Beginners guide to Block Array

I’ll be taking a look at Block Array (ARY) in this article. Block Array is a pretty new project, having recently ICO’d, and with its ARY token only beginning to trade on exchanges in January.

Block Array is a supply chain and logistics blockchain. It bills itself as a complete transport, logistics and enterprise solution. Block Array is an ERC-20 token launched on the Ethereum blockchain and it’s currently trading at $0.13 cents. Let’s start with the Block Array ICO.

The Block Array ICO

The Block Array crowdsale took place over 5 days in January and raised 100 percent of the fundraising goal. They were able to raise $14 million or 11,500 ETH. The token sale offered 60 percent of the total supply of 88,409,933 ARY tokens. The price during the crowdsale was 1 ARY = 0.26 USD (0.00021140 ETH). The token sale allowed US and UK participants but banned citizens of many other countries including China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore.

What does Block Array do?

Block Array is a complete transport and logistics platform that can track an item from production to the consumer. It’s basically a complete freight solution for businesses. The platform is compliant with GS1 standards and uses this framework. GS1 is a global standard language for business, used internationally. It allows businesses to communicate in common terminology.

Block Array uses a hybrid system of public and private, permissioned blockchain technologies to modernize the way businesses track the movement of merchandise from the production stage until it is purchased by consumers. It allows businesses and consumers to authenticate a product and also access the information in an efficient manner thanks to the GS1 barcode that the system is based upon. This project is pretty ambitious in its scope. They have a long list of objectives they are trying to accomplish:

  • They want to devise a system to make normal barcodes point to URLs, make it so when a product is scanned that a record of that info is added to the blockchain creating immutable data.
  • They aim to improve QR codes to combat counterfeiting and use RFID chips to track assets and goods.
  • They are creating new product identification mechanisms to authenticate products.
  • They are creating a virtualized “gray pool” to match businesses with unused shipping capacity with other businesses that need shipping.
  • They want to lower the barrier to entry to marketplaces like Amazon.
  • They want to help small businesses get large clients with the ARY token

XONS Protocol

Block Array is built on Ethereum but will offer support for various other blockchains such as Bitcoin, Hyperledger, Cardano, Oracles P.O.A. and Chainpoint.  Block Array also utilizes the XONS protocol, which will allow for barcodes to be linked to smart contracts or smart contracts can be triggered by events or actions. This would allow many different companies to access information about a product via the blockchain, so they all have the same data, and also allows for product tracking with automation and AI. The protocol can also allow for a barcode to point to the Ethereum address of a specific business. The protocol also would allow companies to let customers access product information, documentation, warranty info, etc. simply by scanning the barcode of the product. It creates immutable logs of information by creating a hash that can be verified by anyone who needs to verify the information.

Block Array solves many existing problems and inefficiencies in the current business logistics model. The Block Array smart contract is referred to as a visual smart contract that basically creates a log of, or provides all information regarding that product and any employee specific permissions associated with that product. For example, a worker could have the permission to move an order onto a truck, and have it verified and logged on the blockchain all tracked through their smartphone. The visual smart contracts can be triggered by geofencing (like when a box moves down an assembly line) or a physical action (like an employee scanning a barcode upon receiving a product). Each one of these actions will have a transaction ID on the blockchain, and other companies or clients can access this data.

The Block Array master node

Block Array will also employ master nodes. The master nodes will secure the blockchain, verify transactions and produce new blocks for the network. The master nodes will use up about 2 million coins of the total supply, as node operators stake coins to run their nodes. Node operators will need to pass KYC/AML to run a node and nodes will be only allowed in the following countries:

USA, Canada, U.K., Switzerland, E.U. Member Countries, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine. As of June, China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and Brazil will be added. Nodes are limited to 1 per person.

There are three kinds of nodes: primary, secondary, and heartbeat nodes, the nodes are described as:

  1. Primary (1) will contain the underlying consensus protocol (RBFT). These will be validating peers committing changes to the global ledger. Requires 40,000 ARY. 64 slots available.
  2. Secondary (2) will contain non-validating peers. and the ordering service. They will also host the Membership Service Authority. Requires 22,500 ARY. 101 slots available.
  3. Heartbeat (3) will contain the service mesh for all nodes. These services include NTP for time-synchrony, service discovery and observability. Requires 7,500 ARY. 156 slots available.

Nodes receive block rewards every two weeks, and this reward will drop by 30 to 50 percent one year after they go live. There is also a “THAW” bonus, a one-time bonus after two months if the node has 100 percent uptime.  The following table will help you visualize the node specifics.

 

Node TypeTokens neededTokens rewardedThaw bonus
Primary40,000 ARY250 ARY3500 ARY
Secondary22,500 ARY150 ARY1500 ARY
Heartbeat7,500 ARY75 ARY0

The Block Array team also announced that:
Masternodes will have to be hosted with one of the approved VPS hosting providers: Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, or Vultur. Block Array will cover any hosting costs incurred in ETH, as well as a “bonus” % on top of this to account for price volatility (Primary – 4.50%, Secondary – 4.15%, and Heartbeat – 3.75%).

Overall the Block Array master nodes will be a good way to earn passive income and support the network.

In conclusion

Block Array is the latest of several supply/logistics blockchains similar to Walton coin or VeChain. In contrast to those Chinese based chains, Block Array is an American company based in Tennessee. It will be interesting to see if Block Array manages to carve out a market share considering the competing chains have over a year’s head start. Block Array is a token that is cheap at the moment and the master nodes make it appealing to investors. Block Array also has some high profile partnerships. The technology for Block Array could be a game changer but they are trying to modernize an industry that hasn’t seen much if any innovation in the last 50 years, so we’ll see how it pans out.

 

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