By Matjaz Skorjanc of NiceHash
This week has brought yet another crazy episode in the cryptocurrency sphere. Investors, crypto users, and miners have no doubt felt a little alarmed.
On Tuesday, news broke that the entire cryptocurrency market (nearly every coin) including Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), and Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) plummeted in value due to mania of El Salvador beginning to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. Although on Friday, as I write this, we are now seeing signs of recovery across the market.
It is hard to keep track I know. Fluctuating regulation across different countries is creating confusion. It’s a hard market to control.
However, for those who embarking on their crypto investment quest, let’s take a step away from the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum and discuss the potential of what I feel could be a key Alt Coin for the future – Ravencoin (CRYPTO: RVN).
The Ravencoin blockchain
Ravencoin was discovered in 2018 and is a Bitcoin code fork that allows anyone the ability to issue digital assets and tokens. It’s faster and easier to use than the Bitcoin blockchain that its network is based on.
Ravencoin is a Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain designed with one specific function – to allow users to issue tokens easily and quickly. In this way, it’s a viable alternative to other blockchains that create assets, such as Ethereum.
Tokens issued on RVN (Ravencoin) can be used in many ways and for different purposes. These include real-time asset transfer transactions and NFT (non-fungible tokens).
Is Ravencoin the same as the Bitcoin blockchain?
Broadly speaking, the Ravencoin network is similar in identity to other platforms like BTC. However, the Ravencoin protocol means that its market cap of total supply, block rewards and mining algorithm is optimised specifically for decentralised mining and efficiency when transferring assets.
How does Ravencoin create assets?
Ravencoin (RVN) is a blockchain designed to efficiently handle the creation of a token. Tokens issued on this peer-to-peer blockchain network are created for many reasons. The only stipulation is that the purpose of the Ravencoin token is to transfer assets from one person to another.
The program utilizes a coding structure that has a BTC foundation. That is, the coding infrastructure of RVN (Ravencoin) was discovered and based on a BTC fork. Therefore, Ravencoin RVN gives token issuers an alternative to blockchains that depend on smart contracts, such as Ethereum.
The advantage of Ravencoin over other secure network platforms is that its consensus mechanism and the security model for computers is designed for more decentralized mining.
Again, this is ideal for crypto security. We continue to see crypto jacking attacks damaging our industry i.e. cyber criminals using malicious software (malware) to hack into centralized mining computer power and resources to mine cryptocurrencies or steal cryptocurrency wallets.
Who backs Ravencoin?
Ravencoin (RVN) is backed by a subsidiary of Overstock.com called Medici Ventures. The blockchain project launched in 2018 along with its RVN token/coins.
There was no pre-sale or ICO intended to provide more democratic access to the project than we’ve seen with other key platforms.
As there was no pre-sale or pre-mine of its coins, no tokens were put aside for advisors, members of staff, Medici Ventures people, developers, any board member, or other individuals involved in the project or service early on.
The Ravencoin Foundation
Two years after launch, in 2020, the Ravencoin Foundation was created. This is intended to ensure the project becomes independent from Medici Ventures.
The Ravencoin crypto is open source, which means that almost anyone can join with the ability to contribute to the developers’ code (another brilliant sign of decentralization).
A unique mining algorithm
While its design is similar to Bitcoin (BTC), Ravencoin developers made several significant alterations to the protocol. These changes allow the creation, transfer of coins and transactions launched on the network.
In the same way as BTC, Ravencoin uses a Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism for network securities and protection against malware.
However, its use of hashing algorithms is different. The hashing algorithm used by Ravencoin is called KawPoW, which replaced the earlier X16R.
What is different about Ravencoin’s hashing algorithm?
KawPoW is designed to allow more decentralized mining of tokens than the algorithm used by BTC, which is called SHA-256.
In specific terms, KawPoW resists mining through the use of ASICs (application specific integrated circuit chips).
This specialist computer hardware is only available at a high price and is generally seen as creating industrial-scale mining more profitable than that done by individual miners. It is often seen as a means of better control and security. In the same sentence, it could offer a barrier to entry for some low-cost miners.
Ravencoin isn’t the only crypto that has launched hashing algorithms to attempt to combat the use of ASICs. Other crypto companies, such as Litecoin, use similar algorithms for the same reasons.
Industrial mining using ASICs can lead to centralized miners, which affects the entire network’s security and vulnerability to malware attacks on computers.
BTC fork that is asset aware
Tokens can be issued on BTC’s original blockchain, but this can lead to problems. BTC nodes are designed to recognize the issuance of coins/tokens. Therefore, every transaction that intends to transfer a crypto token on the BTC blockchain must also send enough BTC to be recognized by the protocol to make it valid.
If the user finds that they have accidentally spent this BTC during this transaction, the token is destroyed.
Ravencoin works differently to solve this problem without resorting to the introduction of smart contracts or a non-PoW model.
Features that separate the BTC and Ravencoin consensus include the value of the block reward. At the time of writing, Ravencoin’s reward is 5,000, while BTC’s is 6.25. Data does change as the coins fluctuate in value. Block time is also different, with BTC taking ten minutes against Ravencoin’s one minute.
The total asset supply is different, with RVN’s market cap set at 21 billion versus BTC’s market cap set at 21 million.
As we’ve already touched on, Ravencoin developers also changed the code data used in BTC’s protocol to allow issuing of coins and the transfer of assets on the network to be easy and accessible.
Examples of RVN crypto use in the real world
Ravencoin issues coins/tokens that represent more assets from the real world, including virtual goods, shares of stock, rewards, gold and lots of others from one party to a different one.
In 2018, for example, Chainstone Labs (a digital securities organisation) issued more than 12 million digital shares on the Ravencoin blockchain.
Ravencoin can also be used to create NFTs using MangoFarmAssets, which is an RVN wallet platform.
Furthermore, the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) offers a tokenized RVN version. This can be used for trading, lending and borrowing in DeFi (decentralized finance) apps (also available on desktop computers).
Ravencoin utilizes a unique infrastructure as a network based on Bitcoin that offers users features that enable them to trade and launch tokens.
As there are no smart contracts involved, Ravencoin is a good option for a company or industry that needs to launch a digital token to use mostly for asset transfer.
The latest crypto news suggests that it’s becoming more and more popular with those who want to issue tokens.
Well positioned in the industry.
We think that Ravencoin is one of the coins well positioned to attract the attention of many miners following Ethereum’s move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) in January 2022. If you are a miner, I would certainly keep your eye on the news surrounding Ethereum’s POS to keep track of updates that could impact your mining operations break-even.
The project is a one-use case specific blockchain with a single purpose asset transfer via blockchain. This includes many different assets, including property deeds, for example.
Users can create and transfer ownership on their blockchain easily and quickly. With Ethereum fundamentally changing how it works, we can expect RVN to become more popular with miners. It offers a nice element of control for users we are finding.
Ethereum – what’s happening for informational purposes?
As mentioned above, Ethereum is in the process of moving to PoS. This means that there will be no more mining of coins using the Ethereum blockchain.
NiceHash has about 27% of the entire Ethereum hashrate. Miners will therefore move to other coins when the switch to PoS is complete and will naturally choose the most profitable coins when this happens. These include Ravencoin and Ergo, for example.
Ravencoin price predictions
A fork of Bitcoin, Ravencoin can facilitate much faster transactions.
As it’s purpose-built to transfer assets, the whole process is easier and more accessible for millions of users.
As the project grows, more people will use the coin in the creation of assets. This will, in turn, increase the Ravencoin price and the interest in the community for mining it (we are certainly seeing this among NiceHash users – internationally, not just in Slovenia).
A recent Ethereum fork, which is one of the stages necessary for moving towards PoS, sent the Ravencoin price up by about 60%.
As the project is still relatively new, having only launched in 2018, it has enormous potential to grow further. Given the market volatility, especially this week’s news of El Salvador accepting BTC as money, NiceHash are just one Slovenian company making sense of the crazy sphere of cryptocurrency – but we expect the Ravencoin price to continue to rise incrementally as Ethereum moves further towards its closed mining sentence becoming PoS.
Although we are having promising conversation with NiceHash users and miners, to explore the project’s future and find out more, we’ve invited the lead developer Tron Black to our Talkshow program in September 2021.
About Matjaz Skorjanc and NiceHash
Matjaz Skorjanc is co-founder and Mining Manager of Slovenian company NiceHash, the world’s leading cryptocurrency mining services provider and cryptocurrency coin marketplace. Škorjanc founded NiceHash in 2014 after spotting a gap in the crypto mining market for a user-friendly free exchange for buyers to bid against each other openly.
Based in Slovenia, both Škorjanc and NiceHash are vocal advocates for decentralization and the potential of crypto. NiceHash believes in a blockchain and decentralization, where everyone has equal access to a new financial standard of money. Matjaz Škorjanc is a Slovenian expert in blockchain tech, operating systems, mining software and networks.