REN Crypto: The Next Big Thing

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Throughout the ages, human beings have continually created solutions to simplify various life functions. From the invention of the wheel to 21st-century leaps in technology, no effort has been spared when it comes to making our lives more comfortable and convenient.

The cryptocurrency space has been booming, with a wide variety of coins now available on different exchanges. At present, the greatest challenge crypto investors face is to successfully manage investments in a highly volatile market.

The solution to this problem arrived in 2017, when software developers Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang launched the Ren project. Originally named Republic Protocol, Ren was created to handle multiple cryptocurrencies without compromising on convenience. Users can store their crypto securely on the Ren network and use its token, REN, to make daily trades.

This article explains what Ren is, how it works, and how you can use REN to organize and streamline your crypto portfolio.

What Is Ren?

Ren is a software that incentivizes a global peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer of new and existing crypto assets across diverse blockchains.

With Ren, users can lock digital assets like Bitcoin in smart contracts and receive the equivalent in Ether on the Ethereum blockchain. Bitcoin holders can then use Ren to access Ethereum’s suite of decentralized finance (DeFi) products without selling their bitcoins. 

Using these Ethereum tokens, users can also participate in Ethereum’s DeFi ecosystem on lending and borrowing platforms like Aave or Compound. Throughout this process, the user’s bitcoins remain locked in the Ren software. 

If users want to unlock their funds, they’ll need to use the REN cryptocurrency to pay nodes to maintain and operate the network.

What Is RenVM?

RenVM is a virtual machine that performs private computations through a decentralized network, without disclosing the underlying information. It acts as a trustless custodian for cryptocurrency — every renBTC token minted is backed by BTC tokens of an equivalent amount, stored in the RenVM. RenVM uses advanced technology to facilitate the exchange and protect traders’ privacy in the following ways:

Shamir’s Secret Sharing: A cryptographic principle that breaks down secret data into parts held by various participants. REN uses this process to conceal private keys in the RenVM network, which also helps protect them from Darknodes.

Secure Multiparty Computation (sMPC): An algorithm that enables developers’ code to run without disclosing the inputs or outputs. sMPC opens up endless possibilities for sharing data privately between competing parties so they can cooperate and gain mutually beneficial insights from that data. It essentially provides a solution to the growing issue of privacy and data collection.

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT): An algorithm that allows the Ren network to function effectively even if some nodes were to stop operating. It helps prevent system failures and false transactions, thus increasing the overall reliability of the blockchain.

Hyperdrive: RenVM’s consensus mechanism, which helps safely process transactions with a high speed of 20 confirmations in five minutes. It works on the principles of a high-speed and 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 mint BTC, BCH, ZEC and other cryptos 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, representing the value of the original bitcoins. RenVM then stores the original funds securely, allowing the user to retrieve their bitcoins any time by paying a small fee. 

As of 2020, the RenBridge allows for swapping of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Zcash to Ethereum. Since the release of RenVM in May 2020, over $1.2 billion worth of crypto assets have been swapped.

What Can REN Coins Be Used For? 

REN coins can be used for various functions like trading, portfolio management, and borrowing and lending of DeFi products.

REN can also be used to run Darknodes. Traders need to deposit 100,000 REN into the Darknode registry contract before coins can be minted and redeemed. REN coins are also used to pay individuals who serve as Darknode operators.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, users don’t need to buy or hold REN in order to access its platform. Instead, users pay fees in the cryptocurrency of the blockchain through which they’re handling their economic activities. For example, if user X wants to access the Ren platform using renBTC, they have to pay the transaction fee in Bitcoin.

How Does RenVM Work? 

The RenVM (virtual machine) is the core software on which Ren runs. When users want to create or destroy a token, they have to pay a fee that’s dispersed to Ren’s Darknodes. The Darknodes are then responsible for verifying that the user has deposited the asset.

Once the asset deposit has been confirmed, the darknodes mint a token representing that asset’s ownership. Darknodes also render computing power and storage space on the Ren network.

RenVM arranges Darknodes into new shards once a day to prevent them from stealing assets from the deposit address. This makes it nearly impossible for Darknodes to collude and exploit the network.

How Much Does a REN Cost?

The price of REN is influenced by many factors, such as market sentiment, project news and developments, the flow of cryptocurrency on exchanges and the economy in general.

As the adoption rate of RenVM increases, more people will be incentivized to run nodes. This will increase the demand for REN bonding, driving up the price and market cap of REN.

At the time of this writing, the price of a REN stands at around $0.97, with a 24-hour trading volume of approximately $130 million. It currently ranks #91 on CoinMarketCap. [Editor’s note: after the bullish run at the beginning of October, these figures — as well as the live market cap — are significantly higher, with REN ranking #82.]

REN Coin Market Cap

REN has a live market cap of approximately $960 million, a current circulating supply of 997,764,051 REN coins, and a maximum supply of 1 billion REN coins.

In 2018, 65.2% of the REN token supply was sold to investors, with 8.6% in a public sale and 56.6% in a private sale. Of the remaining 34.8%, 50 million REN were distributed to the partners and community development team, 99 million REN to the REN team and advisors, and nearly 200 million REN to the company reserve.

The larger supply of the REN token is restricted, because the REN utilized as bond for operating Darknodes has been taken off the market. At present, there are 1,769 Darknodes registered, which implies that 176.9 million REN (17.69% of the maximum supply) are bonded in these nodes.

How to Store REN

REN is an ERC20 token, so you can use any Ethereum-supporting wallet to store it. However, it’s best to choose a wallet based on the amount of REN you have and what you plan to do with them. The three types of wallets are:

  • Hardware wallets (cold wallets)
  • Software wallets
  • Online wallets

Hardware wallets or cold wallets, like Trezor or Ledger, are among some of the most reliable options, as they come with safe offline storage and backup features. However, they’re usually more expensive and can be somewhat difficult to use. Therefore, cold wallets are more suitable for experienced users who own large amounts of REN tokens.

Software wallets, on the other hand, have simple interfaces and are usually free to use. Whether custodial or noncustodial, a software wallet can be downloaded to your smartphone or computer. With custodial wallets, the service provider manages and backs up the private keys on your behalf. Alternatively, noncustodial wallets use secure elements on your device to store the private keys. Although software wallets aren’t as secure as their hardware counterparts, they’re easier to use, making them an ideal choice for newbie users with a few REN tokens.

Online wallets or exchanges, also known as hot wallets, can be accessed using a web browser. These are less secure than hardware and software wallets, and require users to have a certain level of trust in the platform. Online wallets are best for storing small amounts of REN or executing frequent trades. The one precaution you need to take is to pick a service with a good reputation and strong security measures in place.

How to Buy REN Crypto

Whether you’re an expert trader or new to crypto investing, follow the steps below to buy REN crypto easily.

1) Open an online account.

REN is traded on several major exchanges, making it a great starting investment for anyone. Before you create an account, it’s important to check the broker’s list of supported coins, as not all brokers support REN crypto trading. It’s also advisable to create a list of cryptocurrencies you wish to invest in before picking a broker. Once you find a broker who supports all the coins on your list, you can create a single account to meet all of your investing needs. In addition, consider local availability, fees, and order types.

2) Set up a wallet.

Next, you’ll have to decide how you want to store your REN tokens. These tokens can be left on your brokerage exchange wallet, but that involves the risk of your account or the exchange getting hacked. Alternatively, you could set up a private wallet with your own set of keys.

3) Make your purchase.

After deciding which exchange works best for you and how you want to store your tokens, you can execute purchases through a broker’s trading platform. First, you’ll need to submit an order to the broker and wait for a response. As with stock trading, you can place different types of orders. Two of the most common include:

  • Market orders: a market order informs your broker that you wish to buy REN at the current market rate, regardless of what that rate is. Market orders don’t give you much control over the price you pay per coin, since prices can change while you’re placing your order. Therefore, you may end up paying a different rate than the one that’s listed on the exchange.
  • Limit orders: A limit order indicates that you want to purchase REN, but only if you can buy each token at or below a specific price point. After you’ve placed an order, your broker will ask you for the number of tokens you wish to buy and the maximum price you’re willing to pay for each token. If your broker can complete your order at or below your specified rate, your wallet will receive the tokens. If the price has risen above your limit, however, the broker might cancel your order at the end of the day.

Once the order is filled, your tokens will be reflected in your account wallet. The amount of time to fill each order depends on the type of order, as well as current market conditions.

Is REN Token a Good Investment? 

Before investing in REN, it’s important to know two things: 1) its current performance, and 2) its future price projections. Here are a few statistics to help you decide: 

[Editor’s note: The price of REN on October 2, 2021 has reached $1.29, at least for the moment.]

Source: Wallet Investor

According to present data, Ren and its market environment have been in a bullish cycle for the last 12 months. Considering the upward trend of Ren’s journey so far, it definitely looks like a solid investment opportunity. Still, it won’t hurt to evaluate your personal financial goals before jumping in, just to see where REN fits into the picture. Do your own research and read up on investment advice as well.

Closing Thoughts 

With RenVM capturing the rising demand for cross-chain liquidity, the Ren protocol is set to take the lead in the DeFi revolution. Ren’s trustless and decentralized nature enables it to stand out from competitors like THORChain, Efinity and BandChain. Furthermore, Ren consists of a network of nodes that employ advanced technical algorithms for maximum security.

Since its inception in 2017, Ren has undergone multiple developments and integrations. Although only a handful of cryptocurrencies and blockchains are currently supported on the platform, many more are in the pipeline. In the near future, Ren could well become the ultimate link that connects the crypto sector.

Disclaimer

This article is intended for and only to be used for reference purposes only. No such information provided through Bybit constitutes advice or a recommendation that any investment or trading strategy is suitable for any specific person. These forecasts are based on industry trends, circumstances involving clients, and other factors, and they involve risks, variables, and uncertainties. There is no guarantee presented or implied as to the accuracy of specific forecasts, projections, or predictive statements contained herein. Users of this article agree that Bybit does not take responsibility for any of your investment decisions. Please seek professional advice before trading.

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