REN is the native cryptocurrency of the Ren protocol. It is an open protocol designed to allow users to move digital assets from one blockchain to another, generating cross-chain liquidity. To do so, it allows users to create tokens that conform to Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard that are backed 1:1 with their counterparts, such as bitcoin […]
REN is the native cryptocurrency of the Ren protocol. It is an open protocol designed to allow users to move digital assets from one blockchain to another, generating cross-chain liquidity. To do so, it allows users to create tokens that conform to Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard that are backed 1:1 with their counterparts, such as bitcoin and bitcoin cash. In that, it resembles wrapped bitcoin (WBTC).
The Ren protocol’s native token, REN, is an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency that uses the ERC-20 token standard. The token is paid as a refundable bond by network participants as a guarantee of good behavior.
The REN price touched an all-time low of about $0.01548 in February 2019, and remained below $0.20 from its initial sale in 2018 until August 2020. It touched a record high, $1.80, on Feb. 20, 2021.
There is a theoretical maximum supply of 1 billion REN tokens, all of which have been issued, according to CoinGecko data.
How does Ren work?
The protocol is similar to wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) in that users deposit tokens and receive an ERC-20 version in exchange. For example, if a user deposits bitcoin (BTC), the person receives renBTC. The difference is that REN does not use a single custodian to hold the keys to the backed assets but a distributed system.
The heart of the system is the RenVM network of so-called darknodes, which are individual machines that donate their computing power and storage space to form a virtual machine. In return, they are paid fees that vary with demand, and are adjusted automatically.The darknodes facilitate the minting (creating) and burning (destroying) of the wrapped assets. RenVM uses a trustless system for minting and redeeming tokens.
REN is used as a bond for users who lock their assets up within the RenVM darknodes. When users want to retrieve their assets from the RenVM, they can use their REN to do so. Because REN’s use case is limited to serving as a bond, the maximum supply of REN has been fixed at 1 billion and no other REN will be created.
Key events and management
Ren was founded by Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang as the Republic Protocol. The Republic protocol is known for operating as a merchant for facilitating the creation and backing of wrapped bitcoin (WBTC), a role that Ren maintains. Following the REN token sale in 2018, Republic Protocol rebranded to Ren.
The initial coin offering (ICO) raised 35,000 ether from lead investors Polychain Capital and FBG, as well as funds like Huobi Capital, Hyperchain Capital and Signal Ventures. While initially formulated as a way of bringing dark pools – privacy-preserving trading venues where the order book is kept secret – to crypto, the founders later switched to focus on moving assets between blockchains.
The first renBTC went live on Ethereum in May 2020.