“In the fictional world of Westeros, ravens are used as the messengers who carry statements of truth. Ravencoin is a use case specific blockchain designed to carry statements of truth about who owns what asset.”

Ravencoin (RVN) is an open source, community driven project which takes its primary use-case as the secure tokenization and transfer of real-world assets on the blockchain.

While that may seem somewhat ‘vanilla’ at first glance, Ravencoin has several advantages over the existing ERC-20 standard of tokenization on Ethereum, and handles everything on-chain without any additional sub-protocols or second layers.

Particularly notable is Ravencoin’s insistence on avoiding the popular urge to be a jack of all trades, instead choosing to be a master of one. The tokenization of assets may be one of blockchain’s less glamorous use-cases, but it is also one of its most obvious.

With major firms like Coinbase and Circle making serious inroads into launching tokenized securities on their platforms, there is a growing demand for the specialized tech which can facilitate the rollout.

A Brief History

Perhaps it was that same demand – or speculation based upon it – which launched Ravencoin to 386% growth in less than two weeks in October, 2018.

That was the same month it gained a listing on Binance, and the sudden explosion of $180 million in trade volume was more than several prominent altcoins managed to record during the peak of last January.

The project began development on October 31st, 2017, and the blockchain was launched in January of the following year. A mainnet upgrade to activate the blockchain’s asset creation protocol was implemented in November.

How Ravencoin Works

The Ravencoin code has the capacity to recognize assets, and differentiate between them and regular transactions – unlike Ethereum. The blockchain also has the capacity to carry messages between users, making it easier to dictate and organize contracts and agreements.

No smart contracts are required, since the mainchain is designed to execute its core functions natively, and no actual cryptocurrency transactions are needed to move assets around. According to the release notes on Bitcointalk:

Assets can come in a variety of types, such as financial instruments such as security tokens/stocks/bonds/deeds/etc as well as gaming items (ex. a sword)/conventional asset management/managing  distributions for co-ops/digital art. There are a lot of real-world applications that this blockchain is intended to disrupt and improve.”

Naming rights on the blockchain are parsed out on a first come, first serve basis, and are wholly unique titles which can’t be replicated. Asset issuances and registering of naming rights require the burning of a modest amount of RVN.

Mining and Tokenomics

The Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain uses sixteen different hashing algorithms – all of which are rotated on a non-patterned basis. This makes the algorithm impossible to predict by ASIC mining rigs, and leaves RVN free to be mined by typical AMD and Nvidia GPU’s.

At time of writing the RVN coin circulation stands at just under 2.2 billion, from a capped total supply of 21 billion. The current $92 million market cap can probably be considered ‘small-cap’ in relation to the major altcoins.

The distribution of RVN, detailed below, is quite remarkable for its apparent ‘fairness’. Only six addresses hold more than $1 million worth of RVN, while only fifty-nine addresses are worth more $100,000.

Perhaps this distribution is less surprising when you consider that Ravencoin launched without an ICO, airdrop, presale or premine, and has purely been picked up by word of mouth.

Conclusion

At the peak of the ICO boom, smart contract functionality was added to most whitepapers as a matter of course. Ravencoin takes the bold move of eschewing such grandstanding in favour of targeting its own specific niche, in a clear and direct way.

After less than a year from its launch, Ravencoin has cemented a place for itself near the middle of the market cap rankings, and currently stands a mere 75% spike away from its all-time high to date.

Whether the Ravencoin succeeds or not, the arrival of a blockchain project which doesn’t promise the world in the first page of its whitepaper is refreshing to see.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.



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