On the surface, Bitcoin and Ren are two very different cryptocurrencies, but dig a little deeper and it becomes apparent that the two projects actually work in harmony with each other to some extent.
There was a time when investors coming to market for the first time would invariably choose Bitcoin as the first addition to their nascent portfolio. To some extent, that still holds today, but an increasing number are becoming interested in the more advanced blockchains that may have more room to grow.
Bitcoin has been around for a long time by cryptocurrency standards and the market has evolved beyond all recognition during its lifespan. Of course, most notable is the rise of smart contract platforms, like Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. However, Ren may have indirectly given BTC a new lease on life…
Comparing two cryptocurrencies from a technical perspective can often be a fool's errand, as different projects have different objectives and thus different architecture. However, from an investment perspective, it can be helpful to know how two projects measure up in terms of future growth potential. If nothing else, this can help investors in diversifying 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 be taking a closer look at what each project brings to the table, as well as check out some key price predictions for each one.
Ren vs Bitcoin - The Fundamentals
We’ve touched upon it above, but before we continue it's 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 article about investment, it's important to have an understanding of each project’s key fundamentals, to understand exactly how they slot into the wider cryptocurrency market.
Ren was originally called the Republic Protocol when it came into being back in 2017. However, Australian founders Taiyang Zhang and Loong Wang made quite a few big changes early on and the main function of the project was shifted from providing OTC cryptocurrency transactions to a platform that instead focused on interoperability. To this end, Ren was born in 2019 and the mainnet went live in 2020.
If you’ve been monitoring the cryptocurrency market for any period of time, then you’ll know that interoperability has become a pretty big deal. Especially as many of the leading DeFi projects are built on either Binance or Ethereum and the biggest token of them 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 lock tokens into the platform in exchange for ERC-2 or BEP-20 tokens that offer equivalent value. These tokens can then be used on 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's enough that potential investors 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 ensure security? The RenVM consists of dark nodes that use zkSnarks and the Shamir Secret Sharing Scheme. Together, these technologies allow Ren to process fragmented orders - meaning no individual node has access to the full details of the transaction.
Ren then stores the deposited cryptocurrency tokens until the user is ready to reclaim them, which is done by the same process made in reverse. Of course, users pay a fee for using 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 dark nodes on the network, which are required to stake at least 100,000 REN if they want to take part in the running of the network. This ensures that validators can be held accountable if there are any issues and reduces the chance of illicit activity. Of course, users providing 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 forum. However, it is expected that REN will eventually become the governance token of the platform.
REN has a fixed supply of 1 billion tokens.
Check Out: The Best 5 Ways To Buy REN
The story of Bitcoin is pretty well documented at this stage but for the sake of this Bitcoin vs Ren comparison, it's worth a quick recap. The token was first mooted in a 2008 whitepaper by the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, before launching properly 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 appear to have fallen by the wayside - more than likely because Bitcoin transactions are far too costly and resource-intensive to be used on a commercial scale.
Instead, Bitcoin has become a mainstay for investors looking for an alternative to the legacy markets. It is arguably BTC’s popularity with the larger, institutional investors that allow it to maintain its position as the number one cryptocurrency by market cap - and by quite some margin.
Transactions and Speed
Bitcoin’s transaction speed isn’t much to write home about these days. In fact, it is one of the slowest platforms out there, capable of processing roughly five transactions per second. Some of the leading smart chains are posting speeds of several thousand TPS.
The issue with Bitcoin is that its blockchain is fairly dated. It relies on an early version of the proof-of-work consensus, which is both sluggish and resource-intensive. Unfortunately, this is an integral part of the network and, unlike Ethereum, Bitcoin is unlikely to be upgrading any time soon.
The thing to remember here is that, from a performance perspective, Bitcoin was surpassed a long time ago, yet despite the emergence of the second and third-generation smart chains, BTC continues to be the most valuable token on the market by a long way.
The BTC token
Bitcoin is intended as a means of value exchange - nothing more, 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 halves at regular intervals, roughly every four years. In 2012, for example, the reward was 25 BTC. In 2016, it was cut to 12.5 BTC. Today it stands at 6.25 BTC.
In addition to the diminishing 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 token’s value.
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.
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Ren vs Bitcoin: Which Is The Better Investment?
Despite Bitcoin being more of a store of value than a currency of exchange these days, it would be wrong to write it off against a project like Ren, which could prove an integral part of the thriving DeFi scene. Ultimately, there are numerous cryptocurrency projects out there with ostensibly valuable use cases that have not been reflected in token prices.
When it comes down to investment, what really matters is price movement. With this in mind, we need to look back at where token prices for Bitcoin and Ren have been and where they have the potential to go in future.
Bitcoin vs Ren: Price History
Price history not only tells us how a token has performed in the past, it is also the fundamental data that informs price predictions. So, to compare Ren vs Bitcoin, we need to take a look at each project’s previous performance on the market.
REN hit the market in March 2018 with a fairly low trading price of around $0.7. However, this didn’t hold long and within weeks the token had sunk to $0.03. There was then an uptick in may that took the token as high as $0.12, but that was to be the best month for REN for some time.
For the rest of 2018, REN was unable to crawl back above $0.05 and this persisted across the first half of 2019 until August saw the token rally to a trading price of $0.15. Once again though, REN couldn’t keep this momentum going and less than two months later it was back down in familiar territory - under $0.05 per token. Here it would remain for several months.
In 2020, REN finally saw a solid upswing, with its token price rising by 1350% over the course of 8 months to hit $0.58 in August. Things were fairly uneven after that, with REN undergoing some fairly significant price fluctuations, with its price sinking as low as $0.25 and reaching highs of just over $0.40.
When 2021 arrived, it seemed that REN turned a corner. A market upswing in February saw REN skyrocket to an unprecedented $1.80 - which remains its all-time high. The token then held a price above the dollar mark for the next couple of months, before a bear hit, taking it as low as $0.29. However, this time REN was quick to recover and by October it was trading at $1.15.
Of course, the cryptocurrency market has been gripped by a protracted downturn for much of 2022 and at the time of writing, REN was trading at $0.38.
Bitcoin’s price history is one of the things that has helped to propel cryptocurrency into the mainstream. Having been virtually worthless when originally launched in 2009, by 2013 a single BTC token was worth $1,242, which meant that early investors had seen astronomical returns in just a few years.
Bitcoin quickly became known for its ability to undergo huge price increases - but what comes up most come down and this was demonstrated during the famous cryptocurrency bubble that burst in 2018. By the start of that year, BTC was trading at an unprecedented $19,783 following months of sustained investment. However, by the end of 2018 the token had plummeted to $3,430.
Whilst there was some initial speculation that the cryptocurrency dream had come crashing down, the more savvy investors didn’t have to wait long before they were 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. In November however, Bitcoin was on the move again and this time was to reach its all-time high of $69,044.
When January 2022 arrived, the cryptocurrency market saw a widespread downturn that it is yet to recover from. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $41,360.
Bitcoin vs Ren: Future Forecasts & Predictions
Having looked at the price history of Bitcoin vs Ren, we can see that both tokens are capable of sudden price rises - as well as the occasional downturn. Of course, what we are really interested in here is what is likely to happen in future. As such, we have consulted several price predictions from top market analysts.
Comparing Ren vs Bitcoin, it’s probably fair to say that Ren is the more volatile of the two, with bitcoin tending to hold onto value increases for longer periods. But Ren has certainly proven that it can generate significant returns for investors. So what are analysts predicting fo rhte near future?
According to DigitalCoinPrice, the days of Ren’s consistent boom and bust cycles could be over, According to its technical analysis, REN could reach an average trading price of $0.49 across 2022. By 2023, this is predicted to increase to $0.55 and this is expected to hold across 2024. By the end of 2025, the platform believes REN could reach a potential high of $0.73.
Elsewhere, WalletInvestor is slightly more pessimistic and believes that REN is likely to exhibit similar volatility moving forward. Whilst the platform is predicting growth for the token across mid-2022, ultimately it sees Ren having lost any gains by December. In 2023, REN is expected to reach an average of around $0.54 in October, before declining to under $0.31 across December that same year. By 2025, the token is expected to trade at a potential high of $0.50.
Finally, TradingBeasts is optimistic about REN’s future. Its data suggests that the token will be up by around 30% come the start of 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 predicted to be worth up to $0.60. These gains are expected to continue and 2025 could see REN reach up to $0.80 per token.
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It seems that Ren is expected to see a turbulent few years but will ultimately grow in value. When it comes to Bitcoin, it seems most platforms are also predicting growth with the only divergence being on when the recovery is expected to start.
DigitalCoinPrice, for example, expects BTC to start trending upwards again before 2022 is out, reaching an average trading price of $55,000 for the year. 2023 will then be another positive year for Bitcoin, with the platform predicting it will reach around $60,800. Growth is then expected to slow somewhat across 2024, but by the end of 2025 BTC is expected to be worth up to $76,800.
WalletInvestor also sees Bitcoin well on the way to recovery by the end of 2022, with a potential trading price of $58,000 by the end of the year. The token to build on this success and could reach an average trading price in excess of $82k by December 2023. According to WalletInvestor, BTC will finally cross the $100,000 threshold in mid-to-late 2024.
Of all the Bitcoin forecasts we looked at, TradingBeasts is most apprehensive about predicting a BTC recovery. According to its figures, Bitcoin will struggle across 2022 and will even lose value in 2023, finishing the year around 20% down on its current price. However, these lows are expected to precipitate a significant bull going into 2024 and by the end of that year Bitcoin will be up by 28% on today’s price, with a trading price of $52,800.
These predictions are based on previous price data along with a few 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.
Check Out: Bitcoin (BTC) Price Prediction
Ren vs Bitcoin: What The Experts Say
It's always worth hearing from some industry experts for their take on particular projects. Whilst they may not be able to give us any reliable predictions, the sentiment of key figures from the world of business and finance can often tell us things that analysts may overlook.
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 mathematics to it. I just really feel it based on all the interest. The interest in crypto is so high."
Elsewhere, chief executive officer of enterprise software company MicroStrategy Michael Saylor has claimed that Bitcoin is the “only true scarcity in the world” and tipped BTC as the best hedge against the inflation that is wreaking havoc on the traditional financial markets.
It’s probably fair to say that Ren has a much lower profile than Bitcoin. But therein lies opportunity. In fact, Guy from Coin Bureau believes that REN is amongst 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’s been tackling interoperability head-on. The market cap of Ren’s wrapped Bitcoin token on Ethereum (renBTC) has grown to over $1 billion over the last few months. And the Ren protocol has expanded to support other chains…” he added.
Ren vs Bitcoin: Conclusion
Ren vs Bitcoin is a tough comparison to make as, if anything, the two tokens are perfectly placed to work in synergy. From a technical standpoint, 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 the first achievements of the Ren was Wrapped Bitcoin.
From an investment perspective, Bitcoin remains the king of cryptocurrencies and historically its price has been more stable than Ren’s. However, Ren has been known to undergo sudden price surges, which will appeal to many investors who are willing to take on some risk.
Looking at price predictions for both Ren and Bitcoin, it seems both projects could face some uncertainty in over the next year or two, but ultimately both projects are expected to grow in value which means that now could be a good time to think about adding them to your portfolio.
What will be interesting to observe is if any correlation is established between these projects moving forward and what other platforms will benefit from a relationship with Ren. Anyone looking to invest in the project will need to keep an eye on developments and keep track of 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. Moving forward, its possible that both may have a place in a diversified portfolio.
If you are looking to buy Bitcoin, Ren, or any other cryptocurrency, but are yet to start building your portfolio, then there are a few things you’ll need. Firstly, a secure place to store your tokens. Cryptocurrency wallets come in a variety of formats, including both hardware and software versions. We’d recommend checking out our guide if you are unsure of which kind to choose.
You’ll also need to find a broker or exchange to give you access to the markets. We usually recommend eToro, as it's one of the most trusted names in the industry and offers competitive fees, excellent information resources and an award-winning trading platform.
Opening an account is extremely straightforward and you can be up and running in just a few minutes.
eToro – The Best Platform To Buy Cryptocurrencies
Virtual currencies are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk.
Does Ren have a future?
Ren may not be as well known as the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, but it is one of the few projects on the market that is specifically trying to address the issue of interoperability within the blockchain world. This is a hugely valuable use case and given the success of one of its early ventures, Wrapped Bitcoin, it would appear that Ren certainly has its place.
Will Ren overtake Bitcoin in 2022?
Bitcoin has dominated the top spot when it comes to token value since it launched. Given the growing interest from institutional investors, it seems unlikely that this is going to change any time soon. Ironically, Ren may have actually helped bolster BTC’s value in that it allows the token to be used on several DeFi protocols.
Where can I buy Ren?
If you’re looking to buy Ren then you’ll find the token is fairly widely listed. If you are yet to find an exchange, then we’d recommend checking out eToro as a first port of call. Here you’ll not only be able to buy Ren, but several other top cryptocurrencies and all via eToro’s easy to use trading platform.
When will Bitcoin recover?
After a record-breaking year in 2021, many investors predicted a market downturn would follow - and they were right. However, those same investors are now expecting the token to recover, it’s just a case of when. The Bitcoin forecasts that we have seen suggest recovery should be underway by the end of 2022.