Name: Ravencoin (RVN)
Max Supply: 21 Billion
Mining Algorithm: X16Rv2
Block Time: 1 Minute
First Announced: January 3rd, 2018
Ravencoin was officially launched on January 3rd, 2018. Ravencoin, like many cryptocurrencies is a Bitcoin fork. In short, a Bitcoin fork is a cryptocurrency that uses Bitcoin’s code as a baseline onto which additional development takes place. Forking from Bitcoin allows developers to spend time on special development and without having to build the cryptocurrency from the ground up.
Ravencoin has several unique features and is still in its infancy when compared to large market-cap cryptos. Whilst, being a Bitcoin fork, Ravencoin has much to offer. With a block time of 1 minute and block reward of 5,000 RVN, transaction speed is fairly quick, relative to Bitcoin’s inefficient 10 minute block time.
Furthermore, a supply of 21 billion RVN increases usability as fractions of a coin won’t be required in most cases.
$5 in BTC – 0.00070 BTC
$5 in RVN – 190 RVN
As Ravencoin has a far higher supply, each coin will be worth comparatively less, therefore, most transactions occurring in whole interger values. This ease of use furthers mainstream adoption.
In addition, as a community driven coin, ASIC resistance is one of the key development focuses. In short, ASICs enable centralized mining; we covered ASIC mining implications here. Ravencoin launched with an original proof-of-work algorithm, designed to hinder ASIC development. Although ASICs have been developed for X16R (RVN’s original POW algo), the development team has acted switfty. Moreover, the development team stayed true to the promises made, something uncommon in the crypto community.
What makes this Bitcoin fork so special? The issuance of assets on the Ravencoin blockchain opens up a host of use cases and functionality. Furthermore, asset creation is accessible and seamless, more on that below.
Ravencoin Consensus Algorithm
Ravencoin’s has a thorough and complicated mining history. As we mentioned above, ASIC resistance is crucial to the development team as well as the community. Ravencoin launched with the custom POW algorithm X16R. X16R is a hashing algorithm comprised of 16 different algorithms. As ASIC miners are optimized for a single algorithm X16R was designed to make X16R ASIC development unfeasible. However, we’ll see how that was not the case, later on.
When the coin launched, CPU mining was the only method to obtain coins. After a few months, community developed GPU miners began to surface, offering more efficient and powerful mining capabilities. GPU mining continued for over a year until the network hash rate began to abnormally rise during July/August of 2019. It was then clear that ASIC production was underway. In order to combat this, the development team proposed an algorithm change.
What is X16Rv2?
On October 1st, 2019, Ravencoin switched algorithms to X16Rv2 to invalidate ASIC miners mining on X16R.
X16Rv2 added the hashing algorithm Tiger while keeping the preexisting algorithms, hence the “v2” in the name. Adding Tiger, prevented ASICs from mining Ravencoin, buying the development team time to develop a sustainable solution.
As Ravencoin code forked from Bitcoin, it inherited both Bitcoin’s strengths and weaknesses. Ravencoin initially launched with a difficulty adjustment algorithm that would adjust difficulty every 2016 blocks. However, this allowed bad actors to rent large amounts of mining power and decrease block times significantly. As the difficulty adjusted to compensate for this increase in power, these large actors would leave the network, resulting in stagnant block times effectively slowing down the network significantly. To combat this, Ravencoin forked on August 20th, 2018. This fork brought upon a new difficulty algorithm, Dark Gravity Wave. This algorithm adjusted difficulty on a more frequent basis, mitigating network freezes.
Unlike the majority of Bitcoin forks, Ravencoin has developed a product, delivering on their whitepaper. Assets can be created and used by any RVN holder. These assets function similarly to ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. In a nutshell, using RVN you can create your own token without hassle.
Assets creation happens via the RVN desktop wallet. Users need 500 RVN to create a basic asset. The user must designate a name for the asset (asset names are first come first serve), its divisibility, as well as the number of tokens (1 – 21 billion). Furthermore, users can select whether the asset is reissuable in the future. Users can also specify meta data to set conditions. This flexibility opens assets for a host of real-world use cases.
In addition, RVN used to issue assets are burnt, reducing the maximum supply. There are currently over 22,000 RVN assets in circulation, removing over 11 million RVN from the total supply.
Assets are viewable on the RVN asset explorer: https://ravencoin.asset-explorer.net/
Basic assets can be made unique for 5 RVN. Unique assets are a special type of asset. These assets are normal RVN assets but have special properties. Unique assets have a special unique identifier. This leaves a trail as they move within the blockchain. Thus, users can trace back to the origin of the assets if necessary. This decentralized transparency can be used to verify authenticity of assets or products. Unique assets distinguish Ravencoin from the plethora of Bitcoin forks.
Ravencoin Future Plans
The Ravencoin master roadmap outlines 8 phases of development. The community driven development team has shown tremendous progress and has been following the roadmap in a timely manner, something uncommon for the majority of cryptocurrencies. The development team is currently working on Phase 5 – Messaging. Ravencoin also plans to tackle decentralized voting in phase 6. In a nutshell, Ravencoin is a decentralized, community driven platform with many potential features.
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