What are dApps?
Most web programs people use are centralized. Take Gmail, for example. It is a service hosted on centralized servers. It is developed by a single company – Google – which decides when to make any changes to it. Its code is closed-source; it is not available publicly.
dApps are different.
dApps are decentralized programs. Instead of running on centralized servers, their backend code runs on blockchain. dApps are usually open-source, meaning that their code is available for anyone who wants to inspect it.
Decentralized applications usually have their own tokens. They are not controlled by a company. In order to change the code of the dApp, the agreement of 51% of the network participants is needed.
The biggest problem of dApp development
There is no getting around it: blockchain development is not simple. Creating dApps often requires developers to learn new programming languages. For example, Ethereum uses its own Solidity and Vyper languages.
This entry barrier leads to less developers being willing to create anything on the blockchain. Why would a developer learn a new programming language just to be able to make a dApp for a single platform, if he doesn’t even know whether this platform will continue to exist?
Lisk: blockchain development, made simpler
Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows, the founders of Lisk, recognized this problem. They solved this problem in a simple yet original (for a dApp platform industry) way – by using a widespread programming language.
A wide variety of tools
Starting from the usage of ubiquitous programming language and ending with a sheer amount of available documentation, there is a single goal Lisk pursues: to attract as many new developers as possible.
Here’s what Lisk provides for developers:
- Lisk Framework – a framework that establishes and maintains the interactions between different modules of a Lisk dApp.
- Lisk Commander – as Lisk calls it, “the most convenient tool” for developers looking to use Lisk. It allows anyone to access Lisk functionality using the provided Command Line Interface tool.
- Extensive documentation explaining how to use each of the tools provided.
- Lisk Explorer – a tool for visualising the activity of the Lisk blockchain.
The experienced team
The core team of Lisk are members of a Berlin-based LightCurve GmbH founded by two entrepreneurs. Both founders of Lisk are experience-rich developers.
Max Kordek is the first of the founders. He currently is the president of LightCurve, has previously worked in the blockchain industry. The second of the founders is Oliver Beddows. He acts as a vice-president of LightCurve and has worked in software development for the past 15 years.
Here are some of the other team members:
How Lisk works
Instead of using the power-hungry PoW algorithm, like Bitcoin does, Lisk is using something called Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS).
Explained simply, it allows anyone holding some amount of Lisk to “vote” with their coins for so-called delegates (without actually giving the coins away). Anyone can become a delegate. The more coins “vote” for a delegate, the more influential it becomes.
The 101 delegates with the most votes create the blocks. Here’s a little more about this process.
These 101 delegates are the only members of the network that can approve transactions.
Blocks are created during the delegate rounds. Each delegate round is 101 blocks long (same as the number of delegates).
At the start of each round, every delegate is assigned a fixed time slot during which it has to create a block. If it fails to accomplish this, the slot is missed and the round is extended by 10 seconds.
For each block made, a delegate who created it receives a reward. Currently, it is equal to 2 LSK, but will be reduced to 1 LSK at block 13 451 520.
One can argue that such a system makes Lisk not fully decentralized. After all, 101 nodes control the network. However, it is not entirely true.
First of all, any of the delegates can be replaced with another node who has more votes. Do the actions of a delegate seem suspicious? Just delegate your LSK coins to a better candidate!
Secondly, in order to perform a 51% attack, 51 of the 101 delegates have to cooperate. In contrast, it only takes 4 largest Bitcoin mining pools to achieve the same. As you can see, in this sense Lisk is more decentralized than the Bitcoin.
Of course, some networks, like IOTA’s Coordinator-less Tangle can achieve much higher levels of decentralization. However, it doesn’t mean that Lisk is centralized – just not as decentralized as some other (very few at that) cryptocurrencies.
Sidechains and Mainchain
Every sidechain is an individual blockchain that is connected to the Lisk mainchain. When a developer wants to make a dApp, he/she can create a sidechain or use an existing one. Each sidechain can have its own tokens; however, LSK tokens will be needed to buy them during the ICO phase.
It is easy to imagine the whole Lisk ecosystem as a city. It has a large central road – the mainchain, connected with smaller roads – sidechains. Houses – dApps – are located on smaller roads. Developers can build new “houses” and share tools used for “building” with other developers, thus benefiting the whole “city”.
In the beginning of 2016, the successful Lisk ICO was carried out. The team managed to raise more than 6 million USD, which is impressive considering that the ICOs were still novel back then. Remember: Ethereum raised 18 million USD back in 2014, which is, of course, more, but still comparable to Lisk’s 6 million.
During the ICO, 100 million LSK tokens were distributed. Here’s where they went:
LSK price history
Shortly after the ICO that took place in 2016, the price of Lisk plunged from over 2 USD and continued to fall until the March, 2017. Its lowest price during this period (and the lowest price to date) was a touch over 0.10 USD per LSK.
Beginning from the March 2017, the price began to recover. It reached its all-time-high of 38 USD in January, 2018. If you bought LSK at its lowest price and sold it at its highest, your return would have been over 35 000%!
How to buy LSK?
It is almost impossible to buy Lisk with fiat. This means that the best way to acquire it is to buy Bitcoin with fiat and then sell it for Lisk on one of the exchanges.
You can find the exchange that suits you best in our list of the 10 most trustworthy exchanges. Tip: take a look at Coinmama and LocalBitcoins for exchanging fiat to BTC, and Binance and Bittrex for exchanging BTC to LSK.
Frequently asked questions
Is it possible to receive free Lisk (LSK) coins?
No, but there is a catch. Any person or organization claiming to give away free LSK are likely to be scammers phishing for personal information.
However, if you already own LSK, you can participate in Lisk-related airdrops. For example, OptiToken held an airdrop in June 2018. Of course, you still have to meet certain criteria, but it is as close to receiving free LSK as it gets.
A better way of acquiring LSK, is to work for cryptocurrency (here’s how you can earn crypto) or just buying it.
Is mining Lisk coins possible?
Not in the traditional sense. However, if your node gets enough votes, you can become a delegate and earn Lisk passively for approving transactions, as described here.
What is the best Lisk coin wallet?
It depends on your usage habits which Lisk wallet is the best for you. However, two clearly stand out.
1. Lisk Hub – developed by the Lisk team, this powerful desktop wallet is designed to have as many features and to be as secure as possible.
It allows you to manage your private and public keys, send and receive LSK and delegate your tokens to the best candidate(s). All the functions are accessible through the beautiful interactive UI complete with graphs and live statistics. Here’s how Lisk Hub looks like:
You can download Lisk Hub here.
2. Lisk mobile – an official Lisk wallet for smartphones supporting Android and iOS. Although not as feature-rich as the Hub, it still allows users to send and receive LSK. Download the iOS app here and the Android application here.
Note: don’t use the discontinued Lisk Nano wallet. It is no longer supported by Lisk and can be potentially much less secure than the Hub and Mobile wallets!
The round-up: is Lisk a good investment?
It uses a DPoS consensus mechanism, which looks more centralized than other mechanisms “on paper”, but de-facto, Lisk is more decentralized than Bitcoin, for example.
LSK token is a crucial part of Lisk ecosystem. Therefore, the more Lisk is being used, the more valuable LSK should become.
Do you feel that these features are enough to grant Lisk a wide real-world adoption? If your answer is “yes”, then Lisk is worth looking at as an investment opportunity.
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