What is Ardor (ARDR)? The blockchain is struggling to attract users

An experienced team and impressive tech is behind Ardor. But does it have drawing power?

Image of ardor token set into cracked ground – Photo: Shutterstock                                 
Ardor’s parent company Jelurida needs to drive up user engagement – Photo: Shutterstock


Ardor positions itself as a “blockchain-as-a-service” (BaaS) platform for businesses large and small, and claims to provide scalable and customisable blockchain solutions using multi-chain architecture.

According to its white paper, when Ardor launched at the end of 2017, it brought to the table three fundamental advantages over existing blockchain options: “Reducing blockchain bloat, providing multiple transactional tokens, and hosting ready-to-use interconnected blockchains.”

Ardor’s target clients include public entities, enterprises, consortiums, research institutions and financial service providers.

But exactly how does Ardor work and what is Ardor used for? 

What is the ARDR token?

Underpinning this supposedly unique blockchain ecosystem is the Ardor (ARDR) cryptocurrency, a proof-of-stake (PoS) token with a total supply of one billion. 

ARDR was first distributed among network users during a three-month period in 2016, and subsequent airdrops are used to incentivise the network nodes (or forgers) that keep the ecosystem running.

As the ARDR cryptocurrency runs on a PoS  ("proof of stake') system, tokens are not mined and no new ARDR tokens will ever be generated. Instead, the deflationary process of airdropping ARDR to operating network nodes as an incentive for executing transactions is what will theoretically drive upwards ARDR's value.

At time of writing, ARDR is valued at $0.322. Circulation supply of 998.9 billion gives a market capitalisation of $322.5m. The latest 24-hour trading volume was $22.6m.

ARDR is also a governance token, meaning token holders have a say in the future development of the Ardor protocol.

For more on ARDR and the ardor cryptocurrency, see the Currency.com Ardor coin price prediction

Now that we have the Ardor coin explained, let’s look further into the technology that it powers.

Understanding the multi-chain system

What Ardor dubs the “parent-child” architecture is one of the protocol’s unique elements. Ardor is the mothership of the whole network, the parent chain providing transaction security and PoS consensus validation. Branching out from this mothership are smaller child chains; the dApps built with Ardor architecture yet operating independently.

This multi-chain architecture is meant to be the key to Ardor’s scalability and customisability, which Jelurida hopes will bring businesses flocking to the platform.

Although bespoke tokens can be designed on these child chains, all transactions must report back to the mothership in a process called bundling. This bundling process unfortunately burdens the child chain operator with transaction fees (typically between 0.1% to 1% depending on the transaction type).

Jelurida says that as more and more businesses apply blockchain technology to their daily operations, a BaaS system like Ardor eliminates the need to maintain server networks, block validation nodes and security, all the while allowing businesses to customise their blockchains however they see fit.

Ardor evolved from the time-tested NXT blockchain code which has actually been around since 2013. NXT was one of the first blockchains to use PoS consensus, which does not require massive amounts of energy consumption to validate transactions.

Ignis is one of the so-called “child chains”, or the consumer-facing element of Ardor. Think of Ardor as an operating system and Ignis as an app on that operating system. Businesses can choose to use an existing child chain such as Ignis. 

For those with the expertise, however, businesses can actually create their own child chain, and bespoke token, through the developer tools provided, essentially building a bespoke blockchain tailored to their business.

Blockchain bloat

Blockchain bloat, a consequence of the immense amounts of data flying around the cryptosphere, continues to plague decentralised networks, causing transaction delays, network instability and even higher transaction fees.

Because all prior transactional data needs to stay on the blockchain in order for verification to work, where to store these trillions upon trillions of bytes of data is becoming a pressing issue.

Ardor claims that its multi-chain architecture can reduce the quantity of stored transactional data by a ratio of 1:100 without compromising network security. This is done by “pruning” unnecessary data held on any of the child chains that do not contribute to these transactions.

Looking at a use case: Triffic

The technology underpinning Ardor is highly complex and requires a certain amount of expertise if a business wishes to engage with it. The challenge is to make the end-user experience as seamless as possible to keep customers engaged.

Triffic is a loyalty rewards app created on a bespoke child blockchain on Ardor. A combination of GPS technology, augmented reality and blockchain, it allows local businesses to reward visitors in the form of a payout of Triffic’s native cryptocurrency, the GPS Token.

App users must first earn “fuel” by watching short advertisements, doubling as a revenue line for Triffic. If being forced to watch advertisements to earn fuel reminds app users slightly too much of Black Mirror, a premium, advertisement-free subscription is also offered.

The app interface is just like any other typical app, though you do have to download an additional “GPS Pay” app alongside Triffic itself to store your crypto rewards, then send those rewards to an Ardor wallet, then finally you may convert your rewards into your local fiat currency.

These additional stages could scare off more casual users. However, the intention for the app, using blockchain to power local economies, is commendable and a good example of Ardor’s hugely customisable blockchain protocol.

It should be mentioned that when researching use cases, a majority of the dApps made on Ardor’s multi-chain blockchain tend to be novelty projects and games. One of the flagship projects is a bridge card game, for instance. This is a far cry from the target client base outlined in the white paper.

The bottom line: despite offering an innovative multi-chain protocol and lower gas fees via the PoS consensus system, it has yet to be proven whether big-ticket DeFi companies can be enticed away from more recognised options such as Ethereum. Managing director Lior Yaffe seems to share these concerns.

Ardorgate: A misfire

Not all of Jelurida’s blockchain ventures have been successful. In 2018, Ardor’s parent company partnered with Ardorgate to deliver a EURO-pegged child-chain token named AEUR. It was intended to introduce newcomers to the world of crypto, and each AUER token would always equal exactly €1.

Unfortunately for users, Ardorgate shut down in early 2020, citing market conditions, increasing regulation and banks not willing to work with crypto-related businesses. Those with funds tied up in their Ardorgate wallets had to scramble to withdraw funds before the 28 February deadline.

For some reason, Jelurida is still advertising Ardorgate on its website.

Another touted project, HotCity, never seemed to get past its test phase.

Coming attractions

What is Ardor (ARDR) planning next on its journey to bring multi-chain blockchain technology to the masses?

Its roadmap provides precious little information and its own community boards are fairly quiet. On top of that, forecasters are generally bearish about the ARDR token’s prospects; certainly the $1 mark is a distant dream.

It all rests on how many businesses agree to take advantage of Ardor’s multi-chain architecture. If it proves to be a viable alternative to Ethereum while providing lower transaction fees, it may live up to its potential.


There are currently 998.9 billion ARDR in circulation, equal to the maximum supply. No new ARDR will ever be created through mining. Rather, ARDR are airdropped to network nodes for incentivising transactions and as a deflationary measure.

Ardor was created by experienced programmers with previous expertise in the field, having developed the NXT blockchain. Its comprehensive white paper outlines all legal and technical specifics. 

You can buy Ardor at a range of crypto exchanges. We don’t have it yet at currency.com, but we will let you know if and when we do. Just remember to do your research and never invest more than you can afford to lose.

Further reading

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