• Ren Protocol is a network that allows users to transfer tokens from one network to another. 
  • Terms like RenVM, Darknodes, Ren Bridges, and REN Coin are explained in this article.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are two major blockchain networks in terms of users and market cap. However, they face a simple issue of interoperability. Users can’t use their bitcoins for accessing the various DeFi platforms running on the Ethereum blockchain and vice versa. This issue extends to other blockchains also, which are not interlinked. 

Ren Procol runs into the scene now. 

What is Ren ?

Ren is an interoperating protocol that connects various blockchains allowing easy flow of tokens and assets. Ren allows a user to lock their tokens, say BTC and mint equivalent ERC-20 tokens, in a 1:1 ratio. They now get a RenBTC token which they can use to access different DeFi platforms on the Ethereum blockchain and perform gaming, lending, borrowing, etc. Ethereum treats RenBTC as Ether tokens. 

                           BTC [ REN ] RenBTCEther 

This is reversible as the users, when needed can convert this RenBTC back to BTC by paying a fee to the Ren protocol. 

How Ren Runs ?


Ren Virtual Machine is the heart of the Ren network over which the whole Ren Protocol runs. They are a simulation of a physical computer that can perform all the tasks of a computer but does not reveal all the data. They use the following features for user privacy:

zk-SNARK (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge) as its underlying encrypting program.

Shamir’s Secret Sharing: In this feature, the secret data is broken into parts and then distributed among different users to keep them hidden from the dark nodes also. 

sMPC (Secure Multiparty Computation): A feature that allows a code to run without revealing the input and output information.

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT): The network will run even if some darknodes are malicious and go down.

Hyperdrive: The consensus mechanism used by Ren Protocol.

Dark Nodes

These are the computers operated by different users, which provide the Ren Network’s computational power, storage, and bandwidth. Anyone can become a darknode; just lock a few Ren Coins first. This is to prevent any malicious user from becoming a dark node. 

In return for their service, they are rewarded with some tokens from the network. 

Ren Bridges

This feature allows Ren to perform the function it was built for. Ren accepts tokens on one blockchain and creates new tokens representing them in another blockchain through Ren Bridges.  

        Ren Supporting Tokens                                           

Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
z cash (ZEC)
filecoin (FIL)
Dogecoin (DOGE)
digibyte (DGB)
terra  (LUNA) 

     Ren supporting blockchains

Binance Smart Chain

Ren Coins:

Ren Coins is the native crypto token used in the Ren network. It is used by the darknodes who lock an initial amount of 100,000 REN in smart contracts to become trustworthy node operators. Their rewards are also paid in REN. 

REN differs from other native tokens of blockchains in a way that a user doesn’t need REN to use the network. They can pay the fees in any supported cryptocurrency. 

The total supply of REN is limited to 1 billion. 

What is Ren And How Does it Runs To Bridge Different Blockchains

Supported Transactions:

All transactions on the REN platform fall into either three of the categories.

Lock and Mint

You send some Bitcoins to the RenVM which locks them after verifying them. You are given a minting signature which can be used to mint equivalent ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum in the form of renBTC.

                   Lock BTC → Get Minting Signature → Mint renBTC

Burn and Release

If you want your locked BTC back, then you put in a request to burn your renBTC. The network asks for your wallet address and provides a releasing signature which can be used to get bitcoins back in your account. 

               Burn renBTC → Get Releasing Signature → Release BTC 

Burn and Mint

Let’s say you want to move your already minted renBTC to another blockchain network from Ethereum to Polkadot. You burn your current renBTC on Ethereum and make a request to transfer to Polkadot. REN provides you with a new minting signature with which you can mint renBTC on Polkadot. 

         Burn renBTC on → Get new minting  → Mint renBTC on 

             Ethereum                   signature                     Polkadot

Final Thoughts: 

Blockchain presently had the limitations of interoperability, making it difficult for users to flow their assets and tokens from one network to another. This restricted users from utilizing blockchains to their full potential. RenVM has taken the initiative to bridge this gap and has been successful. In the future, with the launch of other interesting features, REN may become a mainstream network. 

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