Lisk

Lisk is a public blockchain platform featuring blockchain apps. Find out everything you need to know about the growing platform today in our review.

What is Lisk?

Lisk, found online at Lisk.io, lets developers create and publish blockchain applications with their own sidechains. It’s an open source platform.

Lisk was announced in early 2016. The first release occurred in May 2016 when it was forked from Crypti by founding developers Max Kordek and Olivier Beddows.

The platform is written in Node.js. To join the Lisk network, all you need to do is download the Lisk wallet.

Lisk, like other blockchains, has its own in-platform currency. That currency, Lisk or LSK, has a market cap of around $734 million USD, putting it in the top 15 currencies by market cap. As of early November 2017, the token is priced at around $6.50 USD.

Lisk is often compared to Ethereum. Both Lisk and Ethereum are blockchain-based platforms that allow developers to create applications. Lisk allows developers to create “blockchain applications” by creating a sidechain to the Lisk blockchain, while Ethereum allows developers to build “decentralized apps” in a virtual machine on the main Ethereum blockchain. There are other differences which we’ll discuss below as well.

How Does Lisk Work?

One of the key goals of Lisk is to make it easy for developers to create good decentralized applications. Here’s the process you can use to launch an application on Lisk:

Step 1) Code: Decentralized blockchain applications can be built on Lisk from the ground up in pure JavaScript to take advantage of Lisk’s powerful APIs. Every app runs on its own sidechain to ensure that the core Lisk platform stays safe and scalable. These features will launch before the end of Q4 2017.

Step 2) Deploy: The Lisk platform allows for a number of different storage options for blockchain applications. Developers can deploy code in a .zip archive to services like Github or a web server. Then, once deployed, developers can register applications on the Lisk platform by filling in relevant information like name, description, tags, and a download link.

Step 3) Use: Once the applications are ready to launch, Lisk can operate as a decentralized powerhouse for that application. “By utilizing our extensive user base,” the official Lisk website explains, “End users and developers can find third party nodes to execute future blockchain applications through servers all over the world in a truly decentralized manner.” The application is secured by worldwide decentralized computation of code.

Lisk is built on a delegated proof of stake (DPoS) algorithm originally created by BitShares. Lisk is different from ordinary PoS blockchains in that only the top 101 delegates (determined by voting weight of voters) are actively “forging” and securing the network.

Lisk DPoS protocol functions through a series of rounds, with each round consisting of 101 individual blocks.

How to Use Lisk

As mentioned above, using Lisk is designed to be straightforward. The Lisk.io websites outlines a simple six step process you can use to get started with Lisk:

Step 1) Create a Lisk Account. You’ll receive a passphrase, then you’ll need to download the Lisk wallet and launch the application.

Step 2) Get your LSK Tokens. LSK tokens power the Lisk ecosystem. All actions on the Lisk network require LSK to process. You can purchase LSK from most cryptocurrency exchanges (Poloniex and Bittrex both list Lisk).

Step 3) Configure your Account. Lisk lets users add two factor authentication, for example, to secure access to their account.

Step 4) Use Lisk Tools. Lisk’s tools can be found on the Lisk blockchain explorer, seen here.

Step 5) Get Involved. Lisk is a community-focused experience where users don’t just interact with the network – they’re also involved in the success of the network. By getting involved in the community, users can grow the Lisk network.

Step 6) Start Developing. If you already know JavaScript, then you can begin building decentralized apps on the Lisk network. The organization also schedules regular meetups where you can interact with other Lisk developers. The company’s selection of APIs all come with extensive developer documentation. Lisk clients are available for Linux and Docker, with lite clients available for all major platforms.

Lisk Tokens

There’s a total supply of 100 million LSK tokens, with more created through a forging process (similar to mining). The foundation reserved 8 million LSK (8% of the total supply) for itself.

Lisk’s forging process is an inflationary rewards system that creates new LSK for every successful block. During the first year, forging rewards were set at 5 LSK per block. Forging rewards are reduced by 1 LSK every 3 million blocks (about every year), ending at 1 LSK per block after 5 years, at which point they’ll stay at 1 LSK per block indefinitely. Forging rewards are distributed equally across all active delegates (the top 101 delegates), along with any network fees.

What’s the Difference Between Lisk and Ethereum?

Lisk and Ethereum are frequently compared to each other. Both platforms are blockchain-based systems that try to expand on the original bitcoin blockchain idea by creating decentralized applications. While Ethereum calls its apps “decentralized applications” or DApps, Lisk calls them “blockchain applications”.

Other key differences between Lisk and Ethereum include:

  • Lisk uses a delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm; Ethereum will eventually migrate to PoS consensus, but it’s currently using PoW
  • Lisk uses JavaScript as its application language while Ethereum uses Solidity
  • Lisk uses sidechains to store applications, while Ethereum keeps applications on the main chain
  • On Lisk, application problems require developers to make a hard fork of their sidechain; on Ethereum, applications run on a virtual machine, so any errors lead to a waste of transaction fees, but they’re contained within the virtual machine itself
  • Lisk does not have a virtual machine, while Ethereum has its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)

Who’s Behind Lisk?

Lisk was founded by developers Max Kordek and Olivier Beddows. The initial Lisk release occurred on May 24, 2016. Today, Lisk is on version 0.9.7, which was released on August 22, 2017.

The project began as a fork of Crypti beginning with an ICO. That ICO raised $5.8 million, making it the second most successful cryptocurrency crowdfund project to date (although WAVES and The DAO would surpass it weeks later). Soon after trading started, Lisk became the second biggest cryptocurrency by trading volume after bitcoin.

Lisk recently partnered with Microsoft to integrate Lisk into its Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform. That means developers can develop, test, and deploy Lisk blockchain applications using Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform and infrastructure.

Conclusion

Lisk is a blockchain-based development platform available to the public. Developers can create applications on the platform, then launch their own sidechains separate from the main Lisk blockchain. This gives Lisk developers a number of unique opportunities.

Apps on Lisk are written in pure JavaScript/NodeJS (on the back-end) with CSS3/HTML5/JavaScript on the front-end.

To learn more about Lisk, visit the official development website online today at Lisk.io.

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