Please read this carefully. The current version of the SDK is the alpha release stage. The Lisk SDK has been released in its current form in order to improve the development experience through community feedback and contributions.

It is definitely NOT recommended to use the alpha release of the Lisk SDK for any production-based blockchain applications, i.e. a blockchain operating on a live mainnet.

Over the course of the SDK’s alpha phase there will be significant changes in the Lisk protocol and implementation. This will eventually bring the accessibility and reliability to a level which is feasible for production-based blockchain applications.

At this time it is only recommended that the alpha version of the Lisk SDK is used for proof-of-concept blockchain applications, i.e. a blockchain operating on a stand-alone network.

Please note that the dummy delegate accounts are insecure, as their secret passphrases are public. In addition, the convenient creation of a new genesis block is not supported by the alpha release of the Lisk SDK.

The only application built using the Lisk SDK currently feasible for production usage is Lisk Core, the client of the Lisk network itself.

Please be advised that it is not possible to guarantee that blockchains created with the alpha release of the Lisk SDK will remain compatible with the planned (beta/rc) releases.

We wish you an enjoyable experience building your proof-of-concept blockchain applications using the Lisk SDK and look forward to receiving your feedback and contributions during the alpha phase.

What is the Lisk SDK?

The Lisk SDK aims to provide an easy and reliable software development kit for building blockchain applications compatible with the Lisk Protocol.

The architecture of the Lisk SDK has been designed so that it can be extended to meet the requirements of a wide variety of blockchain use cases.

The codebase is written entirely in JavaScript, which means for a majority of developers no significant change of tools is required to get started.

The Lisk SDK makes every effort to allow developers to focus simply and purely on writing the code that matters to their own blockchain application and nothing else.

SDK components

Directory Description


Lisk Framework is an application framework responsible for establishing and maintaining the interactions between the modules of a Lisk blockchain application.


Lisk Elements is a collection of libraries, each of them implementing some form of blockchain application functionality such as cryptography, transactions, p2p, etc. Each library is designed to be compatible with the Lisk Protocol.


Lisk Commander is a command line tool which allows the management of a Lisk node instance and interaction with a Lisk compatible network.

Architecture overview

The Lisk SDK operates on the NodeJS runtime and consists primarily of an application framework (Lisk Framework). This consists of a collection of libraries providing blockchain application functionalities (Lisk Elements), and a powerful Command Line Interface (Lisk Commander), which allows developers to manage a Lisk node instance and interact with a Lisk compatible network.

The diagram below provides a high-level overview of the architecture:




Before running Lisk SDK, the following dependencies shown below need to be installed in order to run applications created with the Lisk SDK:

Dependencies Version





Redis (optional)




Further details on installing these dependencies can be found in the pre-installation setup guide.

Please be aware that primarily it is necessary to create a database. The default database name is lisk_dev, so for the development purposes, a command createdb lisk_dev must be used for the set up. The default database user and password are lisk and password, they can be both changed in the configuration of the Lisk SDK.


Installation of the Lisk Alpha SDK is straightforward and limited to getting a single NPM package, lisk-sdk, to your Node.js project as shown below:

npm install lisk-sdk@2.3.8

Lisk SDK is an all-in-one package that provides the tools to create, run and maintain blockchain applications in JavaScript.

In the case whereby only a specific functionality is required, it is possible to install only the relevant package as shown below:

npm install lisk-commmander (1)
npm install @liskhq/lisk-transactions (2)
npm install @liskhq/lisk-cryptography (3)
1 Install Lisk Commander.
2 Install Lisk Elements transactions package.
3 Install Lisk Elements cryptography package.

By using the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK, you acknowledge and agree that you have an adequate understanding of the risks associated with the use of the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK, and that it is provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis; without any representations or warranties of any kind. To the fullest extent permitted by law, in no event shall the Lisk Foundation or other parties involved in the development of the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK have any liability whatsoever to any person for any direct or indirect loss, liability, cost, claim, expense, or damage of any kind, whether in contract or in tort; including negligence or otherwise, arising out of or related to the use of all or part of the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK.