Building Blockchain's Entrepreneurship Mindset | Slogging AMA with Lisk Founder Max Kordekby@akasha

Building Blockchain's Entrepreneurship Mindset | Slogging AMA with Lisk Founder Max Kordek

by Akasha RoseJuly 6th, 2021
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Lisk is a platform for blockchain applications written in JavaScript. By connecting any blockchain to Lisk, it will be possible to transfer tokens and data from one to the other. Learn the upcoming plans for Lisk in this exclusive AMA. Only questions and replies in this thread will be included in the published article. This AMA will be open for the next 48 hours. It is open to anyone who wants to know more about Lisk and its development. It will be published on Hacker Noon's official #amas channel.

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featured image - Building Blockchain's Entrepreneurship Mindset | Slogging AMA with Lisk Founder Max Kordek
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Lisk software development and upcoming blockchain application platform have been spearheaded by Lisk founder Max Kordek. By connecting any blockchain to Lisk, it will be possible to transfer tokens and data from one to the other. Learn the upcoming plans for Lisk in this exclusive AMA.

This Slogging thread by Akasha Rose, maxkordek, Daria Kulish, Katarina Andrejević, Sidra, Justin Roberti, David Smooke and Limarc Ambalina occurred in Hacker Noon's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.

Akasha RoseJun 29, 2021, 2:00 PM

Programmers, the AMA this week is one for you. maxkordek is a globally recognized crypto entrepreneur and prides himself in making blockchain application development super accessible for JavaScript devs. This means those fluent in the most popular coding language in the world can use Lisk to get into the booming blockchain industry.
Max Kordek is a globally recognized cryptocurrency entrepreneur who founded Lisk, a platform for blockchain applications written in JavaScript. Together with his co-founder, blockchain industry veteran Oliver Beddow, Max raised over 14,000 BTC for Lisk's ICO in 2016. Within the same year, Max founded Lightcurve, a leading blockchain development studio based in Berlin. Max's ambition for entrepreneurship and technological innovation can be traced back to his teenage years when he created his first app at just 14 years old. Since co-founding Lisk, Max has become increasingly involved in the global crypto community, speaking at some of the top blockchain conferences in the world. Today, Max is working relentlessly to help the industry gain traction with Lisk's easy-to-use Software Development Kit.
Max is joined by Joe Garvey from
To participate, please ask your questions in this thread. Only questions and replies in this thread will be included in the published article.
To read more about how Slogging works, visit
This AMA will be open for the next 48 hours

🔥 6
:slogging-slack-blogging: 6
maxkordekJun 29, 2021, 2:06 PM

Hello everyone! 👋  It’s a pleasure to be slogging with you, a big thanks to Hackernoon for facilitating this AMA. :handshake:

Ask me anything about Lisk, blockchain development, the crypto industry, entrepreneurship or whatever comes to your mind.

Please be aware, I’m in the Berlin time zone.  :de: That means, at night my reply might take a while. 🌙

Daria KulishJun 29, 2021, 2:50 PM

Hello, thanks for joining the AMA! Could you please explain the Lisk SDK in more detail?

👍 1
Katarina AndrejevićJun 29, 2021, 3:02 PM

Hey Max, so glad to see the people behind Lisk here. Can you tell us more about what does Lisk do?

👍 1
SidraJun 29, 2021, 3:16 PM

Hi maxkordek, welcome to the AMA! I hope this will be an amazing session. I have a couple of questions for you. What gives Lisk an edge over other blockchain application platforms? I really liked the introduction to  

'We make blockchain accessible by creating a world in which everyone benefits from this technology.' 🔥- That's an amazing promise. We would love an elaboration here. 

Also, it is so cool that you built your first app at 14! I always wonder whether entrepreneurship is an inborn quality or something you can learn. Please share your thoughts on it :)

Justin RobertiJun 29, 2021, 4:14 PM

Hi maxkordek what obstacles are you helping to overcome from a development perspective? are your solutions ultimately targeted at a dev audience? Is there a particular direction in blockchain development that you hope to encourage with your work?

David SmookeJun 29, 2021, 5:13 PM

Hey maxkordek thanks for taking the time. I see Lisk has a developer forum, active discord channel, and even a research forum.

I'm curious, what's the growth and overall size of your development community? What techniques, strategies, approaches, channel, or even architectural decisions have driven the growth of your developer community? And lastly blockchains don't have the best reputation* for helping developers ship quality products quickly, what makes Lisk a friendly project to develop with?

maxkordekJun 30, 2021, 8:09 AM

Hello everyone, thank you for your questions. I’ll begin to answer them today throughout the day. 💪

maxkordekJun 30, 2021, 8:13 AM

Daria Kulish

You are very welcome! Yes, definitely. We are working towards making the Lisk SDK the industry standard for blockchain application development in JavaScript. That means, if you want to build your own blockchain our software development kit provides you with all the tools you require.

For that it currently consists of three sub products; Framework, Elements and Commander.

These products provide you with the complete toolset to build a white labeled blockchain from scratch within a day which you can use as a basis for your fully featured blockchain application by adding new functionalities to it.

Due to the modularity of our SDK, features are simply added by developing new modules for on-chain logic (i.e. actions which cause change on the blockchain) or plugins for off-chain logic (i.e. actions which have no impact on the blockchain).

With that you can realize any blockchain use-case you can imagine, super fast and simple, in the most accessible programming language available.

maxkordekJun 30, 2021, 8:31 AM

Katarina Andrejević

It’s a pleasure to be here. It feels like HackerNoon is building the next level of media, super innovative!

You could say that Lisk has two products, its software development kit and its blockchain application platform.

The software development kit is named Lisk SDK and provides any JavaScript developer in the world a completely free and open source toolbox for building decentralized applications on their own native blockchain. That’s why we call them blockchain applications.

The blockchain application platform is not live yet, its last missing component is interoperability. All Lisk interoperability research papers (we call them LIPs) were recently published and implementation is on-going. Essentially, our blockchain application platform is a blockchain as well - which is live and running since 5 years - however, developers have the ability through interoperability to connect their own blockchain application to it. Remember, each blockchain application is running on its own blockchain. By connecting their blockchain to ours, it’s possible to transfer tokens and data from one to the other.

With that our blockchain application platform would be complete. A network of networks, where blockchains are connected to each others. Creating synergies and enhancing their own capabilities through being able to transfer data and tokens with each others.

maxkordekJun 30, 2021, 2:40 PM


I’m sure it will be an amazing session. Already answered some great questions. :) 

In regards to what gives Lisk an edge over other blockchain application platforms like Polkadot or Cosmos, I’d definitely say our accessibility and choice of programming language.

In terms of capabilities they are all pretty similar. All allow you to build interoperable blockchain applications. However, if you go a bit deeper you start to see some differences.

Polkadot’s programming language is Rust, Cosmos’s is Goland and ours at Lisk is JavaScript. Looking at statistics JavaScript is the most popular programming language in the world with the most code written in it and the most developers capable of writing in it. I foresee no end in regards to that as the modern internet is basically built with JavaScript. That’s a great advantage for companies. As most developers already know JavaScript, recruitment is becoming easier. Often it’s actually not even required to recruit anymore, as you would have the knowledge already in-house.

If we go deeper into the tech we see that Polkadot only allows a limited number of blockchains to be connected ot their main blockchain, currently it’s estimated to be 100 blockchains (they call them parachains). In case of Cosmos or Lisk you don’t have that limitation. Further with Cosmos and Lisk you are able to adjust many more blockchain parameters and aspects, e.g. the consensus algorithm. That means you can optimize your blockchain closely to your requirements.

At the end of the day, I guess, it will come down to taste and preference. These platforms are very similar from a high-level perspective and it’s up to the individual developer which one they like more. This depends on the programming language, available documentation and tutorials, size of developer community and how wlling it is to give support.

In regards to our promise of making blockchain accessible by creating a world in which everyone benefits from this technology, I was just something today. I read an article with a quote from Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, which says that “Apple didn’t attempt to build every app for the iPhone, it empowered developers’. We do the same but with crypto/blockchain. 

With our Lisk SDK every developer can build amazing blockchain applications much easier than ever before. We really hope that this accelerates experimentation and adoption of blockchain technology with the ultimate goal to benefit people. Technology is contrary to what some people might say here to help humanity. And we believe blockchain technology is not different.

I think entrepreneurship isn’t a skill but rather a mindset. So you cannot learn it but you can adopt it. From early on I realized that in order to make a real impact in this world, I have to become an entrepreneur. That’s why from early on I pursued my goal of becoming one. It’s a hard and sometimes lonely path. So next to the realization someone also have to have the grit to see it through. If you have these two things, realization and grit, then I think you can make the conscious decision to become an entrepreneur. If you are going to be a successful one is another question. ;)

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maxkordekJun 30, 2021, 2:48 PM

Justin Roberti

That’s a great question, Justin. 

When we started with Lisk we began by developing our own blockchain (the Lisk blockchain). It took us two years to have all the building pieces together in a stable, secure and robust way. That’s because blockchain technology is very new and you are pioneering in many ways when you are developing your own blockchain. Additionally, it’s a combination of many different fields. Cryptography, P2P, game theory, governance structures and many more. You are also not allowed to write insecure code as there is money at stake. All these things together just make it extremely difficult to develop your own blockchain.

Therefore, we have started Lisk and built the Lisk SDK. It takes all the hard work off your shoulders and makes it accessible to build a blockchain application. You don’t need to pioneer or re-invent the wheel, you can rely on proven and secure modules and libraries. And with developers joining this effort world-wide in an open source way, the number of modules and libraries is just increasing. Making it just easier to build powerful blockchain applications.

Yes, our Lisk SDK is targeting a developer audience. The Lisk blockchain application platform is targetting consumers of built blockchain applications.

We are building a general purpose software development kit. Therefore, we don’t encourage particular directions. However, we really hope to see our work making an impact in this world. We are working towards building an ecosystem with useful blockchain applications with the chance to go mainstream.

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maxkordekJun 30, 2021, 3:11 PM

David Smooke

Yes, we are building our core community on Discord ( but try to grow a persistent source of information for developers and researchs on our dev and research forums as well. Mostly, so that developers can google their questions and hopefully find answers there because Discord is not indexed.

I guess the best strategies for growth are:

- our yearly developer-focused event Lisk.js;
- our, now for the first time organized online hackathon, HackOnLisk;
- our developer programs Lisk Builder Program which got recently replaced by the new Lisk Grant Program.

They pull in quite a number of developers into our community. Additionally, by developing everything open-source on GitHub we attract the eyes of many developers.

In terms of the size of our developer community it’s hard to estimate.

Our Lisk SDK has 2,800 stars and 465 forks on GitHub. On NPM our SDK has 100 weekly downloads. However, individual libraries of it see thousands of downloads like lisk-transactions with 6,400 and lisk-cryptography with 12,400 weekly downloads.Our Discord server has over 6,200 members and on Twitter we have nearly 200,000 followers.

The numbers are all quite different and if I check the real number of active developers on Discord it’s lower than these numbers. The Lisk SDK just got a massive update with 5.1.0 and is for us now developer friendly and ready. Further our interoperability research was just published and is now being implemented. The Lisk blockchain application platform is not live yet. 

Therefore, we are just at the beginning and the numbers are very promising. I foresee that our developer community will consistently grow with the strategies mentioned above, a quality software development kit and better documentation. We already see blockchain applications being developed in our community which will be launched once our platform goes live.

I’m not sure what you mean with blockchains don’t have the best reputation, I guess you are talking about smart contracts and like mostly all of them are getting penetrated/hacked at one point?

In our case you develop your logic natively into the protocol of your blockchain. That means, you write it in JavaScript and don’t have to use a new programming language like Solidity. Further, it enables you to use all the development tools you are used to, from various testing tools to IDEs. Internally, we have no troubles developing with our Lisk SDK and I strongly feel that the community doesn’t encounter major hurdles as well. There have been quite a number of proof of concepts developed already.

So I guess, our modularity and usage of proven and existing technologies helps quite a bit in helping developers to ship quality products.

maxkordekJun 30, 2021, 3:16 PM

I’m signing off for today. Looking forward to more questions tomorrow! 🙂

Limarc AmbalinaJun 30, 2021, 3:36 PM

Hey Max! Thanks for doing this AMA, as someone whose in the crypto industry, I'd like to ask your general thoughts on the current Bitcoin dip.

Also what are the current roadblocks or hurdles that the industry has to tackle before crypto can become a mainstream form of payment, as common as credit cards and paypal?

Justin RobertiJun 30, 2021, 4:35 PM

maxkordek I have a follow up to my last set of questions -- if you are lowering the bar from a programming language POV, does that raise the question of what happens if non-blockchain devs start developing for blockchain but don't know the industry well. Aren't they likely to shortcut their way through getting their apps functional -- and then hit a wall of regulatory compliance that they have never had to deal with before? It seems like the barrier between the web revolution and the blockchain revolution is about mindset as much as technology. Does your SDK help manage any of the regulatory and structural requirements of blockchain? And does it plugin only to Lisk? Do you have any use cases of devs using your SDK and using offchain?

Akasha RoseJul 1, 2021, 5:41 AM

What an amazing AMA thanks for being here maxkordek. Any closing remarks what what should people do to get involved and learn more?

maxkordekJul 1, 2021, 8:27 AM

Limarc Ambalina

You are very welcome. Great that you are in the crypto industry as well. 💪

I’m in crypto since 2012. I’ve seen dips many times. By now it’s nothing I really care about. Bitcoin is so much stronger than it ever was, it’s here to stay. Just keep stacking sats and work towards a future WITH Bitcoin.

We are already seeing in El Salvador that Bitcoin as an every day currency can work. With 2nd layer solutions like the Lightning Network and specialized wallets for that like Strike, we see it working with minimal fees. So from a technical standpoint it’s possible already. However, from a user experience standpoint it’s still a hard problem to be your own bank. 

Before we can think about mainstream adoption we really have to research more about how everyday people can hold onto private keys without losing them. That is the real problem which needs to be solved.

However, I’m very confident that it’s just a matter of time. Let’s give the whole industry 5 more years and we will be fully ready for that.

On the other side, I live in Berlin, Germany. And the restaurant I go for lunch every day during the week still doesn’t accept credit cards. This is not a technical hurdle anymore but rather requires a change of attitude. People in Germany still love their cash but that’s not a viable solution in the long-term. So I hope that with crypto and going purely digitial, i.e. just your smartphone and QR codes, the adoption will be greater than with credit cards (in Germany!) for which you require a special device.

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maxkordekJul 1, 2021, 8:47 AM

Justin Roberti

Thanks for the follow up. 

Your first question can be answered from two angles in my opinion.

1: When beginner non-blockchain developers start building an insecure blockchain application

Developing your own blockchain application is still more complex and time-consuming than just building and uploading a smart contract on Ethereum. Therefore, I’d say here these beginner developers will hit roadblocks along the way which will force them to either become more serious or to stop their journey.

2: When beginner non-blockchain developers start building non-compliant blockchain applications

That has always been a problem in the blockchain industry. Lisk operates through a Swiss foundation, as this was the only model world-wide available back in early 2016. By now many more jurisdictions open up to blockchain startups. However, regulatory and compliance wise it’s still a nightmare. So many things to take care of and keep in mind. We have to be extremely careful all the time what we communicate and how we communicate things, and are also sometimes limited in strategies we can deploy. Especially when it’s about our LSK token. 

Here, developers definitely have to be very careful going forward. The world is increasingly becoming more complex, and I’ve read an article somewhere once about a double PhD requirement. Meaning we are inching closer to the time where in order to start a new company you require two PhD’s (metaphorically speaking). E.g. one in computer science and one in biology in order to work on human-computer interfaces.

While this is of course very strongly formulated, with blockchain it’s becoming similar. You cannot just build the technology and hope for the best, you have to deal with a whole lot of other matters, especially legal. That’s part of your job as a founder nowadays. Something I prefer the least to do.

There is a new movement coming along with pseudononymous individuals founding startups. Meaning, you don’t actually know the people behind the company, the company is not registered anywhere but lives on a blockchain and funding happens through a token. It’s a super interesting concept in my opinion and maybe becomes the norm going forward. That would remove the requirement for many regulatory and compliance topics, nobody would be at danger and we can speak technology and innovation for themselves.

In regards to how the Lisk SDK helps a developer with regulatory requirements of blockchain. We are trying our best to build it in the most compliant way, e.g. we already put some effort on GDPR. However, it’s a tough problem and requires more work. In general I’d say that a software development kit is just an enabler. You can do good things with it and bad things, it’s up to you. Same with a hammer; you can build a shelter for a homeless person or smash someones head. It’s not really up to the hammer manufacturer to make sure it can be used only for the good. However, yes, we are trying to be as compliant as possible with the Lisk SDK so that companies have it easier to adopt blockchain technology.

For now the Lisk SDK enables you to build a blockchain application, not plugged into anything. With our just recently published interoperability solution it can then plug into the Lisk ecosystem. On our roadmap that’s called the Sapphire phase. After that we are working on general interoperability with third party blockchains, e.g. Ethereum or Polkadot. On our roadmap that’s called the Diamond phase. See roadmap:

In terms of use-cases I could link to (the website is not working on Safari currently!) which is a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organisation) built with the Lisk SDK. The governance system is all working on-chain, an off-chain plugin would be e.g. an API to gather these governance results and present the data.

maxkordekJul 1, 2021, 8:50 AM

Akasha Rose

Thank you so much! I had a lot of fun thinking about the answers, I think the future of blockchain technology is very bright. Looking forward to keep innovating in this space for the coming many years.

My closing remark would be that we need more experimentations and more use-cases. Download the Lisk SDK ( and give it a try. It’s much easier than you might think! Please also join our community of developers and blockchain enthusiasts on, you’ll learn a lot there and can always ask questions!

For general information just visit and you’ll find everything you need.

Thank you again and have a great summer. Speak soon. 🙏