The future is in JavaScript Dapps – An interview with Lisk

Lisk is a blockchain application platform for developers to build decentralized applications in JavaScript. The vision of the project is to make blockchain technology more accessible to everyone.

Founded in 2016 by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows, they launched one of the first ICOs for Lisk from February to March 2016 and raised approximately 14,000 Bitcoin. At the time, this was equivalent to $6 million, making it one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns up until this time. Shortly after, people understood the potential of ICOs to raise capital for blockchain projects.

The team behind Lisk has grown quickly to over 40 employees with plans to double that number in 2018. The vast majority of people working on the project are developers. We’ve recently had the honor to speak with Lindsay Buescher, Marketing Manager of Lisk, about their powerful project.

Hi Lindsay, first of all – why Javascript?

“Javascript is very simple and the most commonly used programming language in the world. Lisk ultimately wants to provide developers with easy access to blockchain technology because we know its potential. Enabling an easy entry point for developers is the first step to spreading global adoption of blockchain.”

How is Lisk different from other app platforms, like Ethereum?

“There are three main differences that I want to point out; the first one is JavaScript. As I already mentioned, it’s the most commonly used programming language and this is essential for widespread adoption.

Second of all, and Lisk’s key differentiator, is sidechains. There are many benefits of sidechains since they are running in parallel to the main blockchain, or what we refer to as the mainchain. Sidechains allow for testing and experimentation since sidechains are autonomous from the mainchain. On blockchain platforms without sidechain functionality, you lack the ability to experiment without affecting the mainchain and its security in a potentially critical way.

This is particularly important because blockchain is relatively new and is in a major state of experimentation right now. Lastly, Lisk will allow for sidechain interoperability in that every project can contribute to benefiting the ecosystem as a whole.”

Speaking of sidechains, what’s the big benefit of them?

“Lisk is offering developers a Sidechain Development Kit (SDK), which includes powerful tools such as Lisk Core, Lisk Commander, Lisk Elements and Lisk Hub. Each tool has its respective importance in the development of decentralized applications (DApps).

Sidechains offer a lot of flexibility. The Lisk SDK will be modular so that developers can customize it to the needs of their project. For example, you can customize your sidechain to have the consensus algorithm and fee system of your choice. Since your sidechain is independent of the mainchain, you have the freedom to endlessly scale your DApp without impacting the mainchain.”

Can you tell us a bit about Lisk Academy?

“The Lisk Academy is a free online resource to learn about blockchain technology that features more than 60,000 words, 50 infographics, and videos to offer an engaging learning experience. It is currently broken down into two sections: Blockchain Basics and Blockchain Business.

When it comes to understanding the potential of blockchain, it is helpful to learn about its applications and therefore, we have several chapters discussing potential use cases. If you want to learn more about the technical aspects behind blockchain like Byzantine Fault Tolerance, the values behind blockchain, and the reasons why it was built, we cover it all. We will also introduce a ‘Blockchain Builders’ section specifically for developers, which will be the next big undertaking for the project. However, right now The Lisk Academy can already be seen as quite technical for a lot of people that are new to blockchain.

From a marketing perspective, one of our main goals is to make Lisk more discoverable. With that in mind, the Lisk Academy is a great tool to help onboard people to blockchain. When someone new to the space is learning about blockchain and Googling to find out more information, we want them to learn with the Lisk Academy and in the long term, this will enable us to increase adoption of the Lisk platform.

We’ve managed to create simplified explanations of how blockchain technology works so that whoever enters the Lisk Academy will find some useful information whether you are an entrepreneur wanting to know how to launch an ICO or a developer looking to learn more about nodes.”

What is the vision behind Lisk Hub?

“The Lisk Hub is a one-stop shop that combines all of the important features that people need when interfacing with Lisk’s blockchain. For example, right now you can manage your Lisk ID, send transactions, vote for delegates on the network and more.

In the future, the Lisk Hub will feature a decentralized exchange and users will be able to register and manage their DApps on the Lisk Hub. Think of it like the Apple App Store where you can register and edit the description of your DApp. Probably the most exciting feature coming up is where you can register your name and reserve the unique name of the DApp that you want before anyone else. I’m excited about it and look forward to the analytics side to see what names get registered first.”

Lisk HUB
Lisk HUB

Will Lisk open a physical academy?

“That’s been discussed, but right now the focus is on making the academy much more engaging. We don’t want you to come and learn about blockchain at the Lisk Academy once and then leave. We want to drive people back by adding gamification and a diploma or accreditation aspect. In addition, we want to partner with blockchain influencers to add even more credibility. We have big plans, but the most immediate priority is to add more interactive content.”

What are the goals of Lisk in the long term?

“I joined Lisk because I wanted to help create a world where everyone has access to create decentralized applications that impact society in a positive way. I can’t wait until we can actually start building them. Right now, I think the blockchain industry as a whole, is mostly in development. There are a lot of projects, which are still being built and a lot to look forward to.

Currently, I’m excited about the release of Lisk Core 1.0, as it has been in development for several months and is often referred to as a beast within our team. It has around five hundred merged pull requests by now and it’s really the foundation for future DApps. Once this is out the door in the next few weeks, development will speed up tremendously.

After the release of Lisk Core 1.0, we can look forward to implementing the dynamic fee system, the new address system and ultimately an improvement to our DPoS Consensus Algorithm. Our developers have been working around the clock for months on Lisk Core 1.0 with the Alpha version out already and the Beta will be released very soon. Our entire team is looking forward to this moment.”

Lindsay Buescher, Marketing Manager of Lisk

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