Reddit AMA Recap with Max Kordek August 2022

On August 5th, 2022, Max Kordek, CEO and Co-Founder at Lisk, hosted an AMA on Reddit. He answered a variety of questions from the Reddit community.

This blog post provides a recap of the AMA. The entire AMA can be found here.

By Lisk

11 Aug 2022


przemer: What goals do you think Lisk should reach to be considered a successful project?

MaxKK: The minimum:

- Top 100 CMC - 1,000,000 active addresses - 10 blockchain applications which provide real use-cases to users - Enough revenue to sustain the projects continued development

bennnie1177: How has the crypto winter impacted Lisk's finances?

MaxKK: It has of course significantly impacted the fiat value of our BTC holdings. However, we have planned for that. We took the necessary precautions and measures by liquidating larger amounts of BTC in advance.

Due to that, we stand on pretty solid ground today.

At this moment we have around 2 years of liquidity left in fiat and fiat equivalents (i.e. stablecoins). We decided to not do anything with our BTC holdings for about one year, unless prices rise significantly. In 1 years time, we will then decide what to do with our BTC holdings which at the current price levels account for another 2.5 years of liquidity.

So all in all, we have enough money for 4.5 years at least, while enough fiat for about 2 years. This already counts in the much larger marketing budget for this year, in contrast to the last years, and the increased head count with our contractors.

No need to worry for at least 1 year.

GoingMaxWrist: Who and/or what do you consider vital for Lisk its future?

MaxKK: Developers/businesses using the Lisk SDK to build blockchain applications. And users using the Lisk platform driving enough revenue to the Lisk Foundation to continue development forever.

MrV777: I think the ecosystem and community around a blockchain is as important as the tech if not more. What are the plans to build the ecosystem?

The Lisk Grant program I think was a good idea, but when you compare it to incentives to build on other platforms its hard to compete and there have been very few grants. The last hackathon had very few applications too and the new one has been taken longer to organize then ordinally communicated.

Solana hackathon is 1 month and is paying out 28 prizes between 65,000 USDC to $10,000 USDC. NEAR's program was giving grants ranging from $5,000 to several million. AVAX had over $200M for grants and the first subnet to receive an investment from the program was DeFi Kingdoms with up to $15 million in incentives through AVAX token. ALGO has $250M and has given out over 30 in a matter of months.

MaxKK: I agree. The ecosystem (number of use-cases) and community (number of developers/users) are the most important metrics for the success of a blockchain application platform.

The Lisk Grant Program will see an update at Lisk.js later this year, to be able to attract more developers with it. It is however hard to compete with the incentives of other projects, we just don't have that amount of money available. We didn't have a 50% premine or hundreds of millions of VC money. We need to convince with our products.

Next to the Lisk Grant Program, we will start another effort to invest into very promising and useful blockchain applications on Lisk. It's early days, however, there will be some news around this still this year.

Besides that the show goes on with the organization of developer and crypto events, like Lisk.js or our hackathons, or the attendance of those globally. Once the platform has launched we can take a look into more partnerships, be in more news articles, do more community competitions, work on a better user journey and so on. With the bigger marketing team our fire power is larger than ever before to focus on growing the ecosystem and community. We are still looking for a CMO to complement our efforts there and give the strategy an even bigger push.

Unfortunately, what we really see is that developers/businesses need the confidence in the platform and longevity of it. So before the Lisk platform has not launched, it will be hard to convince businesses to build on top of it. This changes next year and that's the time we will focus on growth.

Rongi13: On Lisk's reddit you can find a lots of comments about "the death of this project" what do you have to respond to this?

MaxKK: Lisk is a very old project, kinda the OG of L1s. We were one of the first ones which came up with alternative ideas to Ethereum. Due to many delays, setbacks and delays (e.g. 1 year to create a Lisk Foundation, afterwards 1.5 years to hire the team, then 2 years to rewrite the entire code base and release the Lisk SDK..) we are unfortunately not in the state I wish we would be.

Nontheless, today we are fully setup. We have an amazing team of over 60 individuals. One of the best research teams in the industry, development teams across many products forming a powerful product suite. Marketing is ramping up consistently with many new hires establishing the department just recently and a much higher budget this year than before.

All of this matters and it's important to realize it, but what truly matters is our vision and mission(s). We diverged from being a hyped coin to being a mature project.

The launch of the Lisk platform is before us, with us developing one of the first blockchain applications on it ourselves. That truly sets the beginning of Lisk and we are finally in a position to catch up and to grow out our platform consistently with useful use-cases.

Our vision is to become the most accessible blockchain application platform in the world.

Our missions are to:

- be the industry standard for JavaScript blockchain application development - onboard 100,000,000 users to crypto & Web3 - make the Lisk Foundation sustainable

All of that is actively being worked on. Our community is growing, the number of users and developers is growing, the number of blockchain applications in development is growing, the project is still to today one of the most actively developed (across all products combined).

This doesn't look like death to me.

What the people probably refer to as being dead is the lack of hype and the silence on Reddit/Telegram. This in my opinion is due to the platform not being launched and no use-cases which can actually be used on our platform. Once this changed, I foresee hype around individual use-cases coming and the silence transitioning towards a vibrant community.

We are building strong and are confident in our products. There is a clear niche for JavaScript based blockchain applications, there is a need for app-specific chains being developed (dYdX being the most recent example) and we are starting to launch our platform and build out revenue streams on it, to keep building utility and onboard users forever.

MrV777: I asked in Discord, but don't believe I ever got a response: Have you looked how the Lisk SDK compares to NEAR SDK JS (enclave) for JS based smart contracts? Seems it would be weighing building your own JS chain and building your modules on Lisk vs joining an already secured chain and building your own JS smart contracts there instead.

Not sure why build a javascript based sidechain where you need to worry about delegates/securing the blockchain when you can join in NEAR with a robust ecosystem already, bridges, high TPS, sharding, EVM chain, and build out JS smart contacts there to do the functionality you wanted (with the future ability to be your own shard.

MaxKK: This goes back to the entire discussion around smart contracts or app-specific chains. I won't argue around here anymore. Both have use-cases and it depends on what the developer is trying to build.

With dYdX we see a DEX might want to be on its own blockchain to provide the best UX possible, but a simple token issuer probably not. The same goes probably for an NFT marketplace and individual NFT collections.

At Lisk we provide the developers the tools and they can see if they fit their purpose or not. For me it's quite clear that we need simple ways to build independent blockchains, it's also quite clear that JavaScript is a widely known language. So both together make sense. In what form or capacity however this is yet to be seen.

MrV777: I understand what you are saying with independent blockchains or app chains vs dapps using a shared one and developing your app on top of that. However, having your own NEAR shard and using their JS SDK seems quite similar.

MaxKK: I guess at one point there will be many similar solutions on the market and everything saturates. Maybe we reached that point already. That's why it's important to build bridges to everything and position oneself as chain-agnostic as possible.

Something to explore for us is definitely to check out how the Lisk platform can become more agnostic and not rely only on the Lisk SDK blockchains. It has to evolve to become an accessible portal into crypto & Web3. No matter on which technologies the underlying blockchain applications were built.

wizis: Hi Max, here are my questions.

  • This year, you said it is the year of Lidk. Can you tell us WHY ? What are the reasons ?
  • How many projects are currently onboarded on Lisk?
  • how many sidechains we may probably see mainnet by the end of the year?
  • Are an EVM and/or a CosmosVM under construction on Lisk ?
  • Will we see a DEX and DeFi protocols on Lisk this year ?
  • Will Lisk propose an ICO platform to fuel projects that want to buil on Lisk ?
  • Do you plan a new Lisk Hackathon for this year ?
  • Last but certainly not least ! Today, the Lisk token is used to vote for governance + pay for Tx fees. Which use cases will be integrated with the Lisk token?

Thank you Max

MaxKK: - It's the year of Lisk because we are finally show-casing our interoperability solution. Something we are talking about since 2016 and what finally becomes reality this year with the first test networks being created. That's why this year is special, it lays the groundwork in terms of research & development for the upcoming official Lisk platform launch. - I think there are currently 12 accepted projects in the Lisk Grant Program, next to any project being developed outside of it. - Sidechains can only exist once the Lisk platform has launched. - No, we are fully focusing on module development, not smart contract development. - We will definitely see it after the launch of the Lisk platform. The necessary DEX modules are currently being developed already. - No, maybe our community members will do something similar. An AMM which is coming can be used for ICOs as well. - Yes, to be announced at Lisk.js 2022 which will be announced later this year. - Please see my other answers, I've already answered that.

Laggeros: What are future plans for using the coin?

MaxKK: All the future plans for using the LSK token are known.

  • Utility

It's being used for 1.) paying transactions fees on the Lisk blockchain, 2.) paying transaction fees on the interoperability/transfer of assets between multiple blockchain applications AND 3.) in some cases also to pay the transaction fees on separate blockchain applications.

Next to that, I assume many blockchain applications will utilize the LSK token in some shape or form, e.g. a DEX to provide liquidity for or an NFT market place to purchase NFTs with.

It will be THE token for the Lisk ecosystem.

  • Governance

Additionally, to that you can of course also stake the LSK tokens on the Lisk mainchain to secure the network and get a part of the block rewards.

indymar: How do you see the Lisk coin? Do you know how the community sees Lisk? Do you know how Lisk affects people's lives? What's the point? How can this action generally benefit today's society?

MaxKK: I see the LSK token as the blood of our platform. It keeps the lights on (governance) and allows us to perform certain functions (utility). See this comment.

At one point we can affect people's live in a positive way by giving them use-cases based on blockchain technology which they benefit from. I do really hope that we will achieve that, we are working hard on it.

By moving society towards decentralized and trustless systems based on blockchain technology we are removing the reliance on individual, bad actors (e.g. banks). This should benefit today's society.

tjthomas101: Do u know much bout web3 investors' sentiments about the bear market. Are they still actively investing? If so, how different is their strategy now than during a bull market

MaxKK: As far as VCs go, nearly nobody invests right now. As far as retail go, everyone left. The last remaining pillar are institutions pushing the BTC and ETH price up, driving the prices of altcoins up as well. Until the next hype wave will come, I estimate somewhen next year.

In general the strategy is definitely to go from higher risk projects to lower risk projects. Lisk is pretty strong here, as we are established for quite some while already. So the risk of us disappearing is relatively low. However, nowadays there are many projects like that in the top 100 so it's not reason enough. We need to launch our platform and promote it efficiently, to pull people into our ecosystem and community.

tjthomas101: What's lisk biggest differentiating factor against other chains other than being completely js based?

MaxKK: I'd say every L1 is pretty unique in its positioning, technology and vision. Overall Lisk comes closest to Cosmos where our main differentiating factor is definitely the programming language.

Next to all the other L1's we are falling more back on the basic principles of smart contract based versus app-chain specific blockchain applications. Here a good example is to take a look at the recent change of plans of dYdX from a smart contract based solution (Ethereum) to a app-chain specific based solution (Cosmos).

What we at Lisk are doing is also to bundle the technical solution to a great user experience and journey. We hope to be able to on-board as many people as possible into the industry. We've done so tremendously in 2017 and 2018 and still to this day I get it said many times, that they entered crypto because of Lisk. We try to continue being such an on-boarder of users into the industry.

Fun-Nefariousness343: What are the main goals for Lisk? And what is the benefit of it?

MaxKK: Our vision is to be the most accessible blockchain application platform in the world. The benefit of it is to give people the benefits of blockchain technology, crypto and Web3.

For that we have three goals or rather missions.

- To be the industry standard for JavaScript blockchain application development: That will give the huge number of JavaScript developers (millions) the right tools to build their own blockchain applications. - To onboard 100,000,000 users into crypto & Web3: That will give users the necessary exposure to this ground-breaking new iteration of the internet to benefit from the blockchain applications built. - To make the Lisk Foundation sustainable: That ensures continued research, development and marketing of all Lisk products.

LeonGreeneLSK: Any updates on Poloniex?

MaxKK: After I publicly called them out and Justin Sun messaged me, we had pretty good contact with them for some time. Since the 28th of June it dried up however. Since the 21st of July nobody is answering me anymore.

I will keep everyone posted.

ChristinaHepburn: When can I buy LSK in your wallet?

MaxKK: We are looking at multiple ways to be able to facilitate that. It's part of our vision to enable this and I hope we can achieve it next year.

Rongi13: Hi do you know how much Lisk got stolen during the hack ? Do you think the price is suppressed by the stolen Lisks or are you in contact with exchanges (binances...etc) to ban/block/freeze them ?

MaxKK: There was no hack. I guess you are referring to users not initializing their wallets which was heavily communicated on all our channels and with multiple warnings in all our wallets since 2017. This was a requirement for any wallet created before August 2021, today you don't need to do that anymore.

We don't know how many LSK were taken due to that, we can only assume. I guess a few million at most. In the grand scheme of things it's not heavily suppressing the LSK token price as far as we see it.

Rongi13: We are in the "Sapphire" phase since 1 year now, what's up? there is a deadline ?

MaxKK: We have internal deadlines but learned from our mistakes of publicly communicating them. It caused much more harm than good. Please note that the last phase Emerald took more than two years.

We are however launching the beta for Sapphire this year still.

ImDepressedKillMe: Are you a cat person or a dog person?

MaxKK: In the past I've been a cat person until I owned one, today I'm a dog person.

h-pip: Only organic growth or any actions to put lsk coin back to top100

MaxKK: Many actions. New exchange listings, LSK token buy backs, much more marketing than before. I'd like to go back there myself.

Faithajani: What gives birth to the creation of $lisk ? What vision is driving the project? Also the project seems to be more focused on developers building, is there any utilities that can be use the $lisk and it platform for even when you are not a developer? What are those utilities?

MaxKK: Check this one out:

rgbofficial: Hey Max! Any news on how the fee's work for cross chain transactions? Will we need to pay fee's on all chains eg. chain A, chain B, and the lisk main chain?

Also, will there be any protection against malicious cross chain transactions, eg. from an unknown chain/address to a known chain address.

MaxKK: It's all cleared out already and described in the LIPs for interoperability.

In general, yes. Fees will have to be paid on all chains. How this is structured is pretty much open to the developer. The main use-case for the LSK token is the payment of the cross-chain transactions.

In our interoperability protocol there can't be unknown chains or addresses. Malicious cross-chain transactions are not possible.

Rongi13: Do you still have enough fund from the ICO to keep the whole Lisk company fine during this financial crisis ? the company is still growing, how many people are currently working in full time on this project ?

MaxKK - Yes. Over 60. We can keep going for many years, above I sketched pessimistic numbers of 4.5 years. Reality is above that.

apeboy17: A strong community is crucial to any project. I think the way to do that is through local communities. What steps do you plan to take in this regard?

MaxKK: This was actually exactly our plan with the Lisk Centers being established in Japan, Netherlands and Germany. With the rise of Covid we completely changed our strategy and went from local to global, and fully focus on digital events now.

In the case of organizing events, that mostly happens in Berlin for logistics reasons but will always be live-streamed for the world to see.

In the case of attending conferences, that mostly happens to reach as many people as possible and not to build a local community.

Artistic-Detail-5339: ENS domains are starting to make alot of noise in the Web3 space. What are your thought on .eth domains, would you consider purchasing lisk.eth ?

MaxKK - I think ENS domains are a great way to personalize wallets and to simplify address handling. However, it's not going far enough. We need much more.

We don't really need lisk.eth unless it's offered to us for a really great price. Feel free to message me on Twitter.

I own maxkordek.eth just for fun and to prevent others from taking it. :D

2loveku: Few interoperability projects are running and are seen as "SUCCESSFUL" projects with progress being monitored by the public. At least for currently. Such as COSMOS or POLKADOTS. Compared to LISK, in my opinion, yes that the two projects have a good start compared to LISK. Despite the fact that we both know that LISK is more promising as a future project. How do you see an equal chance for LISK and even overtake their luck?

MaxKK: I think the industry is becoming increasingly more saturated and we have missed our early opportunity due to delays in product research & development. Now we are not riding in front, but rather riding along. This is ok! I see big opportunities in being the more mature project and offering stable solutions to users, developers and businesses. We have changed our whole mentality from hyped to sustainable and continue to build on top of that mentality by establishing revenue streams and building great products for the long-term.

Maruton22: If it is put to practical use for payments and remittances in the future, I feel that it will have a weak advantage compared to other virtual currencies.

MaxKK: That's not what we are focusing on.