Ren (REN) – All you need to know

What is Ren?

Ren is a peer-to-peer private exchange that allows users to trade any coin on any blockchain in a transparent, private system. Ultimately, it is designed to overcome barriers to entry and investment for cryptocurrency projects by providing over-the-counter (OTC) trading services. The project utilises RenVM – a network of virtual machines – to allow services on Ren to operate smoothly. Ren is currently semi-decentralised but aims to become fully decentralised in the future.

Transactions over Ren are totally secure and anonymous, and the project has now cemented itself as an innovative solution for a variety of different processes. For example, users can lock their BTC (or a different cryptocurrency) in a smart contract, receive the equivalent value in Ether, and then access products on the Ethereum blockchain without ever having to sell their BTC or transfer it across blockchains. This creates immense flexibility when it comes to investing in crypto projects.

The REN coin is the native token within the Ren Project. It has a fixed total supply of 1 billion tokens and a total market value that is locked at $345 million. Driven by its experienced management and development team, Ren – originally called Republic Protocol – conducted its ICO (initial coin offering) back in 2018, raising a total of $34 million in funding from a variety of high-profile REN investors.

How does Ren work?

Ren uses a custom virtual machine to allow the Ren network to function. Virtual machines are emulations of physical computers than can perform in the same fashion without compromising privacy by revealing underlying information. The Ren platform’s virtual machine makes use of something called zkSnarks, a method of cryptography that was made popular by Zcash. Essentially, orders made over Ren are fragmented into different pieces to hide information; think of it as a giant virtual shredder.

The network of computers that allows this whole system to function is known as DarkNodes. Anyone can get involved and run a DarkNode; the only requirement is that they lock up a certain amount of REN tokens (100,000 REN per node) in a smart contract. REN coin is paid out to REN miners who validate transactions by operating and maintaining the Ren network with a DarkNode, much like how Bitcoin is paid out to Bitcoin miners. You can also trade REN just like any other cryptocurrency.

To allow users to exchange tokens across different blockchain, the Ren virtual machines uses the RenBridge: a facility that creates tokens representing the original ones that have been locked into a smart contract. For example, if users wanted to use Bitcoin (BTC) but on the Ethereum blockchain, Ren could create a new token called the renBTC that represents the original Bitcoins but can run on Ethereum. The virtual machine stores the original Bitcoins, allowing users to switch back when they are ready.

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