Smart Contract Platform On Top of Bitcoin
Bitcoin mining is often touted as one of the safest and quickest ways to earn the world’s leading cryptocurrency. However, due to factors such as enormous energy consumption and requirement for complex technical hardware, Bitcoin mining has many times eluded small miners.
RSK’s merged mining seeks to open the Bitcoin mining space to all while simultaneously ensuring increased profitability and minimal expenditure.
What is Merged Mining?
Before we delve deeper into how RSK’s merged mining is opening doors for small miners to mining Bitcoin, let us first quickly refresh our concepts pertaining to how Bitcoin is mined.
For the uninitiated, Bitcoin uses the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm that involves computers or miners to solve complex mathematical puzzles to be eligible to earn mining rewards. Essentially, the miners “mine” a block on the Bitcoin network and add it to the blockchain as “proof” of their “work”.
As you might have figured by now, mining on the Bitcoin network is not a particularly capital-efficient task, even more so for people with not adequate resources at their disposal. It is because of this very reason that we see so many Bitcoin “mining pools” everywhere. Mining pools merely refer to when multiple miners pool in their resources and hashrate to mine Bitcoin economically.
That being said, despite the presence of mining pools, it is quite difficult for people to mine multiple cryptocurrencies at once. This is because miners can only direct their resources toward the mining of a single cryptocurrency at a time. Trying to mine multiple cryptocurrencies at once dilutes the miner’s resources and hashrate which subsequently reduces their share of ownership of the mining pool, thereby leading to generation of fewer rewards. This is where RSK’s merged mining fits in.
RSK is the first scalable smart contract platform built on top of the Bitcoin protocol. At the same time, RSK is the top merged mining platform in terms of rewards paid to the users.
Benefits of Merged-Mining
As it might be evident by now, merged mining implies mining different cryptocurrencies at once which entails huge cost-saving on the part of miners. Furthermore, there are a lot of advantages to employing merged mining for mining cryptocurrencies.
This one is obvious. Merged mining offers a window of opportunity to small miners who might not necessarily have the adequate hardware or equipment at their disposal. In that regard, merged mining facilitates easy entry for miners into the lucrative cryptocurrency mining industry.
Merged mining requires no new or better mining hardware. The existing mining equipment can be used to mine Bitcoin and RSK at no extra cost at all. RSK can easily be integrated into the existing mining infrastructure at zero additional cost to help miners maximize their profit from daily mining operations.
Easy Hashrate for Smaller Cryptocurrencies
Miners can further save on purchasing extra hashing power for the cryptocurrency with a lower hashrate while mining two cryptocurrencies. This is because merged-mining allows the cryptocurrency with lower hashrate to utilize additional hashing power from the cryptocurrency with higher hashrate.
Extra Income with Existing Infrastructure and Pool
Miners already mining Bitcoin can use their equipment to mine and secure transactions on the RSK Network, thereby also bolstering the smart contract platform’s security. Simultaneously, they will also be eligible to earn fees from every transaction on the RSK sidechain.
In simple terms, RSK can be readily “plugged in” to enable merged mining. Of the total mining rewards paid out, RSK smart contracts apportion 80% for the Bitcoin miners, while the remaining 20% goes to RSK Labs.
Why RSK Merged-Mining Platform?
RSK is the most profitable platform for miners looking to get into merged mining, as can be inferred from the chart given below.
According to the chart that compiles statistical data until April 2020, monthly reward in RSK’s native digital coin RBTC ( a coin pegged to the price of Bitcoin), eclipses those of Elastos and other merged mining platforms.
Additionally, RSK involves the lowest block time among all the projects mentioned in the chart which further solidifies RSK as the go-to platform for those curious to get into merged mining. More can be learnt about the comparative analysis among the aforementioned projects here.
Moreover, RSK being the first smart contract platform built on Bitcoin means that it is also the first to successfully circumvent some of the most visible pain points associated with the Bitcoin protocol including scalability, functionality and interoperability.
These achievements marked by RSK position it as the default choice for clients from across different industries that are exploring blockchain in supply chain, education and government administration that wish to leverage RSK smart contracts and include them into their routine operations for unparalleled efficiency and security.
How to Get Involved with RSK Merged-Mining?
As alluded to earlier, implementing the merged mining infrastructure is a fairly straightforward process. If you are an individual miner, you can reach out to your mining pool and ask them to begin merged mining with RSK and the mining pool will take care of the rest.
Conversely, if you run a mining pool all by yourself, then follow the steps given below to tweak your mining pool software to participate in merged mining.
Steps to Follow
1) Download the Node – First things first, you must download and install the official RSK node from here. RSK nodes are supported by all major platforms including Linux, Windows, and Mac. Users can go through the step-by-step guide on how to install the RSK node on their system which should not take more than 10-15 minutes at most.
2) Specification of Configuration File – Once the node has been downloaded and successfully installed, the next step is to specify the configuration file to run the node. You can learn the complete process of how to specify the configuration file here.
3) Setup of the Node – After correctly specifying the configuration file, the next step involves the configuration of the node for mining purposes. Note that this is a critical step in the merged mining process as by default RSK nodes are not configured for mining. Hence, it is mandatory to configure the nodes correctly to enable them to publish contracts. The exact procedure as to how configure the nodes for meaning can be studied here.
4) Tweaking the Mining Pool Software to Enable Merged-Mining – RSK provides a wide range of merged-mining pools that enable miners to participate in the merged mining ecosystem. Smart contract and mining experts at RSK have developed several plugins that ensure that normal Bitcoin mining operations are not adversely impacted by merged mining at all costs. These plugins support some of the most popular and most widely used mining software such as BTCPool, Eloipool, stratum-mining, and CKPool.
Alternatively, miners can choose to simply follow RSK’s exhaustive and carefully developed merged-mining implementation guide to extend the mining pools capabilities to support merged mining.
That’s it. Miners can now start merged mining after adapting their mining software to support merged-mining.
The concept of merged mining is something that can be considered the need of the hour at a time when Bitcoin mining continues to get more expensive and out of reach for small-scale miners with each passing day.
RSK provides miners the most profitable option for merged-mining on Bitcoin. At the same time, it does not compromise on the ethos of blockchain technology and compliments and strengthens the Bitcoin protocol through its robust and cutting-edge smart contracts. All this, at no additional cost or effort courtesy of RSK’s expertise in blockchain interoperability.