If you’ve been exposed to the cryptocurrency world, you may have come across terms like REN token, or ‘Republic Protocol’ (which are essentially related).
For new users and returning users alike, it’s easy to get confused with the many products and services in the digital dimension — but worries aside, everything you need to know about the Ren ecosystem is detailed below.
What Is REN Crypto?
First and foremost, what is the Ren Project? In simple terms, Ren refers to an open source software that primarily enables users to transfer any crypto asset between any two blockchains safely and easily.
Marked by its transparency and high privacy, users can carry out permissionless movement of assets.
To further explain, let’s suppose a user holds a certain amount of bitcoin on one blockchain. With Ren, Bitcoin can be locked in a smart contract so that an equivalent amount of Ether is provided on the Ethereum blockchain in return.
By this simple method, the user can access the DeFi platform and browse through dApps using their Ethereum tokens while Ren holds onto the locked Bitcoin. And this is where we come across the REN cryptocurrency – the native currency of the software that is issued as REN tokens on the ETH blockchain.
If the user wants to unlock their asset, Bitcoin in this case, the REN coin must be used. REN token is the crypto that powers the platform and keeps the networks’ dark nodes operable (explained in ‘How Ren Works’).
Who Founded REN?
Currently the CEO, the Ren Project was founded by the now 25-year old Taiyang Zhang, along with his university classmate, Loong Wang.
The software was originally known as ‘Republic Protocol’, but was later relabelled as Ren. Headquartered in Singapore, the startup was initially created to solve liquidity issues and provide ease of cryptocurrency trading. Zhang also later became the co-founder of the hedge fund Virgil Capital.
When Was REN Crypto Created?
The original Republic Protocol project was first launched in early 2017 as an ICO (Initial Coin Offering), when the software developer Zhang was only 21 years of age.
The platform was later rebranded as Ren in 2019. After achieving a $34 million ICO in 2018, Ren published another product, RenVM in mid 2020.
Taking part in funding the Ren Project, seven distinct capitalists invested in the platform, according to Ren Crunchbase. The two lead investors were Polychain (popular cryptocurrency VC) and FBG Capital (digital asset management company).
The other notable venture capitalists include Huobi Capital, Limitless Crypto Investments (LCI), Infinite Capital, BlockVC and Hyperchain Capital.
What Is REN Protocol?
An open protocol that grants accessibility to inter-blockchain liquidity, this protocol was created to address OTC (Over the counter) trading issues faced with cryptocurrencies such as lack of interoperability, weak security and privacy.
In short, Ren protocol was put forward to decentralize OTC transactions and provide easy transfer of assets between different blockchains.
The first formal version of Ren, the Republic Protocol created in 2017 was one of the earliest projects to utilize DeFi (Decentralized Finance), inspired to overcome OTC problems. This dark pool protocol was meant to enable full privacy and high security for trading transactions.
- What does ‘dark pool’ refer to? A completely private marketplace that facilitates financial exchanges and provides an alternative trading system (ATS) to investors. Transactions are often anonymous and decentralized.
The Republic Protocol was created to support the exchange of Ethereum, ERC20 tokens and Bitcoin. The first dark pool launched on Mainnet was RenEx beta, which controlled over 20 dark nodes to ensure the highest level of security.
Two rounds of Initial Coin Offering (ICO) were launched during the year 2018 for the official currency, the REN token. The first round was private and raised around $28 million in January 2018, while the public round raised $4.8 million.
During the ICO, one REN token cost 0.0571 USD and over 56% of REN’s total supply was sold. In total, a sum of $34, 299, 022 was raised by the ICO funding rounds (over 35k ether).
How Does Republic Protocol Solve Crypto OTC Problem?
Similar to traditional exchanges, OTC transactions made with digital money in the early crypto periods lacked support, security and privacy; any large purchases made by firms would be visible by everyone on the blockchain, and this had the potential to disrupt the market.
When such transactions alert the market, prices are subjected to volatility without any warning. Since a lot of wealthy investors do not wish for their huge-scale transactions to be openly viewed by others, the Republic Protocol emerged as an answer.
By aiming to make OTC trading trustless and decentralized, the Republic Protocol builds a network of dark nodes to match anonymous orders, with personal data completely broken into fragments of cryptograph.
Since this method conceals the investors’ identities, the transactions do not disrupt market prices and are carried out with complete privacy.
How Does REN Crypto Work?
As explained earlier, the entirety of Ren works as a decentralized dark pool; a secure platform where traders can invest in large sums without revealing their identities or intentions.
The REN tokens are ERC20 utility tokens used to incentivize the nodes so that they function and carry out the order matching process. Since the nodes must operate in the network to allow exchanges, the REN token is necessary to keep the protocol running.
Currently running on Ren’s latest product ‘RenVM’, REN crypto is circulated when traders pay a ‘network order fees’ for their transactions. These tokens enter the system to be used by the nodes.
The transaction fee is not a fixed price, so traders have the choice to pay more REN tokens if they wish to have their order matched quickly.
In addition, both the trader and the node must pay an amount of REN as ‘bond’ to be held in the registrar in order to gain access to the network. This amount is refundable and its sole purpose is to ensure the network is safe from attacks.
Is REN Decentralized?
As a protocol created on the Ethereum blockchain, Ren is decentralized and trustless, powered by a set of decentralized dark nodes that keep the network functioning.
What Makes REN Crypto Unique?
As the first ever project to grant users high privacy and security for OTC transfers, Ren makes use of the cryptographic technique used by Zcash; zkSnarks, and the Shamir’s Secret Sharing Algorithm, which breaks down sensitive data into cryptographic fragments that even the nodes cannot see.
The platform has a fixed supply of 1 billion REN coins, of which 100k must be used to operate one Dark Node to carry out transactions. REN crypto is unique in that it offers users complete anonymity, even protecting their information from the nodes that match orders.
The encrypted fragments hide the destination and amount of crypto being transacted, allowing firms to make large scale purchases or transfers in complete privacy.
Overall, unlike any other existing protocols, DeFi users can bring in foreign crypto assets into their ecosystem easily with REN.
Is REN Crypto A Good Investment?
After the Initial Coin Offering, REN crypto unfortunately dropped in rankings and has been underrated in the past years. However, forecasted to experience an increase in price, investing in REN crypto is quite profitable.
Even without gaining wide recognition amongst crypto users, REN has been in the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap for a long time.
Will REN Crypto Go Up?
In the upcoming years, REN crypto is expected to see a price increase that can be incredibly profitable after a few years. According to multiple cryptocurrency forecasts, the value of one REN token is predicted to steadily increase in price.
What Is REN Token Use Case In Ren Protocol?
The complex protocol Ren has multiple use cases that can be utilized, such as:
- Traders that want tokenized versions of their cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can use Ren Protocol’s core product, RenVM, to transfer the desired amount into Ethereum wallets.
- Decentralized Exchanges will be able to list ERC20 token representatives of cryptocurrencies like RenBTC and allow users to withdraw this into any respective Bitcoin wallet. A simple and user-friendly, yet advanced DEX interface will make trades much more convenient.
- Lending and borrowing of cryptocoins can be made more accessible; Ethereum developers can accept Bitcoin deposits in return for lending out RenBTC tokens to users that are willing to explore DeFi applications.
Is REN An Ethereum ERC-20 Token?
As the protocol itself was built on the decentralized Ethereum blockchain, the REN token is in fact an ERC20 token.
How Do I Invest In REN Crypto?
Once you choose an exchange that supports REN crypto, purchase an amount of cryptocurrency and trade it for REN (For example, a small amount of Bitcoin at a BTC/REN exchange).
Can You stake REN?
In order to run a dark node (which is the network that operates the Ren Protocol), 100,000 REN must be staked. This is similar to proof of stake tokens that ensure good behavior.
With the latest update, REN (and its tokenized forms RenBTC and RenZEC) can be staked on Bancor, a decentralized financial network.
Can You Mine Ren?
Ren can be mined on Android devices using applications that allow mining, but unfortunately, Ren cannot be mined on iOS due to complications with battery drainage and such.
It is also possible to mine Ren on a computer, but for a profitable mining experience, the best option is to invest in a specialized ASIC setup (setups designed for crypto mining).
To successfully start with mining Ren, it is ideal to first join a miner pool and familiarize with the setup and systems.
Where Can I Buy Ren? Ren Exchange Listings
There are various exchanges that support REN coins, some of which are listed below:
- Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange – Multiple deposit methods available, and multiple fiat currencies supported, with over 40 cryptocurrencies listed on the exchange.
- CoinSwitch Cryptocurrency Exchange – Credit card deposit, with four different fiat currencies and 387 cryptocurrencies supported.
- Huobi Cryptocurrency Exchange – Multiple deposit methods available, supports more than 200 cryptocurrencies and about 25 fiat currencies.
- Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange – (Bank transfer) Over 30 fiat currencies and 300 cryptocurrencies supported.
In addition, exchanges like ZenGo and Gemini also support REN tokens.
Is REN Crypto Legit?
One of the most promising tokens ever put forward, REN crypto is not a scam, and has a verified development team as well as project whitepaper.
As this undervalued crypto protocol has many desirable features, it isn’t strange to question the legitimacy of the project. But rest assured, REN crypto is 100% legit and will most likely gain worldwide popularity with time.
Ren Crypto Price Prediction
As of today, one REN coin costs about $1.1 and is forecasted to experience a maximum of $1.8 by the end of 2021. The following table provides an insight of REN prices in the upcoming years.
|Year||Average Price Prediction|
However, the REN crypto twitter community argues that by around 2022, the price of one REN coin will be as high as $10, trending “$RentoTen” on the social media platform. Regardless of the varying predictions, the one idea that everyone can agree on is that Ren prices will certainly continue to increase.
What Is RenVM?
The core product of Ren, Ren Virtual Machine aims to achieve interoperability and inter-blockchain liquidity in a decentralized, trustless manner.
RenVM is used to lock cryptocurrencies from another blockchain to grant users access to the Ethereum ecosystem. Currently supported by the software are Bitcoin, Zcash and Bitcoin Cash, as well as any asset that utilizes ECDSA (digital signature) private keys.
In simple words, RenVM is a permissionless, trustless custodian that holds onto any crypto assets provided, while minting the asset as an ERC20 token on Ethereum.
RenVM Dark Nodes
The network of computers that maintain the RenVM system is called ‘Dark Nodes’, and the user that operates a Dark Node is given a reward sum of REN coins once the transaction is successfully completed.
To operate a Dark Node, users must lock up an amount of REN initially (which will be refunded once the transaction is completed).
How does RenVM operate?
Once a user sends an amount of crypto, Bitcoin Cash for example, it is locked in the RenVm. An equal amount is minted on the RenVM Mainnet on Ethereum, in the form of a corresponding ERC20 token.
Input BCH to be locked > RenVM Mainnet releases RenBCH on Ethereum
Similarly, RenVM provides RenBTC, the ERC20 token equivalent of Bitcoin (BTC), and RenZEC, an equivalent of Zcash’s ZEC.
What Is RenBTC?
RenBTC is the decentralized representation of Bitcoin (BTC) on the Ethereum platform in the form of ERC20 tokens. Users can deposit Bitcoin into RenVM and receive an equal amount of RenBTC that can be used on Ethereum.
When tokens are sent to the Ren Virtual Machine from one blockchain, it accepts the tokens and creates corresponding equivalents on another blockchain through the RenBridge.
As such, when the machine receives Bitcoin, it creates the representative token RenBTC through the RenBTC Bridge.
According to data recorded on CoinMarketCap, RenBTC has a yearly yield of about 1.51%.
Since Ren is an ERC20 token, varying amounts of gas fees may be charged when cross-chain transfers are carried out.
RenBTC Vs WBTC
What is WBTC? Similar to RenBTC, WBTC is the wrapped version of Bitcoin, available as an ERC20 token on Ethereum. Generally, WBTC offers a faster and inexpensive way of transacting with Bitcoin compared to Bitcoin’s main platform. How is RenVM’s tokenized Bitcoin, RenBTC, different from Wrapped BTC?
With WBTC, the received Bitcoin is primarily stored in cold storage via a centralized and trusted custodial third-party. On the contrary, RenVM is a trustless and decentralized platform that tokenizes Bitcoin into RenBTC.
Although the two almost serve the same purpose, another key difference is that there is high cross-chain interoperability with using RenBTC; the process of minting and burning tokens is fluid.
As mentioned above, RenVM uses techniques that ensure a trader’s identity, transaction details such as amount and destination, are all a hundred percent anonymous.
Unlike this decentralized, permissionless system, using Wrapped BTC involves a third-party Custodian and transactions are not fully private.
Furthermore, dApps on the Ethereum blockchain can integrate RenVM into the system so that RenBTC is widely accessible by users, without having to manually mint or burn assets.
These key differences makes RenVM’s RenBTC all the more unique in comparison to WBTC and any other interoperability provider.
REN Crypto Alternatives
The REN crypto project has many competitors, but no one alternative provides every feature that the Ren Protocol offers; interoperability, cross-chain liquidity, high privacy and security.
Some alternatives that offer similar blockchain interoperability are
REN Crypto Social Media Handles
Key Takeaway – REN Crypto Review
- With REN crypto, users can carry out anonymous and secure transactions that do not interfere with the crypto marketplace.
- Inter-blockchain liquidity is made possible for dApps through REN Token.
- Any crypto assets can be transferred from one blockchain to a completely different chain, simply by a ‘mint & burn’ process.
- RenVM brings Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Zcash to the Decentralized world.
- As an open-source, non-custodial platform, there is high security for transactions.
Bringing cross-chain functionality and privacy to decentralized applications, the whole Ren Project can be regarded as a hidden gem in the DeFi world, and crypto investors already familiar with the protocol are eager to witness its inevitable growth.
Providing universal interoperability and ease-of-use, the Ren Protocol is most certainly a genius addition to the blockchain finance ecosystem, with its own Ren Token.