Launched in early 2016, Lisk (LSK) is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency platform that was developed by Oliver Beddows, a Germany-based tech entrepreneur, and Max Kordek, the co-founder and director of Lightcurve, a blockchain product development firm.
The Problem Lisk Aims To Solve
A short video on Lisk’s website explains that as a society, we have managed to develop a very advanced justice system. However, we still face “fraud” and “corruption” and “while medical emergencies happen every day, our medical records are still hard to access.” Moreover, smart homes are “on the horizon”, but “can we trust them?”
One of the main drawbacks of living in the Information Age, according to Lisk’s development team, is that “we’ve sacrificed our privacy” as “we have no clue what is happening with our personal data.” The Lisk platform aims to help users better manage their data and also assist people in “accurately determining where something they bought actually came from, what it contains, and how it got to them.”
Going on to describe the types of programs that users will be able to create by using Lisk’s proprietary blockchain-enabled software, the video notes that “imagine applications that tackle our society’s challenges piece by piece.” Blockchain-based platforms such as Lisk will allow users to “make emerging technology trustworthy” by effectively “reducing corruption [and] bringing transparency into our world.”
For instance, people will have the ability to “share their medical records in an instant” and also be able to do it “safely and securely.” Users will finally be the true owners of their personal data. Notably, the Lisk platform was developed specifically to “accelerate these innovations” by allowing users to “create and distribute” their own blockchain-enabled applications.
Somewhat Similar To NEO & Ethereum
In order to encourage more developers and businesses to use its platform, the Lisk Academy was launched in early 2018. As described by the platform’s management team, the Lisk Academy aims to be “a comprehensive and unbiased educational platform on blockchain technology.” The academy is also “free and open to everyone” including “complete beginners” who may not have any prior knowledge about blockchain and experienced developers interested in creating distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based apps on the Lisk platform.
Lisk “Relaunches” Itself
On February 20th, 2018, the developers of Lisk held a relaunch event in Berlin, Germany during which the platform’s managers revealed the blockchain network’s long-term goals and objectives. Commenting on the importance of the relaunch, Kordek had said:
“Rebranding normally only involves a change of design, but we, while being that process, determined that we need to change much more.”
Lisk’s relaunch includes changes to the platform’s front-end design and user interface (dashboard and wallet). The new design was created in order to improve user experience and accessibility, particularly for people who may have only recently started using crypto wallets and apps.
A Fork Of The Crypti Blockchain
After starting off as a fork of the Crypti blockchain, a deprecated delegated proof-of-stake (PoS) based platform for creating solutions where each dApp “runs on its own sidechain”, the Lisk platform currently has a market capitalization of about $164 million. This makes it the 34th largest crypto platform in terms of market cap, with the LSK token trading at $1.45 at the time of writing.
Following the fork from Crypti, an initial coin offering (ICO) was launched by Lisk’s developers in order to raise funds for the platform’s development efforts. The ICO was fairly successful as it managed to raise 14,000 BTC, and part of this amount was used to help launch Lisk’s mainnet. Shortly after the new mainnet went live, the LSK token was available for trading on several major crypto exchanges.
One of the fundamental design principles for the Lisk network involves developing a modular cryptocurrency. This means that every blockchain app created on the Lisk network will have its own independent sidechain so that most of the processing required to run the app can be handled on its own blockchain.
According to Lisk’s developers, a sidechain is “an independent cryptographic ledger” that is able to communicate with the platform’s main blockchain, while maintaining the network’s security and allowing it to function at a high speed.
Due to the scalability problems that plague major cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Bitcoin, sidechains are being developed to help blockchain-based platforms process transactions more quickly. Earlier this year, Kordek announced that 1,700,000 LSK had been set aside to help build “high quality sidechains.”
At the time when the development fund was announced, the 1.7 million LSK tokens were worth $50 million. However, cryptocurrency prices have fallen sharply and the same LSK tokens are now worth only $2.5 million. Lack of adequate funding for crypto projects has forced many development initiatives to shut down this year.
New Development Roadmap Released
Despite the extended crypto market, the Lisk development team still appears to be committed to their goals as they have published a new roadmap. According to Beddows, the roadmap was created after conducting “comprehensive research and feasibility studies.”
The main goal of the updated roadmap remains the same. As mentioned, Lisk aims to become one of the leading Blockchain application platforms. In order to implement fully open-source solutions, the Lisk Improvement Proposal (LIP) System will be launched in the foreseeable future.
Lisk’s roadmap has been divided into several key stages including “quality and performance.” Improvements to Lisk’s Core API are part of the main performance-focused changes that will be introduced at some later point. Additionally, the roadmap includes an “architecture and design” phase which aims to incorporate salient features that will help improve the platform’s overall efficiency.
As part of the roadmap, the Alpha SDK will be introduced so that developers can utilize the latest software development tools to deploy secure and reliable applications. After the successful completion of the Alpha SDK testing phase, the Beta SDK will be launched.
Companies and individuals will also be able to use the Lisk platform to launch ICOs and create customized tokens. Once all the planned steps in the roadmap have been completed, a “production ready” SDK for Lisk will be released.