Ravencoin (RVN) Guide – Enabling Asset Digitization – Bitcoin Fork

Did you like Game of Thrones?


Do you remember how they used to send messages in the show? In George R.R. Martin’s fictional kingdom of Westeros, the message delivery system of choice was “ravens.” Ravencoin took the inspiration of its name and purpose from Game of Thrones’ avian delivery system of choice. Ravencoin (RVN) is a use case specific blockchain designed to carry statements of truth about who owns what asset.


Why was Ravencoin needed?


The idea of transferring and owning assets on top of the blockchain isn’t anything new. Since 2014, Counterparty has allowed asset transfer on top of Bitcoin. Plus, there are also several token standards available on Ethereum like ERC20, ERC721, and ERC223, etc. However, both of these options have several shortcomings:


  • With Counterparty, assets are connected to standard Bitcoin transactions. However, the overall network fees can be really high.
  • Networks don’t protect users from errors that may stem from wrongful asset transfers.

    Ravencoin – A brief overview


    Being a fork of the original Bitcoin protocol, it uses the UTXO architecture but has been upgraded to remove scalability issues. While you can exchange assets over other blockchains, that’s not their intended purpose. This lack of specialization may lead to problems specific to the transferring assets. Using Ravencoin will allow you to trade:


  • Real-world assets like gold bars and land deeds.
  • Digital assets like gaming items and software licenses.

    The Ravencoin whitepaper is signed by Boston-area blockchain adviser Bruce Fenton and Salt Lake City-based Tron Black. Fenton is an adviser for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and founded the Dubai Bitcoin Conference. Black, on the other hand, served as the principal software developer for Medici Ventures. The whitepaper also credits >430 unnamed Bitcoin developers. Ravencoin developers aim for the free and secure movement of different assets using an open-source code that can be continually improved upon. The developers wrote the following in the whitepaper:


    “If the global economy is influenced by actors using various blockchains, then the way capital markets work today could also change. 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.”


    While holding a crowdsale like an ICO (initial coin offering) may be the norm, Ravencoin didn’t hold one and neither did they pre-mine any of the coins.


    Ravencoin vs Bitcoin


    Ravencoin maybe Bitcoin’s fork, but it still operates its own blockchain. Here are the four main differences:


  • The first mining reward: Bitcoin began with a mining reward of 50 BTC, while Ravecoin had a reward of 5000 RVN.
  • Block time: Ravencoin’s block time is just one minute and as opposed to Bitcoin’s 10.
  • Coin supply: Ravencoin has a total supply of 21 billion, while Bitcoin has a total supply of 21 million.
  • Mining: Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm whereas Ravencoin uses x16R. This is an important point, so it will need its own section.

    Ravencoin Mining


    Ravencoin is mined using x16R and has been designed to be ASIC-resistant. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are regularly mined via ASICs, which are specialized hardware that can mine a specific algorithm way faster than GPU mining, and are much more efficient as well. The problem here is that ASIC mining may lead to the centralization of the network hashrate. Richer and more powerful corporations may use their financial clout to accumulate and hoard all the powerful ASICs in the market. Following that, they can potentially create a mining monopoly.


    The x16R is memory-hard and can’t be mined via ASICs. It does so by running 16 different hash algorithms simultaneously, that were randomly selected based on the hash of the last block. This is how it works:


  • The end of the previous block’s hash value determines the present block’s sequence of hash functions.
  • The final 64 bits of the hash sequence is split into 16 4-bit values, which determines the 16 hash functions that will be running simultaneously.
  • Depending upon the hash functions included in a particular block, a given GPU’s hash rate, for that block, will be different than it was for other blocks.
  • The hash rate is dependent on the overall complexity of the mix of included hash functions of that block.

    It is descended from the x11 algorithms, which used to run 11 different hash functions at once. Eventually, the x11 algorithms were phased out since it got implemented in an ASIC, removing its relevance to CPU and GPU mining.


    Ravencoin Mining Hardware


    Since Ravencoin uses the x16r mining algorithm, there is no need to buy expensive, heavy-duty mining hardware. This is why many miners tend to mine RVN. Miners primarily use the NVidia GPU cards, which are considered more effective than AMD cards. You can mine using the NVidia GTX 1080ti, NVidia GTX 1070, and NVidia 1080 cards.


    Ravencoin Mining Software


    The CCminer mining software works best with NVidia cards. It is compatible with both Linux and Windows. The software is free to use and also comes with a convenient, user-friendly interface.


    NOTE: The x16r eventually got polluted by ASIC miners, which caused Ravencoin to fork in October 2019 to x16rv2. The new algorithm reduced the hashrate and made mining GPU-friendly for a bit before newer ASICs re-entered the market.


    Ravencoin Mining Pools


    If you are serious about mining RVN, then you will need to choose a proper mining pool. While Ravencoin is ASIC resistant, it can still be computationally hard to mine these coins on your own. As such, it is much more prudent to join a pool that has fees ranging from 0% to 2%. Below are some of the most popular pools and their hashrate.


  • F2pool.com: This is the most dominant pool and owns 62% of the whole hashrate.
  • Poolin.com: Poolin owns 19% of the total hashrate.
  • Minermore: The last pool which generates more than 1 TH/s hashrate in our data set.
  • Cybtc.info: Generated 357.55 GH/s hashrate.
  • Supernova.cc: At one point, this was the largest Ravencoin pool but is now producing around 66 GH/s.

    It is concerning that one single pool, f2pool, is actually producing more than 50% hashrate, which shows that within our data set, RVN mining is highly centralized. You can stay up-to-date with mining pool stats here.


    The RVN token


    Ravencoin will allow anyone to issue a proprietary digital asset which is backed by a certain amount of the native RVN token. To transfer the ownership of an asset, an RVN transaction fee is paid, and the ledger is updated with the new ownership. You can think of these tokens as legal documents like deeds, mortgages, titles, even employment agreements, stocks, bonds, and more. Plus, Ravencoin can also act as a certificate of authenticity for collectibles like ERC-721 token or even several real-life assets. In the whitepaper, the developers said that the following assets could be sent over Ravencoin:


    “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.”


    Creating tokens on Ravencoin


    Each asset to be sent is represented by a non-minable token, created by a Ravencoin platform user. The following steps must be taken to create this token:


  • Burn some RVN tokens.
  • Provide a unique name for your token.
  • Set the total numbers of these tokens and specify whether or not more could be issued in the future.
  • Specify how many decimal places it can have.

    Ravencoin allows you to create the following token types:


  • Reward tokens.
  • Unique tokens.
  • Non-asset tokens.

    Reward Tokens


    As a token issuer, you can reward users with RVN for holding your token. These rewards could be customer loyalty points or a company’s dividends.


    Unique Tokens


    The hugely successful cryptokitties popularized unique or non-fungible tokens. However, these tokens are more than just crypto-collectibles. Unique tokens can be used as proof-of-ownership for software licensing, fine art collecting, and car registration.


    Non-Asset Tokens


    Ravencoin can provide non-asset functionality as well. Ravencoin can layer specialized communication tokens on top of the assets that you hold. Since these communication tokens are linked to the assets, only the asset holders receive the messages.


    Ravencoin Use Cases


    The Ravencoin team has fleshed-out some intriguing use cases for the protocol.


    Example #1: Transferring ownership of an item


    Take a situation where a watch dealer wants to transfer the ownership of a watch to a customer. The dealer has created non-fungible tokens on the Ravencoin system with unique names and serial numbers. Since the blockchain is immutable, the coins can’t be duplicated or destroyed and serve as a stand-in or a token for the watch. This is why owning these tokens should be enough to prove ownership.


    Example #2: Simplify shareholder voting


    Ravencoin feels that its protocol could be used to simplify voting by shareholders in public companies. The developers documented:


    “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. 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 completely disrupt this system by using the messaging system described above. Token holders can issue voting tokens in a 1:1 ratio with their original tokens. By sending the vote tokens to specific addresses, they can automate most of the voting process.


    Ravencoin Roadmap


    Ravencoin has a 7-phase roadmap:

    Phase 1

  • The first phase was about entering the market and setting up the network.
    Phase 2

  • Introduces ASIC resistance to hinder centralized mining.
  • Provide support for the distribution and transfer of assets and metadata.
  • The block size is expected to increase, which will facilitate more transactions and increase speed.
    Phase 3

  • Introduce rewards to facilitate payments to all token holders.
    Phase 4

  • In this phase, it will be possible for assets to be made exclusive at a cost.
  • These exclusive assets will be non-divisible and unique.
    Phase 5

  • Token issuers can now message tokens holders with valuable information and updates.
  • Components like protocol, channels, GUI mobile and desktop, and message queue will be included here.
    Phase 6

  • In this phase, tokens will be created and issued to token holders.
    Phase 7

  • In this phase, the created assets will appear precisely like other cryptos for easy integration into wallets and exchanges.
    Buying and Storing RVN

    Ravencoin has found support in major crypto trading platforms like Binance, DigiFinex, Bittrex, Upbit, and Escodex. RVN can be stored in the following wallets:


  • Official desktop wallet: This wallet can be downloaded from the official website and used on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
  • Trezor: One of the most secure and popular hardware wallets in the world, Trezor provides support to RVN and several other coins.
  • Pocket Raven: Web wallet for storing RVN which has been written in JavaScript and is also open-source. It can also be used as a multi-signature solution.
  • Paper Wallet: A paper wallet can be used to store a large amount of RVN tokens offline. In a paper wallet, you basically print out the public address, private key, and the associated QR codes. Whenever needed, you can take out the piece of paper and scan the codes to conduct transactions.
  • Ravencoin miner wallet: A third-party wallet that will allow users to mine RVN.

    You can checkout and interact with all the wallet options here.




    Ravencoin is an exciting project that deserves a close inspection. It’s unique because of two reasons:


  • Firstly, it has a real use-case that can be implemented and adopted by the mainstream.
  • Secondly, it’s not an ERC-20 token like >90% of the coins in the world. It is a Bitcoin fork which has been flavored with some unique protocol shifts.

    We hope that this guide will help you gain some perspective on a pretty fascinating project. If you want more information, then check out their whitepaper here.



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    Rajarshi Mitra
    Blockchain Researcher