RenVM Chaosnet Launch

Interoperability For DeFi Has Arrived

Taiyang Zhang
Ren Protocol
Published in
5 min readNov 6, 2019


Chaosnet is live and ready for everyone to use. Decentralized cross-chain interoperability for Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and ZCash is here.

1. Understand the risks involved in Chaosnet because it is an unaudited pre-production environment.
2. Provide liquidity and swap cross-chain pairs on ChaosDEX:
3. Run a Chaosnet Darknode and earn rewards:

What is RenVM Chaosnet?

Decentralized cross-chain interoperability for DeFi has finally arrived! Today, we announce the release of RenVM Chaosnet, an unaudited and unrefined version of RenVM deployed to the Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and ZCash Mainnet.

For the uninitiated, RenVM itself is a virtual machine that replicates itself over a decentralized network of thousands of physical machines known as Darknodes. What makes RenVM unique is that it does everything in secret using zero-knowledge proofs over a sMPC based protocol that we’ve pioneered. The state, inputs, and outputs of all programs in RenVM 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 tokens between these blockchains in a fully trustless, permissionless, and decentralized way (i.e interoperability). RenVM can be integrated into other DeFi applications via SDK, so if you would like to integrate it with your DeFi application, check out our Github.

Chaosnet is a pre-production environment that trustlessly interoperates real cross-chain assets and is the final proving ground for RenVM before reaching Mainnet. The purpose of Chaosnet is to put RenVM to the test with real economic incentives and serve as a staging environment for releases before they are deployed to RenVM proper. It allows the team, developers, and community to purposefully put the network under stress and incentivize its corruption in real-world conditions. Simply said, Chaosnet is Mainnet’s dress rehearsal and if you’d like to learn more about its relevance in the journey to RenVM Mainnet, please read our latest blog.

Chaosnet is live right now and there are three ways to get involved.

1. ChaosDEX

ChaosDEX is a basic, decentralized exchange built by the team to facilitate real-world use of RenVM Chaosnet. Inspired by Uniswap, ChaosDEX uses an xy=k model that allows the public to trade digital assets. As a user, you can do two things with ChaosDEX:

  1. Swap DAI/BTC, DAI/ZEC, and DAI/BCH pairs in a way that is trustless, permissionless, and decentralized.
  2. Provide liquidity for these cross-chain pairs and earn fees for doing so.

Sound too good to be true? Check it out below.

ChaosDEX is a testing environment and is not meant to trade large volumes of digital assets nor compete with other decentralized exchanges. Please review the Wiki for more information on ChaosDEX where we cover details on its purpose, fee structure, providing liquidity, and more.

2. Running a Darknode on Chaosnet

RenVM is powered by Darknodes and Chaosnet is no different. Darknodes are the heart of RenVM and facilitate all transactions that it processes. Anyone can run a Darknode, but it does take some technical know-how so if you are not familiar with the concept or requirements, we’d encourage you to check out our Darknode FAQ.

With that said, anyone who is willing can participate with the understanding that the smart contracts are unaudited and your funds are at risk. The requirement for Chaosnet is 10,000 REN along with the normal VPS and registration process. The reason we chose to reduce the bond to 10,000 REN is simple; we want to make it easier for Darknodes to collude and lower the monetary risk for those who help us test in a pre-production environment. The 10,000 REN bond is only applicable during Chaosnet and will not be considered for Mainnet.

Chaosnet Darknodes earn rewards, and any transaction that RenVM facilitates during Chaosnet will be split evenly amongst all participating Darknodes. The current reward structure for Darknodes is 10 BPS (0.1%) per transaction; so if there is a $100 swap from BTC to DAI, the Darknode network will earn $0.10 worth of BTC, which will be split evenly amongst all fully registered Darknodes. Check out the Command Center below, which provides stats and a birds-eye view of the Darknode network.

If you would like to learn more and run a Darknode during Chaosnet, please review the Wiki to get started.

3. Chaosnet Challenges

One of the core reasons we launched Chaosnet is to put RenVM under stress with real economic incentives. If you are technically inclined or a developer and would like to earn rewards for scrutinizing RenVM, this is the place for you. Chaosnet challenges range in difficulty from solving puzzles to corrupting the entire network and stealing the funds locked within RenVM. Rewards for doing so will also vary; for simpler tasks, the rewards will be smaller and for more complicated tasks such as corrupting the network, individuals can steal all the assets locked up in RenVM.

If you would like to participate in the Chaosnet Challenges, please review the Wiki to get started.

Risk and What’s to Come

Chaosnet serves as the final step before mainnet and it will run in parallel with our security audit, which means no components of RenVM have been formally audited. To be clear, Chaosnet is not for the faint-hearted. There is a real chance your funds may be lost when utilizing any component of ChaosDEX or running a Darknode. While we understand the risks, using real assets is inherently useful for the team because it allows us to tweak our economic assumptions if proven wrong, which ultimately ensures the sustained success of RenVM.

If you are a DeFi project or a developer and want to bring cross-chain assets to your DeFi product, check out our SDK documentation to get started and sign up here for the RenVM Developer Center! Those who join will receive one-on-one support from our Development team to help you integrate RenVM and we’ll send an email to everyone when it opens up.

We are very excited to be releasing Chaosnet, so spread the word and get involved as you are helping battle-test RenVM for the world stage. Let the games begin.

Onwards and upwards,
— Taiyang Zhang, CEO

About Ren
Ren is an open protocol that enables the permissionless and private transfer of value between any blockchain.

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