What is Lisk?
“Decentralized apps” (dApps) have been growing in popularity since Ethereum made it possible to put programs on a blockchain. However, not many apps have actually been designed yet, and average users do not have an easy way to find the programs that do exist. Lisk (LSK) is attempting to solve these problems by creating a more accessible development environment and a user-friendly directory similar to Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
A few apps are already functioning on several cryptocurrency platforms. The most popular to date has been Cryptokitties—a game where users can collect and breed cats using the Ethereum blockchain. More useful examples are Golem (rent out or buy spare computing power), EtherTweet (tweets that stay on the blockchain forever), and Gnosis (a prediction market platform).
How does Lisk work?
Ethereum’s dApps run on the main blockchain, which can cause problems if a high-traffic app takes over, as Cryptokitties did in late 2017. To avoid this and enable complete customization, Lisk uses sidechains—think of these as branches coming off a tree trunk. Anyone who wants to branch off of the main network can write their own app to put on a sidechain. It can be a game, a social network, or even a completely different cryptocurrency—the only bar for entry is paying LSK (the coins) to connect and gain access to the main blockchain features.
The main chain decides which transactions are valid by using “delegated Proof of Stake” (dPoS), which allows token-holders to vote for someone else to be one of 101 nodes that create new blocks and validate transactions. If your vote is for one of the 101 nodes, you get a percentage of that node’s rewards, making it in everyone’s best interests to stay honest. This also means that buggy or malicious sidechains could not infect the main chain.
Recent major developments
February 20th, 2018 is going to see Lisk rebranding and releasing a new vision based on feedback from their community. The event is seen by many as a commitment to a serious corporate vision.
LSK is one of the token slated to appear on popular stock-trading app Robinhood, which recently announced that it would begin providing commission-free trading for 16 cryptocurrencies starting February.
How to buy Lisk
Lisk’s token is mostly bought and sold on Binance. You can’t buy it with fiat currency yet (USD), so here is a quick guide on how to buy Lisk starting with fiat:
1. Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum at an exchange that uses your fiat currency on Coinbase.
2. Transfer your BTC or ETH to an exchange that supports Lisk. Currently, Binance is the best choice. (Tip: if you bought BTC/ETH on Coinbase, look into using GDAX to avoid transfer fees)
3. Buy Lisk by trading your BTC/ETH for their coin, and you’re done!
Alternatively, you can purchase your desired cryptocurrency from fiat (starting with USD) with a credit card at Changelly.
The former CEO of Ethereum and a former advisor for Ethereum have both joined the team as senior advisors, making comparisons between the two cryptocurrencies even more relevant.