While the Bitcoin network was originally designed to transfer value between parties in a decentralized format, projects like RSK (Rootstock) and others are now pushing the boundaries of innovation on the legacy network by introducing smart contracts and other novel features.
Without expanded functionality, the Bitcoin network has missed out on many budding opportunities to take a larger slice of the total cryptocurrency universe and emerging concepts, like non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Currently, most NFT projects are either launched on Ethereum or other similar blockchain networks that offer smart contract functionality. Because it doesn’t offer smart contracts features that are pivotal for minting and trading NFTs, the Bitcoin network has largely missed out on the NFT market’s momentum.
Thanks to platforms like RSK, Bitcoin users can access DeFi primitives and tap into the burgeoning NFT market without switching blockchain networks. Between 2020 and 2021, the value of NFTs skyrocketed as they gained mainstream recognition and popularity across a wide range of verticals, including music, art, real estate, and, more recently, avenues like play-to-earn (P2E) games and the metaverse.
After enabling OpFi (Open Finance) and DeFi (decentralized finance) on the Bitcoin blockchain, RSK, in its latest development, is now expanding into the world of NFTs. There’s strong demand for NFTs on Bitcoin, and RSK is well-equipped to provide the necessary infrastructure for creators and users.
Unlocking NFTs On The Bitcoin Network
Even though the vast majority of the NFT landscape currently runs on Ethereum, developers have been facing several challenges as Ethereum’s on-chain activity grows, primarily in slow transaction speeds and extremely high gas costs. These qualities are where RSK stands out by leveraging the Bitcoin blockchain.
By bringing smart contract functionality onto the Bitcoin network, the RSK team has effectively unlocked the doors to DeFi and NFTs for BTC holders. To date, the RSK ecosystem has locked in more than $134 million in TVL (Total Value Locked) across the DeFi projects built atop of it. Now, the RSK team is developing a range of marketplaces and solutions to enable users to mint and trade NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Compared to Ethereum’s throughput of 30 TPS (transactions per second), RSK delivers as much as 100 TPS without reducing storage space or compromising decentralization. At the same time, the average gas cost on RSK is 42x less than that on Ethereum. Additionally, the RSK network is secured by almost 60% of the Bitcoin network’s hashrate and uses the same hashing mechanism as Bitcoin, making it exceedingly secure.
RSK, similar to Ethereum, also offers native support for Solidity smart contracts and APIs, making it fully EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible. As a result, developers can seamlessly port their existing Solidity-based projects to the Bitcoin network without substantial changes in the underlying code. Furthermore, the RSK ecosystem is fully interoperable, allowing developers to easily move ERC-20 tokens from the Ethereum network to the Bitcoin-powered RSK network.
Leading blockchain and OpFi investment firm Coinsilium’s subsidiary Nifty Labs Limited has developed an RSK-powered NFT marketplace on the Bitcoin blockchain, thereby enabling creators to now mint NFTs directly on the Bitcoin network. It also enables users to trade NFTs in exchange for RSK-based tokens and stablecoins like rBTC, RIF, DOC, rDOC, and MOC, among others. As part of this newly-launched NFT marketplace, the RSK development team created an NFT token bridge to support RSK-standard NFTs to other standards like Ethereum’s ERC-721. This marketplace offers end-to-end interoperability between Bitcoin NFTs and all other existing Ethereum-based NFTs, with compatibility for more NFT standards to be added soon.
Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, IOV Labs CEO and Co-founder of RSK, notes, “Given the importance of the flourishing NFT market, we have developed a truly decentralized, scalable, and secure ecosystem powered by the Bitcoin network. With RSK’s diverse range of smart contracts and technology, we are bringing the unparalleled security of Bitcoin to the NFT space, enabling both RSK and Bitcoin to position themselves as major contenders in the ever-expanding NFT ecosystem. RSK’s strength lies in a combination of features which include top security, high decentralization, high scalability, and low cost.”
Furthering the Bitcoin network’s expansion into the NFT space, the RSK team has recently unveiled that the much-hyped Carnaval NFT platform will launch during this year’s Bitcoin Conference (April 6 – 9) in Miami. As reported by NFTgators, the Carnaval platform features collections of NFTs from Latin American artists minted exclusively on the Bitcoin blockchain. Moreover, it marks the first implementation of RSK’s RIF Marketplace Engine, the plug-and-play solution for building on the Bitcoin network. With the launch of Carnaval, NFT enthusiasts and creators will be able to directly mint NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain for the first time. This launch also opens the floodgates for more BTC-based NFT projects to enter the RSK ecosystem.
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Through its RSK Infrastructure Framework Open Standard (RIF OS), an ecosystem of SDK libraries designed for dApp development atop the Bitcoin network, the team made it easier, faster, and more convenient for developers to build diverse dApps and DeFi protocols. The platform’s suite of open and decentralized infrastructure protocols power broad interoperability and faster time-to-deployment, thus bridging the gap between blockchain technologies and their mass-market adoption.
Meanwhile, the demand for Bitcoin NFTs is on the rise. RSK’s infrastructure is fully equipped to support the growth of NFTs on Bitcoin. Not only does the platform offer lower gas costs and faster transaction speed, but it is also the only existing scaling solution that offers the unmatched security and decentralization of the Bitcoin network.