Rootstock Rebranded

The leading Bitcoin-based Smart Contracts platform is looking for a new image – and you can take part in the process

If we want Hyperbitcoinization to happen, Bitcoin has to cover all aspects of a financial system, and for that it needs to be able to run smart contracts. There are several approaches to do this, from Counterparty and Blockstream’s Liquid to RGB and Stacks. One of the most promising solutions is called Rootstock (short: RSK), we have explained it in this article.

Rootstock was presented to the public for the first time in December 2015 at the Latin American Bitcoin Conference in Mexico City. After two years of developing and testing, it was officially launched in January 2018 and has been constantly developed ever since. Several companies have created DeFi platforms, stablecoins or wallets based on Rootstock, we have already portrayed Money-on-Chain and Sovryn.

Although its ecosystem has grown significantly over the last years, Rootstock is still relatively unknown in the Bitcoin community. Some people have heard the name, some think it is just an idea that has not been executed yet, not many are using it.

The Rootstock Ecosystem

Surprisingly few people know that everything that can be done on Ethereum – be it smart contracts, DeFi or NFTs – can be done on Bitcoin as well via the workaround of a sidechain. In my view, among all “Ethereum Killers” on the market, Rootstock has the highest potential. But it is still far from having realised it.

One factor for its low adoption rate might be the weak branding. Originally launched as Rootstock, it was renamed RSK shortly thereafter to avoid legal trouble with a software company of the same name. These three letters obviously do not convey any meaning or emotion and can easily be confused with other names. More three letter names like RIF (RSK Infrastructure Framework) and IOV (Internet of Value) were introduced, which probably confused people even more.

That’s why the international branding agency Koto was hired to create a strong brand and public image for Rootstock. The Bitcoin community can now decide in an open voting process which of these three paths should be followed by Rootstock – on top of getting back its original name.

Route A – The Network that Nurtures

This version focuses on positive network effects and the community that can grow around Rootstock.

Route B – Advanced Technology for Everyday Utility

This version puts the emphasis on practical use cases for everyday life.

Route C – Building on Bitcoin

This version stresses the strong connection between Rootstock and Bitcoin. It seems a bit more technical than the other two.

A community vote is taking place on the Rootstock Discord server to decide about the new logo, design, and brand direction. The voting closes on July 27th 1pm Eastern Standard Time. Its final results will be published shortly afterwards.

How to Vote

Step 1:
Submit your username and Rootstock address through Woobox to determine your role and voting weight.

Step 2:
Join the Rootstock discord server and its #vote and #vote-details channels. The #vote-details channel will have detailed information on each brand being voted on.

Step 3:
Vote – if you have submitted an active RBTC address, make sure you wait until you have been assigned a Rootstock user role on Discord. 

I would personally not know how to vote. All three routes have their pros and cons, but do not solve the most important issue. “Rootstock” undoubtedly sounds better than “RSK”, but it still remains vague. It does not give you any idea of what this technology is about. It could just be the name of another start-up company – which it isn’t: the company behind it is called IOV Labs. Furthermore, it could be mixed up with the recent Bitcoin upgrade Taproot.

My suggestion would be to use the name of the network’s native token, Smart Bitcoin, for the whole project. Everyone knows Bitcoin and many people have heard of smart contracts, so it is easy to understand that Smart Bitcoin brings smart contracts to the Bitcoin network, which is a big and important endeavour. This name has already been introduced for the token and it works, why not use it for everything?

Just my five Satoshis – if you like the work of Koto, please cast your vote!