Interview

Lisk CEO Responds to Criticism: “No Consensus Algorithm is Perfect”

Max Kordek, Cofounder and CEO of Lisk, speaks about his optimism for crypto and the Lisk network.

It’s been a rough year for most cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has slowly bled out more than half of its value throughout the year; altcoin markets have followed suit.

Despite the bloodbath, however, the companies that act as the brains behind some altcoins continue to push forward. One of these projects, Lisk, is still striving for success in spite of heavy losses this year. Founded in 2016, Lisk sat as the 34th-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap.

Discover iFX EXPO, Your Gateway to Asian Markets!

Lisk price chart.

Max Kordek, Cofounder and CEO of Lisk, told us that his involvement in Lisk was originally born out of an interest in the power of blockchain technology.

“I first read about blockchain technology at the end of 2012; I quickly became interested in its potential to disrupt traditional industries and transform our society. I immersed myself in various cryptocurrency communities and soaked up as much knowledge as I possibly could.”

Max Kordek
CEO, LISK

However, Kordek quickly noticed that the esoteric nature of blockchain programming presented a high barrier of entry for developers. “One of the first things I observed about the industry was how difficult it was for developers to enter into the space due to the technical sophistication of blockchain.”

This is how Lisk was born. “So, in 2016 I co-founded Lisk, alongside my partner Oliver Beddows, with the aim of democratizing developer access to blockchain.”

How exactly will Lisk democratize developer access to blockchain technology? Kordek says that “Lisk will make it easy for developers to build blockchain applications on top of customized sidechains in JavaScript, as well as its superset TypeScript.”

In plain English, Lisk allows its users to develop decentralized applications in Javascript and TypeScript, two much more commonly used programming languages. This makes Lisk more accessible to developers than Ethereum, for example, which requires developers to learn a new programming language known as Turing. Additionally, each decentralized application will exist on its own blockchain connected to the main Lisk blockchain, known as a “sidechain.”

“These technological tweaks enable potentially hundreds of thousands of developers to find real-world use-cases for blockchain technology through an accessible platform to experiment with and build upon,” Kordek explained. “Throughout this process, the developers are supported by educational content, in-depth documentation, and immersive user interfaces. As the Co-founder and CEO, I’m responsible for guiding the team with my vision and evangelizing blockchain technology use-cases to inspire developers around the world.”

”All Consensus Algorithms Are a Work in Progress”

However, like just about any cryptocurrency network, Lisk has not gone without its fair share of criticism. Recently, a Lisk developer and investor calling himself 4fryn released an article titled “How to maximize your Lisk stake rewards” in which he described why the current system benefits only a privileged few and made suggestions on how this could be changed in the future.

Kordek responded to this by saying that “all consensus algorithms are a work in progress.’ We’re talking about designing a protocol to handle network security, economics, and development all in one. Lisk is based on Delegated Proof-of-Stake for good reasons, for example, it’s relative energy efficiency when compared to Bitcoin’s Proof of Work. Another thing DPoS excels at is community activation.”

Bitcoin’s valuation has dropped considerably this year.

Kordek also said that “a lot of the individuals [similar to the one] mentioned above have been die-hard community members from the very start of the network. They have achieved significant fame by contributing to our code, hosting events around the globe, or a variety of other ways. Due to their contributions to the Lisk ecosystem, they were voted into the esteemed position of the top 101 delegates allowed to forge our blockchain and reap the benefits that come with that.”

Still, Kordek “wouldn’t necessarily say that the system only benefits a few — there is a degree of dynamism within the 101, and we are working on how to incentivize even more participation and fairness,” he said.

All the same, “these topics will be addressed through the newly introduced LIPs (Lisk Improvement Proposals). We care about this issue so deeply that we have a whole phase of our new Development Roadmap dedicated to further developing our consensus algorithm, including a change to the voting system and incentivization of standby delegates.”

Suggested articles

KVB PRIME Gains Key UK Influence by Sponsoring Major Finance ConferenceGo to article >>

“Not only that, the LIP process is open for all,” he added, “which means any community member is welcome to submit their own suggestions that will be considered when it comes to improving our version of the Delegated Proof-of-Stake.”

Recent Block Reduction is “All a Part of the Plan”

The Lisk network also recently reduced its block reward, a move that received some criticism from the cryptocurrency community. However, Kordek explained that a block reward reduction has been on the radar for quite some time: “the block reduction is actually something that has been hardcoded into our protocol from the very beginning of the network and will continue to happen annually,” he said.

Further, Kordek explained that block reward reduction “is a fairly common network tweak among the top players in the space and is meant to support the sustainability of our network’s growth as our blockchain expands.”

As block rewards continue to be reduced, “LSK, our native utility token, will be used for the majority of network actions such as deploying your own sidechain.”

“This means that as the network grows in the near future, the value of LSK token rises due to its increased demand and limited supply,” he explained. “We want to make sure that delegates are rewarded an appropriate amount for securing the network as this growth accelerates.”

Plans for the Year Ahead Include Education, Partnerships, Development

What’s next for Lisk? Kordek said that the company and the network would “remain focused on democratizing access to the power of blockchain.”

“Through the Lisk Foundation and partners like Lightcurve, we’ll continue to spread our promise of bringing accessibility to the world of blockchain through Lisk’s own network and user interfaces,” he explained. “That also involves helping to develop the overall understanding of blockchain for a wider audience — which we will focus on through our open education platform, Lisk Academy, as well as developer knowledge through the Lisk Blog and Documentation.”

“We’ve also kick-started our business development activities through Lightcurve. They will focus on ensuring the presence of our token on the majority of high-volume exchanges, while at the same time seeking out legitimate partnerships relevant to our technologies and use cases.”

As for the developmental side of things, “we have recently made two important announcements to our community which will remain a focus of work in the coming year,” Kordek said. “We released our comprehensive Lisk Development Roadmap, which details the exact steps that will be taken to get to the final product of a fully functioning Sidechain Development Kit (SDK), as well as the interoperable, trustless, and open-source platform for building blockchain applications. As previously mentioned, we have also launched the LIPs to our community, which provides the scientific backbone to the objectives outlined in our roadmap.”

”I See Lisk Being at the Forefront”

Despite the bear market that has plagued the cryptosphere for the last year, Kordek says that he is optimistic about the future of Lisk–perhaps because he has to be.

“I see Lisk being at the forefront of technological disruption and building the foundations of future blockchain infrastructures…I believe in this technology because I see the benefits and real work applications of it through my work with Lisk,” he said.

Indeed, Kordek said that price fluctuations don’t mean much when it comes to the real value of technology. “I have seen many bear markets since 2012, but I think once you believe in the underlying potential of blockchain then you really aren’t going to be influenced by the position of cryptocurrency markets. It may stabilize in the future but, for now, I’m more interested in meeting and working with people who are optimistic about blockchain,” he said.

Got a news tip? Let Us Know