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Republic Protocol or REN is an inhabitant of the crypto ecosystem that has yet to prove its worth. The open platform enables the permissionless and private transfer of assets and liquidity across blockchains, thus solving blockchain interoperability.
As you’re reading this beginner’s guide to Republic Protocol, REN is rising with the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) market. The platform is rapidly gaining attention and trust as it waits for the mass adoption of blockchain technology.
Republic Protocol in a Nutshell
- Republic Protocol is an open protocol for asset trades across blockchains.
- Republic Protocol was launched in 2017
- Republic Protocol is developed on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
- Republic Protocol has a native token called REN.
- Republic Protocol enables users to trade assets in a decentralized and trustless manner and outside cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Republic Protocol allows wealthy traders to maintain their anonymity.
- Republic Protocol is available to buy on most of the major crypto exchanges.
- Republic Protocol can be stored in Ethereum-compatible wallets.
What is Republic Protocol?
The Republic Protocol, more commonly known as Ren, is an alternative trading system in an open protocol that supports countless blockchains’ permissionless asset transfers.
Ren offers support for over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency transfers and a way for big investors to go around whale alerts. The project offers a solution to the old issue of blockchain interoperability, which continues to be absent to this day.
Through its central platform, the Ren Virtual Machine (RenVM), Republic Protocol enables the decentralized and trustless trade of crypto assets across blockchains. The RenVM is built on Ethereum and uses ERC-20 token versions of the original tokens that are part of the transaction.
What is the REN token?
REN is the native token of the Ren ecosystem, and it has two purposes on the platform. Firstly, participants use it to pay for trading fees and orders on the RenVM. Secondly, users can play with it for bonds on the “Registrar,” a smart contract that operates the Darknodes on Ren.
REN was first issued in February 2018. Since then, it has had a slow and unimpressive evolution. After starting from a $0.08 value per unit, the token dropped to trade between $0.02 and $0.03 for more than two years. It reached its all-time high in September 2020 at $0.59.
At the time of this writing, REN is trading at $0.25. There is a circulating supply of 885,330,203 REN out of the total supply of 999,999,633 REN, and its market capitalization is $222,426,675, or roughly 20,000 Bitcoin (BTC).
A Brief History of Republic Protocol
The story of the Republic Protocol began in 2017. Two developers, Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang and former classmates at the Australian National University, teamed up to deliver a solution for OTC crypto trading.
Their partnership resulted in a protocol that promised to allow trustless crypto trades outside the main exchanges. The platform would also ensure its users’ anonymity by not revealing important indicators from the transactions instead of regular crypto exchanges where most of the details are transparent and public.
At the beginning of 2018, Republic Protocol launched a private Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for its native token, REN. Investors could buy the tokens for $0.05 per unit. In the ICO aftermath, the platform raised $28 million and sold more than 56% of REN’s total supply of 1 billion.
At the end of January 2018, Republic Protocol held a public ICO too, but it only raised a bit over $4.8 million. For most of the year, the platform focused on dark pools and the anonymous investors that inhabit them.
From 2019, Republic Protocol changed its name to Ren and started working more on a solution for decentralized blockchain interoperability. During this year, the team invested all their time and resources into developing SubZero, the first version of the RenVM main net.
In early 2020, Ren announced that RenVM was undergoing its final tests. The platform would soon release the Ren Alliance, which the developers describe as a “consortium of DeFi companies and/or projects.”
The Ren Alliance quickly developed into a multi-company project to increase the utility, security, and development of RenVM. Numerous investors, users, and developers participate in it, including Kyber Network, Matic, Polychain Capital, and IDEX.
In May 2020, Ren released RenVM SubZero, enabling participants to use Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Zcash in any DeFi application through the protocol platform. The crypto assets that are tokenized through RenVM are denoted as renBTC, renBCH, renZEC, etc.
RenVM works easily for all Ethereum DApps. However, since the Republic Protocol’s initial goal was to solve blockchain interoperability, the developers have two tools that serve this purpose. As a result, other users can implement RenJS and GatewayJS to integrate RenVM into other blockchains.
In September 2020, Ren teamed up with UMA to release a BTC backed Yield Dollar (uUSD) and a joint liquidity mining reward program.
How does it work?
The easiest way to understand how Ren works is to take a closer look at one of its areas of expertise, the Dark Pools.
Dark Pools are virtual spaces where traders meet to exchange large amounts of an asset in an over-the-counter (OTC) manner. These Dark Pools exist in most markets, and participants have to trust each other on keeping the transactions anonymous and secure.
Ren supports something similar to a Dark Pool through its central platform, the Ren Virtual Machine (RenVM). However, it uses two new elements to make it viable for all parties, including:
- The Darknodes – a network of computers (nodes) that ensure the required computing power to process cross-chain cryptocurrency trades.
- The “Shamir Secret Sharing Scheme” – a complex algorithm that “blinds” the Darknodes, so they never find out certain details of the finished transaction, such as the amount or the final destination of the assets.
The biggest advantage of using Ren is that traders can match orders while enjoying full privacy. It is the ideal platform for wealthy investors, whales, and users that want to keep their crypto dealings entirely secret.
Where to Buy & Store Republic Protocol (REN)
REN is available to buy from a wide range of crypto exchanges that include:
Because it is an ERC-20 token, you can store REN in any Ethereum-compatible wallet, such as:
The Bottom Line
For now, Ren is a highly-promising project that can deliver limitless value transfers between countless blockchains. Its practicability is only now being tested by the emergence of the DeFi market.
However, Republic Protocol might be one of the major platforms dealing with blockchain interoperability once the technology reaches mass adoption. Ren could very well become one of the strongest links between the cryptocurrency space and traditional finance markets.