What is Ren
What Is Ren (REN)?
Ren (REN) is an open protocol built to provide interoperability and liquidity between different blockchain platforms.
To learn more about this project, check out our deep dive of Ren.
Formerly known as Republic Protocol, Ren launched RenVM, its virtual machine mainnet, in May 2020, having completed a $34 million initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018.
The protocol’s native token, REN, functions as a bond for those running nodes which power RenVM, known as Darknodes.
Ren aims to expand the interoperability, and hence accessibility, of decentralized finance (DeFi) by removing hurdles involved in liquidity between blockchains.
Who Are the Founders of Ren?
Ren was founded by Taiyang Zhang, its CEO, in 2017. Initially called Republic Protocol, Ren was first announced in January 2018, with Zhang explaining its initial use case as a “decentralized dark pool.”
Zhang himself has existing experience in the cryptocurrency space, having also co-founded crypto hedge fund Virgil Capital.
Prior to that, Zhang co-founded Neucode, a software and web development startup, in 2014. Jaz Gulati, Neucode’s other co-founder, now works as a software developer for Ren.
What Makes Ren Unique?
Ren is a complex platform with multiple use cases, but it is ultimately designed to overcome barriers to entry and investment for DeFi projects.
As a plug-in, it allows DeFi projects to bring foreign cryptocurrency assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Zcash (ZEC) to their offerings. More broadly, users can in essence swap any token between any two blockchains without middle steps such as using so-called “wrapped” versions of tokens, for example Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) and Wrapped Ethereum (WETH).
RenVM is a network of virtual computers making up a virtual machine. The machines powering the network which makes up RenVM are called Darknodes.
Ren charges various fees for internal operations, but most do not go towards direct profitability, instead being paid to miners. As an ERC-20 token, REN also attracts varying gas fees to power transactions.
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How Many Ren (REN) Coins Are There in Circulation?
REN has a fixed supply cap of 1 billion (1,000,000,000) tokens. Ren conducted a presale and public token sale in 2018, during which a total of 60.2% of the supply was sold to investors.
Ren has a reserve fund which was originally allocated 19.9% of the total supply, while another 9.9% was allocated internally to advisors, the team and its founders. Team tokens came with a two-year lock-up period, with a six-month lock-up for advisor allocations.
Another 10% of the REN supply is specifically intended for activities such as partnerships and development.
REN is an ERC-20 standard token.
How Is the Ren Network Secured?
RenVM is a byzantine fault-tolerant protocol that facilitates ECDSA threshold key generation and signing via secure mutli-party computation (sMPC). This allows RenVM to securely manage (ECDSA) private keys on different blockchains, making it possible to shift tokens between these blockchains (i.e interoperability).
The network is currently in phase sub-zero in its pathway to decentralization, for more information on RenVM’s pathway to decentralization, please refer to Ren’s Wiki
Where Can You Buy Ren (REN)?
REN is a freely-tradable token and has a presence on various major exchanges. Of these, Binance and Huobi Global have the largest volume as of October 2020. Pairs include cryptocurrency, fiat and stablecoins.
Crypto newbie? Read our easy guide to buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.