Everything To Know About Republic Protocol (REN)

What Is Ren (REN)?

Ren (REN)

The Ren protocol (previously Republic Protocol) is designed to provide interoperability by allowing people to transfer cryptocurrency across different blockchains. It lets anyone lock cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Zcash (ZEC) into the Ren software and mint the ERC-20 equivalent tokens RenBTC, RenBCH, and RenZEC in a 1:1 ratio on Ethereum.

These new ERC-20 coins can now be used in DeFi products for a range of functions, like trading, portfolio management, borrowing and lending. The original assets remain locked in the Ren software and can be unlocked at any time by paying a fee.

Who Created Ren?

Ren was founded by software developer Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang in 2017. Originally named Republic Protocol, the platform rebranded to Ren in 2019. 

In 2018, Ren conducted a private sale, selling 56.5% of its REN token supply and raising $28.9 million in ETH. Participants in the sale included investors Polychain Capital and FBG Capital.

Ren then proceeded to conduct a public token sale, selling 8.6% of the token supply and raising $4.8 million in ETH. 

In total, 65.2% of REN tokens were sold in various sales, raising over $30 million in funding. The remaining tokens were allocated to the team and advisers (19.9%), community development (5%) and a company reserve (9.9%).

How Does Ren Work?

The Ren protocol relies on the Ren Virtual Machine, or RenVM, which is powered by a decentralized network of machines called “Darknodes”. These machines contribute their computing power and storage space to the virtual machine in exchange for fees, which enables the movement of cryptocurrencies across blockchains.

RenVM is a sort of trustless custodian for your cryptocurrency - every RenBTC token you mint is backed by an equivalent BTC token stored in the RenVM. In order to facilitate this and protect privacy, the RenVM makes use of some pretty advanced tech:

  • Shamir’s Secret Sharing : this is a cryptographic principle that divides secret data into parts held by different participants. Ren employs this process to keep private keys used in the RenVM network hidden, even from the Darknodes themselves.
  • Secure Multiparty Computation (sMPC) : an algorithm that allows developers’ code to be run without revealing the inputs or outputs.
  • Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) : this algorithm means that the Ren network will still function effectively, even if some of the nodes go down.
  • Hyperdrive : the RenVM’s consensus mechanism which is designed to complete transactions at super fast speeds.

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