When selecting a token technology, you should choose the technology that works best for your project.
Cost to Transfer
The cost to transfer Ravencoin assets is much cheaper than ERC-721. The cost varies by load on the Ethereum network, and the network is currently at a pretty high load because of the popularity of DeFi lending, trading, etc. The cost of transfer could vary dramatically depending on the at-the-time load on the Ethereum network. If your token needs this DeFi network for its value, then you may want to bear this cost. But if your token is not dependent on the DeFi network which is mostly on Ethereum (currently), then Ravencoin assets transfer for a much lower cost.
Unique Names — Anti-Spoofing
Having a unique name for your token is important for two reasons. First, is to prevent fraud and spoofing using identically named tokens. Just like we all know that IBM on NYSE market is a specific company. Imagine if there were 14 different stocks named IBM, and the only thing that distinguished the company formerly known as International Business Machines was a 40 character hex that looks like this: 0x04abeda201850ac0124161f037efd70c74ddc74d, but there are thirteen others that could look similar. It can lead to fraud as other contracts with a name of IBM masquerade as the real IBM.
Ravencoin takes the unique name to another level by using only uppercase letters, underscore, and . (dot), and then puts in some rules that the . (dot) and the underscore can’t be at the beginning or end of the token name, and you can’t include consecutive underscores, or dots. This is to reduce the incidences of fraudulent tokens. By using i (lowercase) and I (uppercase) in a token, you can make it look similar (with most fonts). For example: IBM looks similar to iBM. The lowercase letters are excluded from token names. Note: Unique Assets (NFTs) have an expanded character set after the # which includes lowercase letters and symbols which can be mapped to serial numbers, and real-life assets.
Unique Names — Branding
The second reason that a guaranteed unique name is valuable to token issuers is that the brand can be built using the name. Your name is included in Ravencoin asset browsers. Also, once trust is built in your root token name, then all sub-tokens can be trusted. This can be used by token issuance platforms that issue sub-tokens. For example: Let’s say TIP build their brand for [T]oken [I]ssuance [P]latform. Then you’d know that all sub-tokens like TIP/GREATCOMPANY and TIP/PROPERTY_DEAL are issued by the root token holder that owns TIP!
Ravencoin asset issuance platform is purpose built for asset issuance. So much so, that the core software that anyone can download for free has a built-in user interface for creating assets. The core software also has RPC calls to create and transfer assets so it can programmed or scripted for full automation.
Ethereum, by contrast, runs a generic virtual machine, and the ERC-721 contract is just a template smart contract (program) that can be used to issue and transfer assets. The name of this instance of the ERC-721 contract is the 40 character name referenced above as the identifier of the token. The higher cost of operation is because the virtual machine of every computer runs the ERC-721 contract to effect transfer.
Ravencoin has sub-assets, and these assets can only be created by the owner of the root asset. This allows some interesting NFT token configurations. Because root token owner is the only one that can create sub-assets, they can franchise, or back the sub-assets.
The ART token owned by a gallery, can create sub-tokens for each artist, and artists can create NFTs (Unique Assets) for each art piece. Using sub-tokens isn’t required, but can add a level of trust of authenticity.
Multiple levels of sub-assets can be created up to 30 characters.
One challenge with assets is knowing the commitment or promise behind the token. This can lead to fraud if the promise of the token is separated from the token itself.
Ravencoin assets can be created with an IPFS content id that is embedded into the blockchain. Because of the way IPFS works to reference the file information with the hash (content id), it makes it impossible to edit the meta-data associate with the Ravencoin asset. This information is standardized and available through various Ravencoin asset explorers. The meta-data can be PDFs, movies, text files, or even entire folders or websites that convey the meaning and purpose of the issued asset.
Because Ethereum smart contracts are programs, it is possible modify the contract to add meta-data in a non-standard way, and some non-standard contracts have done so. Since it isn’t in the standardized smart contract, it isn’t exposed via standard explorers.
Memos in Ravencoin are immutable IPFS data added to any transaction. This extra data can be used by the issuer to link initial issuances back to internal records, to publicly record cost-basis information, record ‘rule 144’ restrictions, include information about legal status, include details of rewards or dividends, or mark transactions as required.
This may or may not be helpful for every project, but there is additional tracking of assets in Ravencoin because it stores all UTXO (Unspent Transaction Outputs). Every transaction (issuance and transfer) is stored in its own digitally signed transaction. The sum of these UTXOs for an address is the address balance, and the sum of all UTXOs for all addresses for an asset will always match the issuance plus re-issuances and so all assets can be audited with an open-source script.
Ravencoin unique assets are objectively better for almost every use-case than ERC-721 where interaction with DeFi isn’t necessary or desired. As part of the protocol, Ravencoin will ensure that there is only one unique asset with a given name.