The  time has come. ARK Core v2 is now ready for launch. We are proud to  announce the final and now official release date of Wednesday, November  28th. On this day we will break the champagne across the bow as the  completely new vessel leaves dry dock and begins the voyage into the  oceans of decentralization.

The Core v2 codebase is  entirely new and has been developed from scratch. It has been through  relentless testing and is now finely tuned and ready for launch on MainNet to become the the backbone of our blockchain.

Before getting into the details of ARK v2, it is important to explain the why behind the what — to describe our inspiration for building v2 and how it advances the larger goals of the ARK Ecosystem.

Since  long before the ARK genesis block, our goal has been to provide the  same accessibility and scalability for custom blockchains as WordPress  provides for custom websites. Coupled with ARK's interoperability  features and modular construction, this makes for the perfect ecosystem  of interconnected plug-and-play chains. Our primary objective behind the  development of v2 was to identify ways we could move the ARK code base  closer to these goals.

The procedural, step-by-step approach of  the v1 code base would need to be replaced with an all new lightweight  and modular design. Under such an architecture, nearly all aspects of  the ARK code base could be modified, extended or replaced quickly and  easily. Think of it like building with LEGO blocks. If you simply add or  replace LEGOs to your project, you can create something completely new.  In turn, this approach would allow blockchain developers maximum  flexibility in aligning their bridgechains to reflect their  organizational priorities.

With this strategy in mind we set about  rewriting the ARK Core from the ground up. From the programming  practices adopted to the JavaScript dependencies chosen, our continual  focus has been to write efficient, modern and highly readable code.

Our  work at ARK has been in service of a simple, yet powerful truth: The  easier it is to read and understand code, the easier it is to extend it.  This approach is perhaps most evident in our new plugin system, where  nearly all node functionality can be customized as easily as installing a  plugin on a WordPress site. Across all of the changes listed below, you  will find that accessibility and extensibility are prevalent themes as  we strive to create the world's premiere blockchain development  platform.

  • Dynamic fees —  most noticeable for end users is the addition of dynamic fees enabling  delegates set their own fees for different transaction types. Users have  the option to modify and pay fees they are comfortable with for sending  transactions.
  • Plugin system — ARK is the first blockchain protocol released that allows you to  easily develop customized modules or plugins, to leverage the power of  blockchain. The majority of ARK's processes have been decoupled,  modularized and developed as plugins. Only a few lines of code are  required to add or remove new plugins to the system. Our goal of  developing the 'WordPress of blockchains' has been realized. You can now  develop your own plugins and easily include them into your own  blockchain.
  • Increased TPS (Transactions per Second) and TPB (Transactions per Block) — Transactions that can be included in a single block are increased  from 50 to 150. The total increase in TPS is threefold from 6.25 to  18.75. This is not a TPS limit and can be easily raised in the future.  Currently this level of throughput is more than adequate. For  bridgechains, this value is completely customizable.
  • New API —  A much more powerful API provides additional endpoints, is much more  stable and follows latest API standards, giving developers more options  to get necessary information and interact with ARK's blockchain.
  • Webhook support — Webhooks allow applications to provide other applications with  real-time information. A Webhook delivers data immediately as it happens  as opposed to a typical API where polling must occur very frequently  and inefficiently to get real-time data.
  • Better transaction pool management —  a newly developed transaction pool (transactions are kept in this pool  before inclusion in the blockchain) is leveraging the power of memory  and SQLite, providing superior stability, reliability and a foundation  for future optimizations.
  • Better verification systems — the legacy code has multiple drawbacks with how blocks and  transactions are verified and included in the blockchain. The new Core  verifies database integrity at the start of each node process, checking  its validity and continuing with much improved efficiency and handling.  These actions also bring additional security to ARK and we all know how  important that is for blockchain projects.
  • Speedier rebuilds & synchronizations — starting your own node from block 0 with the new system is much  faster. Previously, rebuilding from 0 to current block height (~  6,450,000 blocks) required around 50 hours. ARK Core v2 can do it in  approximately 12 hours (depends on the server specifications and overall  network state). As a result, synchronizing becomes much faster when  stopping and starting the node process, or when rebuilding from a  snapshot.
  • Better decentralization through new snapshot system — the old code was very dependent on the ARK team for snapshots when  building or rebuilding a node. An all new local snapshot system has been  developed allowing node operators to use their own copies of the  database when needed. When starting a new node or rebuilding a node due  to errors, local copies will allow for fast and safe synchronization and  will reduce dependence on the ARK team. This development brings wider  decentralization to the ARK ecosystem and is a much safer and faster way  for nodes to recover in case of emergencies.

On November 28th 2018 our  team and delegates will coordinate a switch to the new Core by  installing the new Core on servers. This is a hardfork, which means that  it will NOT be backwards compatible with the old code. All node  operators will need to replace their old deprecated ARKNode code with  ARKCore. Old nodes will NOT be able to communicate with new nodes, as  they will be automatically banned. The upgrade process may result in  small network downtimes — please bear with us.

End users will only  need to install updated wallets that support the new protocol (either  Desktop or Mobile Wallet). Current desktop and mobile wallets will be  updated and all information and guides will be available prior to  launch.

Along with ARK Core v2 comes a totally new Desktop Wallet  also built from scratch! The new wallet will provide dynamic fee  settings right out of the box. More information will become available as  we near the release.

There will be plenty of time for exchanges  to transition to the new protocol, however exchanges may be  intermittently down during this process. We will be providing assistance  to all exchanges during this transition. Fortunately, the new Core is  much easier to integrate, and by default comes with a JSON-RPC plugin.

If  any exchange is reading this — contact us if you want to integrate with  ARK! We appreciate each addition and can help with integration and  technical support.

JSON-RPC Docs :
https://docs.ark.io/guidebook/core/json-rpc.html#installation
JSON-RPC API:
https://docs.ark.io/api/json-rpc/

Following  the MainNet launch, our first focus will be to monitor and address any issues or bugs that may arise. After that our focus will be on building  Core v2.1, our next major release for ARK due for release in early 2019.

Core  v2.1 includes new transaction types such as timelocks, updated multisignatures, multipayment support, increased size for SmartBridge  field from 64 to 256 chars and will allow "Push.Button.Blockchain." to  be fully realized with bridgechain interoperability options. More  information on v2.1 will be released in several upcoming blog posts.

OK, this is what we have in store before the end of 2018:

  • ARK Pay — ARK Pay will be a simple open-source library that will provide  merchants and vendors the ability to easily implement and start  accepting ARK as means of payment in online shops. This will be an  officially supported plugin developed in JavaScript. Examples for  popular frameworks like Vue.js and React will be available and  everything will be open source and well documented for anyone to  implement it. Release is due in a few weeks.
  • ARK Desktop Wallet v2 —  a new desktop wallet built from scratch brings in a new codebase,  improved UI, dynamic fee support and much more. Release is due with the  release of Core on Mainnet.
  • Whitepaper v2 — rewritten whitepaper that will cover ARK basics, and go into more  details of some of the aspects of it, along with our near and far end  vision for ARK. Expected completion and release towards the end of the  year. Depending on when we complete the final v2.1 (and beyond)  technical specifications, WP v2 may be delayed to Q1 2019 to allow time  to include the updated technical details.