For today’s article were taking a look at a currency that just barely scrapes by as being eligible for even being in this series. We will of course be talking today about Ravencoin. This project is truly inspired by the idea of decentralization and reflects that idea in every facet. Were going to be looking at how the project is decentralized, its algorithm to prevent ASIC mining, what an ASIC is, and the future of the coin.
To introduce the project a bit, let’s cover some basic details about Ravencoin. The coin was announced on October 31st, 2017 and released its mining binaries January 3rd, 2018. The team chose that launch date for mining as it was the birthday of Bitcoin which is fitting for the project since Ravencoin is a fork of Bitcoin. The platform is designed to be used the transfer of assets. That description is deceptively simple and we will dive into that later and show just how important asset transfer is and what problems Ravencoin is tackling.
Ravencoin aims to be a true open source, fair, and decentralized project. Ravencoin had no ICO, does not have a premine, and has no other “gimmicky features” such as master nodes. Furthermore, Ravencoin is concerned with ASIC resistance, and equity in mining. Ravencoin may be mined with an Nvidia or AMD GPU. The Ravencoin team has stated that they will be changing their algorithm if an ASIC is developed for their X16R algorithm.
Lastly, the project is fully open source and anyone may contribute code to the project. Ravencoin has no official “leader” in the spirit of its decentralization. Some view that stance as an error by those who started the coin has it has already caused an issue with the coin being listed on an exchange. Other see this decentralization and stance as a true representation for what crypto stands.
That is a general picture of the Ravencoin project, let’s dive into some specifics now. Ravencoin is a proof-of-work (PoW) coin with a block time of one minute and a block reward of 5000 RVN. Halving of the block reward is scheduled to occur around every 4 years and the block size is currently 1 MB but it may increase in the future.
Ravencoin makes use of its own X16R mining algorithm. X16R is designed to be ASIC resistant and comes from the same vein of other “X” mining algorithm like X11 or X17. These algorithms are a sequence of hashing algorithms chained together. X11 uses 11 algorithms and X17 uses 17 and so on.
The ordering of the algorithms used does not change in these strings. That circumstance has led to the production of ASICs for X11 through X17. Now, X16 of course uses 16 of these hashing algorithms, so ASICs should be able to be made for them? Well no, thats where the “R” comes in.
The 16 algorithms are randomized based on the last 8 bytes or 16 nibbles of the hash of the last block produced for the blockchain, so the algorithm is changing the order of the algorithms every minute. The 16 algorithms are assigned to an output on the hash as follows.
Here is an example given in the X16R whitepaper (separate from the Ravencoin whitepaper).
Raven hopes that its coin will be able to remain ASIC free with this algorithm, however, the team has stated it would add an algorithm such as Equihash (currently no ASICs) to its algorithm if an ASIC were to be produced for X16R.
“Ravencoin is designed to efficiently handle one specific function well: the transfer of assets from one party to another.”
The above quote is the theme for this portion of the paper and in my opinion the best part of the project. Ravencoin describes itself as a “use-case focused blockchain” and will be accomplishing that goal through the issuing of “tokens” on its blockchain. These tokens will be able to be issued by any Ravencoin user and will not need to be mined. Furthermore, the creator of the tokens will be able to decide the rules of the tokens independent of the Ravencoin protocol. Sounds pretty cool right?
This concept is based on the idea of adding tokens to the Bitcoin blockchain. These tokens have been around for a bit and the protocols that are used to create them are none as “Colored Coins.” Bitcoin was an obvious choice for the creation of these assets due to Bitcoin’s high level of security stemming from its incredibly large network, but the inclusion of these Colored Coins is not without issue. Since these protocols are layered on top of the Bitcoin blockchain all of the tokens need to obey the rules of Bitcoin.
Additionally, the Bitcoin network is not really “aware” of these assets. They are added into a special field in a Bitcoin transaction to let people know they are there, but the network itself just sees another Bitcoin transaction. The important part here is that someone can lose their token assets by sending them to an exchange or wallet that is not built to recognize those assets.
ERC20 tokens are a big deal and are built on top of the Ethereum network. This standard has allowed for the creation of many projects and a big way for money to enter into these projects with the ICO. The issue once again is that the Ethereum blockchain does not inherently recognize the smart contract tokens. Many tokens exist with the same name but no distinguishing factor on the Ethereum blockchain besides their contract addresses.
Ravencoin looked at those issues and came to the conclusion that its blockchain needed to be able to natively recognize any created assets so that those created assets may be sent and exchanged between users without the fear of loss from a misplaced transaction or confusion due to a misunderstanding of name.
The tokens or assets that are created on the blockchain will also be as transferable as any other cryptocurrency naturally is. In their whitepaper, the team outlines some categories of use cases for this system in Ravencoin. Assets could represent a real-world physical object such as gold, silver, or a land deed or a virtual good such as tickets to an event, an access token for a service, or an in-game item.
These tokens could also act as a security representing the stock of a company or lastly they may represent a credit like reward points, airline miles, or gift card. The possibilities are endless. Ravencoin gives users the ability to finally “tokenize the world.”
Ravencoin released their roadmap back on April 2nd along with their whitepaper. The project is currently in its 2nd phase of development which is categorized as “assets.” The team predicts that asset support will be “seven months after the release of Raven” putting the release of assets at July 3rd 2018. The project will hard fork and will allow for the issuance and transfer of assets on the Raven blockchain. To create these tokens an individual will have to provide a unique token name as well as burn RVN to create the assets. The creator will have to determine “quantity issued, the number of decimal places, and whether they will be allowed to issue more of the same token in the future” at the time of creation.
The next phase revolves around rewards and will create systems where users may be payed rewards in Raven (RVN). Rewards will be able to be sent out with a single command to holders of an asset. The reward is sent out in Raven and will be even split among all of the asset holders. Ravencoin provides a detailed example of how that functionality would work in their white paper.
The last phases are Unique tokens, Messaging of Stakeholders, and Voting. With the completion of those phases, an issuer of an asset on the Ravencoin blockchain could essentially act as a company, allowing holders to vote, receive dividends, and receive holder newsletters from the asset issuer. I am of course hammering the company and stock analogy here but the use cases extend to much more than a security. The roadmap may be found on the Ravencoin Github here.
Ravencoin is currently being traded at a price of $0.048241 or 526 Sats. The maximum supply of the coin is 21 billion and the current supply of the coin is just over 1 billion coins. With those numbers the market cap of the token is at $49 million (just under our limit of 50 million to be in this series). The 24 hour trading volume on the coin is $581k.
Ravencoin is traded on both the CryptoBridge and Nanex exchanges under the ticker symbol RVN. CryptoBridge takes the overwhelming lead in volume though with 97% daily volume. Raven is traded against BTC on CryptoBridge and NANO on Nanex. Links to both below.
CryptoBridge — https://crypto-bridge.org/
Nanex — https://nanex.co/
If you are interested in learning more about the Ravencoin project please see the following links.
Website — https://ravencoin.org/
Whitepaper — https://ravencoin.org/Ravencoin.pdf
X16R white paper — https://ravencoin.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/X16R-Whitepaper.pdf
Twitter — https://twitter.com/Ravencoin
To be honest Ravencoin was a project I really didn’t “get” at first. After hearing about hte coin on Twitter I had done some light reading and all I would see are the common one liners “its ASIC resistant” “its decentralized” “its for ‘Asset Transfer’”. After reading more about the coin (mainly the whitepaper, seriously you should read it) I am extremely excited to see how this project will proceed and develop from here. The coin has a very interesting governance model and is focused on real world application and use.
I am not currently a holder of RVN, but that will most likely be changing in the near future. Thank you for reading today’s article. Friday’s article will be covering the coin Masari. Follow me on here or on Twitter @thant1194 or on InvestFeed @thant11 in order to remain up to date on all the content I release and hear my thoughts on crypto. Thank you again! I have to return some video tapes.