Ark forked from the Lisk platform in October 2016. Its network was built by fusing key features of well-known platforms such as Lisk, Crypti, and BitShares, but with some differences, such as improvements to the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus algorithm used by Lisk. Ark characterizes itself as a platform that aims to boost adoption of blockchain technologies by providing a framework for the creation of personal and enterprise blockchain solutions that run in parallel to the Ark blockchain. Since its launch, the development team has experimented with different approaches to enhance the value of the platform and the project is currently pursuing several ambitious goals. One of them is blockchain interoperability using light clients that coexist in different networks. Ark validators, or “Encoded Listeners”, will be responsible for running these light clients in compatible blockchains and bridging ARK transactions. Another initiative currently being pursued by the team is the Ark SmartCard, a hardware wallet that resembles a credit card with the sole purpose of signing ARK transactions. Despite rumors that the Smartcard would be compatible with existing payment rails such as VISA, the development team confirmed in December 2016 that the SmartCard will only function as a hardware wallet. Finally, the project also plans to integrate parts of the Ark network with the Inter-Planetary File System, or IPFS, a decentralized internet protocol. Ark is incorporated in France as a cooperative society, Ark Ecosystem, registered under n° 833 439 300, with a structure matching its open source blockchain organization.