Distributed applications (DApp) platform Lisk has countered criticisms that its big “relaunch” in Berlin this week lacked substance. While the relaunch focused on simplicity to attract newcomers, a spokesperson said, there are plenty of new technical tools for existing developers to explore.
Subscribe to the Bitsonline YouTube channel for great videos featuring industry insiders & experts
Berlin Event to Relaunch Platform
Lisk held an official relaunch event with over 500 guests on February 20th, at Berlin’s Westhafen Event and Convention Center. As well as unveiling a new logo and sweeping change to its platform brand image, the two year-old project announced two new initiatives: Lisk Hub, and Lisk Academy.
Lisk Hub presents a dashboard for users, a central page to control all their Lisk activity — it’ s a wallet that stores and sends Lisk tokens, manages Lisk IDs, and lets users vote for platform delegates. It also functions as a block explorer, and will replace the existing List Nano and List Explorer.
The Lisk Academy is a learning center designed to teach those already involved in development, but mainly to draw newcomers into the blockchain industry and to Lisk in particular. It features a number of written and video tutorials teaching blockchain use-cases and guides on how to develop applications.
Technology Announcements, or Just Window Dressing?
However, financial services ratings firm Weiss, which has recently attempted to establish itself as an authority on the merits of cryptocurrency projects, was underwhelmed by Lisk’s big relaunch.
“The “big” announcement was strictly a new website and a new logo. Nothing more, nothing else,” Weiss analyst Juan M. Villaverde wrote on Wednesday. The “disappointing” relaunch was all marketing and branding, he added, with no core changes to the technology.
That wasn’t all, either — Villaverde went on to express concern that Lisk’s “overreliance on sidechains” threatened its dedication to simplicity, and wondered if competitor DApp platforms like Ethereum, EOS and Cardano were offering more robust technology.
Weiss didn’t write Lisk off completely, though. It noted an initial price drop after the relaunch but said “one day’s trading is not a final verdict”, and urged readers to “give (Lisk) a chance and see what they can do”.
Lisk: We Have Plenty of New Tech Tools for Developers
This week’s relaunch did appear to focus heavily on branding. Lisk has a new logo and website, and its press release highlighted those two points in far more detail than Lisk Academy and Hub.
However project spokesperson Michael Borowiec told Bitsonline his team disagreed with Weiss’ assessment. Lisk is aiming to make things easier with tools for developers whether they want to create their own sidechains or develop on existing ones, he said.
“We believe these tools have the firepower to simplify the most complex task. Lisk Commander, our command line tool, for example, has a variety of capabilities that practically every developer will not only want to use, but find easy to use, offering everything from code skeleton generation to good documentation and UX to genesis block creation. Yet while tools such as Lisk Commander simplify sidechain creation, simplicity is only a part of the story – sidechains also ensure mainnet stability and overall network efficiency.”
Yes, Lisk has a new brand identity and it wanted people to know that, he said. But there were plenty of technical announcements to make too.
“While we saw a host of new product names and icons, we also saw the roll-out of a range of innovative functionalities through the Lisk Hub. This is not to mention the upcoming Lisk Core 1.0 and Sidechain Development Kit releases.”
Rebranding, Simple Image Comes From Need to Stand Out
Overall, it seemed that whatever new developments it’s made on the back-end, Lisk’s primary aim at its relaunch event was to attract new users and developers. Those people are more likely to be attracted to a platform that seems fresh and accessible, rather than a tech-heavy set of tools with benefits they don’t understand yet.
A refresh was probably due. After launching with initial fanfare in mid-2016 the project appeared to languish somewhat, getting lost among the myriad other DApp and smart contract blockchains. Its token value falling from a few dollars to just 11 cents at the start of 2017.
However, like so many others it caught the token wave of late 2017, topping $38 USD at one point. Today, the project still has a total market cap of over $2.4 billion.
Weiss may have a point in that Lisk could still struggle to gain prominence in its crowded and competitive field, which does employ a lot of talent. But by differentiating itself in the way it has — as a good platform for beginners and outsiders — it could gain a lot more footholds.
What do you think of the new branding and strategy? Let us know in the comments.
Images via Lisk