I understand that there are limitations to what type of code can run on the Bitcoin network and how much data can be stored in each transaction.

With a 2 way pegging like Rootstock many of the smart contracts allowed on Ethereum can be implemented at scale.

What features are unique to Ethereum and can never be implemented in Rootstock or a similar system?

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    Rootstock said that they will have a EVM. Obviously non functional features, like, I have a bitcoin node: why should I install your sidechain? how secure is the network then, if only a few install the sidechain? Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 6:50

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I don't think it's a mater of features that one can do and another can't. It's more a matter of design. Ethereum comes natively with the EVM and any node is able to run smart contract. Addresses can either be accounts or contracts in a transparent way. It's all coherent. Rootstock is a patch on the bitcoin chain. As @RolandKofler said in his comment, you have no guarantee that a Bitcoin node is also a rootstock node. Otherwise i think that what is possible to code in rootstock is also possible with ethereum. Also languages can evolve and increase their features sets. But IMO, the one thing that ethereum is better at is the close integration between EVM and the blockchain.

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