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Rootstock (RSK) Bitcoin Sidechain [Review]

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Rootstock (RSK) Sidechain Review | Run Your dApp

The aim of the RSK sidechain is to enhance the value and to improve the way the Bitcoin ecosystem function by allowing smart contracts, in a close range to instant payments and higher scalability.

How awkward will it be for you to make a payment with your Debit/Card only for the seller not to show the money in their balance update? An intelligent seller would ask you to return the goods and come back for them when they get alerted. Anyone who had a card failure experience can surely relate to the word "Embarrassing" in this situation. 

This is also why the mainstream offline use of bitcoin has not taken much hold. Since bitcoin was not built with scalability in mind, other alternatives that still take advantage of all the bitcoin blockchain features except its lack of scalability need to be sourced. These alternatives are what we referred to as sidechains. A perfect example of a bitcoin-based sidechain is the RSK sidechain network. 

RSK Sidechain

RSK sidechain, which is short for RootStock, is a new blockchain-based platform with bitcoin blockchain as its parent block. The platform is a smart contract peer-to-peer network built to conferring more functionality and values to its parent chain, the Bitcoin network. That is done by implementing complex smart contracts as a child chain/sidechain. Before the development of RSK, there was no open-source smart contract platform having a 2-way peg to Bitcoin while rewarding the Bitcoin miners. RSK does this. It rewards the Bitcoin miners through a medium called merge-mining, giving them access to the Smart Contract revolution. RSK aims to enhance the value and improve the Bitcoin ecosystem function by allowing smart contracts in a close range to instant payments and higher scalability. 

Satoshi Nakamoto, in 2008 thought of ways to modernized payment; he then introduced Bitcoin. Bitcoin was made to possess certain features, such as minimal use of “smart contracts,” which Nick Szabo publicized in 1993. Ever since, lots of efforts have been made to bring about new, modernized cryptocurrencies. RSK was created to make Bitcoin become the leading cryptocurrency used worldwide. It serves as a smart contract medium of "Turing Complete Virtual Machine" into Bitcoin. Another exciting thing about RSK is that it offers some other supportive aids to the network to increase its speed of transaction and improve its scalability. 

RSK is also considered an improved version of QixCoin, a Turing complete cryptocurrency that has been in use since 2013. The same team who created QixCoin also created RSK. One major thing that distinct RSK from QixCoin is that its payment method is modernized, and it offers immediate confirmations. Currently, RSK has achieved about 300 tps, and most of its payments are confirmed within a few seconds, in most cases usually less than 20 seconds. 

Interestingly, even with this speedy confirmation, its security guarantee is still the same as Bitcoin, supporting SHA-256D merged timing. 

Rootstock functions as a Bitcoin Sidechain 

The transfer of Bitcoins into the RSK blockchain brings about “SmartBitcoins.” The SmartBitcoins are shortened as SBTC, and they serve as the native currency used on the RSK network. 

The SBTC can also be reversed back to native "BTC." This can be done at any desired time without extra cost (except standard RSK transaction fees). Miners are paid for contract processing using SmartBitcoin currency, which is used on the RSK Sidechain. 

Features of the RSK sidechain

Speedy payments: one prominent feature of RSK is its speed during payment. Ever since Bitcoin was made, there has been a high demand for instant confirmation of transactions, and RSK has been made to solve that challenge. New use cases like payment of online games, retail store payments can be made using the instant payment method offered by RSK. Also, the creation of blocks in about 10 seconds intervals with no extra centralization cost and low stale block rate are allowed by RSK. It can achieve this due to its carefully selected parameter and its newly introduced protocols like the “DÉCOR+GHOST. 

Security: The security of RSK comes from merge-mining. This means that RSK possesses equal protection as Bitcoin for prevention and settlement finality of double-spend. How this double way pegs security works is that it first depends on a federation holding custody of Bitcoin; as this proceeds, it will get to a point when it switches to an automatic peg, as soon as the community has accepted the security trade-offs of the automatic peg.  With Bitcoin, millions of dollars in obsolete mining hardware can be sold cheaply on the internet. This will bring about vulnerability, which will give room for purchasing an expensive hashing power for a low price. The reduction in security may affect the value of the coin. With the use of RSK merged mining, such adverse effects may be prevented. 

Scalability: in the current stage of Rootstock, it can scale more than Bitcoin does. Just like PayPal, RSK can scale to as much as 100 transactions every second. This is done without losing decentralization, which also brings about a reduction in storage and bandwidth usage. It can achieve this by utilizing fraud proofs and probabilistic verification. It also applies a technique called blockchain sharing techniques. All these aids its scalability. 

Bitcoin-friendly: the RSK team has made it known that their belief in Bitcoin makes them stretch out their hand of support towards the Bitcoin community, and they hope to progress on the Bitcoin’s founders' legacy. They understand that the absence of Turing's complete smart contract ability may hinder the growth and development of Bitcoin; hence, one of the reasons why RSK is made. 

The following are how RSK enhances Bitcoin. 

Compressed low-delay fast relay backbone into peer-to-peer gossip network 

Secure merge mining merging PoW and backup threshold-signature-based federation mining. 

Turing-complete RSK Virtual Machine (RVM) allowing smart-contracts 

Fast confirmation of transactions with an average speed of 10 seconds 

 It is two ways of pegging utilizing sidechains. 

Advantages of RSK Development  

Rootstock allows Bitcoin miners to participate in the Smart Contract market, which goes a long way in improving the mining industry's value and making sure it's sustainable for a long time. 

Representing the peak of attainment of four years of blockchain technology research, RSK will allow the cryptocurrency ecosystem to be accessible to the best features of computerized payment methods while also bringing about an increase in Bitcoin currency value. 

RSK will aid the development of a decentralized, fast and affordable financial system, which in the long run will bring about opportunities for the millions of people worldwide who have no business with the banking sector and financially unstable. 

RSK Use Cases

- Escrow Services 

- Micropayment channels and Hub-and-Spoke networks 

- Decentralized remittances

- IP Protection / Registry

- In-game Global Currency

- Fair-playing

- Micro-lending

- Crypto-assets Creation 

- Internet-gambling and Prediction Markets 

- Retail Payment Systems

- Peer-to-peer distributed exchange, 

- Online Reputation & Digital Identity 

- Asset Securitization 


One can say that RSK gives the basis on which developers in various parts of the world can create personal and corporate decentralized solutions that run in a highly secure and protected network. This will be done at a minimal cost, and the overall quantity is still intact. 


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