Read our comprehensive guide to buying, selling and trading Ravencoin (RVN) in Canada.
Launched in January 2018, Ravencoin (RVN) is an experimental cryptocurrency that aims to create a digital peer-to-peer network for the facilitation of asset transfers, such as the transfer of tokens between users. Built on a fork of the bitcoin (BTC) code, this open-source platform is designed with a focus on user control, privacy and censorship resistance.
However, as the project is still in its early days, getting your hands on RVN isn’t as easy as it is for many other cryptocurrency coins and tokens. Keep reading to find out how you can buy or mine RVN and for a detailed look at the factors you should consider before purchasing.
Where can you buy RVN?
At the time of writing in March 2018, RVN was only listed on one cryptocurrency exchange, CryptoBridge.
How do I buy RVN?
If you want to buy Ravencoin, you will need to complete the following steps:
Step 1. Sign up for an account on the CryptoBridge decentralized exchange
You’ll need to create an account by entering an account name and generating a password. Remember to keep a copy of this password somewhere safe so that you can access your account again in the future.
Step 2. Deposit funds into your account
Click on the “Deposit/Withdraw” link and select the cryptocurrency you’d like to deposit. As fiat deposits aren’t available, you’ll need to first own or acquire some bitcoin (BTC), which you can then deposit into your account.
Step 3. Buy RVN
Navigate your way to the exchange page and search for “RVN”. Click on the relevant search result and enter the details of your transaction in the “Buy RVN” box. Make sure to review the amount of BTC you’re spending and the amount of RVN you’re buying before finalizing the transaction.
How to sell RVN
If you want to sell your RVN holdings, the process you’ll need to follow is similar to that outlined in Step 3 above. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you enter your transaction details in the “Sell RVN” box rather than the “Buy RVN” box. At the time of writing in March 2018, RVN was only listed in a currency pairing with BTC, so you’ll need to exchange it for BTC and then work out how to trade those coins for the currency you want.
How to mine RVN
To start mining RVN, you will first need to create a wallet and generate a wallet address that your RVN can be paid into. Next, choose a mining pool – you can see a list of available pools on Ravencoin’s Bitcointalk thread – and follow the instructions to get started.
Designed to be mined on readily available consumer-grade hardware, Ravencoin uses a new algorithm known as X16R. It’s designed to be Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) resistant and constantly switches between 16 different algorithms.
What is ASIC hardware and ASIC resistance?
While bitcoin was initially mined with Graphic Processing Units (GPUs), ASIC hardware was eventually developed for mining. However, bitcoin mining with ASIC hardware has relatively large costs and energy requirements in comparison to bitcoin mining with GPUs. With bitcoin mining becoming less accessible, several people thought that bitcoin itself was becoming more centralized. Designed to be mineable by anyone who has access to a computer and the Internet, ASIC-resistant cryptocurrencies like RVN and Vertcoin (VCN) are meant to be more egalitarian.
Which wallets can I use to hold RVN?
Storing your RVN on a cryptocurrency exchange for lengthy periods is not recommended due to security reasons. With this in mind, you’ll need to find a secure wallet that provides support for RVN coins.
You can download the official Ravencoin wallet client for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems from GitHub.
How Ravencoin works
A Ravencoin post on Medium from November 2017 references Game of Thrones when introducing this experimental currency: “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”.
We love the hugely popular HBO drama as much as the next crypto enthusiast, but what exactly does it have to do with digital currency?
Launched on 3 January 2018, the ninth anniversary of bitcoin’s launch, Ravencoin is an open-source project designed to enable instant payments to anyone around the world. The aim of the project is to create a blockchain optimized specifically for the transfer of assets such as tokens from one holder to another.
A fork of the bitcoin code, Ravencoin features three key changes:
- The issuance schedule (block reward of 5,000 RVN)
- Block time (1 minute)
- Mining algorithm (X16R)
This algorithm is intended to address the centralization of mining caused by ASIC hardware. In the Ravencoin whitepaper, the team behind the currency explains that the fixed order of ordinary hashing algorithms lends itself to the construction of ASIC miners.
However, the X16R algorithm aims to overcome this problem by constantly disrupting the ordering of the hashing algorithms – it uses the same algorithms used in X15 and SHA512, but the ordering of those algorithms is changed based on the hash of the previous block.
Key things to consider if you’re thinking about buying RVN
Cryptocurrencies are complicated and volatile, so buying any digital currency is highly speculative. With this in mind, it’s important to research and assess the key factors that could affect a currency’s value before making a purchase.
If you’re thinking of buying RVN, make sure you consider the following factors:
- Supply. According to CoinMarketCap, at the time of writing on 13 March 2018, the total supply of Ravencoin was 598,420,108 RVN. The maximum coin supply is capped at 21 billion.
- Early growth. On 3 March 2018, two months after launch, Ravencoin posted the following stats on its official Twitter feed:
- 4,314 full mining nodes
- 339.15 GH/s network hashes
- 3,928 Twitter followers
- 2,708 Telegram members
- 509,421 transactions on the network
- 14 mining pools
- Overstock investment. In a February 2018 interview with Business Insider, the CEO of US Internet retailer Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, revealed that his company has put “millions of dollars” into Ravencoin. “We have people contributing to this open-source project. We think this coin actually has quite a future. It’s about – it’s bitcoin, but a thousand times more energy efficient. And there’s other real interesting virtues to it…,” he said.
- Lack of marketing. Ravencoin is a new project and there’s still only limited information available about it online. The official website is very light on details and the whitepaper is similarly brief, so do as much research as you can to find out what this coin has to offer.
- Availability. As Ravencoin is only listed on one cryptocurrency exchange, this could affect its credibility in the eyes of the general public. However, the fact that it’s designed for consumer-friendly mining could increase its appeal to those who are more familiar with cryptocurrencies.
- Other ASIC-resistant coins. Other cryptocurrencies have attempted to combat the centralizing of mining caused by ASIC hardware, including Vertcoin, Ethereum and Monero. If you’re interested in mining RVN, you may also want to look into the possibility of mining other ASIC-resistant currencies.
Considering these and a range of other factors will help you make an informed decision about whether you should buy or mine RVN.
At the time of writing, the author holds IOTA and XLM.