Unofficial Lisk Roadmap

Waiting for the detailed official roadmap from the Lisk team? In the between, this is my take on what to expect in the near future.

  • Mainnet launch. May the 24th be with us! This is not an easy task. The ICO has raised lot’s of interest and be sure the network will be stressed from day one. When successful, you can be sure that it will be a true achievement from a team of 3 people… ahem 1 developer!
  • Widespread adoption. Well at some point we need people start to use it, when there is only a token released. At this point we will be not different from altcoins. What will make people choose Lisk? Liquidity (how easy to spend and receive Lisk). We need as a community to group or forces
  • The race for the DApp grails. Ok that is the very point of altcoins now. Nobody (yes not even ethereum) has managed to bring DApps mainstream. Let me further expand on this point.

The Real Ethereum issue

Ethereum has definitively managed to break the technologic wall to finally enable DApps to go mainstream, via smart contracts. This is clever, complex and awesome. Well too clever, too complex. Still awesome. Why? I think Gavin Andresen from bitcoin nailed it: Will the man in the street trust a machine he does not understand to take care of his money investment?

Ok let me rephrase it differently. The point of DApp is not that we can do many things better and cheaper. No, the point is how a DApp can convince. I am not speaking about how smart they will be coded, but how the man in the street will be driven to use it.

Enter Lisk in the arena

Let’s face it, Lisk is far less advanced than Ethereum for Dapps. Lisk will likely never implement smart-contract. So how Lisk can succeed where Ethereum has not (yet, if ever)?

First, Lisk is far less complex to apprehend for the developer, so we may have a lot of dapps, many of them crappy (ie “why are you doing a dapp, when this is just a website?”), but we will definitively have many chances to see some gems.

And then those gems must be adopted. But here is the main issue of Sidechains: Why as a sysadmin i would run a server to secure your dapp sidechain? And you need to find a minimum of people ready to secure a sidechain. So the recipe of a success (Lisk) DApp:

  • Forgers should have an interest to secure the sidechain.
  • The people should clearly identify an advantage to use the DApp.

Basically the fees paid by the DApp users should feed the forgers.

Oh yeah so the less DApp users the less forgers, and the less forgers the less DApp users! Where should we start then?

Here we are! As it is now with the current API, it is unlikely a Lisk DApp can be successful. There is just no fuel to start it (unlike Ethereum, with gas…).

Token DApp

So we are doomed to useless interesting PoC in best case. We need the DApp API to be improved. My personal take is to provide token management out of the box from the API, so the moment you launch your DApp, forgers are rewarded with the DApp transaction token. Then since the DApp fees will be indexed on the LISK, The DApp token will have a value form day 1. We can imagine as well some “standard” sidechain so many DApps won’t need to reinvent the wheel to find peers to secure their sidechain. That is the Core DApps as mentioned by the Lisk Team in a blog post.

The bottom line is that the DApp API is far from production ready, but there is a clear path to make it happen. Best of all the Lisk team is really aware of these issues, so this coming year will be definitively interesting in the altcoin world!
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