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Ethereum as a bonded sidechain of Bitcoin with advantages over RootstockIn more recent news:
What is a sidechain?
According to block stream:
A sidechain is a blockchain that validates data from other blockchains
Ethereum already does that with BTC Relay. So how about pegged assets?
This is an idea for an Ethereum contract that makes Bitcoin-backed tokens without any softfork or trusted Bitcoin multisig managers. Instead, Bitcoin IOU's are created on the Ethereum blockchain and backed by Ether bonds which are governed by Ethereum contracts like BTC Relay or price oracles. The Bitcoin IOUs are backed by Bitcoins held by the escrow managers but if they steal/lose the Bitcoins (or refuse to redeem them) the Bonded Escrow Contract will observe their naughty behaviour and sell their Ether bond to redeem the Bitcoins from someone else!
- Two-way peg refers to the mechanism by which coins are transferred between sidechains and back at a fixed or otherwise deterministic exchange rate.
- A pegged sidechain is a sidechain whose assets can be imported from and returned to other chains; that is, a sidechain that supports two-way pegged assets.
Rootstock vs Bonded Escrow Contract on Ethereum
There are two methods that Rootstock developers plan to use for issuing Bitcoin IOUs (called "Roots") on their Bitcoin "sidechain". AFAIU the first involves merged mining and a multisig wallet that entrusts a quorum of Bitcoin miners with the entire basket of Bitcoin eggs that were "moved" to the Rootstock chain. The second method requires softforking the Bitcoin blockchain for a two-way peg.
Pseudonymous, distributed, untrusted issuers
Rootstock dev maaku7:
“It's a known trade-off made by any presently deployable implementation of the 2-way peg. It's also something that we were very upfront about in the sidechains paper, and part of the reason why many of us are so concerned about decentralization of bitcoin mining.says this about sidechain security:
In any non-SNARK, non-extension-block version of the 2-way peg a bitcoin node does not perform full validation of the sidechain as part of the consensus rules. Therefore it is perfectly possible (by design) for a threshold majority of the miners / signers to steal the coins in the peg pool, and censor any attempt to stop them. Why by design? Because that's the promise of sidechains: performant permissionless innovation at the cost of SPV trust in the honest majority of signers / miners.
Sidechains we are working on (e.g. Alpha, Liquid) and Rootstock, by the looks of it, make use of a fixed set of signers instead of or in addition to reliance on >50% honest hashpower. This is because while less pure, it is ultimately safer to work with known, contracted entities as functionaries rather than 50% hashpower which at the moment is just a small handful of unaccountable people.
EDIT: Although obviously the ideal end goal is fully decentralized mining, where creating a 50% hashpower cabal requires organizing thousands of people at minimum. In such a case we may be able to consider a pure SPV peg to have a reasonable security model. But we're a long way from there yet...”
“In any non-SNARK, non-extension-block version of the 2-way peg a bitcoin node does not perform full validation of the sidechain as part of the consensus rules. Therefore it is perfectly possible (by design) for a threshold majority of the miners / signers to steal the coins in the peg pool, and censor any attempt to stop them. Why by design? Because that's the promise of sidechains: performant permissionless innovation at the cost of SPV trust in the honest majority of signers / miners.”Ether bonds can remove most of the need for this trust and allow pseudonymous, permissionless participation in issuance and escrow management. Without anonymous, untrusted validators, distributed around the world, Bitcoin is looking more and more like Chinese Liberty Reserve or E-gold. …
Bonded sidechains decentralize pegged assets
Even with a Bitcoin softfork, Rootstock has just one Bitcoin IOU with all the Bitcoins sitting like a duck in one "wallet". Since Roots are just one Bitcoin IOU from one issuer, they can't be used to back/bond IOUs the way Ether can. If Rootstock's multisig/SPV wallet is robbed by it's signers/miners or (as they always say) hackers, the value of Roots become "zero" along with any asset or contract using Roots. Ether continues to have value if Bitcoins are stolen. Theft just thins out the herd and makes people more cautious. Ether bonds make issuers mostly responsible for their IOUs with IOU holders assuming some risk if Ether loses too much value to Bitcoin.
Issuing servers and indie issuers
A basic Bonded Escrow Contract is practically complete since BTC Relay does the difficult part. "Bonded Escrow Contract" is completely decentralized and requires no modification to Bitcoin. It would allow anyone to "anonymously" manage Bitcoin escrow wallets or issue Bitcoin IOUs. They only need to obtain Ether for the bond, send it to the Bonded Escrow Contract along with their Bitcoin escrow address and the terms of the IOU they wish to create. Indie issuers don't have to babysit a "server" (that needs to be online all the time) if they create IOU contracts that won't have harsh penalties if they take some time to redeem the tokens. IOU buyers who want faster redemption can buy IOU's from issuing servers. Issuers are free to choose alternatives to SPV such as prediction markets, to verify Bitcoin transactions.
Bonded Escrow Contract options
Here are some options that the Bonded Escrow Contract could make available: * Designate how much Bitcoin the IOU tokens are to be worth and how much Ether will back them. This may be a fixed rate or it may be based on other Ethereum price oracle contracts. If a price oracle is used the issuer may have to add Ether to prevent the IOU from going into default if the Ether price goes down relative to Bitcoin. * Set exchange or rental rates for the Bitcoin IOUs. These rates may be in Ether and/or Bitcoin and could be based on oracle/derivatives contracts.
When IOUs aren't redeemed (right away)
What happens if the IOU's are sent back to the issuer but the Bitcoins aren't released right away?
- Set grace period where there is no penalty. After this you have these options.
- Set the rate of an Ether stream that is sent slowly from the escrow contract until the value of the bonded Ether gets too close to the value of the Bitcoins in escrow. At this point, all the Ether is transfered from the issuer to the "creditor" (or to another contract).
- The user who is waiting on the Bitcoins may choose to take some of the bonded Ether instead. This option sets the rate to buy some of the bonded Ether from the Bonded Escrow Contract instead of waiting for the Bitcoins.
- The contract may automatically use the Ether to buy Bitcoins from a more reliable issuer. Or the creditor may be given the option to do this manually.
Add to this is that Ethereum's PoS will be far more scalable, with Casper development reaching high levels of sophistication.
- 2-way decentralized pegs do not yet exit.
- People are not going to be very elated about the FedPeg, but I don't suspect this will do much to inhibit RSK token exchange. ShapeShift will for instance allow for an RSK to BTC exchange.
- It merge mines with Bitcoin. OI VE! Talk about an anti-feature. This exposes RootStock to all the problems associate with the great firewall while trying to accomplish sub 10sec block times? What if it becomes obvious that RootStock is now worth more than Bitcoin and Bitcoin becomes this empty shell that does nothing but "burn" Bitcoins into RootStock?
- RSK trades at 1:1 to the Bitcoin. Think about this for a second. It's like going to college, studying a medical degree for 10 years and then equally distributing your income to all your family members and extended family. Even if RootStock is faster, better, more secure than Ethereum. This one single "feature" cripples it. The RootStock ecosystem will never see most of this value. They are giving all their money to rich Bitcoiners who took no risk building their network. ...
- It doesn't much matter that it is EVM compatible. I can launch another Ethereum blockchain today with no token value. The problem isn't compatibility but the value of the state of the blockchain. IE Digix will not only have to relaunch their network on RSK but they'll have to import and close off their state on Ethereum or write and move to Bitcoin.
- All the features they build can be forked by building a network that isn't 20% more expensive to fund it's development. RootStock will basically get a RootStock of its own.
"That said, counterparty is more closely linked to the bitcoin blockchain, so it's easier to make crowdsales that accept bitcoin directly; that's the primary point in favor of a bitcoin blockchain-based metacoin. Though now btcrelay makes up for quite a bit of that difference."
OK, so Bitcoin focused smart contracts and LISK are bad ideas, but sometimes bad ideas win, after all, bla bla "network effect"
- Not to mention that the LISK contracts will be stored in plaintext, which means they'll be vastly more expensive to publish.
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