What Are Nxt & Ardor Blockchain Platforms?

Coinist was recently fortunate enough to chat with the folks at Jelurida, an organization with 2 blockchain projects that are designed to allow users to build flexible Applications & Financial Services. We have this amazing opportunity today to speak with Jelurida about both the Nxt and Ardor blockchain platforms.


Coinist was recently fortunate enough to chat with the folks at Jelurida, an organization with 2 blockchain projects under their belt (look for their projects in our ICO calendar under the technology ICO category). We are excited to bring our readers this amazing opportunity to talk with the people behind these blockchain projects. However, before we jump into the interview, take 2 minutes to watch the introductory video the Ardor platform below.

First of all, thanks for joining us today! I’m familiar with Nxt and use the platform myself. I think what your team is working on is fascinating. But let’s imagine I put you in a room with person who has no working knowledge of what blockchain technology is. If I gave you less than a minute to explain the Nxt platform to them, how would you describe it?

Nxt is an advanced blockchain platform which builds on and improves the basic functionality of pioneering cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency and financial systems are the first widely used applications of blockchain technology, but the blockchain and its associated technology can be used for so much more.

Nxt revolutionizes the financial technology, crowdfunding and governance industries by providing not only the groundbreaking NXT crypto-currency, but also a powerful, modular tool-set to build with, in any way Nxt users can imagine. Nxt gives users complete freedom to create their own applications.

Now, let’s go through some of the features of Nxt and look at real world use cases for each feature. Many of these features (I’m assuming) will be found in both the Nxt platform as well as Ardor platform. Let’s look first as “assets”. What are some examples of assets that users can create on the NXT platform?

The most successful use case for assets so far is raising funds for crypto based projects. Established projects like NEM, SIA and now Ardor started their life as an NXT asset which helped finance their development before their network was launched.

When an asset is added to the platform is it automatically added to the asset exchange?

Yes, anyone can create an asset and start trading immediately then pay dividends to its users.

Under the “monetary system” feature, explain to us how “currencies” work. Users have the option to “issue currency”. What are some real world use cases for currency issuance?

While assets can be thought of as shares in a company, the Monetary System currencies represent more sophisticated use cases for tokens, for example the Ignis crowd sale uses the JLRDA token as a registry for Ignis balances that cannot be traded, other currencies can be used for dutch action style crowd funding or even for distributing the currency using POW mining.

Voting is a very unique feature within the Nxt platform. Again, explain to me some real world use cases for this feature. Within the voting system are their opportunities for interoperability that would follow “if this than that” logic? For example, if the outcome of a poll is X then Y is triggered? If this functionality exists, can you give us a real wold use case for its application?

In fact, voting has dual purpose in NXT, the first is that anyone can simply create a poll and ask users to vote using several voting models such as per account, per account balance or per token ownership. This system is ideal for shareholders voting for example, and is used extensively by the NXT community to vote about community decisions. The 2nd use case is to use voting to vote on the execution of phased transactions using the same voting models. We call this “phasing”, at the simplest form this can be used for multi-signature transactions but it also has more advanced use cases like depending execution of one transaction on another or even cross blockchain transactions

Data Cloud is similar to messaging but it’s for more dynamic content. Again, can you give us some real world use cases for the data cloud feature?

Data cloud is used for proof of existence, for example the Ardor design document was submitted to the NXT blockchain and therefore digitally signed and time stamped. Now when people copy our design we can prove that our design existed first. A unique function of the data cloud is that the file itself is removed after several weeks and only a cryptographic hash remains to prove that this document indeed existed at the time of submission. Archival nodes can still store these documents forever but they are no longer part of the blockchain. The same idea is used in Ardor to prune child chain transactions.

Your marketplace feature is a fascinating part of your platform. Essentially Nxt users get their own store where they can sell whatever product or service they wish. Can you walk us through a typical transaction as it would take place between a buyer and a seller using this feature of your platform?

A good example for the marketplace feature is the book about NXT. A book containing community members testimonies about NXT was written by a community member. Then published to the marketplace and sold for NXT. The blockchain provides proof of purchase and delivery while the physical book was shipped by mail.

Messages are another feature you have built into you system. Do you feel that a messaging system built into a blockchain platform like Nxt has the ability to replace the need for third party messaging systems (Gmail, Yahoo etc). If so why?

Blockchain based messages are unlikely to replace global scale social network due to scaling issues. A good use case for NXT messages are medical records. A doctor can send encrypted test results to its patient, while the patient can share this specific encrypted message with an independent expert by getting a shared key which can only be used to decrypt a specific message. This is a powerful function that as far as we know is only supported by NXT.

Can you tell me more about what “Aliases” are within the Nxt platform?

Aliases serve as a unique name registry and are also accompanied by a far more useful feature called “Account Properties” which can register per account unique key, value data. Both aliases and account properties are used heavily by NXT itself for its own functions. For example when publishing a new release we announce its hash using an alias and during the Ignis crowd sale we announce the rate of the JLRDA token using an account property set by the JLRDA issuer account.

Can you explain what “plugins” are and how they add onto the functionality of the Nxt platform? Do plugins allow Nxt to become modular? If so,what are some popular plugins used on the Nxt platform and what are their use cases?

NXT provides two types of extension modules: (1) server side add-ons, written in Java, which can be used to enhance server side functionality, for example to allow our users to take a snapshot of the NXT balances or to trade NXT with Bitcoin without using a 3rd party, (2) client side plugins, written in Javascript which provides the ability to enhance the client UI, for example, there exists a popular plugin for adding financial charts for tracking blockchain based asset trades.

Now let’s chat about Ardor. Essentially although Ardor builds off the main principles of Nxt, it’s an almost completely re-written platform. As you point out in one of your videos, the underlying assumption of the Nxt platform is that only one blockchain is needed. One of the main problems with having only one blockchain is bloat. Ardor is being created to, amongst other things, solve this problem in a creative way by introducing child chains and advanced pruning capabilities. Beyond this major feature change, what are three other major changes users can expect to see in Ardor?

See attached “Ardor in a nutshell” document which explains this point

Can you briefly explain the difference between a child chain and a side chain?

Ardor child chains represent additional blockchain token which receives its security from the parent chain, it is still based on the same source code of the parent chain but can be transacted independently and can be pruned.

Side chains are a theoretical idea regarding the pegging of different blockchains with different source code and technology into the bitcoin blockchain using some cryptographic magic.

In a video it was mentioned that the development team working on Nxt will be focusing more attention on Ardor. It was mentioned that Nxt will continue to work, but it won’t be actively developed as it is now. Is this correct information?

The future development of NXT depends on our ability to fund its development and therefore depends on the success of the Ignis crowdsale as explained in the Whitepaper. Personally I’m very optimistic about the future of a large NXT ecosystem running side by side with a successful Ardor blockchain.

You mention that the varying needs of users will require different blockchain technologies. In this sense Nxt and Ardor can work side by side.

Correct, both chains will continue to run independently.

Would it be possible for someone to hardfork Nxt to continue working on it so that it doesn’t get abandoned?

First NXT won’t get abandoned! period. People have forked NXT many times and will continue to do so. According the Jelurida Public License (a new innovative open source license introduced recently) these forks will have to provide 10% of their tokens to the existing NXT stakeholders.

To build off my previous question, in a video on you site. a developer mentions that consequences of hardforks are often blown out of proportion and in fact hardforks can be executed quite gracefully (as has happened many times with Nxt). The thing I don’t quite understand is why Ardor isn’t a hard fork of Nxt? Side chains (amongst other things) will make Ardor have incompatible features to Nxt, so why not just fully replace Nxt? Is it because you find value in both blockchains and they contain two different set of functions and cater to two distinct markets? Therefore, isn’t this really just a hard fork in the a similar way to how there is Ethereum and Ethereum classic? What makes this change in direction for your team different than the Ethereum hardfork?

The Ardor platform represents multiple parent/child token configuration while the NXT blockchain represents a single token so a direct one to one conversion using a hardfork is impossible. Since we expect NXT to have a value of its own after the Ardor release we see no reason not to continue to support it as a standalone blockchain.

Speaking of Ethereum why would someone chose to operate on the Ardor platform over a platform like Ethereum? What can Ardor do that Ethereum can’t?

The Ardor approach uses proof of stake, flexible transaction types and prunable transactions. This provides a simple and scalable platform for developing decentralized applications. Some use cases will still require the ETH ultimate flexibility but many use cases will map nicely into the APIs that Ardor provides out of the box. I’m sure both platforms have a bright future and will contribute to a healthy and competitive blockchain industry.

Thank you greatly for your time. Nxt is an amazing and ambitious project. I’m truly excited to see Ardor in operation. To our readers, if you’d like to learn more about these blockchain projects please head over to to learn more!

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