Dr. Patrick Byrne, a well-known Bitcoin (BTC) advocate and the CEO of American online retailer Overstock.com, is a big believer in one altcoin: Ravencoin (RVN). What is highly impressive is that the year-to-date (USD) performance of this top 50 coin even beats that of Binance Coin (BNB).

The Overstock CEO’s Interest in Bitcoin and Ravencoin

Byrne’s love for Bitcoin led to the company he founded (in 1999) becoming, in January 2014, the first major online retailer to accept Bitcoin. On 23 February 2018, Business Insider’s Sara Silverstein did an interview with the Overstock CEO during which she asked about the extent of his interest in cryptocurrencies. This was Byrne’s reply:

“Well I'm not really interested in cryptocurrencies per se. Although in general, I guess there's nothing wrong with me saying there is an open-source project of which I'm really letting something big out of the bag here. I'll tell you. But there's an open-source project called Ravencoin, which Overstock has put millions of dollars into teams. We have people contributing to this open-source project. We think this coin actually has quite a future… But other than that, I stay out of the cryptocurrency game… we're focusing on applications of this technology and not just betting on coins themselves.”

The funding that the Overstock CEO is referring to came from Medici Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Overstock.com, the stated goal of which is “to change the world by advancing blockchain technology.” A few examples of its portfoolio companies are tZero, Bittrex, Ripio, and Chainstone Labs. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at Byrne’s favorite altcoin, in particular what makes this blockchain project rather special, and examine its spectacular performance in 2019.

What is Ravencoin (RVN)?

The developers of Ravencoin describe it as “a protocol based on a fork of the Bitcoin code which adds features specifically focused on allowing tokens to be issued on the Ravencoin blockchain,” and such tokens “can have whatever properties the issue of the token decides – so they can be limited in quantity, named and be issued as securities or as collectibles.” This means that you can “make your own security token within minutes and have it trade worldwide.” The aim of the Ravencoin project is “to create a blockchain optimized specifically for the transfer of assets such as tokens from one holder to another.”

In case you are wondering how Ravencoin got its name, the following Game of Thrones reference is from a November 2017 post on Ravencoin’s official Medium blog:

“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.”

The following tweet gives some examples of tokens you might want to create using the Ravencoin blockchain:

Ravencoin’s code is different from Bitcoin in the following ways:

  • issuance schedule (block reward of 5,000 RVN)
  • block time (1 minute)
  • coin supply (21 Billion)
  • mining algorithm (X16R)

The X16R mining algorithm is designed to be ASIC-resistant in keeping with the goal of maximizing the decentralization of Ravencoin mining:

“… 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.”

RVN is available on over 23 digital asset exchanges including Bittrex, Binance, Upbit, and Bitrue.

Perhaps, Ravencoin’s biggest fan and the one that is most well-known in the crypto community is Bruce Fenton, the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at investment firm Atlantic Financial Inc., who has been an active investor in crypto since 2012.  Fenton currently serves on the Board of Directors for Medici Ventures. 

On 4 April 2018, Fenton posted a tweetstorm that nicely summarized Ravencoin’s whitepaper. Here are a few of the key highlights:

  • “There is no leader, CEO or corporate controller, the project is decentralized, real free & open source with anyone able to contribute, dev funding is voluntary and/ or covered by community, personal & corporate donations – mining is fair, transparent POW (proof of work)”
  • “The purpose of the Ravencoin protocol is to use a significantly modified code fork of the Bitcoin code adding OP RETURN changes and the ability to issue assets, add messaging and pay dividends -Ravencoin is already operational”
  • “all Ravencoin in existence are issued the same way: through a fair and transparent mining process – there are over 20,000 miners (or 80k? not sure how to read node count depending on pool) securing the network with 1.5 GH/s in hash power – wow!”
  • “In only three months the community of fans got together and built a highly secure and decentralized network with a strong blockchain, wide diversity of mining and nodes and lots of activity – all driven by community members with zero paid marketing”
  • “there was no premine, developer set aside, founder or advisor coins, solo mine, insta mine, tricky gpu algo holdback, sale, pre-sale or any public or private fundraising of any kind: notice was given… …code was released & people chose to run it – thats it”
  • “I personally think there are TONS of good uses for tokens such as securities tokens – but that’s a separate conversation – the protocol doesn’t care if securities tokens become a thing, the protocol doesn’t even know what a security is (& shouldn’t)”

Ravencoin’s Price Performance in 2019

2019 has been an amazing year so far for Binance Coin (BNB), with the price up over 442%; in contrast, Bitcoin (BTC), which has been enjoying an impressive rally during the past five months, is up around 130% during the same period.

However, two altcoins have performed even better than Binance Coin in 2019: PCHAIN (PAI) and Ravencoin (RVN); however, the former has a much smaller cap (roughly $35 million versus $284 million). At press time, the RVN price is up over 497% for the year-to-date (USD). 

According to CryptoCompare, RVN is currently trading at $0.07666, up 9.44% in the past 24-hour period:

RVN - 24 Four CC Chart - 3 June 2019.png

Ravencoin is no doubt a very interesting project, but it might be prudent to close this article with this tweet that was sent out by the Ravencoin team on May 24:


Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com