Now that assets and sub-assets are active on testnet, some questions have come up. I’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions. The word “token” and “asset” are used interchangeably in the document.
Does it cost to issue assets?
Yes. Asset names are a limited resource for two reasons. First every client must hold the list of issued assets so the system can ensure uniqueness. The cost of creating a new asset is 500 RVN. These RVN are burned, and not recycled. This means the remaining RVN are worth more as it increases the scarcity of RVN.
Does the asset name have to be unique?
Yes. This was an early design decision for Ravencoin. There have been other asset platforms that use contract ids, asset ids, hashes, etc. to represent the asset. This is confusing.
If asset names must be unique, then who gets them first?
The first one to register the name on the chain. If there’s a mad rush, the network and blockchain will sort out who wins. The software is using some of the mechanisms that prevent double-spends to prevent multiple registrations of the same asset.
For the blockchain savvy, a node’s mempool will reject the asset transaction if the same asset already exists in its mempool. A block with the same asset name in two different transactions is an invalid block and will not be accepted or mined by the reference client. A block with an asset name that is already in a block on the existing blockchain will be considered invalid.
Do I have to pay every year for the asset name?
No. Once it’s issued, it’s yours.
When can I create assets on mainnet?
As soon as it activates. No earlier than Oct 31, 2018, but shortly thereafter (probably a day or so), it will “lock-in” and then a day or so after that (2016 blocks @ roughly 1 minute per block) it will activate.
What about domain names?
We’ve left that option open.
LEMONADE.COM is a valid asset name.
There are some domain names that can’t be represented such as domain names with a dash in them.
Can I name my asset anything I want?
Yes, within the constraints of the system. Must be all uppercase letters or digits. This was to reduce the confusion and potential fraud caused by similar names. You can use a dot (.), or an underscore (_), but not at the beginning, or end, and not consecutively. You may use up to thirty characters and not less than three.
What is the token name with exclamation point after it? Did I create that?
When you create assets, for example, LEMONADE, then the system will also create LEMONADE! token. Note the trailing exclamation point. This is the ownership token. This token has special powers. In the current phase 2, it allows you to re-issue more LEMONADE tokens (as long as the reissue flag is set to true), and create sub-assets (see below). It will have additional powers in future phases.
What if I want to reserve an asset name, but later decide to sell it?
We anticipated this use case. You can create a token, VALUABLE_NAME, and issue 1 of them, and leave it re-issuable. If someone wants that token, you can sell it for RVN, BTC, or USD, and send them the VALUABLE_NAME and VALUABLE_NAME! token. Once the new owner has the ownership token, they can reissue more qty of VALUABLE_NAME and use it for their project. The new owner can mark it as NOT reissuable when they increase the qty.
How many can I create of my token?
You can set the quantity between 1 and 21,000,000,000, and you can make each token divisible up to eight decimal places. That means you divide tokens into 2,100,000,000,000,000,000 individual pieces. This is just 21 billion divided by 0.00000001.
Do I have to pay fees to use the network and send assets?
Yes. There are some who would destroy the network by overloading it if there weren’t a cost to use it. The fees are very low unless there is extraordinary demand on the network and then the fees will automatically adjust upwards to protect the network, and to create a market-based system for being included in a block.
How secure are the assets?
They are as secure as the Ravencoin blockchain. This is secured by the miners. The higher the hashrate and the more distributed the hashrate becomes, the more secure it is. If you have a gaming computer that just sits idle all day, earn some RVN by putting it to work mining Ravencoin and securing the blockchain. Ravencoin is not yet secure against nation states, but it’s pretty good.
How do I send assets?
The same way you would send Ravencoin. Just enter someone’s Ravencoin address, choose the asset, choose a quantity to send, and hit SEND.
Can assets and Ravencoin be sent to the same address?
Yes, and this is important to some upcoming features. Multiple assets can be held by a single address. An asset sent to two different addresses in the same wallet will be shown as a combined total.
Can I see a list of all the assets that have been created?
Yes, but I recommend not reading the entire list. The list has no censorship. If you are using the command-line version, just run raven-cli listassets
If you are on the graphical interface, sometimes called the “qt”, then hit Help->’Debug Window’, choose the ‘Console’ tab, and type listassets.
Can I see a partial list of the assets?
will show you all the assets that start with the letter H.
How do I list assets that I have created?
If you are using the command-line version, just run raven-cli listmyassets
If you are on the graphical interface, sometimes called the “qt”, then hit Help->’Debug Window’, choose the ‘Console’ tab, and type listmyassets.
What are sub-assets?
Sub-assets are exactly like assets, but can only be created by an asset holder. They are only 100 RVN to create. To create a sub-asset, you use the same issue command, but you must own the owner token for the parent asset.
If you own the asset named ART_VENUE, you could create:
If you own ART/TICKETS, you could create:
The forward slash separates parent asset from the sub asset. Sub-asset levels can continue to be created until you run into the thirty character limit. ABC/A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H/I/J/K/L/M is valid. To create this sub-asset ‘M’, you’d need to create and own the sub-assets ABC/A, then own ABC/A/B, then own ABC/A/B/C, etc.
Each of the sub-assets has the same rights, privileges, qty, units, and optional metadata as a root token. The only difference is the reduced cost and that only the admin owner of the parent token is able to create it. This creates a protected namespace for the original token holder on which your users/customers/investors/holders can rely.
What can I use assets for?
Anything you can think of. We certainly don’t want to limit your imagination.
Here is a small list to get you thinking (in no particular order):
- Gift cards.
- Rewards program.
- Tokens that represent real property:
- -> Land
- -> Homes
- -> Cars
- -> Gold, diamonds, silver or precious metals
- Energy credits
- Software licenses
- In game items (swords, skins, etc.)
- Contractual obligations
- Certificates of authenticity for:
- -> Artwork
- -> Rare items
- -> Easily counterfeited items
- Babysitting credits/debits
- A local currency for a town.
- Stablecoin — Tokenized reserve of a government (not Venezuelan) issued currency
- An ICO, or STO
- A utility token that can be used on a website.
- Kickstarter placeholder tokens
- Reservation tokens
Why are asset names limited to 31 characters?
The actual limit is 32 characters, but the special admin token has an extra character (an exclamation point). So the regular tokens are limited to 31 characters, so the token with the extra character can be used for admin.
The original design used the equivalent of OP_RETURN (80 byte limit inherited from BTC) and allocated 4 bytes to the message type, and 40 bytes to the msg (used in messaging) and 8 bytes to the qty. The spec changed some along the way, but that is the main reason for the 32 character limit. There are also good reasons to limit it. If you’re not convinced, then I invite you to read the longer asset names on testnet to your kids.