October 25th, 2017


As a developer by trade, I have built many apps, from small personal projects to large scale applications. My language of choice is JavaScript. Their community which I love, is the most populous and social, and which fully embraces the open source spirit. The JavaScript community by far has created the most modules, packages, plugins and tools to extend their language.

JavaScript started out as a frontend only language, however it is the language for the web browser. You created animations with it, user interfaces, websites and apps. It has since evolved into handling the backend server side of things when NodeJS was launched in 2009.

You can also build desktop apps with Electron and develop for both iOS and Android using various frameworks such as ReactNative. It is everywhere, and practically every other developer knows at least a little bit of JavaScript. It has a framework for almost anything out there.

Discovery of Lisk

One day while stumbling through coinmarketcap, indulging in my other passion of cryptocurrencies, I noticed Lisk. Scrolling down their webpage this blurb struck me:

“Decentralized blockchain applications will be built on Lisk from the ground up in pure Javascript and take advantage of the powerful Lisk APIs. In addition, every app will run in its own sidechain to ensure that Lisk itself stays safe and scalable. Currently in development, these features will become available towards Q4 of 2017.”

Then it struck me, what I had found was the JavaScript framework for Blockchain development. I immediately downloaded their wallet joined their forums and chats. And of course, checked out their Github, which shows very active development in a lot of public repos.

They don’t use Slack like most cryptocurrency companies, but an open sourced project Rocket Chat for their general community chat, and just like a lot of pro open source teams, Gitter for dev communications 😉

The Lisk Advantages

Lisk(name derived from Obelisk) has several advantages and improvements over similar blockchain platforms out there. Below are the 3 main points that stand out.

  1. Build in JavaScript for JavaScript developers
  2. Dapps run on their own sidechains
  3. Delegated Proof of Stake vs PoW(Proof of Work) and PoS(Proof of Stake)

The Lisk White paper doc, (even their white paper is designed as developer documentation)

A comparison graphic between Lisk and Ethereum.

Being built from the ground up for JS developers was a smart decision, as this will help drive adoption, and development speed on their platform. Their target user base are developers and companies looking to get their ideas bootstrapped onto a blockchain.

Next, they have built in great scaling from the start with their sidechain system for decentralized applications. Each dapp can decide on what kind of protocol to run. They can create and use their own Tokens. If there is a problem in a sidechain, it will not affect the mainchain.

For governance and running the network, Lisk uses a simplified implementation of BitShares’ original consensus algorithm called Delegated Proof of Stake [1].

“That means every Lisk(LSK) holder can vote for mainchain delegates which are securing the network. There are only a maximum of 101 active mainchain delegates which always got the most votes on the whole network, and only they can earn block generation rewards, that means there is a financial incentive to become an active delegate. Every other delegate is on standby awaiting to become elected, or alternatively, securing a Lisk sidechain.”

Sidenote on the nomenclature of coins and tokens.
Lisk and Ethereum are both coins with their own blockchain. The currency for the projects on Ethereum are called Tokens, which all use the same Ethereum blockchain. Projects on Lisk are new coins which have their own blockchain which could then host token based projects themselves.

Delegated Proof of Stake
There are no miner centralization issues nor the extreme usage of electricity with Lisk. Also whales just sitting on their holdings are nullified as with the DPoS system. Any top delegate can be voted out if they are not contributing to the network or giving back, and others voted in. Explanation of delegate voting further below.

A solid and transparent dev team
For a cryptocurrency project, the Lisk team has some of the best community transparency and communication out there. Each month or so they host a one hour Q&A YouTube session, and they recently just finished their first Reddit AMA.

They cover everything from current development, to new hires and take questions about the Lisk project. Team members are also very active in their chat channels and forums.

Founding and funds

In May of 2016, Lisk ran an ICO and raised a total of 14,000 BTC[2]. And now with the rise in value in Bitcoin and the Bitcoin Cash split, the team has over $60 million in funds for a very healthy and long term development roadmap.

Lisk was founded by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows, both of whom worked on the Crypti project before deciding to create Lisk. Lisk is actually a fork of Crypti as that project ran aground with a lack of management. They decided to implement the new Lisk forging rewards to create a better incentive to run security on the network among other code improvements.

After the ICO they created the Lisk Foundation which is based in Zug Switzerland to handle the legal foundation and hiring. The foundation has hired a new development team which is now based in Berlin. They also created the Lightcurve which is the company that the dev team is under. The plan in the future is for the Lightcurve team to help other companies develop and build on Lisk.

The Roadmap

Here on their blog the team goes into deep detail about their roadmap plans. They are currently in the 3rd phase of their road map.

Inception, Resilience, Rebranding, Expansion, Ascent and Eternity.

This summer during their rebranding sprint Lisk is working with both rlevance (for customer experience and messaging) and Taikonauten (for brand design). In the coming months they will be releasing teasers of the new graphics and design language. With a full design overhaul of their website, explorer and apps deployed in Q4.

The name stays Lisk, and everything from colors, fonts to their logo will change(and I was just getting fond of their Warcraft style Obelisk ◕‿↼).

SDK Release
Next major item by the end of this year, is the much-awaited release of their SDK (Software developer kit). Once version one is out developers can start right away creating their blockchain apps.

Market Timing

In 2018 companies will start to launch ICOs on the Lisk platform, taking in LSK to fund their own roadmaps and development. The entire Cryptocurrency space as a whole is maturing faster and consumer and enterprise companies are increasingly looking to get into the blockchain space (web 3.0/Internet of money).

We should also start seeing more progress on similar platform based projects such as Stratis, NEO, Qtum, Ark and continued Ethereum token development. Platform coins/tokens currently have the most utility for Cryptocurrency.

How to obtain Lisk

First, you need to download the Lisk wallet from lisk.io. After you set up the wallet and save your seed phrase, you need to purchase some LSK. You can buy Lisk using exchanges like Bittrex and Poloniex, as well as trade for LSK using a service like Changelly.

There is a slightly higher rate you pay using Changelly, versus buying directly on an exchange. However it is great for convenience and the service does all the communication and transactions on your behalf between exchanges.

You can also receive LSK as rewards by voting for certain delegates that give a percentage back to their voters.

Delegate Voting
Here is a great guide[3] which lists the 2 major pools in the Lisk community. On this page you can find a handy Lisk rewards calculator. There are several other pools and individual delegates who also give out rewards. The 2 biggest pools are GDT and LiskEliteGroup. If you vote for the LiskElite pool you need to verify your account with them on their website. You then have to setup an account so you can sign in and withdraw your rewards which build up over time.

Once you have LSK in your wallet, click on the Voting tab. You can vote for up to 33 delegates in a voting round and each round costs 1 LSK. So it will cost 4 LSK to vote for 101 delegates. You can change your vote anytime, however it will also cost 1 LSK to unvote.

Here is good video from KyleFromOhio on how to vote.

If you want to become a delegate and try out forging on the testnet or mainnet(and get to create a fancy name linked to your account) it will cost you 25 LSK. There are currently around 1300 delegates and as the value of Lisk rises, the number of new delegates should slow down.

All delegates are currently competing with each other to get into the top 101 in order to forge blocks for LSK reward. Five LSK is rewarded every 10 secs for a block and below is the current math as to how much is rewarded per day to each delegate.

(8640 * 5) = (43200 / 101) = 427.72.
At current prices this is anywhere from $2500 to $3500 a day.

After the SDK is launched the Lisk team will also be working on the delegate marketplace, where all delegates get to rent their blockchain securing services out to companies that want to launch projects on the Lisk platform.

Lisk has a lot of strong aspects to carry it through for the next several years. Very well funded with a strong and committed development team behind the project. And a large user base awaiting for their SDK.

The utility aspect is taken care of since Lisk is a platform for other blockchain apps. This gives the Lisk(LSK) coin multiple uses, from running an ICO, to delegate voting, to transferring value into and out of a sidechain app. And the uses cases will continue to grow.

Mass adoption is covered with the SDK created for JavaScript developers, the Lightcurve team working with companies to get on-boarded and the natural maturation of the overall cryptocurrency market and users.

At the moment of this writing Lisk is ranked 14th with $644,937,398 in total market cap on coinmarketcap.com, recently jumping above Stratis which is in the same space. You can view the LSK/BTC chart on TradingView.

As a JavaScript developer and Cryptocurrency enthusiast, the Lisk project really excites me with the chance to develop my own dapps on the blockchain. I am fairly active in their community and currently running a testnet server with plans to run a mainnet server and build on the Lisk platform.


My Delegate address: 16811843780664295310L

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