Big, big news… after almost a year in the making, ARK’s efforts towards driving adoption of the ARK blockchain platform in the enterprise blockchain space have taken a huge step forward. More than a step. In fact, we’ve taken a giant leap into the enterprise blockchain arena. How? Introducing Protokol, ARK’s enterprise blockchain services branch.
Over the past few months, you’d all be forgiven for wondering what’s been happening in regards to ARK’s efforts to generate adoption of the ARK blockchain platform in the enterprise space. We know we’ve been a bit quiet on that front recently, but with good reason. We’ve been diligently working in the background not just to formulate our strategy to drive adoption of ARK technology in global enterprises, but to create a whole new company for doing so.
And that’s where Protokol comes in. We’ve founded Protokol, an enterprise blockchain services provider that will help organizations all around the world utilize ARK’s blockchain technology.
Before we get into the details, let’s quickly introduce you to Protokol …
What is Protokol and what will Protokol do?
Founded by key members of the ARK team (and supported by the wider ARK board and development efforts), Protokol offers a range of blockchain services, custom blockchain solutions and (in the near future) enterprise blockchain products for businesses.
By combining the highly-adaptable ARK blockchain platform with business transformation and solution delivery expertise, Protokol will help organizations leverage ARK’s blockchain technology in a way that adds real value to their business.
From blockchain consulting to custom development, to maintenance and support, Protokol’s blockchain professional services will help businesses of all sizes and industries unlock the benefits of ARK’s blockchain technology. Whether that’s to drive efficiency, reduce operational costs, improve data integrity or create new business models, the use cases for enterprise blockchain are both vast and compelling.
Why Create Protokol?
Having a dedicated enterprise arm of ARK enables us to laser-focus our time, effort and resources exactly where it’s needed. The Protokol team will be focused purely on generating business from the enterprise blockchain sector, while the ARK team will continue to focus on building industry-leading blockchain products and tools for developers to leverage blockchain technology for their own projects.
But why are we targeting enterprises? Well for one, the enterprise blockchain market is growing, fast. Last year alone business and government spending on blockchain technology was predicted to hit upwards of $2.7bn. IDC predictions see blockchain spend hitting almost $16bn dollars by 2023. What this demonstrates is a clear trend towards the adoption of blockchain technology by some of the world’s largest corporations, and we want these corporations to utilize ARK technology.
As enterprises are signaling their desire to move blockchain projects out of testing and into full production, they’re crying out for blockchain services providers to deliver solutions that are adaptable, scalable, secure and simple to implement — all key attributes of the ARK blockchain platform.
By creating Protokol, we’ll be able to tailor our messaging, services, technology and offering as a whole, to better suit the enterprise market. We’ll be able to speak their language, talk about their challenges and present solutions in a way that will truly resonate.
What’s on the Roadmap for Protokol?
After working on the conception of Protokol throughout the latter half of 2019 alongside their duties at ARK, at the onset of 2020, a handful of key members from the ARK team took the leap into (almost) full-time roles at Protokol. Since then they’ve been incredibly busy building out the commercial and operational strategy, the positioning, branding, messaging, service offering, roadmap and the go-to-market plans for launch. The first stage of this launch is today — soft launch.
During the soft launch, the MVP version of the Protokol website and social media channels will be pushed live, including Protokol’s initial messaging, service offerings, and positioning.
Over the summer, the team will continue to build their inbound marketing efforts, by expanding the website and creating additional content. They’ll be re-engaging leads and targets from our extended network and will commence initial outbound lead-generation efforts with small-scale targeted campaigns. Development of our NFT (Non-Fungible Token) solutions will continue, and the overall Protokol offering will continue to be refined utilizing feedback and insight collected from those businesses that engage with Protokol at this early stage. All this will lead up to Protokol’s “hard-launch” in late Q3/early Q4 of 2020 where outbound PR and lead-generation campaigns will be activated.
From Q4 2020 onwards, Protokol will be fully launched into the enterprise blockchain arena and will turn full focus towards generating and servicing enterprise clients.
We appreciate our community will probably be looking for clarification in some areas, so we’ve put together some key points below:
- Are Protokol and ARK separate companies? Yes and no. Protokol is a subsidiary of ARK. So although a separate legal entity, the ARK board retains majority control.
- Who’s on the Protokol team? Lars Rensing, Kristjan Košič, Kai Richards and Katie Phillips from ARK, supported by a number of new Protokol hires in the development, commercial and strategic advisory areas. Protokol has recently brought on board Thijs van Dam to head up business development and just last week welcomed Amadej Pevec and Matej Lubej to the development team. Zan Kovac, a previous contributor at ARK, will continue to contribute as part of Protokol’s development team. And, as Protokol secures new clients the team will scale to meet demand.
- How is Protokol being funded? Funding for Protokol set-up and launch was provided by ARK. In the future, Protokol will be a self-sustaining entity with revenue generated from its solutions and services.
- Why the separation? There are quite a few legal and technical reasons for the formation of a separate entity. But, from a legal point of view, the separation of the two entities is the best way to protect the ARK Ecosystem from any potential future liability related to Protokol. Secondly, by creating a separate enterprise blockchain entity, we can completely tailor our branding and messaging to better suit our enterprise target audience.
- How will Protokol’s development efforts benefit ARK? Protokol will be developing enterprise solutions utilizing ARK’s technology. Any insight, feedback or areas for improvement that come up during Protokol’s development will be shared with the ARK team. Better yet, some of the solutions and modules that Protokol develop will be made available through MarketSquare, a new ARK product launching in Q3, 2020. This will make them available for the entire ecosystem of developers. Right now, for example, Protokol is in the process of developing an NFT solution, a version of which will eventually be added to MarketSquare and/or the Deployer.
- What does this mean for the ARK token, delegates and ecosystem as a whole? We could write a whole separate blog post about this. But, the bottom line is, enterprises adopting ARK’s blockchain platform as a foundation for their blockchain ecosystems can only be a tremendously positive step for the ARK Ecosystem. Revenues, developments, feedback, insight and demand will ultimately be funneled back to ARK.io to help complement our existing development efforts. Alongside all the work we’re doing here at ARK, the additional insight, revenues and recognition we get from enterprises utilizing ARKs blockchain technology will help us create a bigger, better and more robust ecosystem for all.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be running a special episode of the ARK Crypto Podcast featuring the Protokol team. As well as giving you a little more insight into the plans for Protokol, we’ll also include questions from the ARK community.
If you have a burning question about Protokol, you can submit it here https://arkio.typeform.com/to/HHPLMB and we’ll select the best ones to put to the team.
What’s next for ARK and Protokol?
For ARK, it’s business as usual. We’re continuing with our development roadmap with a number of exciting releases due soon. You can see our progress towards each new release on ARK’s Roadmap.
The Protokol team will continue to refine the go-to-market offering over the summer months. They’ll be continuing to engage with the current client opportunities in the pipeline, and begin engaging with targets, all while gearing up for the Protokol hard launch later this year.
If you have warm contacts in your professional network that you’d like to introduce to Protokol, let us know in the ARK Ecosystem Slack, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can keep an eye on Protokol’s progress by following the ARK blog and our social media channels. We’ll be keeping you up to date with any major milestones or announcements from Protokol, making sure you hear it from us first. As ARK continues to create and improve upon existing products, Protokol will be providing solutions to enterprise clients that undoubtedly prove that ARK is the simplest way to blockchain.