The RChain Cooperative and its partners are building a public,
Sybil-resistant, and censorship-resistant computing utility. This
is an open source project. It will be a blockchain-based platform
for specifying, verifying, building, and running decentralized
protocols (“smart contracts”) that form the base for decentralized
applications. On top of this technology platform, a broad array of
solutions can be built, including financial services, monetized
content delivery networks, marketplaces, governance solutions,
DAOs, and RChain’s own flagship decentralized social platform.
The decentralization movement is ambitious and will spawn
solutions that provide awesome opportunities for new social and
economic interactions. Decentralization also provides a
counter-balance to abuses and corruption that occasionally occur in
some organizations where power is concentrated, including large
corporations and governments. Decentralization supports
self-determination and the rights of individuals to self-organize.
Of course, the realities of a more decentralized world will also
have its challenges and issues, such as how the needs of
international law, public good, and compassion will be honored.
We admire and respect the awesome innovation and intentions of
the Bitcoin and Ethereum creators, and other plat- forms that
dramatically advanced the state of decentralized systems and
ushered in this new age of cryptocurrency and smart contracts.
However, we also see symptoms that those projects didn’t use the
best engineering and mathematical models for scaling and
correctness in order to support mission-critical solutions. The
ongoing debates about Bitcoin scaling and the June 2016 issues with
The DAO smart contract are symptomatic of foundational
architectural issues. As an example question: Is it scalable to
insist on an explicit serialization order for all transactions
conducted on planet earth?
RChain’s requirements, originating from RChain’s decentralized
social product and its attention & reputation econ- omy, are to
provide content delivery at the scale of Facebook along with
support for transaction volume and speed at the scale of Visa.
After due diligence on the current state of many blockchain
projects, after deep collaboration with Ethereum developers, and
after understanding their respective roadmaps, the RChain
leadership concluded that the current and near-term Blockchain
architectures cannot meet these requirements. Therefore, RChain and
partners resolved to build a better blockchain architecture.
Together with the blockchain industry, we are still at the dawn of
this decentralized movement, and it is now the time to lay in a
more correct architectural foundation.
The journey ahead for those who share this ambitious vision is
as challenging as it is worthwhile, and this document summarizes
that vision and how we seek to accomplish it. We compare the
blockchains of Bitcoin and Ethereum, outline the RChain
architecture, rationale for its creation, and pointers to initial
Attention. There is a risk that unverified members are not actually members of the team
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