“RootStock implements an improved version of the Ethereum Virtual Machine as a Bitcoin sidechain. We have removed the need for “ether”, using a token convertible to bitcoins as the smart-contract “fuel”. Roots exists only in exchange of collateral bitcoins and have no other real-world use nor value. We have also added new primitives to the sidechain protocol to make it simple to create and use common contracts (e.g. crypto-assets management and actives securitization)” – URL
(UPDATED, Oct 13) It’s funny, sometimes you get exactly what you ask for, faster than you can wish for it. Things move fast in Bitcoin speed. This looks like we have “Ethereum on Bitcoin” without all the problems that would ensue trying to actually move Ethereum and it’s investors onto the Bitcoin blockchain. Rootstock is not live yet though, and the concept of “sidechains” not proven. But the developers behind Rootstock includes at least one developer who’s been contributing heavily to the Bitcoin network. Now, it also looks like Erik Vorhees has something to do with this project.
There are two statements made by Rootstock that seem conflicting though if put together; the promises of fast confirmation times (20 seconds) while at the same time being “as secure as Bitcoin”. This might be an oversight by the people behind Rootstock, otherwise it’d mean they’ve come up with something better than Bitcoin which is hard to stomach. They probably mean that their checkpointing (pegging to Bitcoin network) is what’ll make Rootstock “as secure” (meaning that its assets will be timestamped with the power of the Bitcoin network), but that confirmations are dependent on some other type solution (guessing; a very unique algorithm, requiring massive amounts of ram per miner?) for those 20 second confirmations (and those won’t be as secure as the confirmations in the Bitcoin network). At least not if you agree with the line of reasoning in my post “The Bitcoin ‘Formula’; Energy / Time = ‘Truth’“. Rootstock is not the only game in town though, don’t forget about Counterparty (also “doing Ethereum” on the Bitcoin Blockchain).