Introducing Ark: a privacy-focused alternative Bitcoin scaling solution

Introducing Ark: a private Bitcoin scaling alternative.

Advocate of inclusive finance and Mandela Washington Fellow Kudzai Kutukwa published a commentary in Bitcoin Magazine introducing a new scaling solution called Ark. Developed by Burak and announced at The Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Ark aims to achieve cheap, anonymous, off-chain Bitcoin transactions that protect privacy and maintain user friendliness. The article outlines how the Ark protocol could potentially scale Bitcoin payments.

Ark protocol is an L2 scaling solution that enables cheap, anonymous and off-chain Bitcoin transactions. The protocol has minimal on-chain footprint and has the potential to scale the use of non-custodial Bitcoin. Ark can be defined as trustless electronic cash or a liquidity network similar to the Lightning Network, but its UTXO set is entirely off-chain, neither a state chain nor a rollup.

One of the most concerning trends in the Lightning Network today is the dominance of custodial users over non-custodial users, largely due to liquidity constraints requiring users to first obtain liquidity from someone else’s node. With Ark, users don’t need channels or liquidity, but instead delegate it to trustless intermediary network Ark Service Providers (ASPs). Every transaction on Ark happens within a CoinJoin, obfuscating the link between sender and receiver, enhancing user privacy. The anonymity set in Ark is every participant in the transaction, theoretically having greater privacy than Lightning Network or on-chain transactions.

Ark protocol can interoperate with the Lightning Network and can also serve as a complement to it. Given the various attempts to attack Bitcoin through malicious prosecution and predatory legislation, the need for scalable, efficient, privacy-preserving tools like Ark is crucial. Ark supports seamless transactions, without imposing any liquidity constraints or interactivity, nor requiring direct connections between sender and receiver to prevent user identity leakage to third parties.


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