Everything you need to know about RChain
Blockchain technology has captured the interests of many organizations, from startups to large enterprises and Fortune 500 companies. Every emerging blockchain platform is betting its bucks on three primary concerns- scalability, speed and reduced transaction costs. RChain is in the same league. RChain is growing at full pace with REV cryptocurrency to become the world’s most powerful blockchain platform.
In this article, we have focused on all the important aspects of RChain, including the following major points:
- What is RChain?
- Who is behind RChain?
- What problem does RChain solve?
- RChain Storage and Query
- A comparison of Ethereum and RChain’s characteristics
- On what technologies does RChain work?
- What are the powerful tools/ SDKs/ frameworks used by RChain?
- What opportunities does RChain provide?
- What RChain development services does LeewayHertz provide?
What is RChain?
Established in 2017 and based in Seattle, Washington, RChain is a cooperative that has introduced one of the robust Smart Contract platforms, known as RChain. It is fundamentally a new Blockchain platform rooted in a formal model of decentralized and concurrent computation. RChain uses that model through correct-by-construction software development and produces a compositional, concurrent and hugely scalable Blockchain.
The vision of the company is to change the world through the evolution of Blockchain technology. RChain believes that even being just a tiny portion of that change can have a profound impact.
In our world, a massive amount of waste is happening today; waste of energy, mindshare and government control. RChain’s outlook is to help eliminate as much waste as possible. Building a Blockchain technology with broader applicability, evenly applicable to people worldwide and less resource-intensive, can help reduce wastage.
An extensive community is required to grow and create something with a level of trust and usefulness that everyone everywhere can utilize.
Who is behind RChain?
The RChain Cooperative is a global entity that is owned and governed by its members. The entire RChain ecosystem gets its strength from its co-op members who rigorously work to bring innovation through constant governance models and empowering individual agency within a collective.
RChain is the brainchild of Lucius Gregory (Greg) Meredith, a developer and mathematician who created Rho-calculus. He has worked as
- Principal Architect of Microsoft’s BizTalk Process Orchestration and Hireware offering,
- Chief Architect of ATM Network management solution for ATT/NCR,
- Served as CTO of Synereo Ltd. and
- Now is the President of RChain Cooperative.
Any discussion about Greg would not complete without mentioning his unwavering passion and devotion to the environment.
Evan is a Board member and General Attorney of The RChain Cooperative. He has a particular interest in progressing crypto law. Evan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Washington, Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Seattle University and LLM in Innovation and technology, Fintech from Seattle University. He has been with RChain since the formation of the Cooperative.
Rao is a Board member and VP of Product and Platform Governance at RChain. He is the leader of techno-economic governance platforms and ecosystem development. He has earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, MBA from IIM and MS in Computer Science from NJIT.
With 30 years of industry experience, Steve is a leading strategist, innovator and entrepreneur. He is a board member at RChain Cooperative and CTO of BeachTran Clearwater. At RChain, he contributes his efforts to the development of the next-generation blockchain platform. Steve earned his BBA degree from the University of Florida.
The heart of RChain is its community. Community unites the world for building innovative technologies and social tools. Intending to lift the world and bring real, positive change, RChain builds a global community to flourish with each other. RChain invites active evangelists to join its community and become a member. The engagement with the RChain community can be accomplished through various platforms:
The current CoinMarketCap ranking of RChain is #258. REV is RChain’s cryptocurrency. It tokenizes the network’s security on RChain’s root shard, enabling staking and preventing DOS attacks. The advent of the mainnet enabled RHOC token holders to receive an equal number of REV tokens and add them to their REV wallets. RHOC was an ERC-20 token based on the Ethereum platform.
What problem does RChain solve?
Each node in the network ecosystem has to process every transaction, share the nodes and produce transactions in parallel. With the constantly increasing number of transactions, the network gets overburdened and slows down the transaction processing.
The factors that lead to scalability problem are:
During transaction processing, every node adds information about the transaction to the ledger. It increases the recorded data and leads to the risk of buckling the overall system. Early blockchain like Bitcoin has the scalability problem and involves several limitations on the hardware side. It becomes challenging to run a node for two big Blockchains.
- Block size
Block size is another significant factor for blockchain scalability. Initially, every block’s capacity in the Bitcoin blockchain was 1 MB containing around 2020 transactions. Later, the number of transactions was increased, leading to another scalability problem: the time-consuming process of transaction execution.
- Response time
Every transaction needs to go through a validation process. The massive number of transactions in the queue leads to a long waiting time for validation. BTC network takes about 10 minutes to create a new block. With the increasing number of transactions, the processing time also gets increased.
The process of transaction validation is carried out by adding it to a block in the chain. The new block is created and data related to that transaction is inserted. When users transfer cryptocurrency to one another, the payment information is sent to the node, a new block is created and data is added to it.
Ethereum proposed a solution for the scalability issue. Ethereum’s solution stored the state of the virtual computer instead of keeping the ledger. The specific rules for state transition from block to block are defined by EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine). For a given input, it produces deterministic output. The state transition function is defined as:
where S is the old valid state, T is a new set of valid transactions, Y is the Ethereum state transition function and S’ is the new valid output state.
RChain’s take on Ethereum’s solution
RChain states that Ethereum’s solution is based on the Turing machine’s model where an event starts, it runs to completion and it’s done. Ethereum’s answer to this issue as it is currently conceived cannot scale. It is because the virtual computer they pick is sequential. It would require serializing all the transactions over the world. Also, the Proof-of-Work ethereum uses are expensive due to the thermodynamics involved.
RChain proposes a sharding solution. It divides the network into pieces such that the whole network doesn’t need to validate everything happening everywhere else. With increasing nodes, a blockchain requires every node to verify each transaction in the network, slowing it down. RChain enables nodes not to keep the entire history localized and thus reduces the burden on the nodes and speeds up the transaction processing.
RChain replaces Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work with Proof-of-Stake.
- Stake-based systems eliminate computing resource waste.
- It distributes the imbalanced blockchain economic model.
- It’s an emerging distributed system with transparent, participatory incentives.
- It is a sustainable model for unlimited growth and scale.
RChain implements a new, improved consensus algorithm. One of the essential things about RChain’s consensus protocol is that it has finalization. It means the nodes do not need to remember everything before a defined state. Validators are enabled to compact their state.
So, at a certain point, it can prove that all the different arcs of the DAG have to come through a particular state and thus, nodes can forget everything before that state. However, at the time of audits, people can go to the genesis block and perform data warehousing to get the entire history of the ledger. It also makes the network more robust. It means that it allows adding more nodes with lower cost and verify as many nodes as possible. It implies more nodes bring more security to the network.
RChain implements Block merging with improved concurrent virtual computers to bring horizontal scalability. It gives a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) instead of a chain. When two blocks come in and build on some base state, it is essential to check if both are safe to make a transition without re-running all the computations. Rholang provides the functionality to detect if there’s any conflict with low complexity. It is done at a blazingly fast pace and thus enables to figure out a situation where two blocks are built side by side on top of the base state. Hence, instead of running transactions end to end, they are now running simultaneously, leading to exponentially increased throughput.
RChain Storage and Query
Each node perceives the Storage and Query network layer as a local, asynchronously accessed database with rented storage. However, the Storage and Query layer is completely decentralized and subject to the consensus process behind the scenes. Tokens are used by dApp users on RChain to pay for resources (compute, memory, storage, and network) in line with the micro-transaction capabilities inherent in blockchain solutions. While the RChain architecture considers all storage to be “conserved,” not all data will be preserved in perpetuity. Rather than that, data storage will be rented and will cost producers in proportion to the quantity, complexity, and length of the contract. Additionally, consumers may be charged for retrieval access. Producers and consumers of data indirectly compensate node operators.
The simplest economic justification for leasing is that storage must be paid for; otherwise, it cannot be reliably or “forever” kept. We’ve adopted a straightforward economic method. It is an environmentally unfavorable concept to make storage “free” in order to subsidize it through another method. A fraction of the true cost is quantifiable in the heat signatures of the data centers that are exploding in size. This charge for data access also contributes to the reduction of “attack” storage, i.e., the storing of unlawful information with the intent of discrediting the technology.
A number of data types are supported, including unencrypted public json, encrypted BLOBs, and a combination of the two. Additionally, this data can be simple links or content hashes referencing material kept off-platform in private, public, or consortium locations and formats.
A comparison of Ethereum’s and RChain’s characteristics
Future: Proof-of-Stake (Stake-based betting on
|Proof-of-Stake (Stake-based betting on logical propositions)|
|Visibility||Public, private or consortium depending on deployed nodes||Public, private or consortium depending on the namespace and/ or deployed nodes|
|Finality||The probability of transaction reversal diminishes over time with each new block confirmation.||Same|
|Revision mechanism||Current: Soft and hard forks.
Future: Block revision in case of temporary network isolation
|Block revision in case of temporary network isolation|
|Address||An identifier that represents a possible destination for an Ethereum transaction, derived from a random private key to represent an account.||An encrypted, encapsulated and unique channel to communicate with a process (including Smart Contract), similar to URL.|
|Sharding||Basis for sharding||Address range||Dynamic composable sharding based on namespace interaction|
|Heterogeneity||Current: Homogeneous, i.e., not sharded
|Namespaces allow clients to subscribe to selected address without downloading the entire blockchain.|
|Concurrency||Asynchronous||Asynchronous and parallel execution of contracts|
|Number of levels||Two levels: Cluster and Leaves||Levels of arbitrary depth and size|
|Contracts||Programming language||Solidity, Serpent, LLL and other languages that are implemented on EVM||Rholang and the languages that are implemented on RhoVM|
|Computational power||Turing complete||Turing complete|
|Runtime architecture||EVM implemented on multiple platforms||RhoVM implemented on multiple platforms|
|Transaction throughput||15 transactions per second||40,000 to 100,000 transactions per second|
|Concurrent VM||EVM is single-threaded. No concurrency.||RHoVM is multi-threaded. It makes concurrent shards easier to implement since there are no assumptions on synchrony.|
On what technology does RChain work?
RSpace is a Scala library that is designed to provide disk-backed tuple space to the Rholang interpreter. Greg devised a version of Microsoft BizTalk Process Orchestration, updated the idea to use delimited continuation in SpecialK and finally proposed the RSpace design as a further refinement. It is an open-source store that fits into decentralized public infrastructure and its features and functionalities are acquired from a specific concurrency semantics embodied in Rholang.
Rholang is a new concurrent programming language that is behaviorally typed, focusing on message-passing and higher-order extension of π-calculus. It requires the model of computation of the virtual machine whose state is stored on the blockchain must be concurrent rather than sequential. RChain states that the code which doesn’t take advantage of concurrency cannot scale. Likewise, a code that isn’t concurrent will fail to be responsive.
Concurrent programming is multiple times harder than sequential programming. Significant support from static program analysis is required to save the code from becoming overwhelming with the increasing number of programmers writing concurrent codes.
Namespaces and Sharding
The standard addressing scheme on the internet, URIs and URLs, is essential for keeping the entire web organized and identifying a powerful feature that rho-calculus refines: namespaces. URIs help to manage the web into trees of resources.
The namespace feature is highly critical in the market because most transactions are isolated. A programmatic way is required that can help to segment, organize and re-organize transactions and group them in terms of their shared resources. It is called sharding in blockchain space. The namespace capability of rho-calculus provides a powerful approach to sharding.
The rho-calculus supports Turing’s complete operational semantics of Rholang core features. Every Rholang’s feature is defined in terms of mapping back to core calculus. It means that language is correct by construction. A clean operational semantics is necessary to identify when a program is substitutable. It is crucial to determine when it is safe to put a program in place of another in the broader execution context.
OSLF algorithm, developed by Meredith, is such an algorithm that generates type systems. Given:
- a notion of computation, like the one in the specification of JVM or semantics of Standard ML or Rho-calculus
- a vision of a set-like collection
- a distributive law that can show how to term with a hole in it
OSLF generates a type system. RChain claims that this type-system is much richer than those found in Java, Scala or Haskell. It can visualize program structure and behavior that older systems don’t have.
Casper is a new consensus algorithm designed by RChain. It includes stake-based bonding and betting cycles that result in Consensus. This consensus protocol aims to ensure the consistency of blockchains based on namespaces across various nodes. RChain’s Consensus is based on proof-of-stake protocol. The validators are bonded with a stake that is a security deposit placed in an escrow-like contract. RChain’s betting is based on logical propositions, a set of statements about blockchain, for example, “transaction T should occur before transaction S.”
Scala is a strong statistically typed general-purpose programming language for both functional and object-oriented programming. It is used for various software application development, ranging from machine learning to web app development. Developers using Scala have the advantage of making good use of standard JVM features and Java libraries.
What are the powerful tools/ SDKs/ frameworks used by RChain?
RChain implements the following tools/ SDKs/ frameworks:
- Java SDK: The development kit implements either one of the Java platforms, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition or Micro Edition, launched by Oracle in binary products aiming at Java developers on Linux, Solaris, Windows or macOS.
- Android SDK: It is used to create Android applications usually written in Kotlin, Java and C++ programming languages. It contains a comprehensive set of tools, including a debugger, handset emulator, libraries, documentation, sample code and tutorials.
- dotNet SDK: It is a set of libraries and tools that allow developers to create dotNet applications. The main components to build and run applications are .NET libraries and runtime, .NET CLI and .NET driver.
- REST API – Mainnet – Master Node: The REST API conforms to the constraints of REST architectural structure and enables communication with RESTful web services. Sometimes, it is also referred to as a contract between information provider and user.
- IDE Support – Cryptofex: Cryptofex is an integrated development environment that supports writing Blockchain Smart Contracts.
- IntelliJ Plugin: It is a Java-based IDE for developing computer software. IntelliJ helps to analyze code, looks for a connection between symbols across all project files and languages.
- Emacs Plugin: Emacs is a family of text editors who are characterized by their extensibility. The popular GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable, self-documenting and real-time display editor.
What opportunities does RChain provide?
RChain is set to accept all kinds of engagements, whether it is work on business development, community development or software development for financial guidance, acquiring tokens or business partnership; RChain values all.
The most significant factor driving network adoption is the total volume of transactions on the network. The most crucial factor that drives this volume of network transactions is dApps or decentralized applications. dApps run on the blockchain or P2P networks, having decentralized environments free from central control and interference by any single authority.
RChain offers a grounded, unique combination of technological innovation and economic opportunities. While the current emphasis is on microservices, blockchain revelations about distributed Consensus and internet-scale applications, a shift towards Protocol Oriented Programming (POP) is a high likelihood.
Tremendous interest is seen for RChain’s CBC-Casper, proof-of-stake and running RChain validator nodes. The RChain Cooperative has initially run most nodes in the root shard but eventually will shift to a more decentralized distribution of nodes. However, the hardware for the backbone of the root shard is very high-end to get the contemplated transaction throughput.
Every dApp on the network will require a REV token when RChain achieves critical mass network effects and will constitute a vibrant ecosystem of services, including decentralized maps and location services, decentralized Uber and AirBnB and decentralized payments.
What RChain development services does LeewayHertz provide?
Smart Contract Development
We offer Smart Contract development services for the private and public RChain blockchain network to support various dApps. We provide architecture, auditing, and delivering optimized Smart Contracts to our clients along with design and development.
Our blockchain developers are experts at building enterprise-grade decentralized applications (dApps) based on the RChain platform for clients and help them accelerate time to market and maximize ROI.
Our blockchain developers are well-versed with all the technical skills required to develop blockchain wallet applications. RChain wallets allow to hold a wide array of currencies and digital assets and offer the ability to check balance and track the history.
Our expert blockchain developers create fully optimized and efficient nodes for public or private blockchain networks and ensure they’re compliant with the implemented consensus mechanism. RChain implements a Proof-of-Stake mechanism for its network.
Support and maintenance of the RChain dApps
We offer highly efficient support and maintenance services to our clients using RChain-based dApps. We provide lifetime support to both the clients who have their existing decentralized application and those who get their dApps developed from us.
RChain is not merely a network of computers and innovative software; it is a network of people willing to work and find solutions with their best effort possible. RChain allows its members to govern the protocol and get rebates on REV tokens to run Smart Contract. Participants can run validator nodes to ensure the security of the network and earn transaction fees as well. Undoubtedly, RChain Cooperative is going to lead the financial world in the future.
We are one of the leading Blockchain development companies. With extensive experience in building robust blockchain applications, we aim to deliver the best quality services to our clients. If you’re searching for an experienced blockchain development company to build a blockchain dApp or integrate your existing app with the RChain platform, we are the right development partner for you. Our Blockchain experts will help you convert your dream project into reality.
Akash's ability to build enterprise-grade technology solutions has attracted over 30 Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens, 3M, P&G and Hershey’s.
Akash is an early adopter of new technology, a passionate technology enthusiast, and an investor in AI and IoT startups.
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