Differences between Blockchain accounts on RSK and Ethereum
Blockchain accounts on RSK and Ethereum are highly compatible, the same wallet software usually works on both of them but then like the saying “the devil is in the details” and here is what you need to know.
There are two main differences between RSK blockchain account and Ethereum blockchain account which affect practical day-to-day usage; one have to do with how checksum are calculated and the other is the derivation path used in generating accounts.
Different blockchain accounts that are EVM compatible all speak a similar language at the peer-to-peer level so how do they tell each other apart?
Each of them self assign to Chain-ID to uniquely identify themselves which is useful for distinguishing not only blockchain from each other but also different network running the same blockchain example Mainnet and Testnet.
In RSK this is significant because the network uses the Chain-ID to calculate the Checksum of an RSK address whereas Ethereum does not use the Chain-ID to calculate the checksum of an Ethereum address.
You can check out EIP-55 and EIP-1191 which are the technical standard governing this checksums for more information.
RSK and Ethereum both use capitalization to encode checksum and addresses example; an address that starts with “ fab123”
Any app that verifies checksum of addresses will show warning or error if it encounters letters that are capitalized different than what it expects.
Recall private key, public key and addresses if you thought that was confusing and hard to use you are certainly not alone but thankfully the blockchain wallet have devised a clever method to do all of that without the user ever needing to think about very large random numbers or even hexadecimal strings for addresses.
BIP-44 is a technical standard that is widely adopted by most blockchain wallets, where as a blockchain user you only need to deal with a “seed phrase” which consist of 12 (or more) dictionary words.
This phrase is used as an input to derive private keys and thus public keys and addresses as well, it also has the added benefit that when a user lose his access to a wallet they can regenerate a new one if they remember the phrase.
Both RSK and Ethereum wallet typically implement BIP-44 so you can use the same seed phrases for both networks however seed phrases are not the only input and this is where their is a difference.
The other input is something called a derivation path; each network uses a different derivation path. Private keys, public keys and addresses generated from the same seed phrase will be different for RSK and Ethereum.
- Chain-ID is used to uniquely identify a blockchain network by crypto, and the SLIP-44 specification collates these
- RSK uses EIP-1191 checksums, where both the address and chain ID are used as inputs
- Ethereum uses EIP-1155 checksums, where only the address is used as an input
- Metamask can be configured for RSK to use the correct Chain-ID
- RSK Mainnet derivation path: m/44/137'/0'/0
- Chain-ID for RSK Mainnet: 30