Ravencoin was developed from an open-source fork of the original Bitcoin code to efficiently transfer assets between parties. It was designed with this specific use case in mind as an alternative to Bitcoin or ERC20 transfer protocols.
Ravencoin takes its name from the avian delivery system of choice in Westeros, one of the fictional continents created by author George R.R. Martin in his sword-and-sorcery fantasy series, “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Ravens fill the role of passenger pigeons or traditional snail mail in the novels.
Ravencoin made its debut on Oct. 31, 2017. Mining binaries were released the following Jan. 3 to coincide with the ninth anniversary of Bitcoin’s launch.
Ravencoin has a phased development schedule. Work is ongoing on the creation of the Ravencoin platform and its new mining algorithm, x16r. This new algorithm is being crafted specifically to combat top-heavy mining pools and ASIC mining equipment.
Ravencoin’s website states that it will be done with no pre-mine to give all users an equal crack at the coin. Mining will be done via proof of work “…not because it burns a scarce resource of electricity, or the requirement of computer hardware, but instead focuses on the most valuable part of the ‘work,’ which is building an ever-larger and time-based wall that protects user data from future tampering and censorship with every new layer.”
If you would like to begin mining Ravencoin for yourself, take a look at our indepth guide we created to walk you through the process.
Raven Coin Wallets & Binaries
You can download everything you need for Ravencoin from the official website, including binaries for Windows, Mac and Linux and Client-Side paper wallet generators.
Who’s Behind the Project?
The white paper is signed by Boston-area blockchain adviser Bruce Fenton and Salt Lake City-based Tron Black. Bruce Fenton has served as an adviser for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and founded the Dubai Bitcoin Conference. Tron Black most recently served as the principal software developer for Medici Ventures.
The white paper also credits “over 430” unnamed Bitcoin developers.
What Sets It Apart?
In Ravencoin’s white paper, the developers admit their deep debt to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and acknowledge that their code was built upon the UTXO Bitcoin protocol model. Ravencoin’s particular fork of the Bitcoin code includes several changes from the original, most notably no weighted distribution schedule and asset creation and messaging abilities. In essence, Ravencoin uses a system of unique tokens to move assets through the blockchain, and this feature has been prioritized above all others. It is minable, but ASIC resistant. Ravencoin also features a messaging system for token holders. Token holders who do not wish to receive messages can opt out of the system.
What Is the Developers’ Overall Vision?
The free and secure movement of a variety of assets using an open-source code that can be continually improved upon.
“If the global economy is influenced by actors using various blockchains, then the way capital markets work today could also change,” the developers wrote in their white paper. “Borders and jurisdictions may become less relevant as more assets become tradable and trading across borders grows increasingly frictionless. In an age where people can move significant amounts of wealth instantly using Bitcoin, global consumers will likely demand the same efficiency for their securities and similar asset holdings.”
What Kinds of Things Can Be Sent with Ravencoin?
The developers offer a list of suggestions in their white paper, with the caveat that the list is suggestions only. Practically anything can be sent via Ravencoin due to its singular focus on that ability. Among the suggestions are: physical stores of value, like gold bars, silver ingots, or rare comic books; physical fiat currency and real estate deeds; virtual goods, like in-game currency or e-tickets for sporting events; and credit representations, like airline miles or gift cards.
Each asset to be sent is represented by a non-minable token, created by a Ravencoin platform user.
Is It Secure?
Security is one of the top stated goals of the Ravencoin project. The blockchain itself operates similar to Bitcoin, in that it “…functions only with a market value, a strong mining community, and wide distribution.”
Privacy is a facet of this, and Ravencoin intends to take advantage of the inherent separation on a blockchain between a token holder’s address and his or her real identity.
The developers add that as new and better technology becomes available for securing its system and protecting its users’ privacy, those technologies will be applied whenever possible to Ravencoin.
Any Unique Use Cases?
In addition to the kinds of items that can be sent with Ravencoin, the developers offer several fleshed-out examples of the system in action. Imagine an art dealer who wishes to transfer ownership of a physical painting to a customer. Each of the tokens he or she creates on the Ravencoin system is associated with a unique name and serial number. This coin cannot be duplicated or destroyed, and it serves as a digital stand-in for the physical painting. It also acts as a proof of authenticity, as the coin is unique and specific to that particular painting.
Ravencoin also envisions its system being used to simplify voting by shareholders in public companies.
“A public company that issues shares on Nasdaq, as an example, will have to pay a quasi-monopoly company just to get the mailing addresses of their own shareholders at a given point in time,”
the developers wrote,
“Then, a physical (dead tree) mailing must be sent out to shareholders with information on how to vote along with a proxy voting form.”
Ravencoin could potentially eliminate this system with its messaging capabilities. Token holders are notified that a vote is scheduled to take place and then issued new voting tokens in a 1:1 ratio with their original tokens. The actual vote can then be mostly automated by sending the vote tokens to specific counting addresses.