When NXT introduced the Asset Exchange to the world, it was the most advanced feature any cryptocurrency had ever seen at that point in time. It was allowing anyone to issue an asset and trade it on the blockchain using order books, just like any other conventional trading platform. It was also allowing asset issuers to distribute dividends in an extremely easy way. And all this through the user friendly client that any homo sapiens can use.
Projects like NEM, IOTA, Lisk, Waves, Komodo, founded by ex members of the NXT community, were certainly inspired by the power of the Asset Exchange to move on with their own projects and bring to life their vision of intelligence on the blockchain. The feature was launched in 2014, and till today it had not a single hiccup, in a time when everyone still is attempting to create decentralized exchanges.
In 2015 Ethereum was launched and all the focus passed on the new kid on the block. Ethereum was creating so much buzz that advanced blockchain platforms like NXT were no longer in the spotlight. Everyone in need of blockchain was just focusing on Ethereum. Clearly the extreme flexibility promised was very attractive and with the unbelievable amount of money flooding in the project, the hype was building up ever more and putting other great platforms like NXT in the shade.
But, as time passes, the Ethereum “super computer” starts to show its weaknesses due to potential buggy smart contracts, the usage of the unsustainable proof-of-work consensus protocol and the blockchain bloat issue, so the building blocks of NXT and Ardor start to look more “time resistant” because there is no chance to have a buggy smart contract processed by all nodes. The blockchain hosts only pre-programmed building blocks that are available out of the box and not developed by a potential malicious entity. Such building blocks are called “Smart Transactions” and amongst these are the asset exchange transactions.
With the launch of Ardor in 2018 all the features available in NXT were made available also to Ignis, the first Ardor child chain, and to the other child chains Bitswift and AEUR. That means that there is a fully decentralized asset exchange right in the Ardor platform and available to all child chains.
So how does the Asset Exchange on Ardor compare to the NXT one?
At a first sight it looks exactly the same, but there are a couple of things that maybe are not immediately visible, but that are a great deal:
– An issued Asset can be traded on all child chains in Ardor
– Transaction fees are flexible in Ardor, thanks to bundlers
The first of these additional features allows an Asset to be traded on any of the available Ardor child chains. Issuing of the asset always happens on the Ignis chain, but sell orders can be created on the Ignis, AEUR and Bitswift child chains, and soon on many more as more child chains are being deployed on Ardor.
This adds a huge amount of flexibility to the issued asset as, by default, it’s available on multiple markets. And remember that this is completely decentralized. Unstoppable, uncensored and impossible to cheat, the reason we are all into this space and why we see its potential of changing many things in our world, for the better. Thanks to the AEUR child chain, you can actually decide to sell your asset only in exchange of Euros guaranteeing a more stable financial planning. But you cannot forbid the asset holders to sell on the other child chains.
The second of these features allows fees to be more competitive compared to NXT. At the moment of writing, issuing a sell order of an asset on NXT costs 1 NXT, which is worth 6.4 dollar cents, while the lowest offered bundler fee on the Ignis chain is 0.025 Ignis which is worth 0.1 dollar cents. That is a massive transaction fee advantage. Similar fees are offered also on the AEUR and Bitswift child chains.
To compare with Ethereum, the average transaction fee is around 15 dollar cents, and Ethereum is at the lowest point since a year.
To wrap all this up, most of the focus around the Ardor platform is about its child chains and its scalability, which are unique capabilities in the space, but there is so much within each child chain that we kind of forget. And not every project needs a whole child chain. The Asset Exchange was and remains an amazing tool and I hope to see new projects have a look at it.
This post is not meant to discredit NXT, in fact I’ve written here the reasons why NXT, in my personal opinion, has other great selling points.