On the surface, Bitcoin and Ren are two very different cryptocurrencies, but dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that the two projects actually work in harmony with each other to some extent.
There was a time when first-time investors invariably chose Bitcoin as the first addition to their nascent portfolio. To some extent, that still holds true today, but an increasing number are becoming interested in more advanced blockchains that may have more room to grow.
Bitcoin has long existed by cryptocurrency standards and the market has evolved beyond all recognition during its lifetime. Most notable, of course, is the rise of smart contract platforms such as Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. However, Ren may have indirectly given BTC a new lease of life …
Comparing two cryptocurrencies from a technical perspective can often be a silly task, as different projects have different goals and therefore different architecture. However, from an investment perspective, it can be useful to know how two projects measure up in terms of future growth potential. If nothing else, this can help investors diversify their investment strategy.
So which of these two tokens is likely to offer better returns in the coming years? In the following Ren vs Bitcoin comparison, we’ll take a closer look at what each project brings to the table, as well as looking at some key price predictions for each.
REN VS BITCOIN – THE BASICS
We have mentioned it before, but before we continue it is worth reiterating that Bitcoin and Ren are very different projects, with very different use cases. As such, a direct technical comparison is of limited value.
However, as this is primarily an investment article, it is important to have an understanding of the key fundamentals of each project, to understand exactly how they fit into the wider cryptocurrency market.
Ren was originally called Republic Protocol when it was born in 2017. However, Australian founders Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang made quite a few major changes early on and the main function of the project was changed from providing OTC cryptocurrency transactions to a platform that instead focused on interoperability. To this end, Ren was born in 2019 and the main network was launched in 2020.
If you have been monitoring the cryptocurrency market for any length of time, then you will know that interoperability has become a big issue. Especially as many of the leading DeFi projects are built on Binance or Ethereum and the largest token of all, Bitcoin, cannot support DeFi on its own blockchain. Ren is one of the few projects that exists specifically to address this.
The Ren virtual machine – RenVM – allows users to block tokens on the platform in exchange for ERC-2 or BEP-20 tokens that offer equivalent value. These tokens can be used in Ethereum or Binance projects. If this sounds familiar, it is with good reason. Ren was one of the organisations behind the development of Wrapped Bitcoin, which was born out of a similar process.
The full technical workings of Ren are too complex to be broken down here, but it is sufficient for potential investors to understand the principle of how it operates.
Ren essentially stores an amount of a particular cryptocurrency, then issues an ERC-20 token to represent that stored value. For example, if a user wanted to use Bitcoin on an Ethereum-based platform, they could deposit BTC into the Ren protocol and receive renBTC in return.
Of course, this process means that a great deal of trust is placed in Ren, so how does it guarantee security? RenVM consists of dark nodes using zkSnarks and the secret exchange scheme shamir. Together, these technologies allow Ren to process fragmented orders, meaning that no individual node has access to all the details of the transaction.
Ren then stores the deposited cryptocurrency tokens until the user is ready to claim them, which is done through the same process performed in reverse. Of course, users pay a fee to use the service provided by Ren.
The ren token
Powering the RenMV is the platform’s native cryptocurrency, REN. The token is an essential component of the consensus mechanism used by the network’s dark nodes, which must stake at least 100,000 REN if they want to participate in the operation of the network. This ensures that validators can be held accountable if there are any problems and reduces the possibility of illicit activity. Of course, users who provide nodes are rewarded with a small share of the network fees.
The Ren project is currently governed by a small team of developers, using user input via the platform’s forum. However, it is expected that REN will eventually become the platform’s governing token.
REN has a fixed supply of 1 billion tokens.
The history of Bitcoin is fairly well documented at this stage, but for the sake of this Bitcoin vs Ren comparison, it’s worth a quick summary. The token was first discussed in a 2008 white paper by the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, before being properly launched in 2009 and introducing the world to blockchain technology.
Today, Bitcoin remains the world’s most famous cryptocurrency and the most popular choice for investors, especially those with a longer-term strategy. However, the token’s original goal of offering a digital alternative to cash seems to have fallen by the wayside, most likely because Bitcoin transactions are too costly and resource-intensive to be used on a commercial scale.
Instead, Bitcoin has become a mainstay for investors seeking an alternative to legacy markets. Arguably, it is BTC’s popularity among larger institutional investors that allows it to maintain its position as the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, and by quite a margin.
Transactions and speed
Bitcoin’s transaction speed is not much to write home about these days. In fact, it is one of the slowest platforms out there, capable of processing approximately five transactions per second. Some of the major smart chains are clocking speeds of several thousand TPS.
The BTC token
Bitcoin is intended as a medium of exchange for value, nothing more and nothing less. When miners add new blocks to the chain, they are rewarded with a payment of BTC, which is how new tokens are released into the system. The amount they receive is halved at regular intervals, roughly every four years. In 2012, for example, the reward was 25 BTC. In 2016, it was reduced to 12.5 BTC. Today it stands at 6.25 BTC.
In addition to the decrease in the block reward, the total supply of BTC is also limited to 21 million. This means that there are fewer tokens being released as time goes on and a finite supply means that scarcity will increase, which, in theory, will have a positive effect on the value of the token.
Another factor to consider is that many large-scale Bitcoin investors buy their tokens for the long term. This effectively means taking them out of open circulation, which also serves to increase the scarcity of tradable BTC.
REN VS BITCOIN: WHICH IS THE BETTER INVESTMENT?
Although Bitcoin is more of a store of value than a currency these days, it would be a mistake to write it off against a project like Ren, which could be an integral part of the thriving DeFi scene. Ultimately, there are numerous cryptocurrency projects with ostensibly valuable use cases that have not been reflected in token prices.
When it comes to investment, what really matters is price movement. With this in mind, we should look back at where token prices for Bitcoin and Ren have been and where they have the potential to go in the future.
Bitcoin vs Ren: Price history
Price history not only tells us how a token has performed in the past, but it is also the fundamental data that informs price predictions. Therefore, to compare Ren vs Bitcoin, we must take a look at the past performance of each project in the market.
REN hit the market in March 2018 with a fairly low trading price of around $0.7. However, this did not hold for long and within a matter of weeks the token had plunged to $0.03. Then there was a rally in May that took the token up to $0.12, but that was to be the best month for REN for some time.
For the rest of 2018, REN was unable to break back above $0.05 and this persisted for the first half of 2019 until August saw the token rally to a trading price of $0.15. However, once again, REN was unable to sustain this momentum and less than two months later it fell back into familiar territory, below $0.05 per token. Here it would remain for several months.
In 2020, REN finally saw a solid rally, with its token price increasing by 1350% over the course of 8 months to reach $0.58 in August. Things were pretty uneven after that, with REN experiencing some pretty significant price fluctuations, with its price sinking as low as $0.25 and reaching highs of just over $0.40.
When 2021 arrived, it looked like REN was turning a corner. A market rally in February sent REN soaring to an all-time high of $1.80, which remains its all-time high. The token then held a price above the dollar mark for the next two months, before a bear hit, bringing it as low as $0.29. However, this time REN recovered quickly and by October was trading at $1.15.
Of course, the cryptocurrency market has been hit by a prolonged recession for much of 2022 and, at the time of writing, REN was trading at $0.35.
Bitcoin’s price history is one of the things that has helped propel the cryptocurrency into the mainstream. Having been virtually worthless when it was originally launched in 2009, by 2013 a single BTC token was worth $1,242, meaning early investors had seen astronomical returns in just a few short years.
Bitcoin quickly became known for its ability to undergo huge price spikes, but what it most surges low and this was demonstrated during the famous cryptocurrency bubble that burst in 2018. Earlier that year, BTC was trading at an unprecedented $19,783 after months of sustained investment. However, by the end of 2018, the token had plummeted to $3,430.
While there was some initial speculation that the cryptocurrency dream had collapsed, savvy investors did not have to wait long before it was back in the black. In 2021, Bitcoin had its most successful year to date. The token soared to $64,804 in February before prices cooled slightly over the summer. By November, however, Bitcoin was on the move again and this time would reach its all-time high of $69,044.
When January 2022 arrived, the cryptocurrency market saw a widespread slowdown from which it has yet to recover. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $38,892.
Bitcoin vs Ren: future forecasts and predictions
Having looked at the price history of Bitcoin vs Ren, we can see that both tokens are capable of sudden price spikes, as well as the occasional downturn. Of course, what we are really interested in here is what is likely to happen in the future. As such, we have consulted various price predictions from leading market analysts.
Comparing Ren vs Bitcoin, it is probably fair to say that Ren is the more volatile of the two, with bitcoin tending to sustain increases in value over longer periods. But Ren has certainly shown that it can generate significant returns for investors. So what do analysts predict for the near future?
According to DigitalCoinPrice, the days of Ren’s consistent boom and bust cycles may be over, According to their technical analysis, REN could reach an average trading price of $0.44 throughout 2022. By 2023, this is forecast to rise to $0.50 and is expected to hold through 2024. By the end of 2025, the platform believes that REN could potentially peak at $0.75.
Elsewhere WalletInvestor is a little more pessimistic and believes that REN is likely to exhibit similar volatility in the future. While the platform predicts growth for the token in mid-2022, it ultimately sees REN missing out on any gains by December. In 2023, REN is expected to average around $0.65 in October, before declining to less than $0.45 in December of that same year. By 2025, the token is expected to trade at a potential high of $0.96.
Finally, TradingBeasts is optimistic about REN’s future. Their data suggests that the token will rise by around 30% by early 2023, with an average trading price of around $0.46. The token will experience some volatility throughout the year, but by the summer of 2024 it is forecast to be worth as much as $0.70. These gains are expected to continue and 2025 could see REN reach as high as $0.70 per token.
Ren seems to be expected to see a turbulent few years, but will eventually grow in value. When it comes to Bitcoin, it seems that most platforms also predict growth with the only divergence being when the recovery is expected to begin.
DigitalCoinPrice, for example, expects BTC to start trending upwards again before the end of 2022, reaching an average trading price of $52,137 for the year. 2023 will be another positive year for Bitcoin, with the platform predicting it will reach around $57,606. Growth is expected to slow a bit throughout 2024, but by the end of 2025 BTC is expected to be worth up to $72,745.
WalletInvestor also sees Bitcoin on the road to recovery by the end of 2022, with a potential trading price of $57,855 by the end of the year. The token to build on this success and could reach an average trading price above $83k by December 2023. According to WalletInvestor, BTC will eventually cross the $100,000 threshold by mid to late 2024.
Of all the Bitcoin forecasters we looked at, TradingBeasts is the most concerned about predicting a BTC recovery. According to their figures, Bitcoin will struggle through 2022 and even lose value in 2023, ending the year around 27% below its current price. However, these lows are expected to precipitate a significant bull in 2024 and by the end of that year Bitcoin will rise 20% on today’s price, with a trading price of $58,470.
These predictions are based on past price data along with some other key indicators, but we remind readers that they are just that: predictions. There are no guarantees in the cryptocurrency market and investors should manage their expectations accordingly.
REN VS BITCOIN: WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
It is always worth listening to some industry experts for their opinion on particular projects. While they may not be able to give us reliable predictions, the sentiment of key figures from the world of business and finance can often tell us things that analysts may miss.
Bitcoin certainly has no shortage of supporters. Recently, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed his confidence in the token. “I think Bitcoin is going to go to $100,000,” he said. “I don’t know where I get that feeling. I can’t put any maths on it. I really feel it based on all the interest. The interest in cryptocurrency is so high.”
On the other hand, CEO of enterprise software company MicroStrategy Michael Saylor has claimed that Bitcoin is the “only true scarcity in the world” and pointed to BTC as the best hedge against inflation that is wreaking havoc on traditional financial markets.
It is probably fair to say that Ren has a much lower profile than Bitcoin. But therein lies the opportunity. Coin Bureau’s Sujeto actually believes that REN is among the “most underrated and undervalued cryptocurrencies on the market” despite the project being perfectly placed “to be the interoperability layer of the cryptocurrency space”.
“Ren is one of the few cryptocurrency projects that has been tackling interoperability head-on. The market cap of Ren’s Ethereum-wrapped Bitcoin token (renBTC) has grown to more than $1 billion in recent months. And the Ren protocol has expanded to support other chains …” he added.
REN VS BITCOIN: CONCLUSION
Ren vs Bitcoin is a difficult comparison to make as, if anything, the two tokens are perfectly placed to work in synergy. From a technical point of view, Ren has the advantage of being a much newer platform, but it was created with existing tokens in mind, and let’s not forget that one of Ren’s first achievements was Wrapped Bitcoin.
From an investment perspective, Bitcoin remains the king of cryptocurrencies and historically its price has been more stable than Ren. However, Ren has been known to suffer from price spikes, which will attract many investors who are willing to take some risk.
Looking at the price predictions for both Ren and Bitcoin, it seems that both projects could face some uncertainty over the next year or two, but ultimately both projects are expected to grow in value, meaning that now might be a good time to think about adding them to your portfolio.
What will be interesting to watch is whether any correlation is established between these projects in the future and which other platforms will benefit from a relationship with Ren. Anyone looking to invest in the project should keep an eye on developments and track how new innovations affect its price.
Whether you choose to invest in Bitcoin or Ren, both projects have the potential to offer good returns, but both also carry a large amount of risk. In the future, both may have a place in a diversified portfolio.
If you are looking to buy Bitcoin, Ren or any other cryptocurrency, but have not yet started building your portfolio, then there are a few things you will need. Firstly, a safe place to store your tokens. Cryptocurrency wallets come in a variety of formats, including hardware and software versions. We recommend taking a look at our guide if you’re not sure which type to choose.
You will also need to find a broker or exchange that gives you access to the markets. We usually recommend eToro, as they are one of the most trusted names in the industry and offer competitive rates, excellent information resources and an award winning trading platform.
Opening an account is extremely simple and you can be up and running in just a few minutes.
Bitcoin vs Ren – Frequently Asked Questions
Does Ren have a future?
Ren may not be as well known as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, but it is one of the few projects on the market that specifically attempts to address the problem of interoperability within the blockchain world. This is a very valuable use case and given the success of one of his first ventures, Wrapped Bitcoin, it seems that Ren certainly has its place.
Will Ren overtake Bitcoin in 2022?
Bitcoin has dominated the top spot in terms of token value since its launch. Given the growing interest from institutional investors, it seems unlikely that this will change any time soon. Ironically, Ren may have helped bolster the value of BTC, as it allows the token to be used in various DeFi protocols.
Where can I buy Ren?
If you are looking to buy Ren, you will find that the token is listed quite extensively. If you haven’t found an exchange yet, we recommend you check out eToro as your first port of call. Here you can not only buy Ren, but several other major cryptocurrencies and all through eToro’s easy-to-use trading platform.
When will Bitcoin recover?
After a record year in 2021, many investors predicted that a market downturn would follow, and they were right. However, those same investors now expect the token to recover, it’s just a case of when. The Bitcoin forecasts we have seen suggest that recovery should be underway by the end of 2022.