What Is Ravencoin?
The open-source Ravencoin platform launched January 3, 2018 to enable tokenized P2P asset transfers on the blockchain. While blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum have asset transfer capabilities, it’s not their primary function. RVN tokens are used to create either fungible or nonfungible digital assets, and even non-asset-based tokens, such as the VOTE token that powers Ravencoin’s consensus mechanism.
In this way it acts like Ethereum, while focusing on doing one niche well. And it does that niche well, impressing investors through a bearish 2018 crypto market.
The usage of homing pigeons as message carriers dates back to ancient civilizations like the Persians and Romans, and their usage extends all the way into World War I. This particular breed is used because of its natural tendency to return to its home location. But pigeons aren’t sexy animals – they’re the rats of cities like NYC.
So in fantasy worlds like Westeros, the setting of George R.R. Martin’s popular A Song of Ice and Fire series, carrier ravens are used. A chocobo-style breeding matrix is used to explain how special ravens are found to create a fast, secure messaging system. This fantasy realm is what the Ravencoin team based its project on.
Ravencoin is a Bitcoin fork, so it has a similar architecture that was upgraded to remove Bitcoin’s scalability issues. This means faster block times (one minute versus Bitcoin’s ten), a larger coin supply (21 billion versus Bitcoin’s 21 million), and higher mining rewards, among other things.
It’s also focused on security, accessibility, and allowing a true peer-to-peer blockchain network.
Let’s start our introduction into the Ravencoin project with an examination of the RVN token’s performance on the cryptocurrency market.
RVN Cryptocurrency Summary
The total supply of Ravencoin is 21,000,000,000 RVN. Its peak price so far was $0.060209 on March 28, 2018. Ravencoin’s launch on January 3, 2018 was meant to coincide with Bitcoin’s ninth anniversary.
RVN is mined using the X16R mining algorithm, which is an ASIC-resistant algorithm. X16R is an upgrade to X11 and requires 16 chained hashing algorithms to be resolved in order to mine crypto tokens.
In this manner, ASIC mining rigs are harder to build, as more CPU or GPU cores can be pushed into a desktop PC to compete. In addition, X16R constantly disrupts the hashing order to make ASICs even more prohibitively expensive to build….for now.
Instead of an ICO, Ravencoin is mined in the same way as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Ravencoin retained Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work mining and BIP9 consensus algorithms. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, there’s no single development team; building the ecosystem is a community effort.
RVN is easily tradeable on a variety of cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, DigiFinex, Bittrex, Upbit, Escodex, and CryptoBridge. Approximately $13 million of RVN is traded daily. Its trading pair is typically BTC, although USDT, LTC, and DOGE are also possible on some markets.
Official RVN wallets are available for desktop platforms, Android, iOS, paper, and web. No hardware wallets currently support RVN, but Trezor and Ledger are working on RVN support.
There are two Ravencoin networks running, a testnet (the former beta) and a mainnet. Do not confuse the two, as their ledgers and wallets are not the same.
Quoth the Raven
Asset transfer is one of the most basic economic functions in our society and even predates currency. In fact, fiat currencies like the U.S. Dollar, Japanese Yen, and British Pound were created as mechanisms for asset transfer. Cryptocurrencies were originally created to replace currency, but what we really want is cryptomoney.
Ravencoin understands the difference between currency and money, even if we use them interchangeably.
Fiat currencies were created as promissory notes backed by precious metals. Functionally, a dollar bill started its life as an I.O.U. for $1 worth of gold. Prior to the usage of precious metals as currency, a barter system was used where I would give you however many carrots from my garden in exchange for however many gallons of milk from your cows.
But as society grew, commodity barters got more complicated. Look at how many financial obligations we have in our lives – bills, food, entertainment, medical expenses, education, transportation, emergencies, and everything else has a cost. Balancing these ledgers require more forms of money than just currency.
Aside from fiat currency, which has a nominal value, there’s also commodity money, which has intrinsic value, and representative money, which is legally exchangeable for something with intrinsic value.
Bitcoin is a fiat currency replacement. Ethereum is a smart-contract blockchain platform that enables app development. Ravencoin’s goal is to replace the broad spectrum of money, including currencies like Bitcoin, without becoming a sandbox dApp platform like Ethereum.
Ravencoin’s Nuts and Bolts
Like Edgar Allan Poe and George R.R. Martin, Ravencoin is an American-made product headed by Bruce Fenton and Tron Black. The original creators of Bitcoin contributed to the foundation as well.
And like Ethereum and other blockchain 2.0 projects, Ravencoin allows anyone to issue a proprietary digital asset. These assets are backed by a set amount of RVN. To transfer ownership of an asset, an RVN transaction fee is paid, and the digital ledger is updated with the new ownership.
These tokens are comparable to legal documents like deeds, mortgages, titles, even employment agreements, stocks, bonds, and more. In addition, Ravencoin acts as a certificate of authenticity, so it can be used for digital collectibles like Crypto Kitties, or even comic books, video games, music, movies, and other content. There’s a strong resale market for items of all kind, digital and physical, and Ravencoin can accommodate it all.
RVN rewards can be issued to your token holders. The tokens cannot be destroyed or duplicated. Ravencoin envisions its system being as secure as those issuing our social security cards, birth certificates, and other officially stamped and sealed documents.
It also wants to replace voting, and the VOTE token is used to prove this use case. RVN tokens are used to purchase VOTE, and VOTE is used to cast votes on Ravencoin network governance.
It’s a great system that can be used in government, entertainment, supply chain, and so much more. But Ravencoin doesn’t have any major enterprise partnerships yet, and it’s going to need these to survive.
Ravencoin was based on the idea of carrier ravens in “Game of Thrones.” It extends Bitcoin’s currency system to include all monetary assets, commoditized, non-fungible, or otherwise. The team believes it built a better mousetrap than either Ethereum or Bitcoin by blending the best of both to focus on one niche.
- Ravencoin goes beyond cryptocurrency to be cryptomoney. This opens its use cases to include any and all asset transfers, storage, and exchanges.
- RVN is traded on the open crypto market and also redeemable for tokens created on the Ravencoin network. Most tokens are backed by assets, but voting and other mechanisms can be created.
- Ravencoin uses an ASIC-resistant X16R mining algorithm. The team actively opposes ASIC mining and focuses on CPU- and GPU-intensive applications.
With these pieces in place, Ravencoin may just have built a better mousetrap. Whether or not it catches any mice remains to be seen, though.