Since the birth of RSK in 2015, the potential positive social impact of Bitcoin and blockchain technology was the driving force of our efforts and sense of purpose. Today, after 5 years of hard work and with the incredible support from the Bitcoin miners and the global community, RSK has become the most secure smart contract platform in the world, with more than 50% of total Bitcoin hashing power (ATH of 66%), achieved through merged mining.
At the same time, the importance of RSK as a Bitcoin sidechain became evident with the growth of an exciting ecosystem of decentralized finance solutions (DeFi) across the industry. The profound importance of Bitcoin as a decentralized and censorship-resistant store of value for our global society is what makes Bitcoin’s proof-of-work and its extreme security and reliability possible. RSK benefits from this infrastructure and security to enable additional DeFi solutions, creating extra income for the miners while expanding Bitcoin technology to its full potential.
However, it would have been a shame to build only a decentralized financial system without using these tools to unleash a more decentralized and fair Internet in general. Well, this is why we also embarked on the development of the RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF).
The main purpose of the RIF services suite is to enable the construction of fully decentralized applications and sharing economies on top of Bitcoin and RSK infrastructure. Hence, the RIF services tackle the most important points of control and abuse on the Internet, offering global users open source protocols and tools to decentralize those points of failure.
RIF Identity and RNS (RIF Name Service) are meant to facilitate self-sovereign identity (SSI) to protect individuals and allow easier blockchain interaction to foster mass adoption. During 2019 we launched Name Services for public use in January , during June we expanded it´s functionality to manage domains from any blockchain in the industry and by the end of 2019 we released a new registration process removing auctions as part of the process in order to make RNS friendlier and easier to use and foster mass adoption.
RIF Payments and the Lumino network launched in May 2019 at Consensus allow blockchain scalability and enable thousands of micro-transactions to promote affordable financial inclusion solutions as part of #DeFi4Bitcoin. One of the most exciting uses already available are the Bitcoin-backed stablecoins launched by Money On Chain on RSK, with micro offchain payments available on Lumino.
Also, Lumino Light Client that will be soon released has been conceived to facilitate mobile applications key to serving financially excluded users while maintaining maximum compatibility with the Lightning Network for full interoperability.
RIF Storage has been designed to add decentralized economic incentives to the main decentralized storage networks in order to make them sustainable and tackle one of the most centralized clusters of the internet. A major milestone of 2019 has been the close partnership and collaboration between the RIF Storage and the Swarm teams. During Q1 2020 we also expect to have a functional POC of a decentralized “pinning” service for persistent storage on IPFS as well. During June we´ve announced a partnership with Swarm in order to develop a breakthrough storage solution and in the last few weeks we rolled out RIF Storage Tesnet for public use..
One of the newest services on the RIF family is RIF Gateways, which is in charge of providing blockchains with a secure and tamper-proof mechanism to interact with external systems. Its main components are oracle services, which can provide smart contracts with information from the “real world”, and triggers, which allow other applications to monitor the blockchain and react based on specific events. The Lumino Notifier is the first implementation of the RIF Gateways suite and will be released shortly, together with the RIF Gateways Whitepaper from our research team.
During Labitconf 2019 in Uruguay, the RIF Communications team presented the first demo on how a decentralized chat works. During Q1 2020, the team will be working on adding decentralized economic incentives to these communication layers as a key cornerstone to enable decentralized social networks. The recent addition of Taringa! (Latin-America’s largest social network) to the IOV Labs family provides a unique opportunity to serve the millions of Taringa! users with the benefits of the whole suite of RIF services.
2019 has been a very exciting year for RIF with RNS and RIF Lumino launches and product evolution, and RIF Storage and RIF Communications progress.
None of this would have been possible without the amazing support of the Bitcoiners, the RSK partners, the Ethereum and smart contracts community and the blockchain ecosystem as a whole…Where others see tribes or competition, we see friends with shared values and passion for innovation and equal opportunities.
Thanks to all of you who made this amazing 2019 possible.We look forward to a 2020 full of open source innovation, disruption and decentralization.