RSK is the first general purpose smart contract platform secured by the Bitcoin Network, it is built as a sidechain to Bitcoin that rewards the Bitcoin miners via merge-mining, allowing them to actively participate in the RSK Smart Contract ecosystem.
Huge plus for RSK blockchain is they will instantly have gigantic hashrate since all bitcoin miners will be able to mine and secure RSK chain as well, without the need for additional hardware. So mining RSK chain will provide miners with extra revenue with no extra cost.
According to RSK official website:
RSK directly “plugs in” to achieve a perfect merged-mining and to ensure that cryptographic work, that will be discarded in Bitcoin mining, is reused in the first smart contract open-source platform secured by the Bitcoin network. RSK has an agreement with Bitcoin miners: we share with them 80% of the fees arising from transactions made within the smart contract network.
As RSK plans to host all types of clients and smart contracts: financial industry players, educational institutions, large importing companies, government and individuals, which means they are full on attack mode on Ethereum’s business model. There are endless opportunities within a market with unlimited potential and we could now see a first real competitor for Ethereum, that has a big hashrate, secure network, safer environment for developers, much higher throughput and solved scalability issues.
As mentioned, transaction speed on RSK chain will be 400 tx/sec (simple payment transactions). However, RSK goal is to reach 2K transactions per second using its Lumino technology, which is a 2nd layer network that will be embedded on RSK’s following release.
Smart contracts are coded in the same language as Ethereum’s smart contracts and RSK Virtual Machine is fully compatible with ETH VM.
Being a side-chain, RSK allows all Ethereum features without interfering with the main chain. Because the sidechain doesn’t require the same rules as the main chain, it has faster blocks and can therefore do more transactions, which condense back on the main chain. Bitcoin sidechains will be the new altcoins.
Testnet is live, mainnet to be launched soon.
RSK will not have an ICO nor will they have their own token. They will establish a 2-Way Peg between Bitcoin blockchain and RSK blockchain ensures a fixed conversion between BTC and SBTC – smartbitcoins. (1 SBTC = 1 BTC).
Rootstock is a sidechain, meaning that it has its own blockchain (its own block time, block size), however, it’s different from other altcoin’s blockchains because it doesn’t have a native token, so to use Rootstock you don’t need any new token, you can use your BTC directly in Rootstock.
So RSK is as capable of doing everything as Ethereum, but instead of using ETH for its gas, it uses BTC.
Sidechains are a revolutionary technology, this will probably eliminate most other cryptocurrencies. The only problem that need to be fixed right now for this to happen is a trust-less way for the 2-way peg, as currently Rootstock relies on a federated peg of 25 companies to ensure this peg.