RSK Lab Releases First Bitcoin Smart Contracts Testnet

RSK Lab Releases First Bitcoin Smart Contracts Testnet

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RSK Turmeric launch

Turmeric is the RSK testnet network that offers developers and business solution creators a fast, decentralized, bitcoin-secured ecosystem to test any smart contract application and tool they can dream of. RSK Lab, a.k.a Rootstock, released Turmeric on 23 November 2016.

Also Read: How Should We Prepare Smart Contracts to Replace Law Firms?

Turmeric: Smart Contracts on Bitcoin

cwxcxicweaaghfnRSK is the only Turing-complete platform to run smart contracts that use the Bitcoin network. In effect, Bitcoin miners mine both blockchains simultaneously.

Thus, the platform is not only safe but also fast. According to Gabriel Kurman, co-founder & investor relations at RSK Labs and CEO of Koinbanx, the RSK virtual machine can perform transactions six times faster than its competing machine, Ethereum.

“Turmeric is backed by around 5 Petahashes from Bitcoin miners that are running the merge-mining plugins that were developed for CKPool, Eloipool and Stratum-mining software pools,” stated the press release on Turmeric’s launch.

Specifically, the network is the first public release, which incorporates innovative features that are central to RSK’s core components:

  • A Turing complete smart contracts virtual machine
  • A bridge enabling transfers to and from the Bitcoin network
  • A set of plug-ins to allow Bitcoin miners to merge mine both blockchains at the same time
  • A federation of leading exchanges and wallets providing extra security and services to the network

Additionally, RSK provides a virtual machine that is Ethereum compatible. According to the press release, “The RSK virtual machine is compatible with the Solidity compiler, meaning that any Ethereum developer can smoothly port his/her applications to RSK.”

Consequently, Turmeric will greatly facilitate the creation of smart contract solutions for financial inclusion, the Internet of Things, and pure democracy applications. In particular, Turmeric will be useful for testing crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and microfinancing solutions, while providing full transparency, said Kurman.

Merge Mining With No Hit to Bitcoin Performance

To facilitate merge mining, RSK created open source plug-ins for the most important mining pool software programs, such as Ckpool, Eloipool, Coiniumserv, and Slushpool.

In the process of building these plug-ins, the RSK team conducted extensive comparative research about mining pool software performance. As a result, Sergio Lerner, RSK Lab founder and Bitcoin security consultant, said the team is now able to confirm that merge mining does not affect the performance of Bitcoin mining.

Already, a significant number of miners are already performing testing merge mining with RSK. “There are currently miners representing 30% of the Bitcoin network hashing power testing RSK merge mining, while another 40% have already expressed their support to the project and will start the merge-mining before the end of the year,” indicated the press release.

Production Network Ginger is Coming

img_20161105_112000973The RSK Lab team is already planning to release Ginger, the first Mainnet version of the RSK platform, in May 2017. Ginger will be the only production network providing democratic open access, said Kurman.

RSK expects to embrace more than 50 percent of Bitcoin global hashing power merge mining. Moreover, the Ginger release will include more than 300 full nodes with reward programming in place.

Storage Rent and Contract Hibernation

Moreover, RSK is bringing innovative and important security features, such as minimum gas price, storage rent, and contract hibernation.

RSK is the first platform that features storage rent. This feature allows a user to create an account or contract that prevents the user from keeping the storage forever. So, a user will have to regularly pay a small amount of gas to keep that storage. Otherwise, the content in that storage will disappear. Storage rent, for example, eliminates spam.

As a buffer, in case the user forgets to pay the rent on time, contract hibernation into a single hash would take effect.

Strengthening Security With the RSK Federation

rsk-federationTo further increase the smart contracts ecosystem security, RSK has formed the Federation. Already, several leading Bitcoin exchanges and wallets are interested in joining the Federation.

Participants in the Federation will provide essential services such as external security checkpoints, governance, instant liquidity, multisig, and oracling services.

RSK’s Ambassadors Program

Gabriel Kurman
Gabriel Kurman

Additionally, the company is implementing the Ambassadors Program and invites the world Bitcoin community to participate. The Ambassadors Program is a global network of Smart Contracts experts, where participants can network, exchange ideas, and develop new projects.

Some of the primary objectives of the Ambassadors Program include making every bitcoiner worldwide aware that smart contracts are available over the Bitcoin blockchain and promoting the development of smart contracts real use cases.

By releasing Turmeric, RSK has reached a significant milestone in its efforts to unify the blockchain ecosystem, while undertaking initiatives to propel Bitcoin technology to its full potential. And, to level the playing field. As Kurman put it, “Smart Contracts puts kids working in a garage in equal conditions as big banks.”

What are your thoughts about merge mining? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of RSK Labs and LaBITconf.


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