Ravencoin’s NFT Renaissance

“King Raven” by VuVuu Inc.

When I decided to get back into crypto about two years ago, Ravencoin was one of the first coins I looked at, and I even held some for a period of time before moving on to whatever else I got myself hyped up on. The Ravencoin community at that time seemed robust, yet fairly small and was comprised mainly of the usual Twitter coin shillers and amateur chart analysts, as well as various accounts posting pictures of ravens, invoking mythological symbolism to create an aura of mystique around the project.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I can’t recall what made me decide to revisit Ravencoin. It may have been Chico Crypto’s youtube video speculating that it was one of the likely choices for Ethereum miners to migrate to once Ethereum transitions to proof of stake. Anyway, upon my return I was astonished to discover that the Ravencoin community has grown substantially, and that the project has now become a vibrant artistic hub, brimming with NFT activity. While most Ethereum competitors (for lack of a better term) have one or two of their own dedicated NFT marketplaces, Ravencoin has many. I counted at least 7, and from what I can tell, most of these sprouted up organically in a grassroots fashion from enthusiasts within the community itself. There’s JustNFTs,RVNBay, RVNsea, RVNFT.art, Ravenist, Block Dog NFT, Mellori.Market, and that’s merely scratching the surface with a cursory google search.
It makes sense that creators would “flock” to Ravencoin, given the low minting fees and ease of tokenizing their work with user-friendly tools like Mango Farm Assets.

While you can find plenty of different styles of artwork and artists, pixel art seems to be an especially revered niche among Ravenites. This makes sense given the chain’s “retro-futuristic” computational sensibilities, as old school video game aesthetics have come to be associated with authenticity, innocence and the beauty of simplistic substance.

Fowl Punks, one of the most sought after NFT collections on Ravencoin

One of the more prominent pixelated Ravencoin NFT collections is the Fowl Punks series, which describes itself as “the birdbrain child of artist Chad ‘Beakman'” (probably not his real name) and which consists of “210 individually crafted and named 24×24 pixel PFP icons attached via IPFS hash to Unique Assets on the Ravencoin Blockchain.” I’ve been eyeballing the auctions, and these things sell like hotcakes, typically going for around 1500-12000 RVN at auction. There’s more to these NFTs than meets the eye though. The convenience of Ravencoin’s asset creation functionality has allowed Fowl Punks to create its own currency, known as SEEDMONEY.  A novel and innovative POP (proof of promotion) token, SEEDMONEY is awarded to members of the community for things like winning auctions, promoting Fowl Punks on social media and presumably various other unspecified marketing actions that benefit the Fowl Punks brand in some way.

SEEDMONEY, the Proof of Promotion token that has everyone on social media talking!

Other notable pixel powered Ravencoin NFT collections are the Rare Aliens series and one of my own personal favorites, Mallard Madness. Both of these series (as of this writing) are still reasonably priced. A few of the more well-known and established non-pixelated series are the adorably scruffy “Handsome Hounds” (which fetch a handsome price), the  anthropologically-minded Raven Skullz, and some cool, leisurely otters known as Raven Friends. I apologize if I missed any others, but this is only intended to be a brief overview. There are literally 10s of (100s of?) thousands of Ravencoin NFTs out there. There’s even a guy who has tokenized his own crypto newsletter to send out to people.

Mallard Madness!

With all the talk of the metaverse lately, I suppose I also can’t go without mentioning an ambitious Ravencoin based, NFT related project called “Synth World,” which I very much hope gets completed. It’s essentially an interactive, virtual world in 8/16bit form, which incorporates NFTs as real estate, various items, and other facets within the game’s ecosystem. Picture Synth World as a kind of classic, Super Nintendo RPG equivalent of Decentraland. Not everyone prefers a virtual reality experience that aims to visually mimic that of the real world. I would say more, but this project really deserves its own dedicated article.

Looking back to a couple of years ago, Ravencoin’s asset creation tools were always touted as a selling point, but I think it was always assumed they would primarily be utilized by businesses looking to issue their own currencies (and indeed some have) for shopping and transactional related use cases. I don’t think NFTs were really at the forefront of anyone’s mind. Back then Ravencoin was frequently marketed as an improved version of bitcoin, or as its proponents often prefer to put it, “Ravencoin is Bitcoin 3.0.” Perhaps more accurately, Ravencoin combines the the classic components and “spirit” of bitcoin with tokenization/asset creation features that rival those found on Ethereum and other platforms. That Ravencoin has become one of the leading players in the NFT space is a plot twist I don’t think many people anticipated, but hey we’ll take it. The fact that the process has been almost entirely organic and community driven has made Ravencoin’s NFT renaissance all the more inspiring.

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