We had a chance to sit down with Arkane, a new suggestion on the CR.  As it is an “outside” project looking to integrate Elastos along with several other blockchain projects, we decided to ask some challenging questions about how Arkane supports the Cyber Republic and Elastos ecosystem, and who benefits most from the potential funding of Arkane.

1.  First off, could you introduce yourself and your project?  

I’m Tim Dierckxsens, co-founder of Arkane Network. We met Kevin Zheng and Rong Chen last year at their hotel in Ghent, and we found that there were a lot of areas where we could work together and move Blockchain forward.

This is our way to lower the barrier of entry for businesses to leverage Elastos.  The problem we see with blockchain is the same issue with the Internet in the 1990s. Because it’s abstract and difficult to understand, it takes a long time before it gains adoption. More services are needed to make blockchain useful and sensible for business to adopt the technology. Arkane tackles the complexity of implementing/integrating blockchain into businesses and simplifies the onboarding for their users.

2.  What is the project and, out of the gate, what would you like to clarify about the project?

Many people think we are a wallet company, but this is not completely true. We offer wallets as a service to connect existing systems with blockchain technology. By using Arkane, a current business would not need to learn how to code blockchain, but can use the Arkane Documentation and API to develop a blockchain-based solution quite similarly to how they’d develop a traditional application today.

3. What problem does this solve that something like nano ledger doesn’t already solve? If the only purpose of Arkane is to make it easy to develop wallets for different blockchains, ledger is already doing this and it’s a hardware wallet at that, which is totally secure.

The problem isn’t creating hardware wallets for users to store their cryptocurrencies. Let’s take a game studio as an example. A game developer wants to develop a blockchain-based game where he can allow his users to play, earn rewards, and be the owner of their digital assets. Currently, games that use blockchain assume that the user has a wallet and a browser plugin to interact with the game already installed. This is not a user friendly solution to onboard new people who are not yet into crypto. Arkane is making the customer journey a pleasant experience and allows the business to focus on building the game for their gamers while we take on the complexity of communicating with the blockchain. By using Arkane, the blockchain becomes completely transparent for users.

4. The suggestion says that developers get a single API for everything, but does this mean a single API talks to every single connected blockchain in the Arkane network? If so, that’s a massive endeavour and Arkane will need to constantly update their APIs because the more blockchains Arkane supports, the more costly it is to maintain such an enormous development effort.

A developer gets one client ID, and with that, he can start integrating with one or more blockchains. We indeed take the effort to offer a single API to communicate to the supported blockchains. The APIs don’t change because of changes in the supported blockchains since this would cause too much overhead for the applications that integrate Arkane. We catch these changes in our backend. Fortunately the blockchains don’t change that fast, so our development efforts to keep supporting a blockchain is quite low once it is integrated.

5. Who is the primary target of this project? Who would benefit from this should the project get funded by the CR? If it’s just benefiting the Arkane network, that would be something very hard for the Council to agree on as it would provide no direct benefit to Elastos ecosystem itself.  If there is a direct benefit to Elastos and the CR, what is it?

The primary target of Arkane are the businesses looking to leverage blockchain platforms. They don’t have the know-how and can’t imagine integrating blockchain services in the first place. We support each blockchain community and provide our value-added services to benefit the blockchain community and businesses looking to develop applications on top of that specific blockchain.

By integrating Elastos into Arkane, current and new applications could easily build on Elastos, offering Elastos wallets to their users in a user friendly manner and with the possibility to recover lost private keys.

A secondary advantage that Arkane offers to the supported blockchains is that we run two nodes of each chain. This makes the supported blockchains more decentralised and safer.

6. Is this decentralized, then? You say you’ll provide an API for ease of use, but there isn’t mention whether the connection of all these blockchains will be done with some sort of centralized arbitrator (managed by Arkane).  Would these arbitrators be decentralized, too? If you’re decentralized, how does it differ from other DEX solutions?

First of all, Arkane is not a DEX, our goal is not to make it possible to swap tokens.

We store the private key of our users in such a way that we cannot access the keys without the consent of the users. The user needs to enter his PIN when signing a transaction and only at that time we can access the private key to sign that specific transaction.

Every wallet has the option to be recoverable. For a recoverable wallet, we also store a share of the private key in cold storage so that we can recover the user’s private key when he forgot his PIN. We experienced the need for this as in our first month live, we already had 20 requests to recover private keys. If we were unable to do this, the user’s funds and NFT’s would have been lost. Arkane offers the user the possibility to choose the balance between more decentralised but less convenient, and less decentralised but more convenient.

7.  As you said, it seems as if you’re partly decentralized and partly centralized. Because you can help users recover their private key, this also means you have access to the private keys, and even with the claim that you can’t do it without the user’s pin–how can that be verified?  Do you have additional thoughts for the crypto community that would be concerned by such a prospect?

It may seem concerning that we offer a more convenient way to interact with blockchain technology and offer the possibility to recover a user’s private keys. We find it more concerning that a user’s assets can be frozen and locked away forever by simply misplacing a private key. It can be even worse if the user chooses to  copy – paste a private key in a web browser to sign transactions and that site happens to be a phishing site. In regards to security we take extreme measures which we explain here :

https://medium.com/arkane-network/wallet-security-explained-5b540d746583

Furthermore, we also have a public campaign running on a dedicated hacking platform. Results of the campaign can be seen here:

https://medium.com/arkane-network/ready-set-hack-update-9490ea2813f3

8. You sound like something between the recently funded Elastos Orchard, and a user-friendly wallet.  Your website seems to focus on the wallet rather than the business integration side, so is this aspect of your business a new development?  Are you familiar with the Elastos Orchard project? What can you provide that is different from the Elastos Orchard project, or could you see a cooperation?

Regarding our website, we’ve chosen to put the highest priority in making the technical documentation as clear as possible but we should indeed add more use cases and emphasis on what can be achieved by using our business services.

Regarding Elastos Orchard- I understand the project is to bring more awareness in Europe regarding blockchain and more specifically Elastos in Europe. Their services are more tailored to businesses development, business strategy, and networking, and in that respect, bring more insight to those businesses. Arkane is offering software as a service and it can be seen as an integration partner to those businesses to leverage the Elastos blockchain. So yes it can be perfectly possible to cooperate with Elastos Orchard as our services would be highly complementary.

9.  What is you/your team’s background and qualifications?  What makes your project the best to achieve the suggestion that you’ve made?  What successes do you already have?

As a team of 7 individuals, we’ve been working together as IT consultants for enterprises before becoming entrepreneurs. Between the team we have 60+ years of experience in developing enterprise-grade software, and to that respect we have a number of blockchain applications live. Arkane is already live and can support a number of blockchain ecosystems, and our goal is to help the best ecosystems grow.

10.  There was a question earlier about how this benefits Elastos and CR specifically.  Based on your answer, it sounds like you are seeking a number of blockchains to come onto Arkane.  

So why does this benefit Elastos specifically if this is such a broad project?  Do you already have a large user-base and business leverage that we should know about? Essentially, since there are already several wallets and wallets with the goal to be user-friendly  (Elephant wallet, DMA, Ledger) already on Elastos, why would Arkane provide anything different than what is being pursued already? Essentially, how would you justify the CR funding Arkane, rather than Arkane paying for Elastos integration support, or at the very least a mutually beneficial cooperation between two seperate companies?

We see 4 ways that could be interesting to cooperate:

We have open sourced the components to make integration possible. This information can be found here:

https://medium.com/arkane-network/going-open-source-to-add-more-blockchains-to-arkane-8caa54bd4588

Thus, we have these options:

  1. Elastos develops the bridge.
  2. Elastos pays Arkane to develop the integration in-house.
  3. Elastos posts a bounty for their community to develop the integration.
  4. Elastos sets a bounty and asks us to take the the lead where we’d post the bounty on our bounty platform fundrequest.io

We’ve already seen 4 cases where one of our community members started developing the integration between a blockchain and Arkane.

The main reason why we do not pay to implement a blockchain ourselves is because we want to support a vibrant blockchain community where there would be an active interest to develop Elastos by using our services. We are confident that we are providing value to both the blockchain network and enterprises.

The question you need to ask is: How would a business integrate Elastos? Which services do they need to provide users to make their application user-friendly?  By using Arkane, it would be easier for a business to develop Elastos dApps and offer a pleasant user experience for their users. The wallet-as-a-service is more important for the business than the consumer.

Thank you for your time, Tim.

What do you think about Arkane?  Vote with your opinion, here:
https://www.cyberrepublic.org/suggestion/5c7fb2b4aade0b0094404852

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here