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What is merged mining?
How secure is RSK merge-mining?

Nakamoto consensus can be proven secure as long as there is an honest majority of miners. In case of a dishonest majority, malicious miners may find cheating a rational or irrational strategy depending on assumptions on how the market and the community would react to a 51% attack. RSK is no different from Bitcoin in theory, but in practice not all Bitcoin miners participate in merge-mining, so the requirement of honest hashrate would be higher. A ad-hoc monitoring system, called Armadillo, lowers the requirement by warning nodes if more than 50% of the miners turn malicious before malicious miners can do harm.
In terms of cryptographic security, RSK merge-mining uses both SHA256 and Keccak. Since there are no known practical attacks on these hashing functions, RSK is currently as secure as Bitcoin mining. In particular RSK assumes a stronger property from SHA256, which is that, it must not allow a “freestart collision” at a cost lower than 2^80 operations. This is because the RSK network uses a property of the Merkle–Damgård construction to compress the size of the SPV proof.

What are the incentives for miners to merge-mine RSK?

Miners earn 80% of the transaction fees from every RSK block they mine. These incentives will become more and more attractive while the RSK platform drives adoption, and the number of transactions in the network increases. Since merge mining RSK does not require any additional cost to the one required to mine Bitcoin, RSK provides an additional revenue stream for the Bitcoin miners using the same hardware and electricity. More information about RSK merge mining can be found here: Merged Mining Is Here To Stay.

We are currently looking for other ways to incentivize all RSK key players -including mining pools- to better align incentives while the network is bootstrapped. We’ll keep the community posted on any update about this.

Is there a step-by-step guide for mining and node configuration?

Below is a list of useful links for users willing to understand more about merged mining and setting up mining nodes:

What is merged mining

Configure an RSK node to be used from a merged mining pool

Is there any incentive to run a Lumino or RSK node for non-miners?

By running an RSK node, you not only check the validity of your own transactions, but also that the rules of the system cannot be changed by any minority group. Therefore, it’s in RSK users best interest to run full nodes of their own. Having said that, we’ve designed -and we’re currently developing the first decentralized system for proving you’re a full node, so in the future we’ll be able to incentivize full nodes (see our Devcon3 presentation on Proof of Unique Blockchain storage). This technology will allow the economic reward of full nodes in the future which could be used to reward RSK and Lumino full nodes.

Does RSK mining consume more electricity?

Merge-mining is a process by which Bitcoin miners can mine both Bitcoin and RSK at the same time, with the same hardware and consuming the same electricity. RSK merge-mining uses the same cryptographic hash function as Bitcoin (SHA256).

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