Ravencoin is a digital currency created on a fork of the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. This means it employs much of the same technology, with some slight variations. Most notably, a special algorithm allows Ravencoin to be mined by your average computer.
Mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is typically expensive and incredibly energy-intensive. It also often requires special hardware. Over time, these barriers to entry have centralized a lot of cryptocurrency mining to a relatively small number of nodes, overriding one of blockchain’s original tenets. Ravencoin is one cryptocurrency working to bring about blockchain and Bitcoin’s original vision of decentralization—but not without some hitches.
What Is Ravencoin?
Ravencoin is a fairly new cryptocurrency that was created on a fork of Bitcoin in 2018. It employs much of the same technology as Bitcoin, but there are some key differences. Regardless, just like Bitcoin, Ravencoin is a blockchain-powered cryptocurrency beyond government control. The main feature of Ravencoin is its ability to be mined by a regular computer.
Ravencoin was first introduced as an experimental currency in November 2017 via the blogging platform Medium. In the blog post, Ravencoin’s founders connected the new digital currency with the popular TV show “Game of Thrones”:
“In the fictional world of Westeros, ravens are used as messengers who carry statements of truth. Ravencoin is a use case specific blockchain designed to carry statements of truth about who owns what assets.”
Just two months later, on Jan. 3, 2018, Ravencoin was born.
Special Features of Ravencoin
Most notably, Ravencoin is designed to be mined by your average computer. Rather than a government controlling the money supply—as governments do—a circulating cryptocurrency supply only increases as it is mined. For most cryptocurrencies, miners use special hardware to solve complicated math problems to mint new blocks, and they can even receive a fee or block reward for the work. For example, as of 2020, miners receive 6.25 bitcoins for each block of Bitcoin they mine and add to the blockchain.
Given that 1 bitcoin was worth $36,548 on June 9, 2021, and its price hit as high as $64,161 on April 14, 2021, it’s not difficult to see the incentives at play to successfully mine cryptocurrency.
While Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin, intended the cryptocurrency to be decentralized, the technological know-how and advanced computing hardware required to mine it has resulted in centralization among a small pool of miners. In recent years, because high amounts of energy are now required to mine Bitcoin, mining has been further centralized in a few regions of China, where cheap electricity is abundant. Critics have pointed out that this centralization in cryptocurrency mining nullifies one of its primary uses: decentralization. A truly decentralized cryptocurrency would require many mining nodes pulling their weight.
The Ravencoin blockchain attempts to solve this by creating math problems your average computer’s hardware is still capable of solving. Specifically, Ravencoin uses special algorithms to prevent the need for specialized hardware to mine the digital currency. This keeps the sophistication of the puzzles from advancing too rapidly and pushing would-be miners out.
Ravencoin uses an algorithm known as KAWPOW.
In theory, this means almost anyone with a computer can mine Ravencoin, which is the kind of accessibility that has the potential to create many nodes. Ravencoin’s creators hope their take on cryptocurrency will lead to a truly decentralized digital coin as well as make both cryptocurrency and mining more accessible to the general public.
|Inception||Jan. 3, 2018|
|Already Mined Out of Total Supply
(as of June 9, 2021)
|8.96 billion coins out of 21 billion coins|
|Special Feature||Ability to mine with most regular computer hardware|
History of Ravencoin
Upon launch in 2018, Ravencoin’s team was funded by Medici Ventures, a blockchain-focused subsidiary of Overstock.com.
Ravencoin was explicitly designed to create a mining ecosystem where the specialized mining hardware used for other cryptocurrencies—called application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)—did not have an advantage over your average computer.
In January 2020, Tron Black, Ravencoin’s lead developer, wrote in a post on Medium that ASIC miners had found a way to game Ravencoin’s original algorithms, giving them a leg up on computers with regular processing power.
To remedy this, the Ravencoin team further modified its algorithms so that even if miners chose to use ASICs, their hardware would be forced to behave like regular computer hardware in order to compete because the creators specified the algorithms to be most efficient when used by consumer-grade hardware. This essentially evened the playing field—at least for the time being.
How To Mine Ravencoin
To mine Ravencoin, first create a digital wallet and generate a wallet address. Once you’ve set up your wallet, you can select from more than a dozen mining pools affiliated with Ravencoin.
Total Supply of Ravencoin
There are 21 billion coins. As of June 9, 2021, 8.96 billion have been mined.
Rewards for Mining and Halving History
The block reward is 5,000 ravencoins. According to the Ravencoin wiki page, the next halving is scheduled to be on Jan. 6, 2022, when it reaches 2.1 million coins.
How to Buy/Invest in Ravencoin
Because Ravencoin was launched without an initial coin offering (ICO), which the network’s creators say ensured a “fair launch” free of suspect incentives for either funders or developers, not as many general wallets support buying or investing in Ravencoin as a lot of other cryptocurrencies.
Not to worry though, as Ravencoin is supported by its own wallet. Ravencoin also lists several supporting third party wallets on its website:
- Atomic Wallet
- Trust Wallet
Ravencoin’s own wallet is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The transaction time for Ravencoin can be as short as one minute, according to cryptocurrency exchange Bitni. For true immutability of the transactions, though, Bitni says transaction times between six and 100 minutes are most secure.
The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.