Hymn of praise for Ark (ARK) backfires and discovers severe centralization issues in the project

Ark is one of those projects that sound great on paper and appears to have a solid team working on the project, regular updates and generally a positive sentiment around it. One Ark Redditor let his love for Ark lead him to start an eulogy for the project, while bashing competition and generally all other altcoins.

He started by claiming how everyone had their “scandal” (Lisk has cartels of delegates, WTC had a fake giveaway etc) while Ark is so great, works like a well oiled machine. And community got hooked and mostly started echoing his stance while bringing up some micro-issues about the project.

However, one of the Redditors was bold and brashly laid out couple of interesting findings about a potential conflict of interest among Ark delegates, cartels forming and serious centralization and collusion potential among the block producers of Ark blockchain.

Redditor with a handle malarkiebarkie brought up a fact that Ark team members are actually delegates and since they work together, there is a plausibly possibility of them colluding and in essence making a mockery of the whole decentralization mantra.

Delegates are separate from ARK.io team

What about these delegates?

chris – Kristjan Kosic, Ark core dev

arkx – Brian Faust, Ark core dev

yin – Brian Faust, Ark core dev, is listed in their proposal as a team member

tibonos – Scott McPherson, Ark co founder

quarkpool – Oleg Shcherbyna, Ark’s UI/UX designer

arky – Bruno Thoorens, brother of Fx Thoorens (cofounder and CTO of Ark)

ravelou – Another family member of Fx Thoorens (cofounder and CTO of Ark)

One of the members or Ark team was quick to respond, however, it was a rather weak attempt of downplaying the significance of this fact and adding all well-known narrative from proponents of delegated proof of stake consensus mechanisms – vested interest, delegates wouldn’t hurt the network bla bla.

That is of course a completely misplaced narrative as the point is not to depend  and put trust in someone’s good will and his love for the project to keep it safe and secure. The point is the opposite – minimizing the trust we need to put in other humans.

The malarkiebarkei user came back with another stellar post, explaining the need for team to remove themselves from the position of delegates of the network.

For maximum decentralization the team should not have any control over the network or its delegates. Hiring delegates gives them implicit control over them and the network like threats of being fired and other such political pressure… does not matter if u say it doesnt happen the possibility for it to happen exists! Scott McPherson, Bruno Thoorens, and Jean Thoorens should also not be delegates for same decentralization reasons.. makes it look like Ark Team has its own cartel after spitting on LiskHQ for supporting Elite cartel!

The user kept insisting on the revelation of delegates identities so the community can unvote them and vote someone else into the delegate position. The Ark team member ignored that request and kept placing his arguments on the irrelevant part of the story.

The whole thread is huge and can be seen here.

It seems Ark is going down the same path as Lisk, EOS and all other dPoS coins as the design of dPoS encourages cartel-type of behaviour and there needs to be some serious redesign in order to prevent this. Otherwise, we get the current system of financial opaqueness, rulers from shadows and surveillance and censorship-inducing environment.

I expect a lot of emotional noobs, who love their Ark (or any other coin that is far from its paper-version) bed-time stories to get triggered by this post and start insulting me so I have an advice for you: work on removing those emotions from your investing decisions otherwise this market (or any market for that matter) will rob you off of your last penny – you are an ideal prey for the guys who actually know what they’re doing.

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Philipp Traugott
Philipp Traugott

Phil Traugott is a staff writer at CaptainAltcoin. As a trained marketing specialist for copywriting and creative campaigns, he has been advising top companies on the following topics: online marketing, SEO and software branding for more than 10 years. The topic of crypto currencies is becoming increasingly important for companies and investors and he found it very alluring and fitting for his skillset which prompted him to pivot his career towards blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

  1. Distribution of Ark was botched with many whales essentially deciding who gets to be an active delegate. There are many internal issues and the team is slow to respond to network issues, which usually are fixed with forks anyway by the developers outside of the core team. (with low compensation)

    Team is mostly hiring slavic developers as they can scoop them up really cheap, way below your standard blockchain dev salaries.

    Most of the Ark communication is going through their slack, which hides and deletes all history of any past issues, so its about a time these type of awareness articles are starting to pop up what really is going on with Ark and its transparency and issues.

    • Thanks for the info – good to see voice of reason coming from within the community. As expected, we are getting a lot of hate for this post.

  2. The Ark members’ reactions are higly concerning. One person asked for a little transparency among the delegates, and the Ark members response is to immediately get defensive. They knew damn well that most investors were unaware that seven delegates were being run by Ark team members. Ark prided itself on being free from the cartel-behavior that Lisk suffers from, and yet they see nothing wrong with team members controlling almost 15% of the delegates. I still hold a decent stake in Ark, but the teams lack of transparency is a shining example of unethical behavior.

  3. This is officially the worst f***ing article I’ve read by far, really. I cannot actually believe that this writer even attended any writing or reading comprehension exercises in any school at all!

    -Stating a single, freshly made reddit account as his sole source
    -17% delegate “controlled by ARK.io” = Oligarchy confirmed
    -Unironically calling apparent bad investors “emotional noobs, who need their ARK bedtime stories (written without a hyphen not like in the article)
    -xenophobic comments about slavic developers is “good info”, according to the author
    -LISK has very good general ties to Germany and the author is german too HMMMMMM

    For the love of God, Philipp…never write an article about anything again. Because this article is cringeworthy at best and seriously makes me doubt all your academical achievements (if you have any).

    • Thank you for the comment, but you didn’t really refute anything – you just openly or implicitly insulted me, but that is ok :). Oligopoly is what every dPoS system is, it is not pertinent only to Ark and that is what I said in the article. And I have no ties with Lisk, their cartel problem is long known but what makes you think that Ark doesn’t have/will not have such problem as well? Because Ark’s delegates have good souls? Think again ;).

  4. I was considering staking with Ark to ride out the rest of this bear market. Maybe I won’t…..

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