Ardor and Ignis – Blazing a Trail for User-friendly Multifunctional Blockchain Platforms
With each new mainnet launch, along comes another platform that claims to do everything that its predecessors failed to deliver. This year, Polkadot and Cardano have both been through high-profile launches. However, the reality is that neither one has yet fulfilled its roadmap to achieve what they’ve promised.
Polkadot is still very much in development, still running without decentralized governance and only a partially functioning Relay Chain. Furthermore, launching a parachain on Polkadot is a daunting prospect requiring in-depth knowledge of blockchain development.
Over the summer, Cardano launched staking on its Shelley mainnet, to much fanfare. Nevertheless, the project is years away from full functionality.
Those platforms that have launched in full don’t offer much consolation for the blockchain enthusiast. The majority of transactions on Tezos and EOS have no financial value. Both Tron and Binance Chain perhaps have more activity, but both are under significant control from the firms that back them.
So, for any enterprise or entrepreneur looking to adopt a public blockchain, there are fewer choices than it may first appear. This scenario explains why Ethereum continues to endure. Nevertheless, it’s plagued by scalability woes, and the first phase of Ethereum 2.0 hasn’t even yet been launched. Once it does, the full implementation is another two or three years away.
However, there is some hope. Over the last three years since it launched on mainnet, Ardor has been steadily attracting projects to develop on its multifunctional, multi-chain platform. In that time, Ardor’s operators, Jelurida, have also had the opportunity to build out the features of Ignis, Ardor’s first child chain offering a range of different applications, out of the box.
Ardor and Ignis – Under the Hood
Thanks in part to Ethereum 2.0 and Polkadot, sharding has become one of the hot blockchain buzzwords of 2020. However, sharding simply refers to partitioning a single linear blockchain into multiple chains to allow parallel processing. Ardor was the first platform to implement such a multi-chain architecture and has operated as such since its genesis block in January 2018.
The Ardor parent chain is the backbone of the platform, serving to secure the transactions on the network. Ardor’s child chains handle all operational transactions, running in parallel to ensure high throughput.
Ignis is Ardor’s main child chain. Anyone wanting to implement out-of-the-box blockchain features, like an asset exchange or a marketplace, can do so using Ignis without needing their own child chain. But if a company wants to create customized features or implement more complex applications that interact with one another, they can set up a child chain.
Furthermore, some features of Ignis facilitate customization of other child chains, such as creating individual user account permissions or configuring conditions attached to the use of particular assets. As Ardor’s operator and developer, Jelurida is an experienced blockchain development company that can offer support and consult on the use of any of its services, from the most basic to the most complex.
Established Use Cases of Ignis
Several projects are now making use of Ardor and Ignis, proving that the platform can support multiple use cases. In particular, many innovative projects have found that the ready-made features of Ignis can be applied in various applications using gamification in different contexts.
Cycle4Value is a blockchain-based gamification system that aims to use rewards to encourage people to cycle more. The project was trialed in Austria as an initiative for reducing road traffic and boosting public health. However, the project team believes it could be scaled up for global use as required.
Participants can earn tokens simply by getting out on their bikes. They can then redeem their tokens in a dedicated marketplace, perhaps by purchasing discounts on goods or services or by donating them to charities.
Gallery Defender is a project designed to explore the use of blockchain in a game-based learning tool. Gallery Defender is an existing game in which a player takes on the role of a museum owner, defending their gallery against a thief. The overall point of the game is to help students learn about different types of art.
The project team integrated features of the Ignis chain into Gallery Defender, using non-fungible tokens for various functions in the game. These include storing information, representing a completion credit in a course, and in-game rewards. The team used a phasing mechanism to ensure that students using the game couldn’t simply trade their course tokens peer-to-peer.
Ardor Rocks demonstrates how easy it is for anyone to build a decentralized application on Ardor, even as a hobby project. Ardor Rocks is a social network that aims to align incentives by rewarding participants in $ROCKS tokens in return for providing content and engagement. $ROCKS tokens can also be used by advertisers to purchase advertising space on the site, and anyone can buy and sell their tokens on the Ardor Asset Exchange.
The entire project was launched as a one-man operation by Swiss telecommunication OS engineer Corrado Andriani. While he isn’t the first to come up with the idea of a decentralized, incentivized social media network, he is the first to illustrate how easily this can be done using the Ardor multi-chain platform.
In technological terms, blockchain is still relatively nascent. Therefore, it seems realistic to expect far more use cases to emerge over the coming years and decades. However, having achieved an early head start, Ardor and Ignis are already proving that a multifunctional blockchain platform can bring demonstrable value for a variety of purposes.