3.21 What is Ravencoin
Ravencoin (RVN) is the brainchild of businessman, cypherpunk, and all-round Bitcoin advocate Bruce Fenton, who first proposed the idea of forking Bitcoin’s code to create a network that specialised in tokenised asset transfer. With his background in the traditional finance sector, Bruce realised that there was a real need for such capability on the blockchain, the ability to tokenise any asset (physical or digital) and so Ravencoin was formed, as a fully open-source and decentralised project.
Unlike many other coins and token projects, RVN is owned and controlled by no one party, it instead operates on a consensus model, that is to say its holders decide its future. It is perhas the closest thing we have today to an independent blockchain. RVN also did not conduct an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or a pre-mine event to benefit its creators, so all proceeds go directly to its community.
RVN makes use of a similar consensus mechanism to Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm to secure the network, and although originally built on the X16R algorithm it later moved to the custom algorithm of KAWPOW (leading many in the community to say Kaw Kaw – like a Raven, when talking of it), which prevents commercial miners from using their Application Specific Integrated Chips (ASICs) from taking over the network as they have with BTC, therefore keeping it viable for ordinary users with graphics cards to continue mining.
This community-driven protocol uses the BIP9 consensus rules for governance to cater to situations where forks or upgrades could be implemented, making the network something truly decentralised and user controlled.
The RVN network is specifically optimised to protect assets from being destroyed during transfer, unlike BTC and allows for the creation of uniquely named assets and tokens, unlike ETC. The RVN tokens are easily and cheaply transferable between wallet holders, and can be easily tacked and verified on the network making them an ideal repository of in-game items and data.
The Ravencoin Network
RVN is the native currency that powers the Ravencoin cryptocurrency network (a 2018 fork of Bitcoin / BTC), and is used to pay for transaction fees and reward network validators for securing and confirming transactions on the blockchain.
RVN was created to provide a BTC-like currency that was optimised for tokens, fungible and non-fungible (NFT) and it does this in a number of very clever ways. Unlike Ethereum (ETH), RVN can directly support NFT a low costs and does not therefore require a layer 2 solution to make tokens cost-effective, and does not require the ‘work around’ of smart contracts. The low gas fees (set at 0.1 RVN per transaction) are incredibly low.
RVN is not only different to BTC in its use case, there is also a much larger pool of it, being up to 21 billion vs 21 million, however unlike BTC, RVN is deflationary and years before ETH went the same way, RVN was already burning coins in the creation of tokens. So, although the theoretical limit of RVN is 21 billion, it is shrinking every year due to this burning of 500 RVN for each new base token (sub tokens only cost usual gas fees of 0.1).
Why RVN for Gaming
RVN is optimised for users to create their own tokens within a few minutes and then trade them instantly. This includes assets like securities, collectibles, gold, event tickets, and essentially anything else the issuer decides. In short, RVN is all about token creation and management, it is not confused to see itself as part money, part token platform, part other. Although there is of course a cash value to RVN this is not its purpose, it is a token platform and does this very well.
That said, RVN can also be used to transfer value in a way similar to Bitcoin or fiat, and to pay rewards or dividends to RVN token holders. It is possible to find RVN increasingly listed on major exchanges, including Binance.com and its vocal and active user base pushes hard to see it on more. In April 2021, Tron Black revealed that RVN could be used in smart contracts to allow users to lend, borrow or trade digital assets and at this time work is ongoing to create such facilities. The future for RVN is very bright, and as more and more projects adopt it, this will only improve.