Merged mining is the process that allows RSK blockchain to be mined simultaneously with Bitcoin blockchain. This can be done because both chains use the same proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, double SHA-256.
How it works
Bitcoin mining pools include a reference to RSK's block in every mining job they deliver to miners. Every time miners find a solution, it is compared to both networks' difficulties (Bitcoin and RSK), delivering three possible outcomes:
- Solution satisfies Bitcoin network difficulty. Hence, a block is assembled and sent to the network. RSK's merged mining reference will be included and ignored by Bitcoin network. Since RSK's network difficulty is lower than Bitcoin, this solution will also work for RSK and can be submitted to the network.
- Solution does not satisfy Bitcoin network difficulty, but does satisfy RSK network difficulty. As a consequence, solution will be submitted to the RSK network, but not to the Bitcoin network.
- Solution only satisfies pool difficulty, which is many times lower than Bitcoin or RSK network difficulty, and it is not submitted to any network.
Solution submitted to the network allows the node to build an SPV proof. If the proof is valid, it is included as part of the block that will be sent to the network.
What are the benefits?
Miners earn a high percentage of transaction fees from the RSK block they mine. This mining process is done with the same hashing power used in Bitcoin mining, and has no additional cost or impact.
What is the current RSK network's hashing power?
You can see RSK network hashing power in the RSK Stats Website.
Implementation details for mining software pools
Check out the implementation guide.