IOVLabs, the parent of RSK, is opening a Blockchain Innovation and Development Studio in San Francisco. RSK, the first major Bitcoin sidechain bringing Ethereum-style smart contracts to Bitcoin, launched the studio to support experimentation with and development of next-generation blockchain solutions.
The studio, led by CAP Ventures Partner Ariel Muslera, and tasked with creating new developer tools for decentralized infrastructures, plans to collaborate with startups and companies to identify real-world problems. Being in Silicon Valley will allow the company to forge relationships with the developer community there – including non-blockchain developers.
RSK historically has worked to solve problems at the low-level of the Bitcoin protocol (RSK Smart Contracts and RIF OS Infrastructure Services, for instance) to turn the Bitcoin ecosystem into a new global financial system. The studio is designed to solve problems for the Application layer, which Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar, the RIF Labs and RSK CEO, calls the “final layer”.
In San Francisco, RSK plans to connect with the developer community. “Of course, San Francisco and Silicon Valley is one of the top communities, if not the top community, for developers and startups in the world, and we think the future of blockchain and mass adoption is related to making these technologies easy to use for developers,” said Gutiérrez-Zaldívar. And not necessarily just blockchain developers.
“So far we have been pushing developers into a steep learning curve of getting into the inner workings of blockchain and decentralized technology,” said Gutiérrez-Zaldívar, one of the first people to foster and develop Bitcoin and blockchain technology in Latin America. “The developer studio that we started here has the purpose of building good libraries and documentation so traditional developers, non-blockchain, can use decentralized infrastructure in an easy way.”
“It’s a way to help developers get into decentralized infrastructure easily,” he said, speaking to me from the Bitcoin 2019 Conference in San Francisco. “We launched an ecosystem fund and invested into the projects that we think are more helpful to bootstrap the ecosystem. So, it’s a combination of things: How do we make the time to market faster for developers? How do we incentivize or follow up with investment that can bring users into these platforms into the RIF and RSK platforms?” For RSK, this has meant working with corporations and governments, because those organizations have a big base of users.
“But, on the other side of things, look at how small the blockchain developer community is versus the broader developer community,” said Gutiérrez-Zaldívar. “And developers are the ones bridging the gap between technology and mass adoption – they are building useful applications to regular people.”
This relationship with developer community in Silicon Valley is trial for RSK and RIF adoption, and the main reason the company is opening a developer studio in San Francisco.
“This is the heart of the entrepreneurship worldwide. We wanted to be present here to have this dialogue with the entrepreneurs, and startups. This is trial. We are also opening perhaps in Asia, Singapore, and Shanghai. But, from a technology perspective, from a developer perspective, San Francisco will be very important to our relationship with developers and technology companies.”