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Raiden Progress Report (RDN Token)

Our second report on the Raiden project, and a possibly imminent MicroRaiden launch

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Let’s discuss an update to our previous ICO analysis of the Raiden projects by brainbot technologies, and see what the verdict is on Raiden progress so far.

You may recall that last year, the Raiden Network was a saga of fire and fury… it was certainly a lightning rod for controversy within the Ethereum community. (Raiden, by the way, is the Japanese god of lightning, thunder, and storms, from the Shinto religion. In case you were wondering.)

The Raiden Network ICO received some surprisingly vehement backlash from the Ethereum core due to the introduction of an unexpected token. The Ethereum community essentially expected that the additional value gained from the Raiden Network would be integrated directly into Ether (ETH). The RDN ICO was accused of being a money-grab – and the brainbot team defended themselves with a heartfelt “We all have to eat!” response, noting that Ethereum itself had a successful ICO.

There is a strong case supporting the requirement and utility of the token.  But apparently the rules of when it’s acceptable to profit in Cryptoland are somewhat obscure.

brainbot is first releasing a ‘lite’ version, µRaiden, (pronounced: micro-raiden) for a specific and valuable use case. They discussed with Dapp developers to understand their priorities and found that many could benefit initially from a unidirectional many-to-one solution rather than the full network.  This would enable a business to receive payments from many customers.

Obviously, that model is quite necessary and already prevalent in centralized businesses. Though the full Raiden Network will be immensely more powerful with multi-directional networks, the capabilities of µRaiden and the payment traffic it will generate are huge.

It is indeed true that the token is not required for µRaiden; however the default token in the off-the-shelf code is RDN. Considering developer resources are scarce and the world of cryptocurrency is a sprint, little is gained by developing over the code to circumvent the use of the RDN token.  As the Raiden Network grows, network effects will further incentivize the utilization of the RDN token.  Not being restricted to the RDN token is a selling point to the decentralization community by making the token usage requirement “trust-less”.

“Microraiden can be used OFF-THE-SHELF with RDN tokens or CAN BE CONFIGURED to work with any ERC20 or ERC223 compatible tokens in independent deployments.”

Though the Raiden Network is often referred to as “Ethereum’s Lightning Network,” this comparison sells it short. The network will be available for not only Ethereum coins but all tokens on the platform.  Supporting the entire platform of Ethereum Dapps is much larger than the Lightning Network.  Ethereum-based tokens had a market cap of ~$4B in July 2017 and now have a market cap of ~$70B in January 2018.  This trend is expected to continue.

Transacting across the full Raiden Network is bidirectional and multihop.  Users will have two options to use the network: first, they can run a lite client or second, they can run a full node which will facilitate other transactions. The full node requires a dedicated computer, electricity, and RDN tokens to stake. Full node owners are compensated in RDN tokens and users of the lite client will need to stock the token. 

RDN Token Progress:

Many new whitepapers have sprung up either explicitly discussing usage of Raiden, or indirectly stating the necessity of an off-chain scaling/state channels solution. Check out AppCoins and Wala as examples. Medium user ZebraCrossing added the following infographic:

Projects building on the Raiden Network

Following the RDN ICO, Ether traded around $300 –  and now trades around $1000… so it’s difficult to make correlations at the moment due to the market correction and extreme volatility. The price of RDN, has in the long term correlated with ETH. Lately RDN is underperforming due to the tendency of small-cap coins to do poorly during choppy market conditions.  Post-ICO RDN traded around 0.005ETH and recently traded near 0.004ETH.

Financially, Raiden progress has been market-driven it seems, and has traded as high as $8.41 but is, like many alts, currently languishing at less than half that amount – a quick glimpse today shows it at $2.99. As always, do your own research! Price and value are very different things.

Progress of µRaiden:

The release of µRaiden is imminent, it looks like in early February.  They released the first version, 0.1.0 to the Mainnet and ran a bug bounty starting on December 1st  2017.  The first bug bounty phase did indeed find a bug requiring attention.  This bug has been addressed in the latest release of MicroRaiden 0.2.0.  Upon its release on January 24th, the developers stated their intention to run a second bug bounty for 2 weeks. That would put the release of µRaiden out to February 7th. Please consider news in Cryptoland rarely works out to a specific day.

Upon the full release of µRaiden it’s possible brainbot will announce partnerships and future plans.

Such news would likely attract attention to the token, although it has often been derided for poor (or non-existent) marketing. If not now, serious attention may have to wait until later this year when the full Raiden network is released.

brainbot has stuck to its roadmap, its GitHub is busy and full of commits, and there’s clearly a lot going on with Raiden. While it may not have made millionaires of its true believers just yet, the problem it seeks to solve (scaling) and the solution it seeks to provide (off-chain) are real, and possibly even more pressing than the last time we looked at Raiden.

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