[Resource Topic] 2022/684: RSK: A Bitcoin sidechain with stateful smart-contracts

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RSK: A Bitcoin sidechain with stateful smart-contracts

Authors: Sergio Demian Lerner, Javier Álvarez Cid-Fuentes, Julian Len, Ramsès Fernàndez-València, Patricio Gallardo, Nicolás Vescovo, Raúl Laprida, Shreemoy Mishra, Federico Jinich, and Diego Masini


In recent years, Bitcoin and Ethereum have emerged as the two largest and most popular blockchain networks. While Bitcoin provides the most secure digital asset, Ethereum provides the smart contract execution platform with the richest application ecosystem. In this paper, we present RSK, a sidechain that extends Bitcoin with Ethereum-compatible and stateful smart contract functionality. RSK’s goal is to bring Ethereum’s advantages to Bitcoin, allowing Bitcoin users to fully benefit from decentralized finance without having to exchange their bitcoin for other assets or having to renounce Bitcoin’s consensus security. As a sidechain, RSK does not define a currency of its own, and thus, RSK does not compete with Bitcoin as store of value. Instead, RSK extends Bitcoin with new capabilities without taking resources from the Bitcoin network. Among other features, RSK provides a highly secure mechanism to transfer bitcoins from Bitcoin and back, and implements a merged mining protocol that provides Bitcoin miners with additional fees without adding significant overhead.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/2022/684

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