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Lisk SDK

Build Status npm GitHub tag (latest by date) GitHub repo size DeepScan grade GitHub issues GitHub closed issues Jenkins Coverage License: Apache 2.0

Sapphire phase

We have completed Emerald phase that encapsulates improvement in the key areas of network security and reliability, economics, consensus and longevity. Specifically a new address system, new fee system and an upgraded consensus algorithm for an improved version of PoS were successfully completed. During the Emerald phase all protocol improvements in the form of 36 Lisk Improvement Proposals (LIPs) were researched, published and implemented in Lisk SDK.

We are currently working on Sapphire phase that brings the Lisk interoperability solution. All related Lisk Improvement Proposals (LIPs) are published and implementation is currently being actively developed. It consists of 8 roadmap objectives,

  • Define cross-chain messaging protocol
  • Define sidechain registration and lifecycle
  • Introduce token standards for the Lisk ecosystem
  • Introduce alternative validator selection mechanism for sidechains
  • Enhance signature scheme
  • Define state model and state root
  • Update Lisk-BFT for interoperability
  • Update block header format

To learn more about the Lisk Interoperability and the current development status, check out Lisk Improvement Proposal, Research Forum, Lisk interoperability solution blog and Lisk SDK v6.0.0 project board.

We hope you enjoy building your proof-of-concept blockchain applications using the Lisk SDK, and shall look forward to receiving your feedback and contributions during the beta phase.

What is the Lisk SDK?

The Lisk SDK aims to provide an easy and reliable software development kit for building blockchain applications which are compatible with the Lisk Protocol. The architecture of the Lisk SDK has been designed so that it can be extended to meet the requirements of a wide variety of blockchain application use cases. The codebase is written entirely in JavaScript, which means for a majority of developers, no significant change of tools or mindset is required to get started. The Lisk SDK makes every effort to allow developers to focus simply and purely on writing the code that matters to their own blockchain application, and nothing more.



For more detailed documentation, see the official Lisk SDK documentation.


Before running Lisk SDK, the following dependencies need to be installed in order to run applications created with the Lisk SDK:

Dependencies Version
NodeJS 16+

For Mac M1 series, NodeJS must be above version 16. Additionally, to build sodium-native below tools are required.

brew install libtool cmake autoconf automake pyenv
pyenv install 2.7.18
pyenv global 2.7.18
# Add `eval "$(pyenv init --path)"` to ~/.zshrc etc


The installation of Lisk Beta SDK is straightforward and limited to getting a single NPM package, lisk-sdk, to your Node.js project:

npm install [email protected]

Lisk SDK is all-in-one package that provides you with tools to create, run and maintain blockchain applications in JavaScript.

Set up new a blockchain application

To start, create the project structure of your blockchain application. There are no special requirements here, you can create the basic Node.js project folder structure with npm init.

To create a blockchain application, you need to provide an entry point of your application (like index.js) and set-up your network by using the modules of Lisk SDK.

It is quite simple to have a working blockchain application, mirroring the configuration of the existing Lisk network. This can be done by copying the following three lines of code to your index.js:

const { Application, genesisBlockDevnet, configDevnet } = require('lisk-sdk');

const { app } = Application.defaultApplication(

	.then(() =>'App started...'))
	.catch((error) => {
		console.error('Faced error in application', error);

After that you can start the application by:

node index.js

Configure your blockchain parameters

You can also define your blockchain application parameters such as blockTime, maxTransactionsSize and more with an optional configurations object.

const { app } = Application.defaultApplication(genesisBlockDevnet, {
    genesisConfig: {
      blockTime: 5,
      maxTransactionsSize: 100 * 1024,
      minRemainingBalance: "5000000",
	  activeValidators: 101,
	  standbyValidators: 2,
	  validatorListRoundOffset: 2

Register a custom module or a custom plugin

A custom module is a logic to define state changes that will be executed on-chain meaning that it will be a part of the blockchain protocol. On the other hand, a custom plugin is a logic to define an off-chain logic which is not part of the blockchain protocol but to enhance the application features.

Add your custom module and custom plugin to your blockchain application by registering it to the application instance:

const { Application, genesisBlockDevnet, configDevnet } = require('lisk-sdk');

const MyModule = require('./my_module');
const MyPlugin = require('./my_plugin');

const { app } = Application.defaultApplication(

app.registerModule(MyModule); // register the custom module
app.registerPlugin(MyPlugin); // register the custom plugin

	.then(() =>'App started...'))
	.catch((error) => {
		console.error('Faced error in application', error);

Architecture Overview

The Lisk SDK operates on the NodeJS runtime and consists primarily of an application framework (Lisk Framework), a collection of libraries providing blockchain application functionalities (Lisk Elements), and a powerful command-line tool (Lisk Commander) helping developers to build a blockchain application using Lisk Framework. The diagram below provides a high-level overview of the architecture:



Directory Description
Framework An application framework responsible for establishing and maintaining the interactions between the modules of a Lisk blockchain application.
Elements A collection of libraries, each of them implementing some form of blockchain application functionality such as cryptography, transactions, p2p, etc.
Commander A command line tool to help developers to build a blockchain application using Lisk Framework.

Get Involved

Reason How
Want to chat with our community Reach them on Discord
Found a bug Open a new issue
Found a security issue See our bounty program
Want to share your research Propose your research
Want to develop with us Create a fork

How to Contribute

To contribute to lisk-sdk, framework or elements:

  1. Clone the repository: git clone

  2. Install Yarn Classic globally

  3. Install dependencies and build:

    1. yarn
    2. yarn build

Testing your local lisk-sdk in your application.

In order to link your local lisk-sdk repository and test your application which uses lisk-sdk, simply follow the steps below in your local lisk-sdk repository and run yarn link lisk-sdk in the root of your application.

  1. cd sdk

  2. yarn link

  3. Once you have linked your local repo, every time you make changes in lisk-sdk/elements you must build packages before testing:

    a. To build all packages: npm run build or yarn build

    b. To build specific package: yarn workspace <package name> build or go into each package folder and yarn build or npm run build Example: yarn workspace @liskhq/lisk-p2p build

Note: In case you face any issues during the installation make sure you have the right version of yarn and node and try reset project with yarn clean:full.



By using the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK, you acknowledge and agree that you have an adequate understanding of the risks associated with the use of the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK and that it is provided on an as is and as available basis, without any representations or warranties of any kind. To the fullest extent permitted by law, in no event shall the Lisk Foundation or other parties involved in the development of the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK have any liability whatsoever to any person for any direct or indirect loss, liability, cost, claim, expense or damage of any kind, whether in contract or in tort, including negligence, or otherwise, arising out of or related to the use of all or part of the Alpha release of the Lisk SDK.


Copyright 2016-2020 Lisk Foundation

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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