Over the centuries, people have continuously come up with solutions to simplify the various functions of life. From the invention of the bicycle to the technological advances of the 21st century, no effort has been spared to make our lives more comfortable and convenient.
The cryptocurrency industry has grown and a wide variety of coins are now available on different exchanges. Currently, the biggest challenge facing cryptocurrency investors is successfully managing investments in a highly volatile market.
A solution to this problem came in 2017 when software developers Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang launched the Ren project. Originally called the Republic Protocol, Ren was built to handle multiple cryptocurrencies without sacrificing convenience. Users can securely store their crypto on the Ren network and use the token, REN, to transact daily.
This article explains what Ren is, how it works, and how you can use REN to organize and optimize your cryptocurrency portfolio.
What is Ren?
Ren is software that powers the global peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer of new and existing crypto assets between different blockchains.
Ren allows users to lock digital assets like Bitcoin into smart contracts and receive the associated ether on the Ethereum blockchain. Bitcoin holders can then use Ren to access Ethereum’s decentralized finance (DeFi) products without selling their bitcoins.
Using these Ethereum tokens, users can also participate in the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem on lending and lending platforms such as Aave or Compound. During this process, the user’s bitcoins remain locked in the Ren software.
If users want to unlock their funds, they need to use REN cryptocurrency to pay nodes to maintain and operate the network.
What is RenVM?
RenVM is a virtual machine that performs private computations over a decentralized network without revealing the underlying information. Acts as a trusted custodian of cryptocurrencies: every minted renBTC token is backed by a corresponding amount of BTC tokens stored in RenVM. RenVM uses advanced technology to facilitate exchanges and protect seller privacy in the following ways:
Shamir’s Secret Sharing: A cryptographic principle that breaks down secret information into parts held by different participants. REN uses this process to encrypt private keys on the RenVM network, while also protecting them from Darknodes.
Secure Multiparty Computation (sMPC): An algorithm that allows developers to execute code without exposing input or output. sMPC provides endless opportunities to privately share data between competing parties to collaborate and derive mutually beneficial insights from data. It offers a solution to the growing problem of privacy and data collection.
Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT): An algorithm that allows the Ren network to operate efficiently even if some nodes fail. It helps prevent system errors and false transactions, which increases the overall trustworthiness of the blockchain.
Hyperdrive: RenVM’s consensus mechanism that helps process transactions securely at a rate of 20 confirmations every five minutes. It works on the principles of a fast, low-latency gossip protocol, providing tremendous scalability for cross-chain interactions.
What is RenBridge?
RenBridge is a relatively new decentralized application (DApp) that allows anyone to mine BTC, BCH, ZEC and other cryptocurrencies on Ethereum as ERC20 tokens (renBTC, renBCH and renZEC respectively).
For example, a user can send their bitcoins to RenVM, which creates new renBTC tokens on Ethereum that represent the value of the original bitcoins. RenVM then securely stores the initial funds so that the user can retrieve their bitcoins at any time for a small fee.
Starting in 2020, RenBridge will allow you to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Zcash for Ethereum. Since the launch of RenVM in May 2020, more than $1.2 billion worth of crypto assets have been traded.
What can REN coins be used for?
REN coins can be used for various activities such as trading, portfolio management, and lending and borrowing of DeFi products.
REN can also be used to run Darknodes. Merchants must deposit 100,000 REN into the Darknode Registration Agreement before coins can be minted and redeemed. REN coins are also used to pay people who act as Darknode operators.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies, users are not required to purchase or hold REN to access the platform. Instead, users pay fees into the blockchain cryptocurrency through which they conduct their financial activities. For example, if User X wants to access the Ren platform using renBTC, he has to pay a transaction fee in Bitcoin.
How does RenVM work?
RenVM (virtual machine) is the primary software that Ren runs on. When users want to create or destroy a token, they have to pay a fee, which is distributed among Ren’s Darknodes. Darknodes is therefore responsible for verifying that the user has deposited the resource.
Once the deposit of an asset is confirmed, darknodes stores a token representing ownership of that asset. Darknodes also generate computing power and storage space on the Ren network.
RenVM organizes Darknodes into new fragments once a day to prevent them from stealing resources from the deposit address. This makes it nearly impossible for Darknodes to collaborate and exploit the network.
How much does REN cost?
The price of REN is influenced by many factors such as market sentiment, news and project development, the flow of cryptocurrency on exchanges, and the economy in general.
As the adoption rate of RenVM increases, more people will be encouraged to use nodes. This increases the demand for REN bonds and increases the price and market value of REN.
At the time of writing, the REN price is around $0.97, with a 24-hour trading volume of around $130 million. It is currently ranked 91 on CoinMarketCap. [Editor’s note: After the early October boom, these numbers – as well as the live market – are significantly higher, with a REN ranking of #82.]