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RSK Roadmap: Upcoming Features for Smart Contracts on Bitcoin

We are pleased to announce the release of the RSK platform development roadmap. Sharing it will enable us to have meaningful conversations with developers, researchers, partners and the RSK/RIF community on how our vision and technology can empower our society. 

The roadmap is an open statement, a guide stating how we are prioritizing our efforts. We may change our plans if during our interactions with the community, new features that take us closer to our vision arise and transparently share any remarkable variation.

 

RSK Upcoming Milestones

The work we have planned for the foreseeable future falls into six major categories:

  • Build on Bitcoin: we’re constantly looking for ways to expand and grow Bitcoin’s Network functionality, making it easier for Bitcoin users to access the potential of RSK smart contracts.
  • Financial inclusion: we believe that Bitcoin and DLTs have the potential to set the foundation of a new decentralized and programmable network of networks for the store and transfer of value, an Internet of Value that could possibly change the lives of a billion people over the next decade. We’re constantly looking for features that can drive the adoption of use cases aligned with this vision.
  • Decentralization: we’ll continue our efforts towards providing a fault tolerance, attack resistance and  sensitive-central-points-free platform, promoting an even more decentralized platform.
  • Scalability: scalability is one of the biggest challenges towards widespread adoption of blockchain technologies. While this can be approached from different angles and technologies, finding onchain scaling improvements is part of our present and future efforts.
  • Security: we need to ensure the RSK Smart Contract Network is secure and trustworthy in order to avoid the substantial impact of a cyberattack.
  • Ethereum compatibility: it’s among our best interests to provide compatibility with Ethereum smart contracts, letting developers leverage their existing skills and use the tools they love.

Find below a breakdown of each of the milestones for the next 18 months:

 

July 2019 – Wasabi 1.0.0 Release

The Wasabi upcoming network upgrade is focused on the following key areas:

  • Storage improvements: significantly reduce required blockchain storage space while at the same time will set the foundations for future improvements such as warp sync, and garbage collector (further information on Unitrie).
  • Federation Security Improvements (HSM 1.1), to  provide new security and usability features that will enable the onboarding of new Fed Members in a more secure way.
  • VM Opcodes Create2 and Shift, provide a higher level of compatibility with Ethereum Smart Contracts. CREATE2, SHR and SHL are virtual machine operations (opcodes) that have been recently added to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and to which we are adding support. RSK has been involved in improving the EIPs to match our needs on RSK. 
  • Transaction tracing method is an extremely valuable tool that allows developers to inspect the internal execution of a transaction by running it in the exact same manner as it was executed on the network.

 

Q3 2019

  • Node Synch Improvements: Several performance improvements to blockchain long sync and the introduction of warp sync, will enable users to have their nodes ready to use in a fraction of the time currently required.
  • Meta Transactions: With the introduction of meta-transactions, users are relieved of dealing with gas prices, making the end user experience much better.
  • Garbage Collector: This feature reduces required blockchain storage significantly by deleting old and unnecessary information stored by the node.
  • Ethereum Native Contracts: We are adding support for EVM precompiled contracts not present in RSK Virtual Machine (pairing check, elliptic curve operations).

 

Q4 2019

  • Blockchain Compression, will further minimize the required resources to run a node, making it easier for third parties to run their own instances. 
  • Predictable Fees: The constant fluctuation of fees is an obstacle when implementing use cases as end users cannot be exposed to constant changes in transactions´ fees. This feature, will overcome this situation.
  • Peer Scoring: This is a security feature that seeks to isolate misbehaving nodes in the network.
  • 2-Way Peg Usability Improvements: The current two-way peg implementation has important friction-points from an usability perspective. The goal is to make it more user-friendly while at the same time enabling some interesting use cases that are currently not supported such as direct BTC funding to RSK Smart contracts.
  • Node Auto-Update: Having all critical nodes running the latest version of software is crucial for the security and health of the network. This feature (although optional) aims at that direction.

 

First Half of 2020:

  • Storage Rent: Rapid growth of space requirements needs to be addressed in several ways. Complementing blockchain compression features, storage rent establish the right economic incentives so that today’s users cannot abuse the blockchain storage, at the expense of future users, leading to a sustainable blockchain.  It also makes sure that block verification remains fast and within the limits of a standard laptop. The next step, called storage hibernation, will enable freeing old unused data to shrink the blockchain state even more. 
  • Federation Security Improvements (HSM 2.0), introduces new security features into the HSM, giving the devices the ability to distinguish  correct signature requests that originate in the two-way peg contract from forgeries. 
  • Federation Decentralized Governance: Federation members will have the possibility to decide/vote their members autonomously hence favouring the decentralization of the platform.

 

Second Half of 2020:

  • Full Nodes Rewards: Brings economic incentives to those running RSK full nodes, favouring the network decentralization.
  • LTCP (Lumino Transaction Compression Protocol): The Lumino Compression Protocol reduces transaction size & blockchain storage as well as increasing network’s TPS (transactions per second).
  • Drivechain Industry Standard: Once the drivechain standard is established and implemented, sidechains like RSK will no longer require a federated two-way peg. This improves the security of the network while removing sensitive central points.
  • Native Enveloping: This is an on-chain alternative to meta transactions, originally tackled through the Gas Station Network.

 

Getting Involved

We welcome  everyone to participate in shaping RSK’s future by submitting and commenting on the RSK Improvement Proposals site, where platform ideas, standards and protocols are actively and openly discussed. We stand a better chance of fulfilling the Internet of Value vision if we have an active and engaged community.

 

What’s Next?

We’ll update the roadmap regularly and post updates on any notable changes. We’d love to hear from you and get your feedback through our social media channels and forums:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RSKsmart

Telegram: https://t.me/RSKsmart

Gitter: https://gitter.im/rsksmart

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/rootstock/

BitcoinTalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3189777.0

You may also want to check our vision and plans for the RIF OS platform here: https://www.rifos.org/

Visit us at www.rsk.co and join the revolution!