This guide is for anyone new to Ravencoin. It will also serve those who are new to crypto. Each section is standalone. If you already know it, feel free to skip. Lots of links are included so you can drill down and get more detail when you want it.
Ravencoin’s Roots — Bitcoin and Crypto Currencies
This is a super-deep topic that can take a year to grasp, so this section will only scratch the surface if this is your entry point. Skip this section if you are already very familiar with Bitcoin.
In late 2008, a paper was published that explained software that would run a global accounting ledger without anyone being in charge. The software enforced the rules, and if everyone followed the same rules, the ledger could track a cash-like token called bitcoin with a known limited supply.
The issuance of this token would initially go to those that run software to help replicate and secure the ledger, and these folks are called miners. There is now an entire world-wide industry of crypto miners.
The miners work on a puzzle, or maybe more accurately, a global lottery where each ticket takes a bit of computing work. Once they win this lottery, they can attach a new block full of bitcoin transactions to the end of a list of all the previous transactions. Each block that gets added can be verified by all the other participants, and each one can check that the lottery winner is valid, when the miner that adds the block and gets some bitcoin. This chain of blocks is known as the blockchain.
The first instance of the software launched on Jan 3rd, 2009. New participants have joined and Bitcoin has been running continuously for over eleven years. It gained a tiny value (under a penny) after a few years, and through market supply and demand, the price has gone up and down, but now sits at just over $10,000 per bitcoin. If you want to participate, you can get a tiny fraction of bitcoin because each bitcoin is divisible into 100,000,000 tiny pieces called “sats”
Entire books have been written about bitcoin, and if you want to learn more, I’d recommend these resources to start: