Ravencoin, another fork of the Bitcoin code, is currently one of the most profitable crypto currencies to mine. It started almost four years ago to be one of the fair crypto currencies, by providing no ICO or developer reserved tokens. The mining algorithm used for ravencoins is also supposed to support more consumer grade GPU than any other mineable crypto.
The whole chain is of size close to 20 GB so syncing it takes less than a day, and mining with a pool is really easy. Ravencoin provides a very resourceful wiki to explain about creating a node, wallet and mining setup so I’m not going to repeat it here. Instead I’ll list some terms and their meaning to make reading crypto related literature a bit easier.
A set of transactions recorded in the chain (ledger). The body of the block contains the transaction and the header contains the metadata.
Every crypto protocol sets a target rate of block generation. For Ravencoin it is one block per minute. It doesn’t matter how many transactions happened in that time period. The protocol by design makes sure that on an average the block rate stays close to target rate.
Blocks are recorded by all nodes in the network as the transaction information is broadcasted to everyone. But only one of the nodes can be the author of the next block. Every node attempts to be the author by generating a valid block as fast as they can. The lucky node that becomes the author gets the block reward which in turn mines new crypto coins, five thousand in case of RVN.
To create a valid block the nodes are supposed to calculate a hash, called block hash. For example look at this block. To be a valid block the hash is supposed to equal to or less than a target hash. The input data for the hash is a block header whose values are predetermined except the one called
nonce. Nodes tweak this nonce to achieve the target hash by using brute force.
Difficulty & Target Hash
In the block header the
difficulty is represented as a decimal value. It is calculated by the crypto protocol to tune block producing time based on the combined hashrate of miners.
Difficulty number is used to derive the target hash which is explained here
At this point it’s a game of chance and miners use computational power to make guesses with various nonce values till they find a valid hash. Hash rate is the measure of this computing power. Basically how many hashes can a machine try in one second.
Since any calculated hash can be the valid one it is actually possible that a lonely node with low compute capability might produce a valid block. So if you can handle the network and storage for a crypto node, do try to run a mining rig.