What is RChain?
RChain is a novel system of blockchains that heavily emphasizes the use of smart contracts. RChain hopes to provide advanced security and a programming interface that makes user-defined applications unambiguous. It is programmed in the Rholang computing language, which helps its ability to be “censorship resistant.” RChain aims to achieve robust scaling, security, and fast transaction times using parallel blockchains created for specific tasks by the Rho Virtual Machine (RhoVM).
Some of the potential applications of the RChain platform and RhoVM include financial services, monetized content delivery networks, marketplaces, governance solutions, DAOs, and RChain’s own flagship decentralized social platform.
History of RChain
RChain arose as an idea in mid 2016 out of the desire to make improvements on traditional blockchain architectures. Founded by former Microsoft developer Greg Meredeth, president of the Seattle-based RChain Cooperative, RChain is a for-profit operation which raised funds through an ICO process in September 2017. The rest of the cooperative, which is responsible for making changes and improvements upon the platform, is a diverse team of computer science and industry professionals. The team started out with a mission to provide blockchain-based solutions “at the scale of Facebook and support transactions at the speed of Visa,” concluding that current platforms of the time, like bitcoin and Ethereum, were not suitable for accomplishing such tasks.
With much of the system still under development, ICO participants were rewarded with ERC20-compliant tokens under the symbol RHOC, which are to be later reimbursed at a 1 to 1 ratio for RChain platform-native REV tokens upon initial launch of the project.
How RChain Works
The RChain platform is constructed using the programming language Rholang. The RhoVM software is Turing-complete, byzantine fault-tolerant, and “easily replicated.” It makes skillful use of smart contract features, having the ability to execute them in a series of parallel networks known as a multi-chain. This allows for specific sets of information to be transmitted more quickly than that of traditional blockchain architectures, where all data is channeled through a single chain.
RChain is developer friendly, with built-in features to help to ensure the creation of safe, stabile decentralized applications (dApps). It adds a layer of security by employing the use of namespaces, an advanced filing and classification system that defines parameters such as visibility, access, composition, and contract features. Namespaces are used to designate properties to smart contracts, including the terms under which they are executed, and which parts of the network they are to effect. In this way, RChain is not a rival of bitcoin or Ethereum because its potential applications are extremely broad and undefined.
- Extremely fast transaction settlements, low fees, highly scalable
- Open-source API allows for a wide array of user-made dApps
- Namespaces help define “type-safe environmental policies” including type of encryption, supported interfaces, economic protocols, and identity
- Sophisticated smart contracts enable meta-programming, reactive data streams and pattern matching