Cryptocurrency Profile: Lisk
Today marks the official public release of Lisk, the world’s first modular cryptocurrency using sidechains.
The release of Lisk v 0.3.0 follows a four-week initial coin offering (ICO) for the cryptocurrency (LSK), which ended March 21, 2016. The ICO raised more than 14,000 bitcoins and 80 million crypti (80 percent of the existing market) for a total of $6.5 million. On the final day of the crowdsale, the price of those assets were $5.75 million, according to the press release, but an increase in bitcoin’s valuation since then boosted the crowdsale proceeds.
Lisk is the brainchild of Max Kordek (CEO) and Oliver Beddows (CTO), who hail from Germany and the UK, respectively. The pair were active members of the team developing crypti, a fork of whose code was used to create Lisk.
“We see an enormous potential in decentralization and blockchain technology. With Lisk we want to enable thousands of developers to deploy their own blockchain and build an application on top of it,” said Kordek in an interview with CoinReport.
“At this moment it’s rocket science to create decentralized technologies or applications; with Lisk this becomes dramatically simpler,” he said. “We hope that our platform smooths the way for a lot of decentralized applications around the world, be it in the social network, sharing economy or Internet of Things industry.”
Kordek explained that being “modular” means two things: scalability and upgradability.
“Due to sidechains our network can support tens of thousands of applications because all the data is being saved and processed only on the sidechain,” he said. The busyness of thousands of sidechains has no affect on Lisk and the Lisk blockchain.
A sidechain, Kordek explained, is another blockchain that runs next to the primordial blockchain. “It can have its own logic, purpose, and consensus mechanism,” he said, “however, you can send the token of value from the primordial blockchain to the sidechain back and forth.”
Kordek became active in the cryptocurrency community in 2013, when he started mining litecoin. “That was in my one-room student apartment,” he recalled. “The heat and noise were unbearable, therefore after about four weeks I turned [the mining pool] off.”
Kordek discovered Nxt one month after the cryptocurrency’s launch. He rose through the ranks of the Nxt community, becoming CEO of the Nxt Organization. He later left over conflicting views about development.
While active with Nxt, Kordek read about the crypti ICO. He later met with one of the founders in Aachen, Germany and became a member of the team as a community manager, working on promotion, design and UI/UX concepts.
“The most fascinating aspect of a cryptocurrency, in my opinion, is that you really own the coin you have access to,” said Kordek. “It’s not just a digital number which can be manipulated.”
When it came to the crowdsale for its token, Lisk didn’t have a particular figure in mind; however, the $6.5 million raised was definitely not expected, said Kordek.
“With so much money we now have the potential to become one of the biggest players in the blockchain industry and develop one of the first products with a real use-case,” he said. According to another press release, issued yesterday, Lisk said IOU trading in recent weeks peaked at approximately $7.23 or 0.0164 BTC per LSK. The release said the IOU was currently trading at $2.5 per LSK, making it the third largest cryptocurrency with a $250 million market cap.
“Until now, not a single blockchain based application or technology is really being used by the masses,” said Kordek to CoinReport. “We think we can change that, by providing an alternative decentralized application directory.”
In a blog post published Monday, Kordek wrote that Lisk had finalized its genesis block, which lists all information regarding LSK distribution.
The block consists of 8,069 single Lisk accounts with the following distribution:
- 83,605,344.7663202 LSK – Validated ICO accounts
- 1,394,655.23363505 LSK – Non-validated ICO accounts
- 4,000,000 LSK – Max Kordek’s account
- 4,000,000 LSK – Oliver Beddows’ account
- 4,000,000 LSK – Bounty fund
- 2,000,000 LSK – Advisor fund
- 1,000,000 LSK – Early Adopters Fund
- 0.0004472 LSK – Dust (Dust is a blockchain app concept for a decentralized trust on the blockchain).
Kordek explained to CoinReport that participants in the ICO generated a passphrase, which equals their public-private key pair on the mainnet launching today. In the blog post published yesterday, he wrote that individuals who did not validate their passphrases on the ICO website will be contacted in a few days.
Asked about Lisk’s approach to getting its token added to exchanges, Kordek said trading is not a priority at the moment, as the team is focusing on the development and promotion of the Lisk platform.
What’s key to development is community involvement. “[It’s] important to us because Lisk can only survive with an active and loyal community,” said Kordek. “They are testing our updates, checking out the blockchain apps, and [securing] the network.”
On Saturday, Lisk held its inaugural biweekly community meeting, held through an online chat. The team outlined its progress leading up to the mainnet launch, and took questions from the Lisk community.
Lisk also has a cohort of country ambassadors, who promote the Lisk ecosystem and provide community support in their native countries. “Lisk is a worldwide platform and should therefore be present in every country on earth,” said Kordek.
“Due to the close relationship with our community we see who is active and might be a good candidate,” he added. “[Joel O. Fernández], our community manager, created a few guidelines to see if someone would be a good country ambassador or not. If they are, we contact them and ask if they are interested.”
As for the cryptocurrency community in Kordek’s home country, Germany, it’s virtually non-existent. “They are a lot of users, but nobody is talking about it,” he said. While he’s aware of active communities in London and Amsterdam, he can’t speculate on the interest in Europe as a whole, but “I think there is a lot of room to grow and everything is just getting started,” he said.
“The reception of cryptocurrencies is bad because the average citizen [doesn’t] understand it,” Kordek said. “People always fight what they don’t understand. The governments and regulators lag behind as they always do. However, I can see some movements in that regard. We are definitely living in interesting times and it will be very exciting [to see] how all of this plays out.”
Images courtesy of Lisk via PR firm Transform PR
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