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all you need to know to get started with the Lisk blockchain platform
Lisk doesn’t utilize Proof of Work like Bitcoin, or Proof of Stake like Nxt. Lisk uses a simplified implementation of BitShares’ original consensus algorithm called Delegated Proof of Stake. That means every LSK holder can vote for mainchain delegates which are securing the network. There are only a maximum of 101 active mainchain delegates which always got the most votes on the whole network, and only they can earn block generation rewards, that means there is a financial incentive to become an active delegate. Every other delegate is on standby awaiting to become elected, or alternatively, securing a Lisk sidechain.
It really depends where you are from. We’ve made a list of the most common places to buy Lisk (most are exchanges that will have many cryptocurrencies to trade). For a complete list you can take a look at CoinMarketCap markets.
The following guide was originally published on Aeto’s blog. Simplified steps reproduced here for easy-to-follow instructions.
The first thing we have to do is get ourselves some transacting cryptocurrencies. In the digital currency world Bitcoin is king, and any time we want to buy a lesser-known token like LSK we will usually have to pay in Bitcoin, unless you are able to use one of the fiat pairs from the websites we’ve listed above. There are tons of ways to get Bitcoin, but the easiest way is to use the most established crypto platforms. For Europeans this is Bitstamp, Bitonic or Litebit, and in the USA this is Coinbase.
For this guide we will use Coinbase as an example, but all the websites work pretty much the same way. If you need any help with other websites, please let us know by contacting us.
On Coinbase, you will be able to purchase BTC using conventional fiat methods including PayPal, Bank Account (US), and Credit/Debit Card; each has different buying times and limits, generally the longer the buying time the higher the limit.
For this guide we will be using Bittrex as the exchange. Let’s get the BTC you just bought over to Bittrex now. Tab over in your Coinbase account to “Send” and pop in the deposit address from your Bittrex account with all of your new Bitcoins.
What Bittrex account address, you ask? If you haven’t already, make an account on Bittrex and go through the process of enabling Basic and Phone verifications (we need this to withdraw LSK). If everything is set up correctly,
then your “Settings” tab should have a check mark next to “Digital Token Trading” like the following:
Now you can head over to your “Wallets” tab and click on the “+” next to “Bitcoin”. Clicking on that
will pop open an address that represents your personal online wallet that Bittrex holds for you. This address is where you should be sending your BTC that you bought from Bitstamp or Coinbase.
There will be a small “Commission” that Bittrex takes, but after we hit “Confirm”, then our order will be placed to buy LSK! Remember though that we’re not done yet – our order needs to be executed in order for the
LSK to come through. Watch the “Open Orders” area to see how much volume is still left to be filled. Once the trade completes, then we can check our “Wallets” and see our new LSK.
When your Bitcoins are successfully deposited into your account, then your wallets will show an “Available Balance” of Bitcoins. Now we are ready to buy some LSK! Navigate to the BTC-LSK page under “Markets”. You should see a big page like this one below:
Briefly, the top left chart shows a “candlestick” chart of the price over time; these are pretty standard when looking at asset prices. The top right table shows all of the basic stats of LSK including the “Last” traded
price, the “BVol” volume in the last 24 hours, the best “Bid” and “Ask” prices, and the “24H High” and “24H Low” prices. The bottom left form box that says “Buy LSK” is what we will focus on.
In the above three screenshots, we first select the “Price” at which we want to buy LSK. Of the three options “Last”, “Bid”, or “Ask”, the last one “Ask” has the highest chance of our order being successful due to the
fast-changing prices and markets. After we select the price, we hit “Max” for the number of units we want to buy. You can see that with my amount of BTC available, I can buy 3.16331 units of LSK. At the bottom under “Total” it will then show us how many
BTC we will be paying in total to execute the trade. Finally, we can hit “+ Buy Lisk” which will then submit our order.
There will be a small “Commission” that Bittrex takes, but after we hit “Confirm”, then our order will be placed to buy LSK! Remember though that we’re not done yet – our order needs to be executed in order for the LSK
to come through. Watch the “Open Orders” area to see how much volume is still left to be filled. Once the trade completes, then we can check our “Wallets” and see our new LSK.
You don’t have to vote but you can earn rewards by voting for delegates.
Lisk is utilizing the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus (explained in the quick start guide): the network is secured by 101 active delegates confirming transactions on the blockchain. The delegates are voted in the active spots by Lisk holders who hold the LSK tokens in their wallets. Delegates are forging LSK: confirming transactions and creating blocks. For each block they forge, they earn 4LSK. Most delegates share a percentage of their income. This is your voting reward.
There can only be 101 actively forging delegates at any one time. There can be an unlimited number of delegates in reserve, however, they require enough voting weight to become an ACTIVE delegate. To know how much voting weight a delegate needs to become active, check the explorer and check the voting weight of the delegate currently on spot #101.
LSK equates to “voting weight”. Your voting weight is equal to your LSK amount. Your voting weight is applied to each delegate you vote for INDIVIDUALLY and not shared across the group. Therefore it is in your best interest to use the full 33 votes per 1 LSK fee.
1000 LSK = 1000 Vote weight (VW)
User votes for 1 delegate = delegate has 1000 VW
User votes for 33 delegates = delegate 1 has 1000 VW, delegate 2 has 1000 VW, delegate 3 has 1000 VW and so on and so on. So it’s NOT 1000/33 = 30.3 VW per delegate. All the vote weight from all the voters is the total vote weight of a delegate. To get in the top 101 you at least need 21 million vote weight (31-12-2017). The see the actual vote weight check out the Lisk delegate monitor.
You can vote as many times as you want. However, to achieve the maximum number of supported delegates (101) you should vote 4 times. Each voting round will cost you 1 LSK and is for a max of 33 delegates:
* 33 for 1 LSK
* 33 for 1 LSK
* 33 for 1 LSK
* and 2 final votes for 1 LSK, gives a total of 101 votes for 4 LSK.
You only have to cast your votes once and they are set for life. They can be changed at any time (at a cost of 1 LSK as per usual) if you desire to. Use the vote manager from Lisk.builders to automate this process.
If you plan to hold your LSK for a long period of time, then it makes sense to maximize your ROI by having the full amount of reward sharing delegates. If you are holding LSK short term it may not be worthwhile as (depending on your total LSK holdings) it could take months to see 1 LSK returned.