It seems that after the meteoric rise of Ethereum, Bitcoin supporters can no longer just try to deny its invitational approach to blockchain and the smart money has decided that if you can’t beat them, join them. Buenos-Aires headquartered RSK Labs has revealed that it raised $1 million to further develop the first smart contracts platform codenamed Rootstock.
The funding round was led by a number of very influential bitcoin firms from around the world including: Bitmain, the Chinese bitcoin hardware mining giant, Coinsilium, the blockchain venture investment fund based in London and Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group that now owns CoinDesk. Silbert said: “Our team at DCG feels that Rootstock developing is important for both the technical and business communities building on blockchain technology today, and will enable many new use cases that have not been possible to date”.
RSK Labs says this successful round allows it to expand its current presence in Latin America to Asia, Europe and the US, while securing the funding needed to ensure the complete execution of its roadmap. Rootstock is the first open-source smart contract platform with a 2-way peg to Bitcoin that also rewards the Bitcoin miners via merge-mining, thus allowing them to “actively participate in the Smart Contract revolution” in a way that is also fully compatible with Ethereum.
Eddy Travia, CEO of Coinsilium, added: ”I am very proud that Coinsilium supports the talented Rootstock team to develop a platform enabling smart contracts secured by the Bitcoin blockchain which I see as an essential element in the transition to a world of blockchain-based solutions for enterprises and public organizations.”
RSK explains that its private testnet will be opened soon to a small number of miners, partners and users. During the following months, wallets, block explorers and further enhancements to the network will be implemented by the company and its partners and a public fully functional Beta testnet is expected to be launched in September 2016. Meanwhile, it says that the “RSK team continues to strengthen its relationships with Bitcoin miners, who are a fundamental pillar of the project.”
Wu Jihan, CEO of Bitmain Technology, commented: “Rootstock is the most exciting opportunity for me among the startups in the Bitcoin ecosystem. The tidal wave of startups developing smart contract solutions based on RSK will bring countless miracles”.