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What is Ravencoin (RVN)? A Guide to the Blockchain and the RVN Token

What is Ravencoin (RVN)?

Ravencoin is a cryptocurrency and peer-to-peer network that aims to enable the transfer of assets from one party to another through an application-specific blockchain. Thus, the project deliberately limits itself to a very specific application case and wants to differentiate itself from other blockchains. Unlike Ethereum, Ravencoin does not seek to be a comprehensive solution as a “world computer”. Instead, Ravencoin wants to limit itself to one application and perfect it.

Ravencoin doesn’t reinvent the wheel, because there are already several token standards on the Ethereum blockchain (like ERC20, ERC721 and ERC223, to name only a few). However, the Ravencoin team argues that the lack of specialization leads to problems that are of great importance for the transfer of assets.

The biggest problem identified by the Ravencoin team is that the exchange of an asset requires the base currency (e.g. ether) to pay for the transaction. If the network fees are high, the exchange of the asset is also unnecessarily costly. Therefore, Ravencoin wants to provide a network that can transfer all real and digital goods and is optimized for this.

In a medium post from November 2017, the Ravencoin Core Team refers to the emergence of the name of the cryptocurrency, which was created in connection with the series “Game of Thrones”:

In the fictional world of Westeros, ravens are used as messengers who carry statements of truth. Ravencoin is a use case specific blockchain designed to carry statements of truth about who owns what assets.

Use cases of Ravencoin

Like Ethereum, Ravencoin is specifically designed to enable the output of tokens on the Ravencoin blockchain and the creation of custom tokens “within minutes”. These tokens can have all conceivable properties. They can be limited in quantity, named or issued as a security or collector’s item. As Ravencoin explained via Twitter, “everything” can be developed in the form of Ravencoin tokens.

Due to the blockchain technology the tokens are not forgeable and comparable with legal documents, which verify the authenticity of the assets. The assets are secured by a certain amount of RVN. An RVN transaction fee is paid to perform a transfer. The ledger is then updated with the new ownership.

The possible applications are enormous. Below we have listed a few possible application scenarios:

  • Securities tokens in which the shares are represented by a token
  • Company shares with a built-in dividend capacity in RVN
  • tokens representing a coop, limited partnership or profit-sharing platform
  • Tickets for events such as concerts, sports events, etc.
  • digital assets, such as gaming items, collectibles (such as crypto kitties)
  • Access token for using a service (e.g. licenses)
  • land deeds and other documents, e.g. on the ownership of precious metals (such as gold and silver)

The cryptocurrency Ravencoin

Technical basics

Ravencoin was created from a fork of the Bitcoin code and was launched on January 3, 2018, the ninth anniversary of the launch of Bitcoin. It’s an open source project that prides itself on being a decentralized development community organized in the spirit of the Cypherpunks to write code that “makes the world a better place.

In contrast to most Altcoins, Ravencoin did not perform an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), did not operate a pre-mine and did not install any master nodes. Besides the possibility to create tokens, the Ravencoin developers have made some further changes to the Bitcoin code.

 

FeatureBitcoinRavencoin
Mining algorithmSHA-256X16R
Block time 10 min 1 min
Initial Block Reward50 BTC5.000 RVN
Total supply21 Millionen BTC21 Milliarden RVN

Ravecoin mining

The biggest change is the introduction of the new mining algorithm, X16R, which constantly switches between 16 different algorithms. The goal is to maintain the decentralization of the network. The mining algorithm should prevent the centralization of the network (as with Bitcoin) by introducing Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). The Ravencoin team has committed itself to this.

As early as October 1, 2019, the Ravencoin developers had to take action and adapt the mining algorithm to prevent the centralization of mining, after the network had been controlled by a single ASIC miner to almost 50%. As a user in a medium post proved, a single miner managed to mine up to 45% of all Ravencoin blocks in July 2019.

To restore ASIC resistance, the second version of the algorithm, X16Rv2, was implemented on October 1, 2019 with Ravencoin Software 2.5.1, ensuring block mining and network operation by GPU owners.

In terms of mining, it is also interesting to note that Ravencoin performs a Ravencoin “Halving” every 2,100,000 blocks, reducing the reward per block (like Bitcoin) from 5,000 RVN to 2,500 RVN. Since 2,100,000 blocks, with a block time of one minute, corresponds to about 1458.3333333 days, which is the equivalent of about 3.99 years, the next (and first) halving is expected to take place in January 2022.

Overstocks Investment in Ravencoin

Ravencoin first gained attention when Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, announced in February 2018 in an interview with Business Insider that his company had made a multi-million dollar investment in the previously unknown crypto startup. Byrne is considered Ravencoin’s biggest supporter and continues to promote the company’s potential.

A subsidiary of Overstock, Medici Ventures, also made Ravencoin’s first major token transfer to Ravencoin possible. The company acquired a 29% stake in Chainstone Labs through a digital token transfer through Ravencoin Blockchain, equivalent to $3.6 million. While the token was not publicly offered, the transaction demonstrates the potential of Ravencoin Blockchain.

Bruce Fenton, CEO of Chainstone Labs, commented:

Ravencoin is an ideal protocol and chain to use for this security token. The aim of Ravencoin is to do one thing and do it well: help users issue tokens and digital assets securely. Tokens, particularly securities tokens, are a promising area for blockchain technology

How convinced Patrick Byrne of Ravencoin is, for example, he also showed very clearly at the Blockchain World Conference in August 2018:

Ravencoin Roadmap

The current roadmap of Ravencoin can be found on GitHub. At the time of writing (October 2019), Ravencoin has completed four of eight development phases. The next phases include the following enhancements (in brief):

  • Phase 5 – Messaging
    Authorized senders should be able to send messages to token owners.
  • Phase 6 – Voting
    A voting mechanism is to be implemented at protocol level. The coordination is done by creating and distributing parallel tokens. These tokens can be sent to RVN addresses to record a vote.
  • Phase 7 – Compatibility mode
    Enables newly created tokens to be displayed exactly like RVN or BTC for integration on exchanges and in wallets.
  • Phase 8 – Mobile Wallets, that are compatible with a Mnemonic Seed.

Conclusion: Is Ravencoin worth an investment?

From our point of view, Ravencoin is a project with a lot of potential. While many cryptocurrencies want to compete Ethereum as the “best smart contract platform”, Ravencoin focuses on a niche, the tokenization and transfer of assets.

As a still young project, Ravencoin has not yet achieved huge successes and is in a market segment with strong competition from Ethereum, Cardano, EOS, Waves or Bytom. However, the Ravencoin project is supported by an active community and the support of Overstock CEO, Patrick Byrne.

It remains to be seen whether Ravencoin (RVN) will prevail in the growing asset tokenization market in the long run or whether Ethereum will dominate this market.


Ravencoin can be traded and bought on a variety of cryptocurrency exchanges. These include Binance and Bittrex. You can find instructions and a guide on how and where to buy Ravencoin at this link (click here!). If you are looking for a Ravencoin Wallet, we recommend our Ravencoin Wallet Guide.

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About Author

Jake Simmons

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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