Lisk Builders: Interview with Peter Nobels
The “Lisk Builders interviews” is a short series of blog posts, each of them featuring one previous participant of the Lisk Builders program. The Lisk Builders program provided a financial incentive for developers to build proof of concept blockchain applications using the Lisk SDK.
With a short set of questions, we would like to learn what exactly motivated the participants to apply for this program, how they liked the development experience with the Lisk SDK, and what are their future plans and projects they want to work on. Stay tuned for more interviews, which will be published here in the coming weeks!
In the first interview of this series we kick it off with Peter Nobels, who participated in the Lisk Builders program last summer with his project Lisk DAO.
Hello Peter! Thank you for joining the Lisk Builders program and our “Lisk Builders interviews” blog series. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Peter: First of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation to this interview. To introduce myself, I started my career as a developer. Thereafter, as a person who likes to see ‘the whole picture’ and likes to solve problems ‘at their roots’, I became more and more involved in analyzing business problems and designing business concepts. At one moment in time I realized that added customer value could barely be offered ‘between the walls’ of a single organization anymore.
The value had to be found in the space between organizations, not with long and rigid value chains, but through the ad hoc orchestration of resources. Only then could parties, working together, create ‘moments of magic’ for customers in the fields of personalized medicine or tailor made learning environments for example. So I began to specialize in what I call ecosystem innovation.
This is about how to improve the communication and collaboration between self sovereign actors in a way that is highly dynamic and frictionless. An ecosystem with such characteristics could only be established with a shared, trustless and well-governed platform. That’s when I became interested in blockchain technology.
After studying blockchain technology for a while, I had an appointment at the University of Applied Science in Utrecht where I was accountable for its Blockchainlab for 2.5 years. That was great fun, supporting students and developing proof of concepts together with them. That was the time, just after the set up of the Lisk Center Utrecht, when I was introduced to Jurre Machielsen (the community manager of the LCU and partner at Moosty). I've been a regular visitor since then. I also became a fan of the Lisk blockchain concept and the approach the Lisk foundation has taken to become a successful competitor in the blockchain space.
After my assignment at University of Applied Science I started with 3 partners (business buddies) Vitallity B.V. We are developing a software platform for health care. Our first goal is to build a product with a good market fit. The product is based on concepts as self sovereign identities, verifiable claims and shared ledgers. We don’t apply blockchain technology yet, however we are ready for it! We are also looking at DAO functionality, (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) to support a shared governance of our platform. Furthermore, we study tokenization and how we can integrate tokens in future versions of our platform.
In addition, I am a member of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition (with accountability for health care). I was also a member of ISO’s technical committee 307, study group 6 ‘Governance of blockchain & distributed ledger technology systems’.
How did you learn about Lisk and the Lisk Builders program?
Peter: Well, as I spent at least 2 days a week at the LCU, it was impossible to miss the Lisk Builders program!
What was your motivation to apply for the Lisk Builders program?
Peter: As mentioned before, our company Vitallity, looked at blockchain technology with a view to incorporating it into our IT platform. That’s why we wanted to master this technology. There's no better way to achieve this than by developing (a proof of concept) product. As a subject for the Lisk Builders program we have chosen a product that is expandable, has stand alone value and could be used by ourselves.
DAO functionality suited these requirements! By accident we learned about the existence of Lisk, and are very happy that we did! We believe that the Lisk blockchain concept is very strong, as for example, it uses a SDK (rapid and solid development), side chains (tailormade solutions), interoperability (blockchain modularity) and delegates (short latency).
How was your development experience with the Lisk SDK?
Peter: The development of (a PoC) of the Lisk DAO was a team effort. My role was to analyze and specify the concept and the requirements, Xinrong Ding made the GUI designs and the ‘Moosty boys’ developed the software, front end and back end. (The ‘Moosty boys’ are Jurre Machielsen, Raphaël Cornelis and Sander Mandemaker).
At the same time, as a good team should do, we also contributed to each other’s deliverables with some restrictions as Xinrong and I didn’t use the Lisk SDK. However, I was told by Jurre, Raphaël and Sander that they were very happy with the Lisk SDK, especially with the modularity and reusability.
Do you have any development experience with other blockchain SDKs? If so, please share your experience in comparison to developing with the Lisk SDK.
Peter: During my time at the Blockchainlab of the University of Applied Science in Utrecht, ‘my’ students worked with two development environments, Ethereum's Solidity and Bluemix/Node Red of IBM (Hyperledger). Solidity, the programming language for Ethereum, is hard to master.
This was especially true in its early days, as it is a low level language. Bluemix/Node Red on the other hand was perhaps too high level, and, being an environment for enterprises, didn’t always result in software that qualified as ‘distributed’. So the Lisk SDK is for me the way to go!
What are your plans with the Lisk DAO project? Will you continue to develop it further?
Peter: Yes. As the Vitallity/Moosty-coalition we are at the moment analyzing and designing additional voting mechanisms. The first step has been to recognize patterns that could be programmed with the Lisk SDK into building blocks. We foresee a future where the Lisk DAO, running on a side chain, provides, through Lisk interoperability options DAO functionality, such as voting, to other side chains (= blockchain applications).
We believe that voting mechanisms are essential for creating ownership and for information based decision making processes. They are a must-have for thriving ecosystems, (perhaps you’ve noticed the news item ‘Tezos Price Recovers Following DAO Announcement’ on https://cryptobriefing.com).
Maybe we can somehow contribute to future versions of the DPoS voting mechanism!
Do you plan to build another blockchain application with the Lisk SDK in the future?
Peter: Again, yes. The Vitallity/Moosty-coalition has two applications in mind. One is a project that’s already running, and is concerning an application for rewarding healthy behavior with coins ('Knaken'). The ‘Knaak' can be used to get discounts on healthy products at the grocery store and on participation in fitness programs.
In the upcoming weeks we are having workshops with members of a local community in which we will elaborate on this concept, and in which we elicit the needs and requirements of the users. The second project/application is more conceptual. This project builds on a central concept which we named ‘time tokens’.
Would you recommend the Lisk SDK to other developers to build their blockchain applications?
Peter: I sure would. From my experience at the Blockchainlab and the collaboration with Moosty, I can say that a higher level programming language and a developers environment is very useful (needed?) to develop blockchain applications and that the Lisk SDK provides such a toolkit.
Finally, in addition Vitallity is considering campaigning to become a delegate. By being a delegate we can support and strengthen the Lisk community. I foresee a bright future for Lisk!
For more information about Peter and the Lisk DAO project, check out the following links:
- Blog post: Building the Lisk DAO project
- Demo: Lisk DAO
- LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-nobels-6929a13/
- Lisk.chat: @Peter Nobels | Vitallity4044
If you have plans to apply for the new program in 2021, follow Lisk on social media channels such as Twitter (@LiskHQ), or subscribe to our Newsletter to know first when the applications are open again.