Paper 2022/684

RSK: A Bitcoin sidechain with stateful smart-contracts

Sergio Demian Lerner, IOV Labs Ltd.
Javier Álvarez Cid-Fuentes, IOV Labs Ltd.
Julian Len, IOV Labs Ltd.
Ramsès Fernàndez-València, IOV Labs Ltd.
Patricio Gallardo, IOV Labs Ltd.
Nicolás Vescovo, IOV Labs Ltd.
Raúl Laprida, IOV Labs Ltd.
Shreemoy Mishra, IOV Labs Ltd.
Federico Jinich, IOV Labs Ltd.
Diego Masini, IOV Labs Ltd.

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.

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blockchain bitcoin smart contracts rsk sidechain ethereum
Contact author(s)
sergio @ iovlabs org
javier @ iovlabs org
julian @ iovlabs org
ramses @ iovlabs org
patricio @ iovlabs org
nicolas vescovo @ iovlabs org
raul @ iovlabs org
shreemoy @ iovlabs org
federico @ iovlabs org
dmasini @ iovlabs org
2022-05-31: approved
2022-05-31: received
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      author = {Sergio Demian Lerner and Javier Álvarez Cid-Fuentes and Julian Len and Ramsès Fernàndez-València and Patricio Gallardo and Nicolás Vescovo and Raúl Laprida and Shreemoy Mishra and Federico Jinich and Diego Masini},
      title = {RSK: A Bitcoin sidechain with stateful smart-contracts},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2022/684},
      year = {2022},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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