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Rootstock: Built for Bitcoin

Published on: 16 August, 2022

Rootstock was originally founded to enable a freer and fairer global financial system built on Bitcoin. Through merged mining, its built-in two-way peg protocol, and smart contract functionality, Rootstock brings the benefits of decentralized applications into the Bitcoin ecosystem.

In 2015, when the original concept for Rootstock was proposed, smart contracts were still a novel technology being hailed as the ‘next big thing’ in crypto at the time. However, finding a secure way to incorporate smart contract functionality into the Bitcoin network wasn’t so simple.

Bitcoin’s scripting language, Bitcoin script, was designed with security in mind rather than programmability. To incorporate Turing-complete smart contract functionality into Bitcoin’s base network layer would ultimately require a compromise in security. An alternative, layer 2 solution was needed — Rootstock is that solution. 

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Merged Mining

Rather than recommending a complete overhaul of the Bitcoin protocol to enable smart contracts, Rootstock presented a side-chain solution that utilized merged mining. 

Merged mining is the process that allows the Rootstock blockchain to be mined using the same hashing power that mines Bitcoin. This means that there is no additional effort, cost, or sacrifice in efficiency for Bitcoin miners to also mine on Rootstock.

So unlike other smart contract-enabled ‘alternative’ networks, all the fees and rewards on Rootstock are distributed to Bitcoin miners. It leads the way in the merged mining space in terms of rewards paid to miners. You can calculate the approximate extra profits earned from merged mining rootstock here.

The Rootstock network currently has a net hashrate of over 100EHs, making it the most secure smart contract network in the world. 

Rootstock runs on BTC

The native coin used to fuel the Rootstock network is… Bitcoin. “Smart Bitcoin (RBTC),” to be exact. RBTC is pegged 1:1 to BTC, and the only way for new RBTC to come into existence is by bridging BTC from the Bitcoin network.

This is accomplished through Rootstock’s novel built-in two-way pegging solution — Powpeg. Powpeg is a proof-of-work secured pegging solution that allows BTC and RBTC to be converted back and forth between networks without any intermediaries. 

Unlike most bridging solutions, which involve some sort of custodial entity “wrapping” your Bitcoins, the Rootstock Powpeg is completely trustless. When pegging-in your BTC, the Powpeg works in a fully decentralized manner using SPV proofs to migrate your Bitcoin. When pegging-out, unique PowHSMs are used, which are secured by the same proof-of-work consensus mechanism that secures Bitcoin.

You can test the Powpeg yourself through the Rootstock 2-way-peg app.

Rootstock makes Bitcoin even more resilient

There are already multiple high liquidity decentralized protocols running on the Rootstock network. Lending, borrowing, staking, decentralized swaps, stablecoins, NFT’s, and more are possible without leaving the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Rootstock allows Bitcoin to directly compete with other smart contract-enabled networks. Each protocol built on Rootstock furthers the long-term resilience and sustainability of Bitcoin.

And thanks to Rootstocks merged-mining techniques and built-in Powpeg, users can reap the benefits of a decentralized world, without leaving the security of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Rootstock takes the security and resilience of Bitcoin and introduces smart contract functionality. It is the perfect solution for an increasingly decentralized world. The most resilient blockchain ecosystem working side by side with the world’s most secure smart contract network.