Hey guys :) I’m back with another comprehensive Q&A piece, this time for the innovative blockchain interoperability project – Ren (REN).
Ren is an open blockchain protocol that enables the permissionless and private transfer of value between any blockchain, bringing interoperability to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi).
Hope you enjoy!
The list of Q&A is kind of long so first comes the list of questions that I have prepared the answers to:
- What is Ren Project?
- Who and When Created Ren Project?
- What is $REN Token Used For?
- What is RenBridge?
- What is RenVM?
- What Can be Built with RenVM?
- What Ren Project Plans For the Future?
- Where to Store $Ren?
- Where to Buy & Sell $Ren?
1. What is Ren Project?
Ren website homepage
Ren is an open blockchain protocol and cryptocurrency project that brings interoperability to blockchains by enabling permissionless and private transfers of value between any blockchain.
The core product of Ren is the RenVM, a trustless and decentralized virtual machine that brings interoperability to decentralized finance (DeFi).
The RenVM provides decentralized applications with access to inter-blockchain liquidity between Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and ZCash with support for more blockchains planned.
In doing this, the Ren Project can bring BTC, BCH, ZEC & more to Ethereum decentralized applications to expand their capabilities or create entirely new business cases within the decentralized world.
- 100x faster than atomic swaps
- Security for large volume trades
- Integrates into existing infrastructure
- Composable with DeFi
- No cross-chain counterparty risk
2. Who and When Created Ren Project?
Ren founders, Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang respectively
Zhang and Wang have a history together as they were classmates at the Australian National University and worked together at the same start up, Neucode, after they graduated.
After founding Neucode, Zhang founded a cryptocurrency hedge fund called Virgil Capital, where he soon noticed that the crypto industry had a lack of support for over the counter (OTC) trading.
Zhang then realized that Ethereum could be used to create solutions for the cryptocurrency OTC problem, and began developing the Republic Protocol (now known as Ren). Currently, Zhang serves as the CEO of Ren and advises two other blockchain startups; Melbourne-based Loki and Perlin.
As for Wang, he has extensive experience coding distributed database technologies and even created his own coding language for blockchain-like applications. Wang currently serves as CTO for Ren and played a major role in Ren’s interoperability.
Ren Launch and Issuance
Ren launched its REN cryptocurrency via an initial coin offering (ICO) in January 2018. The project raised 35,000 ETH (US$33.8 million at the time) for selling 60.2% of its 1,000,000,000 REN token supply.
Out of the 1 billion REN total supply, the distribution is as follows:
- 60.2% - ICO Participants
- 9.9% - Founders, Team, Advisors
- 10% - Reserved for Partnerships and on-going Developments
- 20% - Allocated to a reserve for use as required
As of June 17, 2020, the total supply of Ren is 999,999,633 REN and the circulating supply is 865,390,804 REN.
3. What is $REN Token Used For?
Ren token logo
REN is the native token of the Ren protocol and it’s used within Ren’s ecosystem. The REN token performs only one function:
- The REN token is used as a bond to run a Darknode, which powers the RenVM.
What’s a Darknode?
Darknodes provide the engine in which the Ren ecosystem is powered by. Darknodes are a decentralized network of machines (CPUs) that contribute their computing power and storage space in exchange for fees.
The fees paid to Darknodes are trading fees for any orders made on the RenVM. These trading fees are paid out in whichever crypto is traded, ie. BTC, ETH, ZEC, DAI, and ERC-20 tokens.
That said, REN is solely used as a bond to run a Darknode and a total of 100,000 REN tokens are required to be deposited into an Ethereum smart contract. By requiring this large amount of REN, malicious adversaries are prevented from running an unbounded number of Darknodes and overwhelming the network.
This system is actually very similar to how Proof-of-Work (PoW) uses computational work to restrict block production, or the way that Proof-of-Stake (PoS) uses staked tokens to restrict block production.
All in all, REN can be classified as a Work Token as it plays a critical role in securing Ren’s trustless and decentralized virtual machine.
4. What is RenBridge?
RenBridge website homepage
RenBridge is a decentralized application (dapp) that allows individuals to issue real BTC, ZEC, and BCH on Ethereum as an ERC-20 token (renBTC, renZEC, renBCH). Also, RenBridge allows users to convert these ERC-20 tokens (renBTC, renZEC, renBCH) back to real BTC, BCH, and ZEC.
In other words, RenBridge is the dapp that enables blockchain interoperability by bringing BTC, BCH, and ZEC to other decentralized applications.
RenBridge can be used for entirely new business use cases within the decentralized world including: multi-collateral lending, bringing cross-chain assets to a DEX, facilitating cross-chain OTC trades, and more.
5. What is RenVM?
RenVM is a trustless and decentralized virtual machine that’s replicated on and powered by thousands of machines that contribute network bandwidth, computational power, and storage capacity.
These machines powering the RenVM are known as Darknodes and they can be operated by anyone without needing to trust them because the RenVM uses Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus algorithms and secure multiparty computations.
The purpose of the RenVM is to power blockchain interoperability for decentralized applications, enabling cross-chain lending, exchanges, collateralization, and more. In other words, RenVM brings interoperability to DeFi by enabling the trustless and decentralized exchange of value between blockchains.
6. What Can be Built with RenVM?
RenVM serves as a plug-in for decentralized finance and therefore any DeFi dapp can easily incorporate RenVM’s capabilities into the dapp’s core logic and existing smart contracts.
The following applications, plus more, can be built with RenVM:
- Cross-Chain Decentralized Exchanges (DEX)
- Cross-Chain Lending and Leveraging
- Multi-Collateralized Synthetics and Stablecoins
- Mint Cross-Chain Assets as ERC20s
- OTC with no Counterparty Risk
- Multi-Collateral Crowdfunding
- Layer 2 Network for Cross-Chain Assets
- Streaming Bitcoin Payments
- Multi-Collateral Basket Investment Vehicles
- Game Token Converter
- A Global Cross-Chain Permissionless Liquidity Pool
- Universal Stablecoin Converter
- + More
7. What Ren Project Plans For the Future?
Ren recently reached an important milestone on May 27, 2020, with the release of the RenVM mainnet. This milestone marks the beginning of a cross-chain era for DeFi and should have a direct impact on DeFi’s dominance in the coming years.
As the project stands today (June 2020), Ren is focusing on integrations, incentivizing liquidity, and continuing to ensure that RenVM is safe and secure.
Moving forward, Ren will work towards deploying two more versions of its mainnet and focus on integrating the RenVM into a wide array of DeFi applications to make them interoperable across blockchains.
Additionally, Ren will soon add support for more blockchains than just Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, ZCash, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens.
8. Where to Store $Ren?
Ren (REN) is an Ethereum based, ERC-20 utility token that can be stored on a wide multitude of reputable cryptocurrency wallets supporting ERC-20 tokens.
Most Popular Ren (REN) Wallets:
- MyEtherWallet (MEW) (web)
- Ledger Nano S (hardware)
- Trust Wallet (mobile)
- Exodus Wallet (desktop, mobile)
- Atomic Wallet (desktop, mobile)
In addition to the above-listed wallets, Ren can be stored on a wide variety of other wallets supporting ERC-20 tokens. However, before you choose a wallet to store REN, be mindful of the following features:
- In-Wallet token swaps - exchange REN for other cryptos without leaving you wallet
- User control of private keys - not your keys, not your coins
- Active developer community - up-to-date maintenance
- Back up & security features - pin codes, seed phrase
- Good reviews - seek out independent reviews on forums and social media
9. Where to Buy & Sell $Ren?
Ren (REN) can be bought and sold on a peer-to-peer (P2P) basis but the most popular way to buy, sell, or trade Ren is through cryptocurrency exchanges.
You can buy REN with cryptocurrency or fiat at the following top exchanges. In most cases, you will have to fund your account with fiat, buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, and then use BTC or ETH to buy Ren (symbol REN).
- Uniswap - ETH
- 1inch.exchange - ETH
- Kyber Network - ETH
- Binance - BTC, BNB, USDT
- Huobi Global - BTC, ETH, USDT
In addition to the exchanges listed above, Ren (REN) is also traded on an array of other exchanges and platforms that enable people to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies.
Hope you enjoyed that read :) Let me know if I have missed something in the comments.