Sergio Lerner, the well-known blockchain and cryptocurrency security expert who is also part of Rootstock, was present at LaBitConf Mexico yesterday. While at the event, he released the white paper titled RootStock Platform – Bitcoin Powered Smart Contracts. In an interview with a NewsBTC representative, he explains about RootStock, its comparison with Ethereum and Bitcoin, and also its security features.
While explaining about the platform, Sergio made it clear that RootStock is not a fork of Ethereum, as many tend to believe. The development of RootStock had begun almost a year before Ethereum, and it is just a coincidence that both RootStock and Ethereum are working on creating blockchain-based smart contracts.
The developers at RootStock have created a cross-compatible platform by including Ethereum opcode. To make it more user friendly, the platform uses the Web3 interface, similar to that of Ethereum.
RootStock offers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to applications. The platform is capable of running applications developed for Ethereum, as well; this cross-compatibility between RootStock and Ethereum is a step towards creating a universal standard for smart contracts. It also allows developers to pick either of the platforms to develop their applications and not worry about any compatibility issues arising later on.
RootStock has implemented a federated system as the first stage of security. The federation offers checkpoints for the network, which supplements for the lax security until RootStock on-boards 51% of the miners.
The federation service runs a node in a controlled environment. The secure node forms a backbone connection to miners to act as a checkpoint and a reference node. Other nodes will use the secure checkpoint to differentiate between good and bad blocks, and detect forks or Sybil attacks on the network. In case of an anomaly, the node can stop transactions to protect the network.
Sergio also mentioned that the next security stage will probably include a hybrid federation model, which will be able to generate its own blocks. However, its implementation hasn’t been decided, yet, while the team continues to explore for other alternatives.
The federation is designed to ensure compliance with any future regulations. At the same time, RootStock strives to ensure the anonymity of its miners and users. Additionally, miners can mine both Bitcoin and RootStock using merged mining capability to maximize profits.
RootStock is working with Koibanx, which is responsible for providing financial instruments to banking and financial institutions. Koibanx may use RootStock in the future, as well. However, unlike Koibanx, RootStock will remain open source.
When asked about RootStock’s funding, Sergio mentioned that they are currently working with few key people from the Bitcoin community to raise funds and that it will be finalized, soon. RootStock has developed its own protocol-level governance model, which is also applicable for miners, stakeholders and full node owners on the platform. It also requires full node owners to prove their ownership using certain procedures, eliminating bad and partial nodes.
When compared with Bitcoin and Ethereum, RootStock is as decentralized as any of them. RootStock’s decentralized structure is based on the number of full nodes (like Bitcoin) and mining power (like Ethereum).
RootStock is going to be the future of contracts. Individuals, businesses, financial institutions and governments can get rid of paper contracts and move to smart contracts for enhanced transperency and security. The combination of Bitcoin transactions and smart contracts can completely change the way trade happens. We can expect business deals, futures and securities trade etc. to be executed and closed in a matter of minutes in the near future.