Outlined is a summary of the community meeting.
Welcome everyone to the fourth community meeting. In this blog post you will find the answers to the questions the community compiled before the meeting. It is published about half an hour before the actual meeting starts so that the community has some time to read the answers and come up with new questions towards the community meeting. This encourages a community meeting where people can ask us further questions and talk casually with us.
We kept the questions quite general and created a new kind of community meeting for all technical questions. The technical community meeting will happen in two weeks and we will answer all outstanding questions there.
Refer to this blog post in order to view the Q&A from our last community meeting, conducted on July 30th, 2016.
Community Meeting Questions
Are there any thoughts about a weekly newsletter/blog status update post for Lisk? Ideally you could sign up for email notifications when the weekly update is posted to the blog. (MrV)
A weekly summary newsletter is already happening, the retrospect. Since the 19th August we are also sending out newsletters for every important blog post we publish. However, I assume you mean a more general blog post which includes various updates about the past week; like development, community efforts, legal progress, and so on. We can definitely do that. Let me speak with Joel and we will think about a way to do this.
Question back to you: What kind of information do you want to see within these status update posts?
Delegated Proof of Stake / Algorithm
Will dev funds (8mil) that Max & Oliver control be used for voting or promoting individuals into top 101 delegates? If yes, wouldn’t that mean Lisk being centralized and subject to manipulations? The only scenario I can imagine them getting involved to vote is to counter an attack from one person having a lot of voting power to control network. (distro)
Yes, we will vote with our fundings. If it turns out that we have too much power, we will think about possible countermeasures (e.g. we only vote with a smaller amount). However, looking at the broader picture we “only” have 8% of all tokens and it’s continually becoming smaller once the forging rewards are activated. I assume once there is something to earn, many people will start voting as well.
On another note which is not set in stone yet; we definitely want a decentralised community delegate take-over. That means even though the forging rewards are activated we won’t remove any vote from the genesis delegates for one week. We will see if this works, the potential earnings would obviously go into a fund.
I heard talk of increasing the number of Lisk delegates. (thrice.pi)
Is this a guarantee? If so when?
What is a guarantee nowadays. However, I would really like to see that as it’s making the whole network more decentralised and robust, splits the forging rewards between more individuals, more Lisk projects could be funded, and we would have more servers for the upcoming lite clients to connect to. It’s a win-win situation, so it’s clear I want to do it. However, I can’t give any timeline for that.
Also (approximately) by how much will it be increased?
It has to happen step by step because we need to have the necessary delegates at hand and the code has to be more optimised to support a bigger number of delegates. I would say increasing it by 20 delegates with every update is a good number. The best-case end-goal is around 1000, but I’m not sure what kind of code or network optimisations we would have to do for that. We will know it later on.
Can this be done with the current code or what changes to the code might be needed to make this a reality?
Currently, the 101 delegates are deeply entwined within the codebase. It’s not so easy to increase the number of delegates and such a change needs to be heavily tested. I’m not only talking about code changes here, also about network latency and behaviour which might change with a larger amount of delegates. Even game theory is an area we would have to think about.
The Lisk code is becoming more modular over time and at one point I assume it will be a simple variable edit. That’s the best-case at least.
iv. What causes and effects might be expected with such a change?
There will definitely be a latency increase, i.e. the time every delegate needs to receives the current block. That means we have to optimise the codebase to a point where we can support more delegates without any problem. This optimisation will be done in the Resilience phase with the complete re-write to TypeScript and by adhering to ECMAScript standards.
Forging rewards / GenesisDelegate-Replacement
So, my question is not provocative, but very important! I think when you say that forging will delay until 6 month, you was understanding that you can’t enable this in 1–2 month. Now I see that we(team and community) must do all that enable forging as soon as possible! This make ecosystem more active! You can see started activity after Lisk team activity! What time do you need to enable forging? (grumlin)
I’m not sure I understand the first part of your question. However, I estimate we need around 3–5 more updates to activate forging rewards.
When mainnet forging is released to delegates will the rewards start at 5 lisk per block for a year starting at that point or will they only be 5 lisk a block until Block 3,060,480 then they go to 4 lisk per block? (cryptostorms)
That is a very good question! I’d have to discuss it with Oliver. At the current valuation of around $26M and 2,000,000 more blocks to go I think it’s the best to just keep the numbers the same. Even at 4 LSK per block the delegates would have plenty of new LSK to support and fund new projects.
What do you think about the proposal for testnet bounties? If we want to pay such bounties, how exactly? how much and to whom? (cc001)
I think it’s much more straightforward to release a bug bounty programme than paying people for their performance on the testnet. There are only 101 delegate spots after all and at one point it would be unfair for those who can’t become an active delegate. Additionally, there are too many moving factors for the performance that it isn’t a good measure.
I know that keeping the testnet running is cost intensive and therefore we will hurry up with the bug bounty programme. Once, we have mainnet forging rewards the delegates can split 0.3%-1% of their income to pay for a testnet delegate. We might also just contribute a few LSK to the testnet delegates directly, to cover the VPS costs. I will talk to Oliver about that next week.
Can the dev team please ask all delegates to unvote the dead nodes on the testnet so we can establish a healthy testnet in which to perform tests on with 101 updated nodes please? (cryptostorms)
Yes! This should already have happened.
Maybe it would make sense to publish the Roadmap (great work!, btw) on a separate page, like for example in https://lisk.io/documentation and keep it up-to-date? (cc001)
I agree. We will have dedicated sub pages on our re-branded website for every phase. These will be kept up-to-date and there will be even more information provided for some milestones.
Until then the first stage is pretty fixed anyways, so the blog post should be good enough for now. Actually, there won’t be many changes to the milestones. If something changes then probably it’s either an addition or move of a milestone. Everything we listed in the roadmap is a must-have and will come.
By the way, we will probably also add the milestones of the current phase to GitHub where everyone can take a more dynamic look at them.
ICO / Funding
You mentioned “Lisk Fund” in the Roadmap to secure funding of Lisk after the ICO funds are spent. I think this is a great way how delegates can use some parts of their income to support Lisk. Do you already have an idea how and when this Lisk Fund will come to life? (cc001)
Yes, I have it pretty much in my mind. I just need to write the blog post and create the Lisk account. It will definitely come before the forging rewards are starting.
Basically, it’s simple. The Lisk Fund will accept any donation and contribution from any individual, i.e. normal users, developers, or delegates. There are a few more factors which play into that, but that’s it already. The Lisk Fund will then be used once the decentralised voting/proposal system is implemented in the last phase.
Has Lisk formed an agreement with a third party investor in return for capital investment? (LSK)
Have the founders agreed to the future sale of their tokens, in part or in total, at an agreed future price? (LSK)
No. We are not even thinking about the possibility of selling right now.
How is the process of acquiring new devs/team-members going? Any updates/progress? (cc001)
We receive several applications every week. I have begun sorting them out and contacting individuals. Everyone who sent an application will receive an email from me. Oliver and I made the decision to carefully hire developers, else it means even more work for us. We also have to check several things in regard to hiring; legal, accounting, medical insurance, etc.
When will you hire the first new team member? (grumlin)
Within 1–2 months, can’t give a certain date.
If also nodes >101 help to support/stabilize the network somehow, are there plans to incentive users to run nodes even if they don’t want to be delegates? A similar question is asked in the bitcoin community, how to encourage users to run “full nodes”? (cc001)
Currently, we don’t have any plans to incentivise users to run a full node without being a delegate. I estimate that with the mainnet delegates and all those sidechain delegates which are all also full nodes on the main network, we have a good chance to get far more full nodes than any other cryptocurrency long-term.
How is the formation of the gGmbH going? Any updates/progress? (cc001)
According to our lawyer the finance office (“Finanzamt”) needs to accept our gGmbH application by now. We had to make many revisions to our charter during the past weeks, and we may still need to do one or two. Once they and we are entirely happy, we will officially register it. Next week however, we will get a part of the funds (around $100,000) so that we can start to hire more people, a new PR agency, rent a second office room, and so on. The funds will be sufficient for 2–3 months easily.
Do the delegates have any legal obligation? Particularly meaning if they are connected to the apps they fund. If not, this should be clarified in the formation papers of the gGmbH. (liskyjet)
A delegate definitely has a legal obligation. You can’t fund a single-purpose terrorism-tailored blockchain application and not come out of it without any responsibilities. However, I strongly think that mainnet delegates won’t have any legal obligation because of all the different apps which are registered on the Lisk network. Securing single sidechains is another story, those sidechain delegates who are securing apps which are illegal in their country might need to face legal prosecution.
However, this whole area is so new that there is most probably not a case on this yet. Additionally, I’m not a lawyer so don’t take this as legal advice.
Will you start and support a faucet on mainnet for new users? If yes, when will it start? (grumlin)
Our faucet was gamed badly before launch and an individual withdrew a lot of testnet LSK from it. That means we will likely not put a faucet online anymore. We might introduce a tool in the future to “validate” your Lisk account, so that it gets a public key.
What will you do with 4m lisk bounties in near time? (grumlin)
We are already using the bounty fund for several smaller bounties which were promised during the ICO. Short-term, we will launch a bug bounty programme which gets the LSK from the bounty fund. However, the bounty fund is mainly intended for blockchain applications, that’s why it will be utilised much more once the App SDK is ready.
We will soon publish the excel sheet with all the outgoing bounties. Please note, that the bounty fund follows a long-term plan and we don’t intend to empty it within a year.
Will applications for Lisks non profit and documentation be made public so other projects can use it? (mike)
Are you talking about applications by possible employees and internal documentation? If yes, applications will definitely not be made public. Internal documentation will be made public to a certain extend. For example; we are going to publish transparency reports every month and at the end of the financial year we will then publish the internal papers for that.
Any further comments about the address collision and how to fix/prevent it? (cc001)
In this case I make an exception and will answer the technical question.
Oliver is working extremely hard in order to get the code base to a higher standard, you can see how much he changed this week alone. He added static code analysis and corrected thousands of smaller things to make the code lint-free. Two days ago, he refactored large parts of the code, separating many different logic parts into single, individual files. He also constantly improved and expanded the test coverage so that we will have a full test suite in place in the future. These efforts will help us dramatically to find bugs, add new features, and maintain the code.
We will fix the address collision problem in two steps. To explain the problem; Lisk addresses are 8 byte big, while a Lisk public key is 32 byte big. That means there naturally are far more public keys in existence than addresses, that’s why it can happen that different public keys point to the same address. Theoretically that can also happen in Bitcoin, because AFAIK Bitcoin addresses are 24 byte. However, I think that this never happened before. At Nxt it already happened and is not a huge deal.
The first step involves the following; once someone initiates a transaction from the address, the public key is permanently being added to it. That means no one else, even with the same address (but different public/private key) can send funds from it. Cold wallets will not be entirely secure anymore in this case, even though an address collision is extremely rare.
The second step is a special transaction type, which will send LSK with a public key. This way someone can create a cold wallet and initialise it from the outside with a public key to make it entirely secure.
Community Meeting Transcript
bawga: Hi Max, long term roadmap is released. Congratulation for Lisk team. Which parts will you force to complete within 2016 from roadmap?
Max: I want that everyone can start developing functional and stable blockchain applications at New Years Eve. Right now it’s working, but only for prototyping and experimentation. The sidechains are not stable for serious apps.
punkrock: Who of the team will run a node on the mainnet (aiming <101)?
Max: I can’t speak for the others, but I estimate everyone is trying to achieve that. Personally, I definitely want to run a delegate which income go 100% straight to the Lisk Fund.
isabella: i will be running a node as well.
sigwo: Are you also considering to hire a technical writer for API documentation? Sometimes great devs are not so great at writing.
Max: Yes, we want to hire a DevExp guy who is taking care of the whole developer experience. That means making videos, writing documentations, example apps, testing our tools, and reporting back to us what to improve.
tharude: A bit of a “sidechain” question. Being an escrow for ICONOMI ICO, do you think that it can have some bright future or planning some co-project with Lisk?
Max: For now I’m concentrating to bring the word about Lisk out. Being an escrow partner my face (=Lisk) is all over the place. So it’s extremely good marketing for Lisk because they already collected over $100,000 in LSK. However, to answer your question we might see Lisk sidechain tokens on their trading platform or some other efforts. I’d have to read their whitepaper to see EXACTLY what they are planning in the future.
djselery: I see you will be voting for delegates/good projects for Lisk. Will you also be voting for your own personal delegate node and or the Lisk team delegate nodes?
Max: For myself I would say yes. I won’t vote for any team member. This could bring friction into the team because everyone expects that I will vote for them. For me team members are working on the product, but don’t have to secure it. I want that this becomes as decentralised as possible.
sigwo: When should any applicants be expecting a contact from you? — I see the answer in the blog post, sorry. (Within 1–2 months, can’t give a certain date.)
Max: The answers will come earlier. Probably the most asked question will be if they come to Berlin. This is mandatory by now!
sigwo: Devs must move to Berlin?
Max: Yes. The whole purpose of Berlin is the extremely efficient co-working. I already felt it in the past two weeks (Lisk nano, roadmap, meetings, and MANY discussions with oliver) that having an office is freaking awesome and efficient!
slava: Margin trading on Poloniex?
Max: I don’t know. I contacted Poloniex and asked them. Next week I will ask again. I think it makes sense that everyone who wants to see that also contacts them and request it. I’m not putting my entire focus on that, I’m very sure it will happen at one point.
someonsomeone: Max, has BitSafe approached you guys? In their press releases they state that they will make their platform on Lisk.
Max: Yes, they have contacted us on Skype, they were very polite and nice. They asked for a possible cooperation. Even though we try to be as egalitarian as possible, we won’t do any special deals or partnerships with any project. What we offer is being the escrow partner for projects like these in order to support them. On a personal note, I don’t like weapons but I see that these are the very first steps to make them more safe. So I’m open to supporting them in the ICO.
someonsomeone: Is the Lisk platform ready for this already?
Max: No. Their efforts probably consist of prototyping and experimentation until now. I don’t know what they did until now. They might just start early so they are ready in Q1 2017.
someonsomeone: I do hope that they make something so that Lisk can benefit from it.
Max: I don’t know what PR firm they hired. But yea, you are right I don’t read as much about them as it should be. Let’s see if they can ramp up their efforts. We should help every project out and looking forward to them. I believe that every new project on Lisk will give the whole platform a nice push forward.
Thrice.Pi: Will Oliver, Charles and perhaps lawyers or anyone else involved from within Lisk also be trying to run a node? I know you said you can’t speak for everyone, but I thought I should try my luck and ask to see if you know an answer to this.
Max: Oliver definitely. Charles I don’t know. Axel (lawyer), yea maybe. I played around with the idea of him being a delegate and offer legal advice. And if the community wants to see this, it could be a nice side-job for him. I haven’t talked with him about this idea yet.
Splatters: Lisk now is few months old but the forging is not working yet. The whole team is doing a great job to fix any problem and make the chain ready to let delegates forge. Did you expect this huge delay before the launch or was it something unexpected? To be clear, was the chain really ready to works after the release (but some issues showed up) or you already knew about it and the dealy was planned before the launch? And if you weren’t ready is it getting worse than you were expecting?
Max: Okay, let’s be honest here now. The codebase WAS much worse than we expected in our worst dreams. We didn’t expect it in the slightest, but over the past months we changed A LOT and it got A LOT better. Especially with the next update there will be huge changes towards the code base quality. Oliver knew before the ICO that the code isn’t the best, but during and after the ICO more things were popping up which were not perfect. By now (with the most recent changes this week) it’s nearly an entirely new codebase. We decided to continue with the codebase rather than just writing a new one, because we said we will use it. We didn’t want to go back on our words and develop something from scratch for 12 months. By now all is good, and we are very optimistic to conquer this problem.
someonsomeone: I saw in the blog post that you said that there will need to be 3–5 updates for forging. But on Github the next milestone is Community Forging. So the next update won’t bring forging?
Max: A milestone is not a single update. A milestone can consist of several updates. We changed the whole structure to semver (semantic versioning), because development isn’t a static process. It’s extremely dynamic. For example this week we wanted to work more on the milestone (and we did!), but then the address collision came in between. We also added quite a lot along the way, because it was also important (static code analysis, further test coverage). Probably before the milestone is achieved we will also offer the option to blacklist single blockchain apps within the config.json. Next week we will release a new update to the testnet. As you know we are pushing for a new update every 3 weeks. Normally, it should have come at the end of this week, but we decided for a release at the beginning of a week. It is like that. There are these issues which need to be resolved before community forging can be activated. But some of them are quite generic, e.g. the fork 3 one. They involve several changes. It doesn’t take THAT long anymore. Also along the way we might find more issues. It’s not static/fixed.
cc001: Take your time, I fully support your way to go, only release forging to the public when it is really ready. but you should try to communicate about it as open, honest, and often as possible. you estimated now 3–5 updates, with 2–4 weeks per update, it will still take several months, right?
Max: It’s an estimation. I now want to give rather longer estimations to not disappoint the community (when the announced time arrives and we couldn’t deliver). I also want to see this fixed as soon as possible. Regarding being as open and honest. I’m trying to make our communication channels as lean as possible. That’s why we have these regular meetings where everyone can ask these sort of questions and I will honestly answer. Regarding development I know that we seriously need to speed things up and I’m on it.
Thrice.Pi: Thank you for the reply to my question above, about who will be forging and who won’t be out of the devs etc. I’m curious though. I see forging spots available for people within the devs, like isabella, etc. but im curious is there any worry perhaps that the outside world may chastise Lisk as becoming a (centralized) network, if all or many of the devs, etc. begin to forge? I know in this crypto space everyone is very particular about that. So I’m just curious to hear your thoughts or any worries regarding this matter.
Max: Yep. I think even with 10 forging team members, but then 300 total delegates all is good. But I totally agree with you. I’m in this space because I love decentralisation and want to remove any centralised power, I hope this also becomes clear in our roadmap. As I told you I won’t vote for any team member and will ask Oliver to do the same. However, if now the community votes in team members because they are just awesome (i.e. Isabella) then this was a decentralised decision.
wannabe_RoteBaron: Can you publish in advance you conference schedule so we can try to get to your conferences?
Max: Our conference schedule is here: https://Lisk.io/team — next time I will send out a tweet if there are updates to it.
tharude: Max, following the line of thoughts from Thrice.Pi, why not all team members run a single delegate as a team?
isabella: Because regardless of our affiliation with Lisk development, we are our own people and want to contribute in our own ways outside of development.
Max: What she said. At the end of the day they are still individuals with the right to have a delegate. It might be good to have a few “official delegates” for different on-going topics. E.g. a Lisk Party Delegate, once a month we celebrate a huge party with everyone who wants to participate, all inclusive.
SamL: Any open position? Or something i could get my hands on to see if i can help. A trello/roadmap for instance?
Max: If you are a developer you can take a look at all open GitHub issues. If you want to fix one, please contact Oliver beforehand and ask if it makes sense to work on it. Look here: https://github.com/LiskHQ/Lisk/issues — feel free to contact me privately as well.
techbytes: Max, you don’t have time to run a delegate. Community delegates will fund whatever projects you need.
Max: If someone promises me to put 100% of the income to the Lisk Fund, I will refuse to have a delegate on my own. I think it’s very important to have a big LSK amount inside the fund (I will pledge around 200k of my own funds to it) so that we REALLY have long-term money for Lisk.
Lisk.one: I saw some “pool” delegate proposals on forum, who promise to share their profit with those who vote for them. Are you positive, negative, or neutral for such proposals?
Max: As the CEO of Lisk I’m always neutral. As Max Kordek I’m positive about such pools if they don’t take overhand. I think it’s cool that smaller investors get a re-occuring return for their money.
diplo: I respect wanting to make a large fund for Lisk, but dont you think delegates should spread out which funds they invest in? If they give 20–40% forging rewards towards development then can we not have 5–10 funds? Having one large one centralizes the movement, which in my mind is fragile. So how do we address this? If the expectation is, everyone gives 20% to the one fund.
Max: The fund will only be used once we have the decentralised proposal/voting mechanism in place. Then it can be voted on to split it into several smaller ones. Any community member can also start his own fund. The “Lisk Fund” is simply the “official” one.
diplo: If everyone devotes most of their donated Lisk into one fund and you decide in 2 years that Lisk really isn’t your passion anymore, or you get sick and need to leave, what happens? This is a risk that I think we should discuss, although I see you are very passionate about it, so dont take that question the wrong way.
Max: “Official” is maybe the wrong word. It’s my “personal” effort to make Lisk flourish for a long time, for that we need money. With such a Lisk Fund I can guarantee that.
diplo: So that’s why i was saying, if we had 6 Million in it and the leader lost their charisma, then what do you do?
Max: If this is the case, Oliver is still here, if not then a full team of developers or a whole community of Lisk users. The fund obligations could be transmitted to every legit person.
diplo: I thought it was just to be one pool and only decisions were to be made by 1 individual.
Max: No, I won’t make ANY decision regarding the Lisk Fund. All decisions will be made in a completely decentralised way from the whole Lisk community. Check out our roadmap.
djselery: Will you be voting with the Lisk fund?
Max: No, it can’t be touched by anyone. We will write a legal contract for that.
Lisk.one: Looks like I’ve missed info on Lisk Fund. What is it? You can answer here in full or just post a link if there is complete info somewhere else.
Max: Currently there is no information available. I will write a detailed blog post in September.
someonsomeone: Funds should be used for Blockchain Apps as soon as the platform is ready.
Max: Yes I agree, the delegates should mainly finance apps. The Lisk Fund is not a Blockchain Application Fund, it simply secures Lisk’s future (5+ years from now). I absolutely don’t want that Lisk dies within 10–15 years. I’m taking this very seriously, Lisk should become a huge project.
djselery: Will you be lowering the voting fee soon as well?
Max: It currently costs 3ct for one transaction. We can adjust the fee, but is it really that much? The voting transaction is one of the biggest (in byte size) of all transaction types, because it includes every delegate you vote for, so I’m a little bit worried to reduce it. But I think here it could be reduced to the same fee as a transaction.
Lisk.one: But if Lisk go to $1, $10, $100+, you will adjust that fee, right?
That’s it! These were seriously a lot of question again!