Lisk: decentralised applications, reloaded

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Decentralised applications (Dapps) are gaining a lot of interest. We talk to Max Kordex, CEO of Lisk, about his hopes and plans for the platform.

Q: So tell us a little about yourself.

A: My name is Max Kordek and I live in Aachen, Germany. I’ve been in the crypto scene for three years. Once Nxt was released I became very active within the Nxt community. In September 2014 I joined the Crypti team and was involved in many different tasks including marketing, community management, support, growth hacking, website frontend development, design and user experience. Now I’m CEO of Lisk and I’m really looking forward to it. 

Read also: Crypti - dapps without the dollars

Q: What is Lisk?

A: Lisk is a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) based cryptocurrency, but also an open source decentralised application and sidechain platform. With our Lisk Dapp SDK JavaScript developers can program their own custom blockchains or decentralised applications (dapps).

Every Lisk dapp runs in its own sidechain, keeping our main blockchain lean and efficient. This allows us to host thousands of dapps without a problem. To make these dapps all easily accessible we have our own Dapp Store directly in our client.

In contrast to Ethereum, a Lisk dapp doesn’t need gas to compute its logic. As long as people are forging the sidechain all dapp operations are processed. The sidechain forgers get all the accumulated fees (LISK or a custom token), assuming that the developer integrated this into his dapp (which is advisable in order to prevent spam).

Q: Can you give an example of the kind of thing you can do with Lisk?

A: If we are talking about Lisk decentralised applications and custom blockchains, then there are no limits. With Lisk you can develop all sorts of Turing-complete blockchain-based applications.

Tools like Liquid (rapid blockchain settlement, by Blockstream) or Linq (blockchain-based asset trading, by Nasdaq) can be build with the Lisk Dapp SDK. It’s also possible to build prediction markets like Augur, exchanges (thanks to our Token library), social networks, messengers, games, and much more. Everything is of course decentralised, unstoppable and easily monetised.

The best part about Lisk is the development in pure JavaScript, the most common programming language in the world. It enables so many programmers in the world to develop decentralised applications and tinker with blockchain technology.

The Lisk team have placed an emphasis on functionality and usability for dapps creation and execution

Q: Can Lisk also be used for Internet of Things applications?

A: Yes, we put a heavy focus on Internet of Things applications. The Lisk client was successfully tested on a 64MB RAM VPS, a C.H.I.P., and the Raspberry Pi 1&2.

In my opinion we will see many ARM devices (e.g. the Raspberry Pi) securing Lisk dapps and sidechains in the future. These devices are so cheap that nearly everyone can easily afford them. Lisk is a major step towards a new ‘internet of blockchains’ in which many people earn a living by simply securing those blockchains.

Q: What is the relationship to Crypti - and what do you hope to do that Crypti does not?

A: Olivier Beddows and I (Max Kordek) are ex-foundation members of Crypti. We forked the project and are already enhancing the code base in order to build an attractive system for JavaScript developers and users alike. The Crypti Foundation supports us in our venture and hopes the best for our success.

Within the next few months we will further polish the platform, in order to ensure the best user experience of all cryptocurrencies. This includes a multi-lingual and responsive user interface, but also a more streamlined Lisk experience in general.

Additionally, we will write many more guides for developers and promote our platform within existing JavaScript/Node.JS communities. After all, this is what our platform needs the most – developers. For this case we will also heavily enhance our Dapp Store feature set.

The biggest difference to Crypti will be our marketing. We will actively promote our platform from the beginning and build it out along the way. Another huge difference is that we put a major focus on being open source. Our platform is developed completely open and in public, the community can discuss with us daily on the Lisk Chat and communicate their needs. They can also contribute code themselves and help us build the future of dapps.

By officially registering the company and going to conferences, we hope to build important partnerships and cause a sensation within the cryptocurrency community. This was done by Ethereum before, which many people probably see as our main ‘opponent’, and I’m very positive that we can achieve the same with Lisk.

Q: You describe Ethereum as the 'Opponent': how will you compete against the giant of smart contracts?

A: Actually Lisk is quite different to Ethereum, and has several distinctive features:

Sidechains vs. Mainchain. Lisk dapps always run in their own sidechain, keeping the main blockchain lean and efficient. Sidechains allow us to support thousands of dapps without a problem. Thanks to this unique feature it is also possible to build custom blockchains with the Lisk Dapp SDK. Ethereum dapps all run on its main blockchain, which results in a bigger single blockchain.

Gas vs. Forgers. In Lisk the dapp developer has to find people to forge the sidechain on which the dapp is running. In Ethereum you need to pay the miners of the entire network gas in order to run the contract. That means Lisk dapps can be much more complex, because you don’t need to pay for every step. On the other hand, Ethereum contracts can call themselves ‘trustless’, because every miner on the network always validates every contract.

JavaScript vs. Serpent/Solidity. The biggest advantage of Lisk is the wide adoption of JavaScript. This makes blockchain development on Lisk so much easier and you can efficiently re-use your existing skill set.

In conclusion: Lisk allows the development of truly decentralised and complex applications, while Ethereum allows the development of truly decentralised and trustless smart contracts. We will compete against Ethereum with our awesome user experience, distinctive feature set and excellent JavaScript Dapp SDK. However, personally I think there is more than enough room for Ethereum and Lisk to co-exist. I think they can complement each other quite well.

Q: How long will the ICO last and what else do we need to know?

A: Our ICO will start on the 22nd February and will go on until the 21st March. We accept bitcoin, Crypti and Ethereum. Once the ICO is over we will distribute a total of 85M LISK to the participants.

Crypti will be accepted at a fixed rate of 1300 satoshi (for all 4 weeks). Bitcoin and Ethereum exchangers will receive a 15% bonus in the first, 10% in the second and 5% in the third week.

Detailed information about our ICO is available in this blog post. A second blog post will be released this week with far more information about our ICO.

Q: Sounds great! How do I get involved?

A: Just take a look at our website and our Bitcointalk thread. You can also join us on our Lisk Chat and talk with us directly.

After that just read through our blog posts from the bottom up. There you can find all information you need to participate in Lisk.

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