Ren built and released the first decentralized dark pool (RenEx) in 2018 and is now generalizing this technology to create an ecosystem for building, deploying, and running general-purpose, privacy-preserving, applications using zkSNARK on a newly developed secure multiparty computation protocol (sMPC).
Ren's core product is now RenVM, which brings interoperability to decentralized finance (DeFi). RenVM is intended to be a decentralized and trustless custodian that holds your digital assets as they move between blockchains using zero-knowledge proofs over an sMPC based protocol. The state, inputs, and outputs of all programs that RenVM runs are kept hidden from everyone, including the Darknodes that power it.
This allows RenVM to securely manage ECDSA private keys on different blockchains, making it possible to shift digital assets between blockchains in a trustless, permissionless, and decentralized way.
Nodes that power RenVM, are referred to as Darknodes. These can be operated by any member of the public that posts a bond of 100,000 Ren tokens (REN). Projects that utilize RenVM pay a small fee to Darknodes for providing interoperability. Given the one billion maximum REN token supply (ERC-20), there is a maximum of 10,000 possible Darknodes.
Ren is currently in phase sub-zero where there is only one group of nodes responsible for consensus and execution and it is run by the Ren team.
Ren is built on a decentralized virtual machine, RenVM, that leverages zkSNARK and secure multiparty computations to validate proofs and run programs in zero-knowledge. As a general purpose virtual machine, any kind of program can be executed on RenVM while keeping its inputs, outputs, and state, completely secret. Programs on RenVM can also synthesize completely new data, that is not known to anyone, and still be governed by program logic. For example, a program could generate an ECDSA private key that it can use to sign transactions under specific conditions, without the key being known to anyone, including the program itself.
This creates opportunities to rebuild existing financial applications, bringing privacy and Byzantine Fault Tolerance to them, but it also brings about entirely new applications that were not previously possible in decentralized environments. RenVM can be used to replace an ideal trusted third-party: providing absolute secrecy and correctness