The REN project is a natural extension of the Republic Protocol, decentralized dark pool trading protocol, which provides its users with the decentralized exchange services. Republic Protocol was created in 2017, merging blockchain technologies with the Wall Street infrastructure. In late September 2018, the project’s team officially launched RenEx, their own official dark pool, the world’s first decentralized dark pool exchange designed for cross-chain trading (BTC, ETH, and other ERC20-compatible tokens).
On January 18, 2019, Taiyang Zhang, the project CEO, announced the project's rebranding. The new name of the project is Ren. REN is an ecosystem for building, deploying, and running applications. Its key feature is that all application inputs, outputs, and state stay secret even to the users operating the network.
RenVM and Darknodes
REN is based on RenVM, a decentralized virtual machine for performing decentralized operations without revealing information to the users or to the Darknodes which power it. RenVM replaces third-parties and provides absolute secrecy and correctness.
Darknodes are a very important element of the REN ecosystem. These are the physical machines that power RenVM and provide the system with storage space. The total number of Darknodes cannot exceed the upper limit of 10,000 nodes. Darknode owners receive the fees for their services. Any user may join the network and register a Darknode. In order to do that, they have to stake 100,000 REN tokens as collateral which is necessary to avoid the forging of a big number of identities.
REN is a utility token based on the ERC-20 standard. REN plays an important role in the project’s economics. According to Ren’s official information, this token has two basic functions. Firstly, traders must pay fees in REN making an order. Each node that takes place in the process gets a percentage of the order fee, so it is a tool for node owners’ motivation. And secondly, REN is used as a bond which traders and nodes must pay to the Registrar, Ethereum smart contract that organizes nodes into a network structure. The ICO comprised of two stages. The private sale took place in January 2018 and the crowd sale started and ended on February 3, 2018. The team managed to raise the hard cap of 34 million USD in less than 24 hours. Some of the largest investors included Polychain Capital, FBG Capital, Signum Capital, HyperChain Capital, Huobi Capital, etc. The total token supply is 1,000,000,000. The tokens were distributed in the following way: 60.2% were sold during presale and main sale, 19.9% remained as a reserve, 9.9% were held by founders, team, and advisors, 5% were committed to an early partnership, 5% were intended to community development and partners. REN token is not a mineable coin; it can be purchased on OKEx, HADAX, IDEX, Liqui, and some other exchanges. As it is an ERC20 token, it can be stored on any ERC20 compatible wallet, e.g. MyEtherWallet, Mist, MetaMask, Coinomi, and Parity.
REN Team and Partners
REN (former Republic Protocol) is a Singapore-located company. This is the first blockchain and digital asset project of its co-founders, Taiyang Zhang (CEO) and Loong Wang (CTO). Before founding Republic Protocol, Taiyang was a founding partner of Virgil Capital, and Loon Wang was a software developer at Neucode and a researcher at Australian National University. Some other members of the team are Susruth Nadimpalli (Blockchain Developer), Noah I (Software Developer), Yunshi Sun (Software Developer), etc. The company is active in terms of partnerships. They cooperate with Wyre, a blockchain international remittance company. TrueUSD, the world's first legally backed stablecoin, is integrated with RenEx to benefit the RenEx user base. BitGo (a digital asset trust company and security company) and Kyber Network (on-chain liquidity protocol) are Ren’s partners in the WBTC project, an ERC20 token backed 1:1 with Bitcoin.