We truly appreciate the strong and resilient community that surrounds ARK. That’s why we want to make sure you feel like you’re a part of the action! Follow me as I travel for ARK and document the team bringing our promising technology to people around the world. This is the second episode of ARK Adventures, a vlog designed to give you a front row seat to a day in the life of ARK.
ARK Adventures: ARK.io General Assembly Paris, France
If you are wondering how often these vlogs will come out, they will be released as adventures happen. Because of this, they will be more spaced out than a standard vlog that may have a new episode every day or every week. However, you are welcome to subscribe to The ARK Crypto Podcast, hosted by me, which has new episodes out every Friday!
The next episode is coming Soon™ and features our trip to New York City to attend the Magical Crypto Conference, attend Consensus NYC, and give a special presentation on ARK. Video editing is underway.
Video Voiceover Transcripts
Having trouble with the vlog being in English? Want to revisit key points? Translate this page or read the transcripts below:
On this trip, there are some key goals to hit. Many of us will be meeting each other in real life for the first time, and ARK CEO Fix and recent hire Loic will be our guides to the city. We’ll tour the French National Assembly and meet French MPs, as well as hold a general assembly for the ARK business entity. We’ll also meet with advisors at the Finance Ministry, and I’ll be able to interview our new marketing team Kai and Katie on the podcast. The team will give a special ARK presentation to French government officials and listen to some talks regarding ARK efforts in France. And of course, visit the Eiffel Tower!
Big shout out to the ARK crew who couldn’t join us on this trip: Rok, Travis, Mike, Brian, Velislav, Joshua, Alex, Lucio, Simon, Erwann, Adrian and Juan!
Another big non-paid shoutout to CheapAir.com! They accept Bitcoin, and that makes traveling a breeze for me. Also, the Spend App, which allows me to spend ARK using virtual and real VISA cards. They seamlessly convert to fiat in the background at the time of purchase. I love my Spend card guys, keep it up!
Journey to the Hotel
I need to make my way over to the hotel, so, let’s talk about ARK in a nutshell. ARK has four main aspects to it.
First, ARK is all about easy. Easy-to-use desktop and mobile wallets, an easy, fair, and energy-saving consensus algorithm, and it’s even very easy for users to participate by voting.
Speaking of easy, number two- ARK allows you to create new chains. We have something called the ARK Deployer, which is a free, intuitive blockchain creation tool that lets you design, customize, and launch your own blockchain in three easy steps. It combines an effortless graphical user interface with battle-tested guides and procedures so you can create a customized blockchain, even if you’ve never worked with blockchains before.
Thirdly, ARK is aiming to help chains talk to each other. The future won’t be one blockchain to rule them all, but with so many chains out there, where’s the convenience for the user? With ARK SmartBridge technology, people would be able to use the ARK mainnet token to interact with another chain’s use case. With each chain controlling its own development and future, they would have peace of mind from things like scaling concerns and forced economic models.
Lastly, ARK is all about extensibility. With normal Typescript applications functioning as custom Core plugins, and the ability to create custom transaction types on a new chain, the possibilities are endless for molding our tech to your specific vision. ARK is also extensible through over a dozen programming languages and SDKs, and that is ARK in a nutshell. Learn more at whitepaper.ark.io. I also highly recommend this hotel- tres chic.
Meet the Team
Now that we’re all assembled at the hotel, let’s meet the team members who came here to Paris. First up, we got Michel, a front end developer. Next to him is G, who helps with accounting and compliance. G works with Lars- he’s our CFO. Oleg’s graphic design gives ARK its sleek look, and this is Matt, ARK’s Chief Strategist. He’s largely responsible for recommending I be hired, so thank him (or blame him) depending on how you feel about that. This is ARK CEO Francois-Xavier Thoorens who lives here in Paris, and this is Chris, our CTO.
Next to him is Sam, who’s on the comms team with me, and beside him is Kai, our recent marketing hire, who has been doing great work with Katie, who is rounding out our marketing team. This is Vasil, one of our core developers, and we were all pleased to meet Loic, who helps Fix with ARK’s efforts in France. Last up we got Scott, a board member and co-founder who’s been with us since the beginning. Don’t forget, there are community developers all around the world earning ARK while helping improve ARK’s code, and delegates securing the ARK Public Network. We appreciate all that you do!
French National Assembly
Our first activity as a group took us along the beautiful river Siene and quaint, shaded pathways towards the French National Assembly building. The French National Assembly is one of two chambers together with the Senate which make up the country’s Parliament, so it’s basically the French version of the US House of Representatives. One thing that really hits you right off the plane about Paris is the stunning architecture in the city, and the French National Assembly is no exception.
The grounds featured gorgeous gardens, and inside you’ll find some of the most beautiful sculptures, artwork, and decor you’ve ever seen. We weren’t allowed to film inside, so these photos only do it some justice. We were also guests at a reception where we met French MP Jean-Michel Mis, who is doing great things to introduce legislation and further the crypto narrative in France. The experience was definitely memorable.
ARK.io General Assembly
After leaving the National Assembly building, it was time for us to have an assembly of our own, and meet to make some key changes in the structure of the ARK business entity.
In the meeting, changes were made in the members of the Supervisory and Executive boards. They oversee daily operations of the ARK business entity and with these changes, managing accountability has become easier.
On the development team, project leads were declared so each member knows what they are chiefly responsible for. This ensures better workflow and collaboration among team members, as well as better management for community developers.
Responsibilities shifted within the communications team, with the new marketing team now on board, more outreach and coordination can happen. People say ARK’s goals are very ambitious, and with the help of this restructuring, I believe we are well equipped to achieve them. Read the full report in the link in the description below.
Paris at Night
After a very productive meeting, we made our way to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, drinks, and discussion. One of the most exciting things for me about this trip was getting to know the people who founded this project and to really listen to them tell their story. There was a lot I didn’t know about how they came together, what the project truly means to them, and just how passionate they are about ARK. Their humble story is a true underdog tale and it was fascinating to really hear the passion in their voices.
They talk about how important the community is all the time, how much they respect and appreciate the community developers that contribute to ARK every day, and how much ARK has really become their family- it was truly inspiring. I myself came from the community. That’s my story, and with a little hard work, it can be your story too. I often tell people that ARK isn’t just a project, or a cryptocurrency, or a business- it’s a family, and this trip absolutely cemented that for me. Seeing everyone come together and feeling that bond makes me even more optimistic for the future.
Ministry of the Economy and Finance
After a great night’s sleep at the Eugene en Ville Hotel, it’s time for another beautiful day in Paris. After some coffee and chillin’ in the lobby, we began to make our way towards the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance to meet with some of the advisors there. So, let’s talk about France.
If you don’t already know, France is becoming a leader in the European Union in regards to crypto and blockchain technology. Using their progressive regulatory frameworks, ARK was able to incorporate in France as an SCIC and be the first of its kind for crypto in the country.
In the meeting, we learned more about how France is architecting the most comprehensive approach to blockchain regulation, supervision, and accounting in the world. France is becoming a prime destination for blockchain innovation- a start-up hub building on a strong talent pool in computer science and mathematics. France also provides some very delicious coffee!
The innovative regulatory framework France offers allows projects like ARK to easily interact with the legacy financial system and remain compliant. This brings a lot of stability and longevity to ARK. We couldn’t film in there, so here’s Matt’s breakdown.
The meeting is over, and Matt, along with some other ARK board members, split off to give a special presentation to our government officials. Now completely unsupervised, it was time for us to explore and enjoy some downtime. I decided it was the perfect opportunity for me to interview our new marketing team, Kai and Katie, for my weekly podcast which is all about ARK. So, let’s talk about ARK outreach.
ARK’s prime focus for outreach at the moment revolves around generating interest among developers, businesses, and aspiring talent in the blockchain space. ARK has attended or sponsored well over a dozen major conferences, including a presentation we recently did at Consensus NYC 2019. ARK also loves hackathons, and has attended over a dozen of those as well. ARK has plans to revitalize hackathons in a virtual form soon. I also do interviews and make appearances wherever I’m needed. You can check some of those out in the links in the description below.
Industries of Interest
Where does Kai and Katie fit in? Well, they both have a lot of formal experience in B2B marketing, and aim to place ARK in the spotlight for enterprise blockchain applications. As explained in our new whitepaper at whitepaper.ark.io, ARK will be focusing on four key industries of interest:
Number one- Gaming. A decentralized infrastructure enables immutable ownership of in-game digital assets, completely transforming the control and flexibility that players currently have in centralized gaming environments.
Number two- Internet-of-Things. Industry leaders are crying out for a scalable solution that will enhance security, improve network performance and reduce the reliance on centralized cloud servers, and that’s where blockchain technology shines.
Number three- Government. With ARK having close ties to a government as progressive as France, we can gain the key knowledge needed to bring solutions to the sector.
Number four- Supply Chain Management. ARK technology can offer the supply chain industry greater oversight and control of inventory, enhanced data security, and automated processes, enabling increased efficiency and significant cost reduction.
ARK will combine the ease of the Deployer with malleable templates to further assist these industries in capturing industry-specific use cases for ARK technology. Kai and Katie are designing the materials and honing the strategies to best represent our tech in front of these enterprises. You can get to know Kai and Katie a little better on episode 38 of my podcast, with the link in the description below. I release new episodes all about ARK every Friday at podcast.ark.io, and you can subscribe wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
With the episode wrapped, it was time to head over to hear some presentations by some French business and blockchain professionals and get a status update on what’s going on with ARK in France.
First up was Philippe-Moreau Chevrolet, President of MCBG Conseil, ARK’s communications and PR agency in France. Philippe’s company helps get Fix in front of the right people and media outlets.
Next up was Fabrice Feugas, Community Director and handler of customer satisfaction for France Digitale, a startup assistance firm that connects businesses with opportunities around France.
This is Sarah-Diane Eck, CEO of blockchain startup Sandblock, who discussed what she was up to with her shopping rewards app Surprise.
We also sat down with Sandblock CTO Fabrice Bascoulergue, and our CTO Chris had a very engaging discussion with them. They are interested in ARK technology, because it offers a series of advantages over simply having a token on someone else’s mainnet. ARK offers them autonomy and sovereignty, so they can forge their own future. It’s interesting to think about all the exciting ways our technology can be used, and how every time someone launches an ARK-based chain, our ecosystem grows stronger and more useful. And that is something that is easy to love about ARK.
It was finally time to visit the stunning Eiffel Tower, over two times taller than the replica in Las Vegas. It gave us all a chance to reflect on everything we had accomplished and learned on the trip, as well as a fresh perspective on the future of ARK. The tower, constructed in 1887, contains over 1700 steps, some of the best views of the city, and multiple observation decks (it looks like it has more steps than Chris had expected).
Joining up with the rest of the team on one of the observation decks, it became painfully clear to me how much value we all really got from the trip, and even though we collaborate really well online, the trip introduced a true sense of camaraderie to the team. Fix was excited to show us a cool aspect of the deck, which featured a glass floor you could stand on and see all the way down to the ground below. Climbing the tower reminded me of the way we are always working, always building, no matter what, and how all of that effort will be well worth it in the end.
From the highest deck, we could see all the places we had visited and adventures we shared while in the beautiful city. The Assembly, the Ministry, coffee shops, restaurants. And our timing couldn’t have been better- we reached the top of the tower at that perfect moment to witness a gorgeous Parisian sunset. Fix told me a story about how when they were first building the tower, people thought it was kind of crazy, but today, every French citizen is proud to rally around this global French symbol. At ARK, we’re not just building for enterprise- we’re building for the dreamers, for the people who think the world deserves to be a better place and can see how blockchain technology can play a key role in that.
We left even more optimistic about the future. I thought it looked cool during the daytime, but nothing prepared me for the beauty of the national landmark lighting up the night sky. With the trip now behind us, we began making our way to a nearby restaurant for a final team dinner. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for joining us on this adventure. While our team is strong and effective, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much without the help of solid partners as well as users, delegates, and developers everywhere in our community. Please like, comment, and subscribe, and as always, thank you for helping us work towards our vision of Point. Click. Blockchain.