In 2017, a team of developers announced the launch of an idea. The Ravencoin project would be a blockchain like no other: a network dedicated solely to transferring assets of all kinds, anywhere in the world.
They wanted to create a platform that would bring the benefits of Bitcoin to mainstream asset classes, envisioning a world where securities and tokenized commodities could be transferred seamlessly in minutes. While Bitcoin and ERC-20 tokens can be used in a rudimentary way to “tokenize” assets, this is not a user-friendly process and can prove prohibitively difficult in the domain of tokenized securities.
Ravencoin adopted Bitcoin’s code and made some significant changes to the mining algorithm, block time, and total supply, making a unique project with a single purpose. Assets cannot be accidentally destroyed, and the platform is designed to issue, track, and transfer assets with a native client.
Ravencoin can be used to transfer ownership of any asset, digital or otherwise. Assets like gold and real estate can be tokenized by burning RVN on the blockchain, assigning the physical assets to tokens on the blockchain, and transferring ownership at will. To give you an idea of just how broad this concept is, the project has a use case in the video-game industry for in-game items and in the world of traditional finance for tokenized securities.
Since then, Ravencoin has achieved recognition and acclaim from mainstream financial institutions and businesses, and the project has seen major growth and features updates.
- 📈 Excitement around the use-case: The project has created a buzz around the use case for tokenizing any asset, including artwork, video-game assets, and securities. Other major networks are not designed to do this.
- 📈 Trial by fire: Ravencoin had a difficult entry point into the market. The network went live just days after the major crypto market crash at the beginning of 2018 and still saw solid gains in Q1 2018.
- 📈 Community trust and support: The project appeals to people due to having no ICO, no CEO, and no pre-mine.
- 📉Rocky price action: The price of RVN has seen significant volatility, and progress on the project has not always correlated with a higher market value.
Throughout it all, the project has grown steadily in popularity, rising in the ranks in terms of market cap to become a major player in the cryptocurrency space.
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January 03, 2018 — March 26, 2018: Ravencoin Gains Traction Amid Bear Market
Ravencoin’s genesis block was mined on January 3rd, making Bitcoin’s ninth anniversary. However, Ravencoin’s entrance into the market was overshadowed by one of the largest market crashes in crypto history. Bitcoin traded above $19,800 on December 17, 2017, before decreasing 65% in price in Q1 2018, taking most of the market with it.
Despite this harsh entry point, Ravencoin had a very productive quarter and opened trading by the end of March. The project started out with a market cap of around $230,000 and hit $39.6 million within a month of the first listing, likely drawing miners interested in the mining features as well as investors supportive of the use-case.
Part of Ravencoin’s early success was the buzz created around the opportunity for miners. Ravencoin uses the X16R algorithm, which is designed to be ASIC-resistant. Ravencoin is an open-source project, and the community elected for ASIC-resistant mining to keep mining fair for smaller miners using PC hardware.
It’s not that we don’t like custom hardware; it’s not that ASICs are evil; the goal, really, is to have Ravencoin be more like the people’s coin. If you have a gaming machine with a video card in it, you should be able to flip it on at night and get some RVN. We’d prefer Ravencoin to have that character rather than being mined by massive data farms in places with cheap electricity that have bought custom machines. — Ravencoin Developer Tron Black, Interview with SFOX
This focus on decentralized mining gave no advantage to the major operations running warehouses full of ASIC gear. The ideals of the project appealed to smaller-scale cryptocurrency miners, and Ravencoin was enthusiastically adopted by the mining community. The hashrate gained from 13.3 mh/s in early January to 1.84 th/s by late March.
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne announced to Business Insider that his company had invested millions in Ravencoin, generating widespread interest in the project. At the time, Ravencoin was virtually unknown, and Byrne described Ravencoin as “Bitcoin, but a thousand times more energy efficient.”
Byrne went on to outline some of the major tenets in the Ravencoin whitepaper, saying that the project aimed to “re-democratize” mining while mitigating the problem of Bitcoin’s energy inefficiency.
CryptoBridge and BTCjam were the first exchanges to add RVN, Ravencoin’s native crypto asset. With little fanfare to the wider cryptocurrency market, Ravencoin trading was officially open. At first, the trading volume of the low-profile coin was scarce. Nanex listed RVN in late March, and the RVN almost tripled in price during the same week, going from $.019 to $0.052 before settling back down at around $0.03. In BTC, RVN jumped from 324 satoshis to 764, subsequently fluctuating between 500 and 600 sats for several months.
📉March 27, 2018 — February 27, 2019: Price Cools off Until Major Listings
Throughout May, Ravencoin price declined to $0.012. The price hovered at around $0.02 for most of this period. RVN was listed on multiple exchanges during this period, and the price saw short-term increases following each listing. The lethargy in the price of RVN correlated with similar activity in the price of Bitcoin, which sunk from around $9,800 to $5,800 from May to June. Trading against BTC, RVN price fluctuated between 358 and 443 sats.
This was a time when Ravencoin still wasn’t widely available; while the price ticked downward throughout the year, the project slowly built liquidity across exchanges before getting listed on yet more platforms.
The Bittrex listing was a success for Ravencoin’s credibility, although the price saw a very subdued reaction. However, when RVN was listed on Binance on October 11, the trading price jumped 300% in a week to $0.06. BTC and USD values of RVN were very closely correlated during this time. Listings on major exchanges can add a sense of legitimacy to a budding cryptocurrency project; in Ravencoin’s case, these listings allowed many in the industry to discover the project for the very first time.
📉 November 05
Early November marked a major milestone for the project: the launch of the Ravencoin asset layer. The asset layer enabled the project to generate unique tokens with which to represent any asset, fulfilling the use case of the project. This was a crucial moment in the project timeline and quite a precarious one.
As Ravencoin developer Tron Black put it, a “rogue mining pool with around twenty percent of the hash power” elected to run the older non-asset-aware software. To implement the update and begin realizing the use case of the project, the developers needed 90% consensus. Fortunately, the community rallied together to generate more hashpower and outvote the rogue mining pool, allowing the developers to implement the software update for asset creation.
Black created blockchain assets for his own name for starters, but the network was now equipped to tokenize traditional assets on-chain as well. On December 18, Medici Ventures transferred $3.6 million in securities using the Ravencoin blockchain.
📈February 27, 2019, to the Present: Ravencoin in the Public Eye, Hits All-Time High
February through April marked strong growth and several successes in the media for the Ravencoin project. Ravencoin won awards from the traditional finance industry, saw attention from institutional trading platforms, and earned support from various public figures. More assets were minted on the blockchain. The perceived legitimacy of the project and its use case was higher than ever. During this period, RVN price soared to its all-time high trading against Bitcoin in late March 2019.
Zooming out to the present day, we can see that RVN/BTC price has cooled off compared to Q1 2019. Trading against the US dollar, RVN hit its all-time high in June 2019. As the Ravencoin team continue to develop the network, the price response to upcoming developments and innovations remains to be seen.
It’s worth bearing in mind that almost all crypto assets tracked by SFOX saw month-over-month losses as of March 02, along with the S&P 500, as the world copes with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Bruce Fenton tweeted about the project on February 27, and the Ravencoin account posted a list of promising use cases. The official account also pointed out, on the following day, that Ravencoin is compatible with Lightning Network. RVN price increased immediately following the tweets.
Fenton’s tweet made a strong case for the Ravencoin project:
The Ravencoin account elaborated on Fenton’s tweet, citing 12 different sample use-cases for Ravencoin, including real estate, digital securities, and tradeable royalties. In early March, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also tweeted his support, perhaps contributing to the increasingly positive sentiment about the project.
This award was perhaps all the more notable because it came from outside the cryptocurrency industry. The UK ADVFN International Finance Awards are geared toward “best of breed products and services from across the financial industry,” and Ravencoin took home the award for most exciting cryptocurrency of the year.
Days later, Nasdaq cross-published an article on Ravencoin. While the piece itself was on the cryptocurrency RVN’s bullish momentum, it reignited conversation within the crypto community about Ravencoin’s use case for tokenizing securities. In the short time between Bruce Fenton’s tweet on February 27 and the Nasdaq article a month later on March 26, Ravencoin price rose from $0.011 to $0.054.
Ravencoin’s bull run was, of course, the source of much conversation as well. RVN was recognized as the top-performing altcoin of 2019. Bitcoinist Magazine pointed out that RVN was up 387% annually in what was supposedly a bear market for altcoins.
Ravencoin also received press coverage from Forbes that month in an article called Blockchain 50: Billion Dollar Babies. This media attention came during a bull run in the broader crypto market. In early June 2019, Ravencoin rose to an all-time high in USD of around $0.76, up 497% annually. By comparison, RVN was worth 862 sats at this time compared to 1632 in March.
📉 July 26
Ravencoin price began to gradually decrease shortly after the peak, but the project continued to make progress. In July, crypto derivatives exchange BXB launched RVN futures, offering a more diverse range of investment vehicles for Ravencoin traders. RVN price hovered between $0.032 and $0.05 throughout the Q4 2019, sunk below $0.02 in January, and recovered to $0.039 by February 15 following an OKEx listing on February 14.
SFOX enabled Ravencoin trading on February 18. SFOX allows traders to access all major RVN trading venues from a single account and capture the best available RVN prices for any sized trade by using our proprietary smart-routing order types.
A Future in Asset Trading
Today, Ravencoin sits at #52 in terms of market cap rankings, and interest in the project has grown steadily. The promise of a blockchain designed specifically to handle the creation and transfer of assets is appealing, especially in the world of traditional finance. Institutional finance and cryptocurrency are growing increasingly more intertwined, and we’re excited to support the Ravencoin project as it continues on its journey to adoption.
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