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  • REN (formerly Republic Protocol) is a protocol aiming to provide access to inter-blockchain liquidity for all decentralized applications. In short, the project attempts to bring Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and other crypto-assets (e.g., ZCash) onto Ethereum dApps.
  • At its core, REN relies on the RenVM, a trustless and decentralized virtual machine. RenVM serves as the engine that powers Ren. RenVM has four core characteristics:
    • Shamir's Secret Sharing: a form of secret sharing, where a secret is divided into parts, giving each participant its own unique part. In Ren, Shamir's Secret Sharing represents the key foundation of the protocol to keep the data secret.
    • Secure Multi-Party Computation (sMPC): a mechanism that allows "untrusted Darknodes" to run scripts without revealing their inputs or outputs to any party.
    • Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) algorithm: a set of network consensus rules that allows the network to work properly even when some nodes are acting maliciously.
    • Hyperdrive: a modified version of the Tendermint consensus algorithm designed specifically for sharding and sMPC.
  • The project attempts to expand the capability of existing dApps, and to create entirely new business cases within the decentralized world (e.g., addition of new collaterals for DeFi applications). The REN token is used as a bond to run a Darknode, which powers the sMPC network (RenVM). The decentralized network of Darknodes is permissionless, but a bond of 100,000 REN tokens is required to register and run a Darknode to prevent attacks.