NFTs continue to burst onto the scene making big headlines, with some NFTs from collections trading for millions of dollars. Since the current industry landscape seems to be lending so much attention to these special tokens, what is ARK’s plan for them, and will they come to the ARK Ecosystem? What would that look like? Let’s find out.
NFTs in the ARK Toolbox
Real talk, let’s skip the obligatory ‘Wow! NFTs are getting so popular!’ paragraph that would have references and links to things like a million dollar rock drawing . It’s time to get right down to tacks comprised of brass (or perhaps brass-plated Zinc, as is the case sometimes).
There’s a lot of potential in the offer that underpins an NFT: a digital asset that is unique, transferable, can’t be forged, and offers true ownership to the holder. Since ARK products aim to be a complete toolbox for developers who want to utilize Blockchain tech, it stands to reason developers would want to include NFT creation and management in that toolbox.
Imagine a toolbox that doesn’t have, like, a tape measure in it. That would be pretty weird…
Fortunately, the pleasant reality is that NFTs using ARK technology are already within reach by using the NFT Core Monorepository coupled with the upcoming ARK Core v3. This NFT module has been steadily developed and updated in recent months.
Protokol Takes the Reins
In Q3 2020, Protokol soft-launched to serve enterprise clients and develop Blockchain-powered solutions for them. Protokol operates as a subsidiary of the main ARK business entity.
Along with serving the specific needs of enterprise clients, part of Protokol’s mission is to develop advanced modules that directly plug into ARK Core. Because ARK Core is modular by nature, different external components can combine within a newly deployed ARK-based chain.
Protokol is available to deliver tailored Blockchain solutions to a specific business client, but the generic modules also serve to speed-up deployment of custom solutions.
As of late May 2020, Protokol has already been hard at work with their initial release of a module dubbed ‘nft-core.’
The first release of Protokol’s ‘nft-core’ built for ARK
Protokol has further developed this module over time, and the current release as of July 2021 is version 1.0.0-beta.63.
The most recent release of the ‘nft-core’ module
NFT Core Monorepository Key Functions
- Creating digital assets based on JSON Schemas
- Trading digital assets using auction logic
- Burning digital assets
- Managing digital asset supply
- Offering REST API support
Long story short, this monorepository (or monorepo if you’re cool like that) is a collection of tools, plugins and packages that contains everything a developer would need to deploy NFT features directly on ARK technology.
A list of available packages in the monorepo
Wait. What Gives?
‘Now, hold the phone,’ some of you may be saying. If this ARK NFT module is already here, where are the NFTs on the ARK main chain? If the ARK Public Network cannot house NFTs at this time, does this mean ARK is behind the rest of the industry? These are good questions, and I’ll let you decide if the answers are just as good.
If you’re a longtime veteran of the ARK community and our mission to be the Simplest Way to Blockchain, you already know that we designed the main ARK chain to be as simple as possible and free from bloat. The logical conclusion here is that NFTs and other advanced features are reserved for newly-deployed chains within the ARK Ecosystem. These chains would be separate from, but connected to, the ARK Public Network. It’s ARK’s multi-chain approach. We feel it maximizes decentralization and performance, and it also gives projects and communities a higher degree of sovereignty and autonomy.
While the main ARK chain serves as the on-and-off ramps to the ecosystem through the ARK coin, the connected chains would have all the fancy goodies that Blockchain can bring. There can be chains for specific Blockchain games, chains for digital art platforms, chains for social media platforms, all of which utilize NFTs. It all depends on how developers, companies, and projects decide to use our Blockchain toolbox.
YOU get a Blockchain! And YOU get a Blockchain!
In short, to see the ARK Public Network absent of any NFTs doesn’t make ARK behind on the times, because the APN is supposed to be the simple, bloat-free connector to the rest of the ARK Ecosystem (with the ARK coin at the center of it).
So What’s the Plan?
Now that you and I know ARK NFT technology is already here, what’s the next step? HTLC SmartBridge and Core v3 are big parts of it, which are already running live on the ARK Development Network (the main chain is currently running Core v2.7.25).
Ah, but here’s the kicker: the NFT toolkit is optimized for Core v3, since v3 has a much cleaner architecture. Unfortunately, as of right now, Core v3 is still in RC (Release Candidate) status. Soon, it will be fully cleared for release onto the main chain, giving developers the green light to use v3 for their live-production chain deployments.
The silver lining? Developers can already play around with deployments of Core v3 and dabble with modules such as nft-core. The readme features an example of how to configure an ARK testnet for NFTs and shows how to set up the development environment.
Cool, devs can play around with ARK-based NFTs and Core v3 right now!
Check the Protokol Documentation for NFTs on ARK, with full examples and tutorials .
NFTs on ARK documentation page with full tutorials
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License . If a developer’s use of the work falls within the confines of the license type, they can go straight to town on ARK-based NFTs. If there are any doubts, Protokol is happy to answer any questions regarding support or other uses of the work via email.
No matter your opinion on NFTs and how they are currently used in our industry, there is no denying that they are powerful tools that can absolutely change the world for the better when placed in the right hands. We want those hands to have the most reliable and efficient tools possible. Now, with the help of Protokol, ARK-based NFTs are in the toolbox.