LISK London meetup report.

What follows are my personal feelings after last week’s LISK meetup in London (Sep 27th 2018). You will not find any earth-shattering revelations here, but what you will read are my honest opinions and an outline of the events that I have composed from my notes. For those of you who could not make the events my aim here is to make you feel like you did.

How the day began.

I met up with Dutch community Ambassador, Meyade Curfs, on the morning of the meetup. Meyade’s hotel was not accepting check-ins until two o’clock that day, so we arranged that he could take advantage of my hotel room to freshen up after his plane flight. The LISK community working together, and helping each other out; I like it!

Once refreshed, Meyade and I were off to a pre-meetup meeting between Members of LISK HQ and GNY HQ. In attendance from Lisk were… President of LISK, Director and Head of LISK User Interfaces, Max Kordek, Head of Marketing, Thomas Schouten, and Mat Piaggi, Community Lead. Representing GNY were Founder and CEO of GNY, Cosmas Wong, and Richard Jarritt, Founder and Chief R&D Officer.

These two groups shared their vision for promoting the LISK ecosystem together. The meeting was full of positivity and enthusiasm, with Cosmas providing Duracell bunny levels of energy. Hopefully that energy will be put to even better use once the GNY ICO completes and the team set about building the “LISK Machine Learning” (L.M.L) blockchain in Javascript, and the GNY Machine Learning blockchain in Typescript. Initial entry to the LISK Machine Learning project is available to all the participants who use LISK tokens to enter the GNY ICO. The network will match the number of tokens 1:1. The GNY token sale Phase 1 is now open at https://www.gny.io/ico

(L to R) Thomas Schouten, Mat Piaggi, Meyade Curfs, John Muck, Richard Jarritt, and Max Kordek, at the LISK/GNY meeting.

Meetup Main.

The meetup took place at RocketSpace Events, 6 Duncan Street, in Central London. The event began at 18:30 and the chill autumn evening was darkening down and closing in as we hurriedly made our way inside to the registration desk. There we were greeted by Jacob Kowalewski, Education lead, and Michael Borowiec, Communications Lead. The lads were full of laughs and jokes, which was welcome after some of the the less-than-happy faces we encountered on our tube journey to the meetup.

Head of Marketing, Thomas Schouten, on stage.

Thomas covered the LISK academy and LISK videos.

LISK Academy.

Thomas revealed that the oft-copied but unmatched LISK academy is in the process of being updated even further, as a means of spreading its tutorials to all corners of the globe. A mentioned Japanese translation is one of those moves that will certainly aid that I felt.

LISK Videos.

The ever popular Vlogs and their recent evolution were expanded upon in the presentation. “LISK Now” being the most exciting to me personally. With its aim to highlight spontaneous news or announcements as and when needed, it is a “newsflash” service for LISK essentially.

From now on, we will also be getting two short, independent Vlogs: one for technological development hosted by Tech Evangelist, Rachel black, and one for Business development hosted by Thomas himself. These Vlogs will arrive sequentially on alternate months.

If you are time-poor and miss out on any of the above you can always catch up with the “LISK Monthly” video, a monthly recap hosted by LISK’s Community team that summarizes what happened during the last month. Handy that!

My feelings on Thomas’s presentation.

Thomas appeared extremely focussed and driven. It took me aback at first I’ll admit, as I was wondering was I seeing a CEO on stage instead of a marketing manager. A good man to have in your corner, no doubt about it.

Tech Evangelist, Rachel Black, on stage.

Rachel covered the advantages of Javascript and LISK’s Suite of Tools.

Advantages of Javascript.

Rachel comes from a background in web development, having worked with React and Node, and you could really feel her love for Javascript come through when she spoke. The ease of onboarding with Javascript in comparison to other coding languages was explained, as was its flexibility.

LISK’s Suite of Tools.

LISK Core, Commander, and Elements (now being lead by Oliver) were each explained individually, with particular emphasise being placed on LISK Commander being an important part of the SDK.

The advantages of sidechains were explained well via a novel infographic. Sidechains advantages were promoted whilst referring to the cryptokitties virtual game developed by Axiom Zen, and how it congested the Ethereum network’s single chain. This degree of evangelizing was exactly what I would have expected from a Tech Evangelist.

My feelings on Rachel’s presentation.

As I said, Rachel’s love for Javascript came through in her presentation and that is a must for any Tech Evangelist in the LISK ecosystem. Rachel was also no shrinking violet, and this showed when one meetup attendee tried to stop her mid-flow with a query. Rachel politely replied that questions would be taken at the end, and she then pushed forward unabated. Hard to believe she is only a recent addition to the team.

Max Kordek, laying out his “Next steps” at the LISK London meetup.

President of Lisk, Max Kordek, on stage.

Max covered the next steps for LISK.

Base layer tech.

Max spoke of The LISK project in terms of becoming a “base layer tech” for the future. The team are thinking 1–2 years into the future, but also eyeing 10+ years down the road.

Ambassadors and Biz Dev team.

The introduction of LISK to both the general public and business interests was dealt with also. The general public, albeit the general public with a tech edge, through the newly updated LISK Ambassador program and its push for local meetups, with Ambassador incentives for hosting successful meetups. Business interests are to be tracked down and followed up by the the Lightcurve Biz Dev team. Exchange listings and partnerships to be two of the areas concentrated on.

Science team and ecosystem interplay.

The science team were mentioned in relation to not only dynamic fees but how they and the rest of the Lightcurve team are working on the whole project overview, and where LISK goes next. Special importance was placed on the interplay of all the elements within the ecosystem, from LISK’s Suite of Tools, to sidechains, to consensus, etc. Max asserted how the interplay (and knock-on) between them all must be considered when making a move.

Events and vacancies.

The Upcoming Berlin and Amsterdam events were promoted, and the ever present call out that “we are hiring” also made its appearance. Pop-up banners were present on the night with the open positions listed.

My feelings on Max’s presentation.

As usual Max was a steady hand to have on the tiller of the good ship LISK. Despite battling an obvious head cold and facing a smaller crowd than anticipated Max was unflappable. You won’t always get loads of smiles from Max, but when you do, you know they are genuine. A long term, long-lasting product that is future-proofed is what I felt he wants to deliver to the community. Build it, then have the community build upon it. I can dig that!

Dennis Gilburg, Marketing Manager of MADANA, explaining how MADANA will protect your data, and give you back control of it.

Marketing Manager of MADANA, Dennis Gilburg, on stage.

Dennis gave us an overview of MADANA.

Dennis did well in explaining MADANA to someone like myself who has not come from a blockchain background. To explain it in a completely simplified manner (for myself mainly) I see what MADANA are doing as having a virtual walled off area or a black box containing your personal data that no one else can see inside unless you the data owner allows them to, and that once given permission they the data consumer pay you for the use of your data.

We were told by Dennis that the proof of how accessible our data is to outside interests currently will be demonstrated by MADANA as part of the first version of their working Minimum Viable Product. You will be able to link your Facebook profile to the M.V.P and after doing this you will be fed back just how much is known to the public about yourself, just through data that is publicly available to everyone. In the future MADANA will protect that data for you and allow you monetize it. Don’t forget that MADANA are conducting their whitelisting process currently to allow participation in their ongoing ICO (until October 31st), and that if you buy in using the LISK token you will get an extra 10% allocation of the MADANA PAX token. To find out how you can get whitelisted you can visit https://blog.madana.io/whitelisting-guide-for-the-madana-pax-pre-sale-2e75401dc41b

My feelings on Dennis’s presentation.

Initially this presentation was supposed to be held by MADANA CEO & Co-Founder, Christian Junger, who unfortunately became sick prior to the event and had to stay in bed. Hence Dennis stepped in instead, and did well to cope on his own. Dennis was extremely amicable and calm especially considering what he was describing was quite intricate. The presentation slides were of an exceptionally high quality and this aided the presentation no end.

(L to R) John Muck, Rachel Black, Thomas Schouten, Michael Borowiec, Max Kordek, Jacob Kowalewski, Meyade Curfs, and Mat Piaggi, towards the close of the LISK London meetup.

The event afters and my thoughts.

After the more formal section of the meetup concluded we were all asked to join the team for refreshments and a chat. I spoke to all the onstage contributors, and to most of the meetup attendees. A big shout out to @blockhead_j on twitter, a technologist that I met at the event, who said that following the meetup, and speaking to Tech Evangelist Rachel Black in particular, he has become very intrigued by the LISK project.

What was my main take away from the the meetups?

If I could take even a tiny piece of the overall confidence I gained from that day and inject it into anyone uncertain about the LISK ecosystem, then I would. I invest in projects, but I also invest in people. Let me tell you something, when you meet these LISK, MADANA, and GNY folk face to face and look them in the eye, any of the FUD just melts away. I highly recommend you attend one of their meetups. With the newly updated LISK Ambassador program and a push for more local meetups you should have plenty of opportunity. It would be great to meet you at one of them in the future!