Forks are a normal phenomenon in the cryptocurrency industry. One of the latest networks set to undergo a fork is Ravencoin.
Ravencoin is a network conceived for asset tokenization, and that was born with the mindset that mining efforts should be as decentralized as possible.
Designed to be ASIC-resistant, Ravencoin’s algorithm X16R rotates through a series of algorithms to mine blocks making it relatively hard for ASICs to be developed.
However, with the popularity of X16R, it looks like developers were able to create ASICs for the Ravencoin algorithm.
The original Ravencoin whitepaper stated that one of the primary aims of the Ravencoin project was to prevent future dominance by ASIC mining equipment. On July 14th, the user standarderror posted a detailed analysis presenting proof of centralization of hashpower on the Ravencoin network.
It seems like a single miner appeared to have gathered an enormous quantity of RVN and sold it in bulk quantities, while mining as much as 45% of all Ravencoin blocks in July.
This situation prompted developers to build a new version of the X16R algorithm, which should keep the network away from ASICs.
The improved version of X16R is set to be activated on October 1st. As Ravencoin users update their software to 2.5.1, there will also be a share of users that will stay on the old chain with the old X16R mining algorithm.
There is already a small group of people that seem to have planned to maintain the original blockchain. If these miners continue mining on the old chain, this would create a Ravencoin fork alternative, dubbed “Ravencoin Classic”.
Binance, the popular exchange platform that listed RVN in 2018, has announced support for the upgrade, handling all the technical requirements for users on the exchange. The exchange will suspend deposits and withdrawals of RVN during the transition, resuming activity once the upgraded network is stable.
According to a blog post from the developing team, there might be a spike in profitability for GPU miners at the start, as the network hash rate can be erratic at the start. Those interested in mining and upgrading to the new algorithm can check out the “Definitive Guide” provided on the blog.
Despite the bearish market for altcoins, the RVN fork updates brought prices higher against both BTC and USD.
Ravencoin is not the first project to upgrade the network in order to restrict ASICs. In the cryptocurrency community, many feel like ASIC-resistance is a futile effort, since hardware developers will always try and create optimized devices – especially for profitable network coins. It remains to be seen, whether Ravencoin will be able to upgrade successfully and keep an ASIC-resistant environment for a longer period.