For those that don’t know, Jelurida is the ‘parent company’ over the cryptocurrency, Ardor.
Created from a fork of $NXT, Ardor posits itself as a blockchain platform that is suited for BaaS (Blockchain-As-A-Service).
Recently, Jelurida (headed by Lior Yaffe), announced a new, revamped roadmap for the cryptocurrency:
jelurida is proud to present our 2019 product roadmap https://t.co/AbRtYieuJk
Below is a picture of the new roadmap:
As expected, there was a major bump in the price after this announcement.
However, shortly after, the price soon landed back on earth, resting at just +14% above where it was previously:
If anything, the price action in the immediate aftermath of the announcement at least indicates that Jelurida has been effective in keeping a ‘secret’ (i.e., the announcement of a new and improved roadmap).
This also serves as some solid evidence that the coin is pretty responsive to announcements by the team (traders might want to keep this in mind).
Rather than dig too much into the roadmap itself, the rest of this piece will instead be dedicated to breaking down some basic questions about Ardor to explain what it is and what its stated purpose is.
What is Ardor?
Specifically, in the case of Ardor, the project seeks to facilitate the adoption of blockchain technology through BaaS by providing the service of its ‘child chains’.
What is Blockchain-As-A-Service?
In a nutshell, BaaS refers to the practice of leveraging blockchain technology to erect an entity designed to cater to businesses that are looking to use blockchain.
One aspect of Ardor that has ‘miffed’ crypto enthusiasts is the fact that its code is not open source. Jelurida, the team managing Ardor, have stated many times in the past that it made the conscious decision to not make Ardor’s code open-source because they consider their ‘child chain’ technology to be proprietary. If it were open-source, then it could be stolen or cloned, according to Jelurida.
Ardor is Not Decentralized
Given the fact that the Jelurida team does dictate the direction that Ardor goes in (development and brand-wise) and the closed nature of contributions to its code, its more than fair to state that Ardor is not decentralized.
However, this is not an automatically bad thing. There is no tenet or ‘law’ in blockchain that mandates that all projects must be decentralized in order to exist in the space. Even still, it should be noted that it is not a decentralized project (for those that are sticklers on projects possessing this characteristic).
As stated above, the innovation of ‘child chains’ is something that the Jelurida team hangs its hat on.
What are Child Chains?
According to Ardor’s website:
“Child Chains on the Ardor Platform are individual blockchains dedicated to specific businesses or purposes. The transactional functions of the blockchain are performed on the child chains while Ardor takes care of the processing and securing the network.”
The definition provided above is fairly self-explanatory when it comes to child chain functionality.
Again, Ardor does not make its code open-source, so this concept can only be evaluated on the basis of statements made by Jelurida, rather than objective analysis or code review.
Properties of Child Chains
According to Jelurida, child chains produced from Ardor possess the following properties:
- Asset Issuance
- Coin Shuffling
- The ability to create aliases
- Account Control
- Phased Transactions
- Data Cloud
- Built-in ‘Marketplace’
- Messaging system
- Voting System
- Monetary System
Ignis (Ardor’s Public Child Chain)
In order to demonstrate the alleged efficacy of their child chains, Ardor decided to create ‘Ignis’. Ignis is a cryptocurrency that trades separately from Ardor. The purpose behind its creation was to give those in the blockchain space a ‘public demo’ of the features that are supposed to come with Ardor child chains.
“Every feature found on Ignis is available to every child chain on the platform. The main chain, Ardor secures the network. Ignis is where the ‘magic’ happens.”
The team also states that, “You can create create dApps and Lightweight Smart Contracts.”
What are Lightweight Smart Contracts?
“Ignis Lightweight Contracts process input data from a trigger transaction and the result is recorded on the blockchain as an output transaction. This intuitive design means for the first time ever, simply deploying a new version of the code and updating future trigger transactions is enough to upgrade a smart contract. It is also easier than ever to develop oracles that interface between external data sources and the Ardor blockchain since Ignis Lightweight Contracts automate specific processes without storing state information, like token balances, internally. Well-received lightweight contract templates and decentralized applications (dApps) have the potential to be sold or distributed open source through the existing Ignis marketplace.”
From what is available online, it is unknown exactly how these Lightweight Smart Contracts would facilitate the integration of oracles into the contract’s implementation. Part of the struggle in doing so (for most projects that have made such an attempt), is that the introduction of oracles into the blockchain (in some sort of way), requires a solution that potentially undermines decentralization in some way.
However, in this case, Ardor is not a decentralized project. Therefore, there shouldn’t be any pushback or difficulty in creating such a framework. Though, from what Jelurida described in the excerpt above, the linkage between these ‘Lightweight Smart Contracts’ and oracle implementation does not seem very intuitive.
Again, without more information and documentation available on some on ‘Lightweight Smart Contracts’ our ability to dissect them in a more thorough manner is extremely limited.
Below, are links to resources where Jelurida has provided more information about this feature on their protocol:
Other Child Chains
According to Jelurida, there have been three other successful child chains launched from the Ardor platform.
They are displayed below:
Reviewing the New Roadmap
Below, the roadmap is reproduced for convenience:
Reviewing Q2 2019 on the Roadmap
‘Child chain control’
According to the roadmap, this is a feature that will be added in the upcoming quarter (Q2 2019). Specifically, the roadmap states that this enhancement will allow licensed users of the Ardor protocol (via child chains) to “control which accounts can transact on a specific chain”.
This seems pretty intuitive, so no further elaboration will be given on this update.
‘Loadtest and benchmark results’
This item on the roadmap is perhaps the most interesting because it is stated that this will entail, “[optimizing] the blockchain to support up to 100 transactions per second”.
While expansion of blockchain capabilities are always a positive for any crypto project, 100 transactions/second more than likely still will not suffice for any legitimate enterprise/business.
In order to provide prospective, let’s compare this desired benchmark (100 TPS) to what can already be provided via MYSQL 8.0 (standard database).
In general, for blockchain to present itself as a true business solution (that is advantageous to the solutions already available via databases), then it must either be:
A) Exponentially cheaper (in terms of maintenance and human capital/expertise) than database systems.
B) Significantly more convenient/feasible to use than database systems.
Unfortunately for Ardor, in its current state – it is neither. If anything, this shows that, even after years of existence, Ardor is still woefully short of the benchmark that it must hit in order to be anywhere near viable for a serious enterprise to use.
‘Shamir Secret Sharing’
According to the roadmap, this upgrade will entail, “Support for protecting the account secret phrase by splitting it into multiple pieces so that only some of them are required to reproduce the original.”
This seems more or less akin to the concept of multi-signature wallets in popular PoW protocols such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, etc.
Transaction Voucher Improvements
According to the roadmap, this upgrade will make it so that, “when loading a voucher, allow attaching a message to self, and support fee calculation.”
Again, this seems like a remedial upgrade, yet a necessary one.
The implementation of Java as a language to maintain compatibility with the world’s most popular programming language has been posited as a strong upgrade by the team.
The team has claimed that this will facilitate greater adoption as this will eliminate the learning curve that would otherwise be created via the use of alternative programming languages in its stead.
This argument seems reasonable.
We won’t necessarily look all the way to Q3 and Q4 2019 of Ardor’s roadmap just yet. For now, this should suffice as a brief overview of Ardor, as a project, as well as its new roadmap announcement.