Bitcoin-Based Ethereum Smart Contract and Sidechain Rival RSK Launches Today

The company claims to have secured the support of 90 percent of Bitcoin’s hashing power for merge mining the RSK sidechain. All developers are encouraged to take part in a bug bounty program during this beta phase.

RSK Labs has announced that the main network of their Bitcoin-powered smart contract platform is launching in beta on Monday after more than two years of development.

RSK Mainnet’s Beta Launch

Blockchain technology company RSK Labs announced on Monday the official beta launch of their open-source smart contract platform RSK, codenamed Bamboo.

The Ethereum competitor is a sidechain to the Bitcoin blockchain, offering a smart contract platform that uses bitcoin as well as offering layer-two scaling benefits.

The company’s Chief Scientist, Sergio Lerner, commented:

We’re very excited to share the RSK mainnet source code with the community. It’s very important for us to get everyone’s feedback and peer review. The RSK project belongs to the whole ecosystem and we need to work together to build the Internet of Value over the Bitcoin Network.

Bamboo uses the RSK mainnet blockchain and network, unlike the previous RSK testing platform named Ginger. “The mainnet will be in beta for four months”, the company’s CEO and co-founder Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar said on the company’s telegram channel, noting that Bamboo will initially be using 21 RSK tokens, known as smart bitcoins, which they will distribute to testers during the 4-month period. “The peg will be limited during the beta phase and we’ll progressively lift all restrictions and leave it run into the wild”, he revealed, adding that the bitcoins will be spread between “Dapp developers and companies running solutions.”

90% Bitcoin Hashing Power Support

For the RSK sidechain to be secured, it must be mined alongside Bitcoin’s blockchain in a process called merge mining, which allows both blockchains to be mined at the same time.

According to the company, Bamboo “is currently secured by bitcoin miners representing more than 60% of the total Bitcoin hashing power”, who are already running the RSK merge mining plugins.

Furthermore, another “30% of the Bitcoin network has already expressed their support to RSK and will start merge mining in the next couple of weeks”, the company claims, stating:

RSK allows bitcoin miners to increase their profits receiving fees from all smart contracts running on RSK with the same hardware, energy consumption and zero-efficiency loss in their so far primary business – the bitcoin mining.

Slush Pool founder Marek Palatinus commented on the launch of Bamboo: “This is a major milestone for RSK and the Bitcoin community as a whole. We’re very glad about the innovation and use cases that smart contract powered by Bitcoin could bring to the ecosystem.” He added:

We at Slush have completed the merge mining implementation to secure RSK smart contracts while providing a new revenue source to our miners.

Bug Bounty Program

To help ensure that none of Ethereum’s problems with insecure code occur with RSK, the company is focused on “performing new audits and security checkpoints”, even though the platform has already completed two external audit processes. A set of tools have been developed to monitor the network’s status and performance, as well as to offer network statistics.

With the launch of Bamboo, RSK is taking the additional security precaution of inviting developers worldwide “to peer review the source code and be part of the Bug Bounty Program.” The company added:

A Bug bounty program has been released to the global community of developers inviting every blockchain programmer as well as audit companies and partners to be part of it, providing feedback and helping to improve the technology.

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