By raising $1 million in seed funding, blockchain startup RSK Labs will develop Rootstock, a smart contracts platform that will be deployed as a sidechain on the bitcoin blockchain.
In a funding round led by bitcoin mining hardware company Bitmain Technology, RSK Labs has raised $1 million in a successful initial seeding round to develop Rootstock – a smart contracts platform secured by the bitcoin blockchain.
The funding round was supported by London-based blockchain investment firm Coinsilium and New York-based bitcoin- and blockchain-investor Digital Currency Group.
The first of its kind smart contract platform by RSK Labs will enable developers to innovate with solutions using the bitcoin blockchain. The platform will also be fully compatible with Ethereum.
As a P2P platform, Rootstock implements smart contracts with a combination of bitcoin’s security and transparency, along with the capabilities of Ethereum. CCN previously reported on an endeavor powered by Rootstock to oversee micro-financing from the World Bank and Latin American banks locally to provide banking to the unbanked.
The smart contract platform will be a 2-way peg to the bitcoin blockchain. The platform also rewards miners by “merge-mining”, encouraging them to run decentralized smart contracts with their existing infrastructure to help create an additional stream of revenue.
Beyond the development of the smart contracts platform, the fund raising will also aid RSK Labs to expand its existing presence across countries in Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America.
In statements revealed via a press release, CEO of lead investor Bitmain Technology, Wu Jihan, stated:
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.
Prominent bitcoin-industry investor Digital Currency Group agreed with RSK Leb founders that decentralized blockchains that are equipped with a smart contracts platform will power toward global financial inclusion that embraces the unbanked and aid new democratic political systems as well as help usher in the internet of things.
DCG Group CEO Barry Silbert stated:
Our team at DCG feels that [the platform] Rootstock [is] 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.
A private testnet by RSK will be available and open for a small number of miners, partner firms and users by the end of April. The subsequent months will see block explorers wallets and additional enhancements to the network that will be implemented by RSK Labs. A “public, fully functional” beta testnet is scheduled to be launched in September 2016.
Featured image from Rootstock.