Scroll down
Close -
Frequently asked questions

Here you will find the most frequently asked questions about RSK, its vision, technology and other aspects

Or scroll down to explore the different categories
How does the RIF token accrue value?

We understand people can use bitcoins on RSK to pay for the 3rd party services on the RSK network, hence RIF token feels somewhat unnecessary.

While the RSK Live Mainnet requires – and will always require – Smart Contract execution to be paid in bitcoin, maintaining full incentive alignment with the Bitcoin Ecosystem, RIF OS Protocols aim to create and off-chain layer of infrastructure that initially is built on top of the RSK Ecosystem but will be integrated in the future with other Smart Contract enabled platforms.
In order to do so, it is important to have a token that is neutral to any of those networks and for which price is defined in connection with the supply and demand of infrastructure services regardless of the particular price of the native cryptocurrency of the network (RBTC, ETH, EOS, etc). From a user perspective it doesn’t pose any additional friction as we expect that in the near future DEXs (Decentralized Exchanges) will provide instant conversion between the native currencies of the Networks where RIF OS Protocols are integrated and RIF Token. The portability of the RIF Token will create economies of scale and strengthen the antifragility of the Decentralized Ecosystem as a whole bringing the Internet of Value one step closer to realization. The main reason is that we envision RIF OS, in the long term, as a unified Marketplace for off-chain infrastructure services that can be consumed by every Smart Contract enabled crypto-economy (i.e. RSK, Ethereum, EOS). In that context having a portable / neutral token is a benefit.

Does using RSK still require getting added to a whitelist?

There is no whitelisting process any more. The RSK blockchain is completely permissionless. We implemented a whitelisting process during the bootstrapping phase until we were sure that it was secure enough to be open to the general public.

Is RIF really necessary for the construction of RSK? Why issue RIF tokens? Why not use RBTC uniformly?

RSK Infrastructure Framework Open Standard (RIF OS) is a suite of open and decentralized infrastructure protocols that enables faster, easier and scalable development of distributed applications (dApps) within a unified environment. RIF OS includes support for decentralized, third-party, off-chain payment networks; a set of APIs for seamless and secure communications between decentralized applications; and easy-to-use interfaces for developers. Access and payment for RIF OS services are based on the RIF Token, which allows developers to access the suite of services built on top of RSK Infrastructure Framework protocols such as Identity, Payments, Gateways, Storage and Communications including third party-developed infrastructure services, and any other apps that might be deployed on RIF’s framework that agrees to accept RIF Tokens as a means of accessing / consuming the service or app. RBTC is the native token of the RSK Live Mainnet and is pegged 1:1 to BTC. It’s used as gas to pay for Smart Contract execution in the same way as ETH is used as gas for Ethereum. Technical users can obtain in a decentralized way by converting to and from BTC by using the bridge between the Bitcoin and RSK protocols. Less technical users can obtain RBTC from supporting exchanges like Huobi and Bitfinex among others in order to use the RSK and all of the applications that run on RSK (including RIFOS once it launches).

While the RSK Live Mainnet requires, -and will always do-, Smart Contract execution to be paid in smartBitcoins (RBTC) maintaining full incentive alignment with the Bitcoin Ecosystem, RIF OS Protocols aim to create and off-chain layer of infrastructure that initially is built on top of the RSK Ecosystem but will be integrated in the future with other Smart Contract enabled platforms like Ethereum & EOS. In order to do so, it’s important to have a token that is neutral to any of those networks and for which price is defined in connection with the offer and demand of infrastructure services regardless of the particular price of the native cryptocurrency of the network (RBTC, ETH, EOS, etc). From a user’s perspective, it doesn’t pose any additional friction as we expect that in the near future DEXs (Decentralized Exchanges) will provide instant conversion between the native currencies of the Networks where RIF OS Protocols are integrated and RIF Token. The portability of the RIF Token will create economies of scale and strengthen the antifragility of the Decentralized Ecosystem as a whole bringing the Internet of Value one step closer to realization. The main reason is that we envision RIF OS, in the long term, as a unified Marketplace for off-chain infrastructure services that can be consumed by every Smart Contract enabled crypto-economy (i.e. RSK, Ethereum, EOS). In that context, having a portable / neutral token is a must.

What consensus protocol does RSK use?

RSK uses DECOR+, a unique variant of Nakamoto Consensus, with the capability to merge-mine with Bitcoin or any other blockchain sharing the Bitcoin block format and proof-of-work.

Merge-mining is a protocol that allows miners to mine on two or more blockchains at the same time with exactly the same hardware. RSK is designed such that merge-mining with Bitcoin does not pose any performance penalty to bitcoin miners. Therefore merge-miners can earn rewards on both RSK and Bitcoin simultaneously. RSK has improved several open-source mining-pool software to enable merge-mining. Currently more than 40% of Bitcoin hashrate is merge-mining RSK, making RSK the most secure Turing-complete smart-contract platform in the world in terms of cumulative energy spent to secure it. The RSK community is evaluating the upgrade to a recently developed variant of merge-mining called Strong Fork-aware Merge-Mining (SFAMM) that can increase the cumulative energy spent to secure RSK to 100% of Bitcoin’s hashrate.

What is the DECOR+ protocol?

In the Bitcoin network, when two or more miners have solved blocks at equal height, there is a conflict of interests. Each competing miner wants his block to be selected by the remaining miners as the best-chain tip. All the remaining honest miners and users would prefer that everyone chooses the same block tip, because this reduces the block reversal probability. DECOR+ sets the right economic incentives for a convergent choice, without requiring further interaction between miners. The conflict is resolved so that:

The resolution is agreed by all parties (consensus) when all parties have access to the same blockchain state of information within a time bound (synchronous).

If the system is partially synchronous, the conflict is resolved as in Nakamoto Consensus.

The resolution maximizes all miner’s revenue when the conflicting block revenue (fees) is much higher than the average.

The resolution reduces the power of the miners to censor other blocks or transactions when the conflicting block has a reward close to the average.

Resolving the conflict takes negligible time

Is RSK secure from selfish mining?

RSK uses the DECOR+ consensus protocol. DECOR+ is incentive-compatible and protects the network from selfish-mining when the rate of honest uncle blocks produced by the network is low. If the uncle rate is high, then a selfish incentive may arise, as described by Camacho-Lerner. To improve it, several fixes have been proposed, such as, the “sticky” rule, delaying the transfer of the weight of uncles in GHOST, or allowing referencing uncle-children in the same way as uncles. With any of these fixes, RSK consensus protocol becomes incentive-compatible assuming that transaction fees are stable, and there are no off-chain payments or bribes to miners.

What exactly is the value proposition of RIF?

Is it a matter of utility, and if so, what exactly is that utility? If a token was useful for selling coins that couldn’t be sold with RBTC alone.

This question has two sides as RIF is both a set of protocol standards and a token. RIF OS (RSK Infrastructure Framework Open Standard) is a suite of open decentralized infrastructure protocols that rely on blockchain based smart contracts to enable faster, easier and scalable development of distributed applications (dApps).

The initial protocols include Directory (a naming service protocol), Payments (an offchain payment protocol), Data (a data storage and streaming protocol), Communications (a secure routing, session and encrypted communications protocol) and Gateways (an interoperability protocol that includes cross chain transfers and oracling services). The standards also define interfaces that can be implemented as APIs and libraries that abstract and simplify the use of decentralized infrastructure (both blockchain and P2P) for any developer even if they don’t know inner workings or low level functioning of decentralized protocols.

This suite of protocols aim to solve the major problems that stop decentralized blockchain networks (ie: Bitcoin, RSK, Ethereum, etc.) from reaching mass adoption. From our point of view, the two main impediments are sustainable scaling (onchain scaling is possible but leads to higher maintenance cost for validation nodes and therefore to centralization) and developer usability (it can take several months for developers to learn how to use the technology and even mastering the tech, it’s very inefficient to build decentralized apps for the lack of a higher level protocol and reusable components).

Following the guidelines of RIF OS, a series of blockchain based P2P platforms are being built using RNS; an implementation of RIF Directory on RSK, the first to be launched. RIF Lumino, the first implementation of RIF Payments is launched, for more information and how to set up a Lumino node, visit RIF Lumino.
We wish to emphasise the utility of the RIF token within the RIF OS ecosystem.
The first and obvious use is to access all the services provided in the RIF OS ecosystem. To comply with the RSK Infrastructure Framework, providers have to at least accept RIF tokens in exchange for their services. On top of that, certain protocols use RIF token as the collateral that all service providers need to stake in order to offer services on the RIF Marketplace. This is key given the decentralized nature of these platforms, without an embed insurance mechanism, it would be impossible to ensure quality of service to the end users. Additionally, on some protocols the ratio between the collateral and the amount of contracts a service provider has will be used to dynamically distribute new service contracts among registered providers.

We also envision that in the not so distant future, other uses of the RIF token will arise surrounding the RIF marketplace. Two of the most relevant ones are the use of RIF token as collateral for the issuance of counterparty risk-free stable assets (ie: RIFUSD, RIFARS, etc) which can be used to denominate service prices in stable assets and the use of RIF token to settle transactions between RIF Payment Hubs without assets in common or sufficient liquidity.

We envision RIF OS in the long term, as a unified Marketplace for off-chain infrastructure services that can be consumed by every major Smart Contract enabled crypto-economy so although the RIF Token was initially created on the RSK Network, in the future it will be portable to other platforms like Ethereum or EOS. This will create economies of scale and strengthen the antifragility of the Decentralized Ecosystem as a whole, bringing our vision of the Internet of Value one step closer to realization.

Are you considering implementing some solution related to decentralized identities as a service in RIF?

Yes. Together with the RIF Wallet library RIF Identity is one of the most important components of RIF OS. It provides the basics to anchor identities on the RSK Network and later sign and exchange event attestations that later can be used to build reputational models. We are in talks with the top experts in this field (Sovrin, uPort and others) to define a joint standard.

Also, we have a working relationship with Microsoft who is part of the ID2020 endeavor and we’re partnering with the NGO Bitcoin Argentina, the Inter-American Development Bank and Accenture (another ID2020 member) to create and implement the first inclusive financial ecosystem built around reputational identity in the slums of Buenos Aires.

Could you explain something about storage services?

Would it be like IPFS? Will it use IPFS or some other similar and already working solution?

IOV Labs is working to have a unified API for storing and retrieving files, and support several storage networks. This is the RSK Data Storage protocol. For a first network provider, we looked at the existing solutions (Swarm, IPFS, Storj, Sia…) and decided to base it on Swarm and IPFS. Most of these protocols implement a variation of the following: a file uploaded is split into chunks and distributed in the network. When the file is requested, all the chunks are retrieved and assembled. Each node participating in this network is keeping track of data stored/provided for payment purposes. Of course RSK Data Storage will integrate with other RIF services like RNS to retrieve named files and allow mutability or RSK Payments for incentivisation. And in the future we’ll foster the integration of all successful storage networks under the same RSK Storage API and UI, so the user may be able to switch between storage network backends just by selecting the provider from a list, or even store a single file on several networks at the same time.

There was a mention on twitter a while back about possibly implementing Chainlink as an answer to Oracles.

Can I register a domain in RNS and then sell it in a secondary market?

Anyone that registers a domain in RNS can sell the domain directly or using a third party secondary market.

If you cannot find an answer to your question here, contact us