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The blockchain is an immutable and versatile resource.  Its applications have the potential to disrupt the way finance and data are handled fundamentally. That said, the independence of blockchains makes them need solutions to integrate functions and be part of a bigger decentralized ecosystem. Such a platform to interlink and have transfer of value in zero-knowledge while provides scalability and maintaining privacy can be a goldmine for dApps. This is the value that the Ren Protocol adds to the distributed ledger space.

Introduction

The Ren Protocol is a project that is attempting to develop a decentralized dark pool protocol for atomic, cross-chain trading.  You are probably asking yourself; what is a dark pool? This is essentially an over the counter (OTC) marketplace where institutional investors can get anonymous execution of a trades. In the blockchain space, it is similarly a marketplace but for dApp developers and users to make orders for anonymous trades. Similarly, dark pools provide a secret matching engine that works with orders only known to their owners. Notably, these orders are not available to the public at large like normal exchanges. This guarantees anonymity.

Because of this, the Ren Protocol works to facilitate free movement of value between blockchains. Moreover, the network ensures that there is transfer of tokens in zero-knowledge because of the dark pools. This platform can, therefore, provide new liquidity and resources to scale up open finance movement across blockchains. The dApps run in secret ensuring privacy and security for data and users. This means that Ren is an effective virtual machine for privacy and interoperable liquidity.

Ren Virtual Machine (RENVM)

The REN Virtual Machine (RENVM) is essentially the engine that powers Ren. RENVM uses secure multiparty computation algorithm to provide necessary private, scalable and interoperable solutions. Accordingly, you can efficiently conduct private computation over multiple inputs and multiple parties.

The protocol uses ZK-Snarks for building, deploying, and running general purpose, privacy preserving applications. ZK-Snarks is a form of zero knowledge cryptography. Zero knowledge connotes the ability allows one party to verify information from another party to a transaction without revealing any information beyond the validity of the statement itself. The ZK-Snarks facilitate more sensitive OTC deals and eliminating front running. Zero knowledge capabilities are essential for privacy and empowering dApps with these possibilities really gives Ren the edge over any other blockchain platform.

Use Cases

REN protocol can facilitate secure multi-party computations power a privacy layer for decentralized applications. This enables the dApps to have a variety of possibilities that are unique to REN as it ensures liquidity and scalability. As such, dApps can have private and interoperable lending, exchanges, collateralization among other possibilities. This generally provides decentralized finance, trustless solutions for privacy and interoperability for dApps.

Team

The team is competent with backgrounds mostly in software engineering and finance. Ren conducts operations from Singapore with developers from across that region.

Taiyang Zhang serves as the project CEO. He is also the co-founder of cryptocurrency trading firm Virgil Capital. Zhang is a blockchain and Software as a service (SAAS) expert. This experience gives him both the expertise and vision to lead the project.

Loong Wang is REN CTO. He was the lead software developer for Neurocode and is an alumnus of the Australian National University. He is also well versed in distributed systems, cryptocurrency and parallel programming.

Other key developers are: blockchain developer Susruth Nadimpalli, software developers Noah I, Yunshi Sun, Jaz Gulati, Divya Mary and Vincent Au. Michael Burgess is in charge of operations and Vincent Ward takes up design.

Roadmap

Ren has the vision of creating world-class privacy and interoperability focused tools to grow its ecosystem. Notably, in January 2019, the Republic protocol had a rebrand into Ren. This realigned its scope into offer private and interoperable liquidity. Furthermore, in March, the protocol partnered with Aztec protocol to incorporate their privacy focused tech into the Ren ecosystem.

Additionally, in May, Ren Virtual Machine successfully deployed to Devnet. Going forward, focus is on the REMVM test-net and mainnet through the rest of 2019. 

Accordingly, the development team will continue with testing, stability, and consolidation of the VM. Tools like the Hyperdrive will be essential in leveraging the power of truly decentralized cross-chain liquidity. This will allow REN to become a complete virtual machine for privacy and interoperable liquidity,

Partnerships

Important partners include; Polychain Capital, Signum Ventures, Signal Ventures, the AZTEC protocol, True USD among others. The partnership with Aztec protocol is notable because the protocol will incorporate their privacy-focused tech into the Ren ecosystem. As aforementioned, the dark pools are a very consequential component of the REN infrastructure.

Other high profile investors are Poly Chain, Huobi Capital and FBG capital. These investors and partners are essential for their capital and infrastructure moving forward.

Tokenomics

REN, an Ethereum based, ERC-20 compliant utility token operated under the as the Republic protocol up to early 2018.  However, the protocol has since expanded its scope to focus on private and interoperable liquidity.

The REN token provides the liquidity that the platform needs via a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm incorporating Masternodes for decentralization and scalability. Besides, it secures the network since it is required for staking for persons/entities who want to operate any Darknode.

REN conducted a successful ICO which ended on Feb 3, 2018 raising $34.3 million as each token changed hands at $0.05714 for public investors.  60.2 percent or 602 million REN tokens were sold to investors with a maximum cap of 1 ETH where the purchased coins were unlocked after two weeks.

At the moment, the market capitalization is $60,896,771 USD on a circulating supply of 769,764,831 REN. The total supply of tokens is 1 billion REN.  This means that since the ICO, the return on investment (ROI) is as follows:  X1.31 on USD, X5.71 on ETH and X1.14 against BTC.

Note that the ROI for ETH is particularly high because at the time of the ICO, ETH prices bore the heaviest brunt at the start of the 2018 crypto bear market. Presently, the token is paired against BTC, BNB and ETH in exchange as Huobi Global, Binance, IDEX and OkEx.

Short Term Catalysts

The Ren protocol is still underrated and probably undervalued as a token. This is because its utility value is course-alerting for blockchain apps. The provision of not only scalability but also liquidity gives it a market edge. At the moment, the supply of a billion Ren is likely to be a catalyst in the short term. This is because as more institutional investors come into play, the value and mobility of the tokens will go up. Moreover, the high buy volume means that the protocol itself is liquid.

In addition to that, the project is one of the most talked about ERC 20 projects on Twitter and GitHub. As a result, this level of developer and investor attention gives the protocol visibility on the markets which can translate to price bumps.

Finally, the updates the protocol has in its roadmap are potentially positive for prices. The Hyperdrive upgrade, in particular, will improve the RENVM greatly. This is because the consensus mechanism will bring fast decentralized consensus to RENVM. Accordingly, this and more developmental upgrades will give prices a shot in the arm.

Long Term Catalysts

In the long-term, Masternodes can provide an excellent revenue source. This is because the decentralized nodes are an investment channel as you need 100.000 tokens to operate one. As a result, this gives room for 10.000 Masternodes which brings value to the platform and improves prices.

In real life, a staggering 50 percent of all stock trades are done in dark pools. This is for all manner of reasons but the point remains that dark pools are an incredibly popular investment channel. Similarly, Ren is the pioneer blockchain dark pool protocol. Overly, the anonymity and liquidity it is both lucrative and attractive for investors and dApp developers in the long term.

Moreover, institutional investors can really be the edge REN needs. This is because; they are more likely to prefer dark pools over normal exchanges in trading crypto. With the entrance of institutions like Facebook into crypto, this could really be a turning point in crypto as pertains to institutional investors.


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