Ren Development Update

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Year in Review and Looking Forward

It’s been another monumental year for Ren, and in tradition for the final post, we will recap some of the major milestones we have hit over the year and provide some insight into the current development and priorities for 2022.

A Year in Review | Major Milestones

Over the last year, the Ren team has continued to lay the foundations for interoperability in the DeFi space going forward. Most notably, we have added support for more kinds of assets, started handing over control of the network to the Greycore, and deployed the first general-purpose logic to the system -let’s explore more below.

This is by far the biggest update to RenVM since the v0.4 release. It enables RenVM to connect more than a trillion dollars worth of digital assets through generic ECR-20 support and native assets like ETH and SOL. Now that RenVM can support almost any token on any blockchain, the foundation for liquidity unchained and ultimately a multichain future is here.

This volume is only increasing as more assets go live with the advent of H2H. Regardless of the market’s direction, those who power the RenVM network continue to benefit with over fifteen (15) million USD earned in rewards to date. Explore the Command Center here.

Greycore is live on Testnet with our first member. This is a big milestone and has helped unveil several necessary improvements to our tooling and networking infrastructure before the next batch of members are onboarded in Q1, 2022. You can learn more about the Greycore release here.

biswap

The very first cross-chain swapping dApp powered by RenVM went live. VarenX is a cross-chain decentralized exchange (DEX) that has been in development for over a year. It allows users to seamlessly trade from native assets like BTC to ERC20s, using the existing liquidity pool. This integration is an important step in achieving the ultimate vision for RenVM — composable cross-chain DeFi. Learn more here.

The Community Ecosystem Fund (CEF) has been quietly accruing funds over the last few months. The purpose of this fund is to help the community become more directly involved in the growth of the RenVM ecosystem. These will be spendable over the coming weeks but, until then, you can become involved through the CEF & Treasury Committee which can be found on the Community Discord here. This is a big step for the Ren Community, its decentralization, and its ability to steer the protocol’s future growth and management, so if you want to see changes get involved!

RenVM Dev Update | Q4 2021

These last few months have been busy for the core development team. Let’s dive into the more granular development updates and RenVM infrastructure improvements that closed out the year.

H2H was a gargantuan release for RenVM and it took up a majority of the team’s effort. There was the writing, testing, and deploying of new gateway contracts as well as updating Darknode and Lightnode infrastructure to be compatible with the new contracts. This included some efficiency improvements with the increased number of assets, plus making it easier to add support for new assets in the future.

The work is promptly being followed with H2H integration into RenBridge. It’s estimated to go live in January and will kickstart the true utility of H2H which, up until this point, has had no formal UI support.

This version is a complete refactor of RenJS and was the main focus for the front-end team overQ4. Some new features include H2H, streamlining the addition of new blockchains, an updated interface, support for custom instances, improved security, and the standardization interface for TX confirmations. These changes are significant and have been the biggest update to RenJS to date, making it a far more resilient and usable SDK for the ever-expanding cross-chain DeFi world.

The dev team has also been working on adding Solana support in RenJS v3. Solana requires special attention due to it not being an EVM chain. Adding non-EVM chains is crucial for the overall growth strategy so we’re looking forward to seeing this go live in Q1 2022.

Recent updates to AW have made it easier to debug and reproduce issues locally. Specifically, it has been refactored to have a single message queue and limit the number of background routines that are spawned, to reduce non-deterministic behavior. These improvements will ultimately allow us to expedite the Greycore onboarding process.

All CEF back-end code is completed and tested, ready for deployment which is scheduled for January. When released funds will be spendable at the communities discretion. For those looking to get involved in Ren Govenerace, please join the Treasury Channel in the community Discord.

A new version of Loki RenVM’s testing suite is now live. It incorporates H2H and burn-and-mint transactions — Ensuring the testing suite covers all transaction types is crucial for network stability and uptime.

The next Development Update will be published at the end of Q1 2022.

Looking Forward | What’s coming in 2022

RenVM’s growth, maturation, and network resilience remain the top priority for 2022 but it will nonetheless be another feature-packed year for RenVM! Let’s cover a few that the team will focus on in early 2022.

A new update is coming to Darknodes which includes making the CEF spendable and incorporating the new burn-and-mint transaction type.

This is the last puzzle piece for RenVM H2H infrastructure — burn-and-mint allows $renBTC (and all other supported assets) to be bridged to another blockchain without going back to its original chain. An example is bridging $renBTC on Fantom to Avalanche without going back to native $BTC. This greatly expands the utility of RenVM, along with reducing bridging costs and the time it takes to move these assets from one chain to another.

Want to see RenVM support a new asset or token? The listing process is now in the hands of Ren Community Governance! The whitelisting section on Ren Forum can be found here: https://forum.renproject.io/c/token-listing-proposals/14

The instruction set can be found here and new submissions can be found here.

With the expanded capability of H2H and RenJS v3, there are now a plethora of new cross-chain use cases dApps that can be built — from native <> native asset swap to LP token transferring dApps. The team is already assisting a few third parties to bring these composable multi-chain dApps to life. There are a lot of UX improvements and unmet market needs, so we are excited to get these to the public as soon as possible.

The team onboarded BadgerDAO this fall, and now that Airwave v0.6.1 (noted above) has been released, the onboarding process should be more efficient. In addition to the Airwave updates, we will be adding an auto-updater to the Greycore nodes so all can be updated in unison as new updates are released. With these two features live, we hope to add all Greycore members by the end of Q1 2022.

The Ren Labs sMPC research team has begun looking at adding support for blockchains outside of the ECDSA realm (chains like Cardano, Ripple, etc). For RenVM to connect all blockchains, supporting a variety of elliptic curves will be crucial. Once formal progress has been made it’ll be announced accordingly.

Bridging can be thought of as one application that is built on top of RenVM as a layer zero protocol. Throughout 2022, the Ren team will be looking to finalize the application of decentralized bridging, and expand RenVM to allow third parties to build and deploy custom applications using this stack. Let’s dive into what this means.

The transition to a general-purpose layer zero is the next natural step for RenVM. Over the coming year, the Ren team will be working closely with Catalog, which will be the first application built directly on top of RenVM. Building on top of RenVM will allow blockchains to get completely abstracted away. An application deployed to the network will have immediate access to all of the assets supported by RenVM, without having to deal with the complexities of each one.

Now this is a non-trivial change, and hence the Ren team will continue its vast research in areas such as user accounts, smart contract models, incentivization models for Darknodes, and fee mechanisms; and working with Catalog will ensure a solution that is optimal for all parties.

RenVM’s growth, maturation, and robustness remain the top priority for 2022. We will look to further decentralize the protocol while transitioning RenVM into a layer 0; fulfilling the mandate of a multichain future. If this past year is any indication of what’s possible for cross-chain protocols, the next year has even more in store! Keep up the good work fRens and see you in 2022!

Onwards and upwards,
— Ren Team

Ren is an open protocol that enables the movement of value between blockchains.

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