Satoshi consensus, based on proof-of-work (PoW), is the only consensus system that prevents the rewrite of blockchain history at a low cost. The academic community is advancing the knowledge and study of proof-of-stake (PoS) as an alternative, but currently PoW provides the highest proven security. Merge mining is a technique that allows Bitcoin miners to mine other cryptocurrencies simultaneously with nearly zero marginal cost. The same mining infrastructure and setup they use to mine Bitcoins is reused to mine RSK simultaneously. This means that as RSK rewards the miners with additional transaction fees, the incentive for merged mining becomes high.
We have identified three phases for RSK merge-mining growth:
RSK has left behind its bootstrapping phase, when rogue merge-miners could theoretically revert RSK blockchain at a low cost. As of January 2019, more than 40% of Bitcoin miners are engaged in RSK merge-mining. But as RSK fees remain low compared to Bitcoin block reward, the cost to attack RSK through double-spending is lower than Bitcoin’s. RSK has some properties to reduce the risk of double-spend attacks, such as long miner rewards maturity. Still RSK Lab research team has developed several protections to prevent attacks during the stable and mature phases of the project:
Once the platform enters the maturity phase, we estimate the security of RSK will be enough to support the economy of worldwide financial inclusion.