Ravencoin — Better than ERC-20?

Tron Black
Dec 19, 2018 · 3 min read

Yes

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Oh, you want a more nuanced answer.

Ok, here goes! Ethereum was not designed with assets in mind. It was designed to be a general purpose processor of smart contracts. These contracts run the same code on all the nodes to arrive at a consensus result.

ERC-20 is a template contract, written in Solidity, that lets you create an asset on the Ethereum network. Once you deploy the contract, an asset is created with the name, symbol, total supply, etc. of the token. These can’t be changed, and the name of the asset can be used again by someone else. This is extra confusing. Imagine if the IBM stock symbol represented different things depending on which contract is used.

ERC-20 also has some problems because if it isn’t used correctly, the tokens are lost. As of a year ago, millions of dollars worth of tokens were lost. The solution to this is ERC-223, a contract that helps prevent token loss. It doesn’t make using tokens any less confusing but rather solves a technical problem with ERC-20.

Ravencoin also replaces ERC-721 tokens, which are non-fungible tokens in Ethereum’s vernacular. Ravencoin calls them Unique Assets. These uniquely named tokens can represent a rare baseball card, a one-of-a-kind game item, a unique human, or any other one-of-a-kind thing. If you’ve played with Crypto Kitties, the virtual pet breeding program that brought the Ethereum network to its knees, then you’ve used ERC-721 tokens.

Ravencoin assets are also handled differently internally. Ravencoin assets are tracked using the UTXO model. That means that after issuance, you see on the Ravencoin blockchain every transaction and that every asset ever issued is traceable back to its origin. Ethereum on the other hand, just adds X to one address and subtracts X from another address. If someone modified the ERC-20 contract to take a commission in the transfer, that might not get caught right away. How many of you check the solidity contract before buying a token?

With Ravencoin, asset tokens don’t get lost. There’s even a Ravencoin asset audit script that will list all the assets, and for each asset, prints out a list of addresses that holds the asset, adds them up and ensures that it is EXACTLY equal to the issuance amount.

Ethereum smart contracts are amazing, powerful, and very flexible. They’re perfect for breeding virtual kitty cats, but inferior to a purpose-built asset platform like Ravencoin for issuing and transferring assets.

Hey Vitalik, I’m just bustin’ your chops. I love Ethereum and it has many wonderful uses besides asset tracking. If you’re building an insurance dApp then use Ethereum smart contracts, but if you’re creating a token that represents equity shares, stock, gold, coupons, stable coins, utility tokens, access tokens, game assets, etc., then you’re way better off using Ravencoin.