to lease the forging balance to you.
Plugins enable third-party software developers to add functionality to the Ardor Wallet. Plugins can make use of the blockchain API and add functionality to the Wallet. They are installed and run locally.
Transactions can be created with conditional deferred execution based on the approval from 1-10 other accounts, on the result of a vote, on a list of linked transactions or on the revelation of a secret; or simply be set to be executed at a pre-defined block height. Basically, the user defines the transaction in two phases: 1. when the details of the transaction are defined, and 2. when the transaction is to be released into the system. Users can set multiple conditions.
The Monetary System (MS) allows you to design and issue your own customized cryptocurrencies from a wide range of parameters that can be set to govern their properties and use. MS coins can be pegged to the token or the child chain they are issued on, to stabilize their value, and be used to crowdfund projects, Kickstarter-like. They can be made non-tradeable, or be "mined" like Bitcoin. Or they can be traded instantly on the MS Exchange inside the Wallet. Fees are paid in the child chain currency.
A lightweight contract is Java uploaded to the blockchain Data Cloud. Useful for automation of repetitive tasks, financial calculations, predictable random numbers, Oracles, and more. The contract code is executed by those who want to run it, not by every node, and it is triggered by a transaction or by each new block. It integrates with the existing Ardor transaction types (smart contracts) and provides a powerful tool for developing your own decentralized applications.
Jelurida has written a number of useful reference contracts that demonstrate the Lightweight Contract system. Starting from the "Hello World" contract and source code, and "Random Payment", leading up to more advanced contracts. You can test them, understand them, and then start creating your own. Unlike most smart contract frameworks, lightweight contract support access to external resources - safe because contracts are not part of the consensus.
Is this like … Bitcoin?
Bitcoin was the first blockchain. Today there are thousands of different blockchains and while they operate under the same basic principles, every blockchain is different. Where Bitcoin limits itself to being a digital currency, Nxt and Ardor demonstrate the additional uses and values of the blockchain. Many of the features that are standard now on blockchains were originally pioneered by the Nxt development team who still lead the way with easy programmable powerful functionality on the scalable Ardor blockchain platform.
What is Proof-of-Stake?
PoS is a consensus model where network security is governed by peers having a stake in the network. The ability to secure the network and “mine” (forge) the next block is proportional to your balance, or your stake. With PoS, new tokens are not mined, they were all created and distributed at the beginning of the blockchain. For private business blockchains, PoS reduces the cost to set up and maintain a blockchain significantly, and for public blockchains, it means that everyone can participate in securing the network and earn rewards. Nxt was the first 100% pure PoS crypto.
How are Nxt and Ardor different than Bitcoin?
Nxt was the first pure Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain. Launched in 2013, it set out to solve the problems inherent to Bitcoin: centralization through mining farms, wasted energy consumption, and lack of functionality. Nxt has an array of useful blockchain features pre-programmed and tested (Smart Transactions), and Ardor is an advanced scalable Blockchain as a Service solution for individuals and businesses, an interconnected blockchain 3.0 child chain ecosystem. The first with a parent-child chain architecture.
What is Pruning?
It is the way that Nxt and Ardor's core developers address the blockchain bloat problem. Pruning is the process of removing irrelevant data from the blockchain. On Nxt, you can pay an extra fee to keep your data on the blockchain forever, but with Ardor, child chains will be pruned daily. Only hashes are stored forever on the blockchain, the rest is stored on special Archival Nodes. With multiple chains powered by Ardor, only transactions on the Ardor main chain (ARDR) will be kept by all full nodes, and this way Ardor will stay lightweight and fit. Child chain transactions are "snapshotted" every 24 hours and secured cryptographically by their mother in the Ardor blocks.
What are Smart Transactions?
Pre-programmed transaction types that execute smart contracts inside the Nxt and Ardor core. From programmable payments to voting, issuing customizable coins and tokens, or controllable assets, doing crowdfunding, trading on the decentralized coin- or asset-exchanges, wheeling and dealing in the digital marketplace, exchanging public or encrypted messages, or paying dividends to shareholders with a click. Almost anything you can dream of can be done with Smart Transactions - fast and securely! - even without much blockchain knowledge. Developers can utilize the smart transactions by using the API in their projects.
What is the difference between Nxt and Ardor?
No blockchain is a “one-size-fits-all” solution for any problem. Nxt offers a very wide array of useful features – "smart transactions" that execute pre-programmed smart contracts, and they all are executable by API. Ardor, in essence, split Nxt up into a “forging token” and a “feature token” and introduced the parent-child chain concept - Ardor is the mother and backbone of an array of interconnected blockchains - every child chain has their unique coin/token, but child chains themselves inherit their security from the Ardor parent chain. Each one can cherry-pick from Ardor platform features while having child chain specific functionality.
Why do fees Exist?
In general, getting a transaction recorded in the blockchain has a minor cost for two reasons: the transaction fees prevent bots from spamming a blockchain with “empty” transactions, bloating and DDoS’ing the blockchain network. Also, the fees are paid to forgers, as an incentive for them to forge blocks, keep their nodes up-to-date, and for network maintenance and security. If you own NXT or ARDR you are able to forge, even on very small devices.
What is Forging?
Forging is the process of creating new blocks, the Proof-of-Stake blockchain consensus algorithm equivalent to Bitcoin mining. With Nxt, and Ardor, anyone can use their stake to forge, even on a cellphone, since there is no electricity wasted on trying to solve ridiculously complicated hashes to create new coins, as with for example Bitcoin or Ethereum's Proof-of-Work (PoW). Forgers earn all the transaction fees that are processed into the blocks.
What is Leased Forging?
On Nxt and Ardor, your forging power (effective stake) can be leased to another account. The targeted account receives your current forging power for a number of blocks specified by you, after which the forging power is returned to you. When leasing, you still maintain full control of your NXT or ARDR. The pool cannot do anything with your balance - except forge - you can still sell any amount of your NXT and ARDR or receive some.