Ravencoin (ticker:RVN) is designed to efficiently handle the specific function of creating and transferring assets from one party to another. Ravencoin is a fork of the original Bitcoin code, with key changes including a block reward time of one minute, a total supply of 21 billion (no change to the weighted distribution schedule), the addition of asset creation and messaging capabilities, and a new mining algorithm X16R intended to prevent dominance by mining pools and ASIC mining equipment.
With Ravencoin, assets that are created have “sub-assets” associated to them. For example, the first asset generated on Ravencoin was “VOTE”, which could then be used to create “VOTE/US” or “VOTE/GERMANY” sub-assets, allowing citizens in those countries to participate in decentralized voting. A more likely scenario could be VanEck creating a “GOLD/GDX” sub-asset for their Gold Miners ETF, allowing them to tokenize an already existing security to take advantage of the efficiencies of blockchain.
Ravencoin is a standalone decentralized blockchain maintained by miners, similar to Bitcoin. Digital assets represented by tokens can then be created and transferred over the Ravencoin blockchain. RVN is used to both pay for the creation and transfer of tokens as well as to incentivize miners to maintain the decentralized blockchain via mining rewards.
Since Ravencoin is a community based project there are no official lead developers, however two prominent figures in the community are Bruce Fenton and Tron Black. Bruce Fenton is on the Board of Medici Ventures, a subsidiary of overstock.com which has purchased 60 million RVN and has assisted with platform development. Medici Ventures is leading Overstock’s shift into the blockchain space by investing and advising various blockchain startups. Tron Black is an active Ravencoin developer who posts regularly on his Medium account and on the Ravecoin Github. Tron has previous experience as a blockchain developer for tZero.
Open Source: Yes
Github depositories: 1
Github commits: 16K
Twitter: 19.2K followers
Facebook: 500 followers
Reddit: 5.7.1K subscribers
Blog: Medium Activity (via Tron Black)
Utility and Incentives
The two main functions of RVN are to create assets and reward miners. Ravencoin allows the creation of tokens, for a cost of 500 RVN, to create any amount of your own token and reserve the token name if it is still available. Once a token name is reserved it can not be reused, therefore making it unique on the Ravencoin blockchain. The RVN that is paid by the assets issuer is sent to 1 of 5 burn addresses which have private keys, therefore become locked and useable . There has been community discussion about altering the fee schedule for asset creation, to make it less expensive over time to account for price appreciation and burning of RVN or to pay part of the fee back to miners . None of these proposals have yet to be implemented.
Every time assets are created (except unique assets), there is an additional token created. The additional token has the same name as the asset, but with an exclamation (!) mark at the end. This is the owner token, which can be used to update the following: increase the quantity of the asset issued, change the meta-data for the asset, or increase the divisibility (units) of the token. This functionality is useful because it adds the ability to update assets after they are already created and gives that permission only to the a sole owner token holder.
In an effort to ensure decentralization of the network, Ravencoin designed the X16R consensus algorithm. Unlike Bitcoin’s SHA256 which is a fixed algorithm that has difficulty adjustments based on the amount of mining power, x16r consists of 16 individual algorithms operating in a chain fashion with the ordering dependent on the last 8 bytes of the hash of the previous block. This process adds randomness to which algorithm will be used making it difficult to design an Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) that lead to centralization of mining power. The X16R algorithm is designed to make CPU and GPU mining feasible for the average person. This design choice is made to curb the centralization of hash power and voting privileges.
As with Bitcoin, there was no pre-mine or fundraising for Ravencoin. RVN is earned by participating in the network as a miner and earning block rewards. There will only ever be 21 billion RVN created by mining, which are minted in the same weighted distribution schedule as Bitcoin. In approximately 3 years (~January 2022) at block 2,100,000 the first halving will take place and the reward per block will drop from 5,000 to 2,500 RVN. This will continue with each subsequent 2,100,000 blocks, about every 4 years, until the reward amount can no longer be halved.
Ethereum is the major competitor to Ravencoin in the cryptocurrency space as a token creation platform. The ERC-20 token standard built on Ethereum supports smart contracts which Ravencoin does not natively do. It can be confusing for users as there can be multiple ERC-20 tokens with identical names and the only distinction between contracts with identical names is the contract hash. This problem exists in all current smart contract platforms that can issue tokens. Ravencoins broad applications allow it to potentially disrupt a plethora of markets. By digitizing assets via a token and providing tools for transferring ownership of that token Ravencoin attempts to eliminate the inefficiencies of conventional markets.
Current Status and adoption analysis
Ravecoin has had their blockchain up and running since January 2018 with currently over 17K assets created . There is continued community discussion about updates to the protocol such as adjusting token burn rates or paying part of burned tokens back to miners. The interest to use Ravencoin as a digital asset creation tool continues to grow as companies see the advantages it offers. Recently, TokenizEU, a company focusing on STOs in Europe announced they would be using Ravencoin for their token issuance citing their decentralization, fair product launch, and benefits over using Ethereum ERC-20 tokens . Overstock has also invested in the Ravencoin ecosystem, and with their ownership of tZero, Ravencoin looks to be a main player for STO issuances in two very large markets.
 Ravencoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic System for the Creation and Transfer of Assets, April 3, 2018