Lisk – short genesis and current ecosystem

Lisk is one of the blockchain projects, whose primary focus is to enable building highly efficient blockchain based applications (dapps). The term “Lisk” at the moment can be called to describe the Lisk Core blockchain (with the native LSK cryptocurrency) and the SDK for building blockchain applications. The project is developed already few years, but the Alpha SDK version of Lisk is quite fresh.
Let’s make short overview of the project genesis (history) and the current state.

Lisk genesis

Lisk was founded in 2016 by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddowes. The main goal of the project was (from the whitepaper):

# 1. What is Lisk

Lisk is the next generation platform that allows for the development and distribution of JavaScript based decentralized applications using an easy to use, fully featured ecosystem. Through Lisk, developers can build, publish, distribute, and monetize their applications within a custom built cryptocurrency powered system that utilizes custom blockchains, smart contracts, cloud storage, and computing nodes; all from within one industry solution.

Lisk is known in the crypto space as the “good marketing” blockchain project. It must be considered from both: positive and negative points of view.

What is known fact is that blockchain projects didn’t put (especially at the beginning of the bubble) a lot of attention on the marketing, especially if we talk about the products focused on decentralized software processing (so every Ethereum inspired blockchain). What was important during early ICOs was mainly good whitepaper, that’s what was minimum to potentially get funds on that time. Lisk was not much different at that time, however it made a good twist in some moment. Lisk was one of the projects which focused on the potential weaknesses of the Ethereum at that time – the scalability. The promise given by Lisk in form of the sidechains based approach lead to quite interesting result. The diagram shows the LSK token price within the few years.

 

Lisk price chart.
Lisk price chart.

The ICO of the Lisk project happened in the 2016. Just after that the price of the LSK token was low and steady. The interest started at the end of 2017 and had it’s extreme momentum at the beginning of 2018 where the token price exceed 32$. As I said before Lisk is good at the marketing. The extreme highs of LSK tokens were the result of the events Lisk team organized in Berlin. The MVPs or prototypes of the Lisk product were expected to be presented in the Lisk Relaunch meetup in Berlin, 20.02.2018. The video footage of that meetup can be found here. Expectations were big and the disappointment were even bigger. It appeared that there is no product ready and it won’t be even ready soon. The big news of the event was the introduction of the plans and rebranding Lisk made, including changing the logo, websites, etc. The effect it caused can be visible on the price chart. The price of the LSK token felt down drastically during next days.

Lisk old
Lisk before rebranding.
lisk-page
Lisk currently. Rebranding changed completely the Lisk UI (logo, colors, etc.).

That’s the history of the Lisk extremely shortly. Lisk team seems to work hard since 2 years already. Currently we are in the moment where Lisk AlphaSDK is released. That’s the time when the idea can really meet market and community expectations.

Lisk ecosystem

Let’s take a look at the current state of the Lisk ecosystem. Of course as almost every open blockchain Lisk has native token called LSK, which I will not describe here. As the ecosystem part I treat the product which belongs to the “Lisk blockchain” products line but except the token here.

Lisk Core – for node operators (“miners”), developers

Lisk Core is basically the node software. The nodes creates the blockchain network. Everyone who would like to be part of the network must run a Lisk Core instance. Because Lisk is based on Delegated-Proof-Of-Stage (DPOS) consensus algorithm, running a node doesn’t mean that such node is already part of blockchain generation (blocks creation) like it’s in the Bitcoin (based on PoW). However running a node can mean having a full snapshot of the blockchain on the own machine.

Lisk Wallet – for all the users (LSK token hodlers)

Lisk Wallet is the wallet for all the LSK token related operations (sending, receiving). The idea of the wallet in most blockchain projects goes beyond operations only with the token. In most cases it includes all the blockchain operations specific to the protocol it’s based – like in the case of Lisk e.g. delegates choosing (simplified delegates are the nodes who create blocks). In future probably wallet app would include features related to the Lisk based applications.

Lisk SDK is general term to describe all the products (software libraries & tools) dedicated to develop blockchain application using Lisk.

Lisk framework ecosystem.
Lisk framework ecosystem.

Lisk Framework (SDK) – for developers

Lisk Framework is the SDK library containing features for building Lisk based blockchain applications. It consist of modules which are just some libraries responsible for delivering such feature like: sending transactions, network connection, chain interactions etc. What’s worth to mention is that Lisk is not classic blockchain platform, where there is immutable smart contract running on the node. Lisk apps probably will consist of more elements than just a “smart contract”. In the context of Client – Server relation, Lisk Framework covers the server (backend) functionality and is something like a building blocks of the Lisk blockchain.

Lisk Elements (SDK) – for developers

Lisk Elements provides API for interaction with Lisk blockchain applications. It can be described as the client side library for features related cryptography, transactions, p2p, etc.

Lisk Commander (SDK tool) – for developers (mostly), delegates, node operators

Lisk Commander is the command line tool for the developers implementing Lisk based applications. It provides the features related to operating the node network (communication with Lisk Core node, e.g. sending transactions, getting delegates) and many more which facilitate the work with Lisk blockchain (blocks query, accounts management).

Other

The above elements (Lisk: Core, Wallet, Framework, Elements, Commander) are the distinguish elements of current Lisk dictionary and exist as kind of products of the Lisk ecosystem. Except that there are probably some more elements. Lisk actively spreading blockchain knowledge via blog, YouTube videos and the webpage. There was the time that there was idea of Lisk Academy – some kind of blockchain learning platform, however at current moment I cannot find it online under this concrete name.

Summary

Lisk born in the crypto-blockchain boom. It’s the product intended for blockchain software developers. It should allow to build the fully featured blockchain applications which follow Lisk Protocol. Current AlphaSDK sheds some light on the concrete use case. In the next article about Lisk I will try to dive deeply in the technology behind the Lisk: the construction and the current state of the Lisk libraries.

For me it’s interesting but mysterious project. What do you think? Plan to invest in LSK token or use it for your blockchain application? Let me know in the comments.