3 Ways Lisk Isn't Ethereum & Why That's a Good Thing

in #lisk5 years ago

This post is being carried over from my blog LiskNation as I transition my writing to Steemit full time. You can read more about my transition here. Thanks for reading!

Since the day Lisk was announced, it has inevitably been compared to Ethereum. Even Crypti, the pre-cursor to Lisk, was heavily weighed against Ethereum as a direct competitor. While I understand the basis for these comparisons, pitting the two against one another, or suggesting that users must choose only one network to support, shows a drastic misunderstanding of the goals which Lisk aims to accomplish. In this feature, we will focus on 3 key differences that show how Lisk is vastly different than Ethereum and explain why that is great for Lisk and it’s supporters.

1. A Focus on Custom Blockchains, not Smart Contracts.

Most people are very familiar with the idea of Smart Contracts. Ethereum was built on the idea that smart contracts will some day rule the world and all applications will be running some form of smart contract system (which I don’t disagree with). The aim of Ethereum is to be that system and they have developed their business model around that belief.

Lisk is not in the smart contract business. Lisk intends to allow interfacing with smart contract systems, such as Ethereum, through virtual machine integration. Let me make this clear. Lisk IS NOT a smart contract system. It is a custom blockchain system. Lisk has built their business model around creating a simplified user experience and platform to easily implement custom generated blockchains for anyone from the individual, to the small business, to large banks. This direction is very different from that of Ethereum and once you understand this key factor, you will start to see that not only are Lisk and Ethereum very different, but they are designed to work very well together.

2. Main Chain vs. Side Chains

In the aftermath of the exploitation of the smart contract that runs The DAO, many crypto enthusiasts have become wary of Ethereum, The DAO, and by association Lisk. Unfortunately, this is again due to a lack of understanding of what Lisk is or isn’t, and unfairly equating it to Ethereum. Ethereum has developed a full-featured, Turing complete system that allows developers to write smart contracts using their custom programming language called Solidity. In the last several weeks, it has come to light that the smart contract running The DAO may not be the only cause for alarm, but rather Solidity itself may lead to bigger issues for Ethereum.

The problems plaguing the DAO have bled into the Ethereum network and not only hurt their image, but their valuation as well. This is because in Ethereum, all smart contracts are stored and run from the Ethereum blockchain itself. In the case of the DAO, there have been many conversations on how to reverse the theft that occurred. These conversations have led to the proposal of a hard fork of the entire Ethereum network, in order to bail out The DAO and any investors.

Whichever side of this argument you are on (I am not personally in favor of the bail out, but that is for a different post), this would never be an issue when it comes to Lisk. For better or worse, rolling back the Lisk blockchain would do absolutely nothing to save a failed application. In the Lisk ecosystem, all blockchain applications are running on completely isolated and separate sidechains. While these sidechains do have ties to the main Lisk network, they do not have any ability to impact the Lisk network itself. Each are independently proven and managed blockchains with their own consensus system, delegates, and database. This is a very important distinction between Lisk and Ethereum.

To break it down:

Lisk runs every single application on a completely separate, isolated sidechain, responsible for itself. If a sidechain fails, the blame and responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the developer running the sidechain. If a sidechain sells illegal drugs or starts Silk Road 15, this falls on the shoulders of the administrative account and delegates of that specific sidechain. That sidechain is registered to an individual just like any standard web application.

Ethereum runs smart contracts and services from and on the entire Ethereum main blockchain. That means the risk and liability can be hard to attribute. Much like the case of the DAO, while the contract itself may have had issues, part of the issues lie in the Solidity language itself. This also causes a problem when it comes to those running network nodes for Ethereum. If someone creates a smart contract that is illegal or malicious, all full nodes on the network may execute that contract. This could cause legal liability just for participating in the network. While this hasn’t been tested in court, it’s a slippery slope I don’t personally want to test the waters on.

3. JavaScript vs. Solidity

This final point is a contentious one and may be a matter of personal preference, but it is still an important difference between the two networks. Lisk is attempting to tap into the several hundred thousand strong JavaScript developer community by building their entire ecosystem in JavaScript. This makes it very easy for traditional web application developers to build out and interface with Lisk custom blockchains. There is zero need for them to learn a new language and JavaScript has been thoroughly tested and it’s issues well documented (JavaScript is far from perfect).

As we have already seen in the previous points, Solidity is an entirely new beast with some very real issues that still need to be fleshed out. While Solidity is very similar to JavaScript, it does require a bit of a learning curve to get started and we don’t know what other issues might arrive down the road. That being said, there are already several solutions for Ethereum that allow the use of different programming languages

Lisk != Ethereum, and that’s OK!

As a crypto currency enthusiast, you aren’t required to pick sides. Both Lisk and Ethereum have huge upside potential and may both create revolutionary new ways of developing and administering applications for years to come. Despite what you have been led to believe by other media outlets or industry “experts”, Lisk and Ethereum aren’t in direct competition to one another and are actually being built in a manner that I think creates a great deal of synergy between the two.

I hope this feature has helped you to better understand the differences between the two networks, and has solidified your support for Lisk. The next few years are going to be filled with exciting innovations in the blockchain space and I believe Lisk is poised to be at the center of it all. 


good to know :) upvoted and followed

Thanks for the support!

Good article to explain the difference. I hold both, but in the next few years I think Lisk is more promising. ^_^

I think Lisk has a bright future once they get the core tech stable and can focus on the application platform. It won't be an overnight success but if you can wait 2 years, I think that Lisk has a ton of potential.

I think LISK may be worth investing.
Great informative post.

Thanks for the comment and support! If you are a long-term investor, Lisk is definitely worth a look. As always, make sure to do your homework before investing and ensure that the platform and team are ones you can believe in (so you won't be tempted by dumps or setbacks).

I would suggest getting in now. The price has been at a pretty stable range but that may not last more than a few more months.

do be cautious bringing your articles to Steemit. Cheetahbot might not see the difference.

I also have another blog i brought articles over here from in my first few posts but i stopped cause i don't want even one flag or comment suggesting i copied that I have to defend cause its waste of time and people often don't vote regardless simply because copying was suggested.

I used to post on Steemit, wait the out the first payout then post it on my blog. But now the payout after the first payouts is more effective so I won't be doing that method anymore.

Just saying cause i like your posts and don't want to see any negative stuff that could be dodged.

This is what i made my recent blog post look like.

I now put links to my steemit link and a small description of the article and a couple pics. I also use links from my blog in steemit so I can get better google analytics with link backs.

keep on keeping on
my 2 cents

oh and i did enjoy this article and voted

Thanks for the support and advice. I will be taking down LiskNation once I get everything moved over (it's only a few articles) and the site wasn't well indexed yet anyways I don't believe. I will look out for the "Cheetahbot" as it isn't something I was familiar with. It will be mostly new content from this point on. Thanks again!

How about compared to NXT?

That's a completely different can of worms. NXT as a platform has integrated versions of almost every major feature any crypto has released over the last 2 years with varied results. I will be honest and say that I haven't had time to fully look into Ardor, but while it is offering one solution to the problem of easy, deployable blockchains with it's child-chains system, I think it will require more research to determine the differences. I'll try to find time to do a little more research and see if it warrants an analysis. Thanks for the comment!

Great article explaining the differences. I invested in both Ethereum and Lisk ICOs. They are definitely two of the best tokens in the space. I cannot wait to watch Lisk grow. I also love the nod from Charles Hoskinson... can't go wrong there. Upvoted and followed!

Thanks for the comment and support! I agree, Charles is a solid voice to help an otherwise young and relatively inexperienced team. His presence will definitely help keep them grounded.

I agree. They seem level-headed but Charles experience to help guide the ship can only mean good things :)

Thank you for the explanation. I had no time to dig into Lisk, but was stopped by Javascript mentioning - it's becoming not popular

Thanks for this nice article comparing Lisk and Ethereum

lisk is a crypto-currency and decentralized application platform. As a crypto-currency, much like Bitcoin and other alternatives, it provides a decentralized payment system and digital money network. The network itself, operates using a highly efficient Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus model, that is secured by 101 democratically elected delegates. The Lisk decentralized application platform, it's most powerful component, allows the deployment, distribution and monetisation of decentralized applications and custom blockchains (sidechains) onto the Lisk blockchain.

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