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Lisk’s aim to bring a broader range of developers into its fold is supposed to help it face the competition from the likes of Ethereum and NEO, which also operate as platforms focused on dapps among other things. To bring this vision closer to reality, Lisk gives its users access to its Software Development Kits (SDKs) and sidechains. In essence, sidechain works as a separate blockchain linked to the main blockchain via two-way pegging system. In this manner, digital assets on several chains effectively become interchangeable, with no negative impact on their speed or performance. At the same time, tokens on these chains can be easily transferred and synchronized. For the developers, the use of sidechains allows for a higher degree of customization when working with asset tracking, consensus mechanisms or network scaling.
Lisk operates its own core chain called Mainchain, with its team and 101 delegates being in charge of its security. Developers can freely set up their own blockchain networks as sidechains, without the risk for the Mainchain to be affected by the bugs which can appear on them. The consensus algorithm is based on Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS), while sidechains act as databases needed for the operation of the developed apps. The LSK tokens on the network are used for voting for the nodes which verify transactions and create new blocks.
The total supply of the coins is currently 127,136,218 LSK, with 111,901,077 of them in circulation as of November 2018. Their market cap value currently stands at USD 315 million, down from more than USD 4 billion it had in early 2018. LSK coins are available for buying/selling on major crypto exchanges such as Poloniex.