WeAreDevelopers 2019 Key Takeaway with Lisk Alpha SDK

  • By Nazar Hussain in Events
  • 17 Jun 2019
  • 5 min read

WeAreDevelopers (WAD) is one of the biggest developer events taking place around the globe. This year, the conference was organized in Berlin, Germany. Between June 6 and 7, thousands of developers and IT professionals descended on the CityCube exhibit hall to network, collaborate, and, most importantly, share their collective knowledge about how to move the industry forward.

Lisk made its appearance on two different stages. First, our Head of Development Maciej Baj gave developers a sneak peek of our Alpha SDK. Next up, Max took part in a panel discussion about the future of blockchain with Eric Demuth, CEO of BitPanda and Dr. Alexandra Mikityuk, Head of Blockchain Technology & Co-Founder of Blockchain Group T-Labs. Altogether, hundreds of developer attendees turned out to hear about Lisk. Today, I will give you a rundown of what Lisk presented and some of the topics discussed at the conference.

Maciej’s Alpha SDK live demo included detail on setup, customizing blockchain parameters, and registering custom transactions

Maciej showcasing the Alpha SDK at WeAreDevelopers 2019

Our Head of Development, Maciej Baj spoke to a room full of developers about the first version of our upcoming blockchain-building toolkit. Maciej picked up where Rachel’s Alpha SDK keynote left off at Consensus Construct stage in New York. His presentation included a live demo, walking developers through the features of our upcoming product by explaining in detail how to setup the Alpha SDK, customize a blockchain parameter, and finally how to register a custom transaction.

During the demo a custom “cash back” transaction was added to the network. Each time a sender sends a “cash back” transaction, an extra amount (10% in the showcased example) will appear on the sender’s account.

So if you have 30 tokens in your account and you send 20 to someone through this cashback transaction, your account balance will be 12 tokens (10 remaining + 10% of 20 sent tokens). Here we are using the term “token” rather “LSK”, because as we are on a custom blockchain, the tokens will be native to that chain. As a developer you can give these tokens a name of your choice.

You will notice we extend the basic transfer transaction and have added our own custom logic for ‘applyAsset’ and ‘undoAsset’. This is where we apply the business logic required for our cashback transaction. Numbers in JavaScript are stored as double precision float numbers and to avoid the potentially unforeseen consequences of it (described in details here), we recommend to do all of the arithmetic operations using the provided BigNum library.

Max spoke on a panel with BitPanda CEO and Head of Innovations for T-Labs about blockchain use cases

Max’s panel discussion was a part of the Executive Track, which is meant for leading tech professionals who share the latest and most exclusive business and technology trends. The panel discussion’s title was “Crypto-Blockchain — What’s Next?”. Clearly, the audience and the moderator were looking for opinions about use cases in blockchain beyond cryptocurrency.


Panel discussion with Max, Eric, and Alexandra

Our blockchain application platform is designed to support various use cases

Our blockchain application platform includes a JavaScript framework and ecosystem, for which cryptocurrency is just one use case. The framework itself is flexible and open for any transactional processing. No matter if it would be a global shipment tracking system, where different vendors involved across the continents to securely and transparently track the shipment, or it’s a distributed and transparent Stack Overflow implementation securing identity of the users. Lisk Framework designed by Lisk should be flexible enough to cover all such use cases. This is because it provides three levels of customization for different levels of experience and use cases. You can run a DPoS blockchain using tools web developers use everyday (node.js, postgres and redis). You can provide configurations to customize the behavior of blockchain based on your requirement. On the next level, you can write your own custom transaction to encapsulate your business logic for your chain. To go further, if something you want to add on top which is not part of Lisk-Framework, thanks to our newly re-architected modular codebase, you can write your own module to utilize the event based model to have all your functionality scoped to your code base, without forking the SDK.

In Lisk, every application will run on its own dedicated sidechain, which operates independently of the Lisk mainchain and other sidechains. In particular, this means that a peak in the number of transactions sent on one sidechain and resulting delays of transaction confirmations do not impact any other sidechain. A sidechain can be customized using the Lisk SDK and, depending on the chosen parameters, can process a certain number of transactions per second. The Lisk mainchain only validates certain state changes of the connected sidechain, but does not need to verify the transactions of every sidechain. This way the Lisk mainchain can support a large number of connected sidechains. It also means that the number of transactions that can be processed by the whole network is not bounded by the Transaction Per Second (TPS) limit of one blockchain, but by the TPS all Lisk sidechains can handle together.

Andreas M. Antonopoulos calmed everyone down about the “threat” of quantum computing

Although Andreas gave an amazing keynote titled ‘Thoughts On the Future of Programmable Money”, one of the more interesting topics in his talk was brought up during the QA session — could quantum computing break a private key in the next 5 years?

Andreas’s answer to this question was yes. However, according to him, this is no cause for panic. This technology will not be achievable earlier than thirty years from now. Even then, it would not be available for mainstream use for years after. If the American government for example was able to develop quantum technology, it would not use it to break someone’s private key in order to access a few billion dollars. Rather, it would likely use it in case of military emergencies. This is because contemporary encryption algorithms used in cryptocurrencies are the same as those used in securing our nuclear technology.

The second analogy he shared is also historically correct. Encryption algorithms are always either failed or were used long enough to be exploited on average every fifteen years. We are not even talking about digital systems here. In recent history, German pioneered encryption techniques to secure their communication in WWII. Even though these techniques did not survive more than two decades, Germany did not stay exposed to the world. Instead, it developed new sophisticated techniques and systems to secure themselves and their information.

Lisk and the blockchain industry will be prepared for quantum computing-era encryption

Same thing applies to quantum computing — obviously it will be able to break private keys, but by then the industry will be able to develop quantum-safe encryption techniques. The cryptographic methods used in the Lisk blockchain and also Bitcoin are cryptographic hashing and signing. Encryption is not part of the protocol and all balances and transactions are publicly visible in our ledger. Lisk is built in a modular way so that in case of a breakthrough in cryptography or quantum computing, we could exchange the cryptographic methods.

In summary, WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2019 in Berlin was an amazing platform for developers to learn, meet and, experience the interactive demo of Lisk’s Alpha SDK. With the amount of blockchain-related stuff in a general developers’ conference proved we “developers” are increasingly interested to learn and adopt the blockchain technology. We are hopeful that the Lisk SDK will turn out to be a milestone not just for us but for industry as well.

Nazar Hussain

Lisk empowers individuals to create a more decentralized, efficient and transparent global economy. We welcome you to join us in our mission:

Nazar Hussain

Backend Developer

Experienced programmer, technical designer and technology enthusiast.