Lisk: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research August 31, 2023

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  • Lisk is a cryptocurrency platform that enables developers to build decentralized applications (dapps) using JavaScript
  • It was founded in 2016 as a fork of Crypti, and conducted a successful ICO, raising over 14,000 BTC
  • Lisk utilizes Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) for efficient transaction processing and has support for sidechains, promoting scalability and flexibility
  • Lisk has many advantages and a user-friendly interface, but faces challenges in scalability, centralization concerns and competition in the blockchain industry


Lisk is a cryptocurrency platform that enables developers to build decentralized applications (dapps) using JavaScript. It provides a comprehensive "software development kit" (SDK) that enables developers to create blockchain applications from scratch. The Lisk SDK offers a range of tools and libraries that simplify the process of building decentralized applications, making it more accessible to developers with varying levels of expertise.

A Brief History

Lisk was founded in 2016 by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows. The project initially started as a fork of Crypti, another blockchain platform. However, Lisk soon evolved into a unique ecosystem with a dedicated development team. In May 2016, Lisk conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) and raised over 14,000 bitcoins (BTC) in funding, making it one of the most successful ICOs at that time.

Lisk: Everything to Know

  • Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) - Lisk utilizes a consensus mechanism called "Delegated Proof of Stake" (DPoS), which enables efficient and fast transaction processing. DPoS relies on a group of elected delegates that validate transactions and secure the network. Delegates are voted into these positions by Lisk token holders, ensuring a decentralized and democratic governance structure.
  • Sidechains - One of Lisk's key features is support for sidechains. Sidechains are independent blockchains that can interact with the main Lisk blockchain. They allow developers to build and deploy customized blockchain applications while still benefiting from the security and reliability of the Lisk network. This modular approach promotes scalability and flexibility within the Lisk ecosystem.
  • JavaScript Development - Lisk's choice of using JavaScript as the primary programming language for building dapps sets it apart from other blockchain platforms. JavaScript is one of the most widely-used programming languages, which means that developers with JavaScript experience can easily transition into building blockchain applications on the Lisk platform. This lowers the entry barrier for new developers and fosters a larger developer community.
  • User-Friendly Interface - Lisk places a strong emphasis on providing a user-friendly interface for developers. The "Lisk Hub," a desktop application, serves as a central hub for managing Lisk accounts, accessing dapps and participating in the network. Through the Lisk Hub, users can easily create and manage accounts, vote for delegates and interact with various blockchain applications, all in a straightforward and intuitive manner.
  • Lisk Token (LSK) - The native cryptocurrency for Lisk is called "lisk" (LSK). Lisk is used to fuel transactions and participate in the governance of the Lisk network. Token holders can vote for delegates, which play a crucial role in securing the network and validating transactions. Lisk can also be used as a medium of exchange within the Lisk ecosystem and traded on various cryptocurrency exchanges.

Getting Started

To get started with Lisk, developers can utilize the Lisk SDK, a comprehensive framework that provides all the necessary tools and libraries for building blockchain applications. The SDK includes modules for managing accounts, transactions, consensus and more. It also offers a robust set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to interact with the blockchain and access various functionalities.

One of the key features of Lisk is the use of sidechains. Sidechains are independent blockchains that can be connected to the main Lisk blockchain, enabling developers to create scalable and customizable dapps. By utilizing sidechains, Lisk avoids the scalability limitations often associated with a single blockchain and allows for parallel processing of transactions and smart contracts.

Unique Aspects

Lisk stands out from other blockchain platforms due to a focus on accessibility and modularity. By using JavaScript as the primary programming language, Lisk opens up blockchain development to a broader community of developers already familiar with JavaScript. This reduces the learning curve and allows developers to quickly start building dapps on the Lisk platform.

Another unique aspect of Lisk is a DPoS consensus algorithm. DPoS is a consensus mechanism that relies on a select group of delegates to validate transactions and secure the network. These delegates are elected by token holders, and they take turns producing blocks and confirming transactions. The DPoS algorithm used by Lisk ensures fast block confirmation times and high scalability, making it suitable for dapps with high transaction volumes.

Lisk also emphasizes the importance of user experience by providing a user-friendly interface for developers. The Lisk Hub serves as a wallet and a gateway to the Lisk ecosystem. It allows users to manage accounts, vote for delegates and access dapps built on the Lisk platform. The Lisk Hub aims to simplify the user experience and make blockchain technology more accessible to a wider audience.


  • Flexibility - Lisk allows developers to create custom blockchain applications tailored to specific needs. The platform provides a modular architecture that enables developers to easily customize and extend the functionalities of dapps.
  • JavaScript Programming - Lisk utilizes JavaScript as the primary programming language. This is advantageous because JavaScript is widely used and familiar to a large number of developers, making it easier for them to get started with Lisk and build applications without the need to learn new programming languages.
  • Sidechain Technology - Lisk employs a sidechain approach, which means that developers can create sidechains to run dapps. This offers several benefits, including scalability, as each sidechain operates independently, reducing the burden on the main Lisk blockchain.
  • Enhanced Security - Lisk incorporates advanced security features to protect the integrity of the platform and dapps built on it. It utilizes a DPoS consensus algorithm, which enhances security by allowing token holders to vote for delegates that validate transactions and secure the network.
  • Community and Ecosystem - Lisk has a vibrant and active community of developers, enthusiasts and contributors. The platform fosters collaboration and provides various resources, including developer documentation, forums and meetups, to support the growth of its ecosystem. This thriving community contributes to the continuous development and improvement of Lisk.


  • Learning Curve - Although Lisk leverages JavaScript, which is widely known, building blockchain applications still requires a solid understanding of blockchain concepts and the Lisk framework. Developers who are new to blockchain development may face a learning curve when getting started with Lisk.
  • Scalability Challenges - While Lisk's sidechain approach improves scalability, it is not completely immune to scalability challenges. As more dapps are created on the platform, the demand for resources may increase, potentially affecting the performance and scalability of the Lisk ecosystem.
  • Centralization Concerns - Lisk's DPoS consensus algorithm relies on a limited number of delegates who validate transactions and secure the network. This centralized aspect raises concerns about the potential concentration of power and decision-making authority in the hands of a few delegates.
  • Competition - The blockchain industry is highly competitive, with numerous platforms vying for developer attention and adoption. Lisk faces competition from other blockchain platforms that offer similar features and capabilities, which may impact growth and adoption in the long run.