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Lisk was founded by Max Kordek and Oliver Beddows. Before Lisk, Kordek and Beddows were actively involved in the development of the open-source blockchain application platform called Crypti (XCR) which was established in 2014. After some disagreements with where the Crypti project was headed, Kordek and Beddows created Lisk from a hard fork of Crypti in May 2016. The Lisk team is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.
Unlike Ethereum where dApps are executed on the mainchain, Lisk runs decentralized apps utilizing sidechain technology. Sidechains are autonomous blockchains that are connected to the mainchain but don’t impact the performance or speed of the mainchain. Sidechains give Lisk interoperability features. For example, users will be able to transfer and swap tokens between the mainchain and sidechains. Most importantly, sidechains allow developers to completely customize their decentralized applications.
Lisk offers a Sidechain Development Kit (SDK) which features an expanding collection of modules for programming a customized decentralized application. The SDK includes four tools: Lisk Commander, Lisk Elements, Lisk Core, and the Lisk Hub.
Lisk allows token holders to register for usernames which are directly tied to a specific account. Other users can send transactions to the username and the corresponding account will receive it. Usernames eliminate the need to memorize long account addresses.
Lisk employs the delegated-proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism which was originally created by the BitShares (BTS) team. With DPoS, new blocks are verified and created by 101 delegates. LSK token holders can vote for up to 101 delegates. The 101 delegates with the most votes are entrusted to validate new transactions on the blockchain. Lisk rewards block generators with a fixed amount of tokens for each block successfully created and confirmed by the system. If a delegate misbehaves or doesn’t properly generate a new block, token holders can remove their votes from that delegate and vote for someone else to replace them.
In March 2016, Lisk announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring the blockchain application platform to the Microsoft Azure cloud. In that same month, Lisk held a public token sale and raised over $5 million.
On May 24, 2016, the Lisk mainnet was launched.