Ren Labs Raises $7.5M for ‘Catalog’ Cross-Chain Exchange

The popular blockchain bridge is looking to expand its services in 2022.

AccessTimeIconFeb 23, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 9, 2024 at 11:50 p.m. UTC

One of the oldest cross-chain bridges has announced a $7.5 million raise to expand functionality with a cross-chain automatic market maker (AMM).

On Wednesday, Ren Labs, the creators of popular bridge Ren, announced the fundraising with participation from Amber Group, Multicoin Capital, BlockTower Capital, Cumberland DRW, GBV Capital, Chiron, Fisher8 Capital, LedgerPrime, Bixin and PetRock Capital, according to a press release provided to CoinDesk.

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  • The funds will be used to advance the development of Catalog, a new AMM and the first application to be built on the forthcoming Ren blockchain.

    Catalog has been in the works since at least October 2021, when Ren announced the formation of Ren Labs with the goal of expanding the protocol’s functionality to build a new, interoperability-focused chain.

    In an interview with CoinDesk, Ren Labs co-founder Susruth Nadimpalli said that the goal of the new platform was to simplify the AMM experience for users – even for users of chains that may not have smart-contract functionality.

    “What we want to do [with Catalog] is bring DeFi to blockchains that do not have DeFi,” he said.

    Features

    At launch, Catalog will boast a number of unusual features.

    According to Nadimpalli, Catalog will attempt to mitigate impermanent loss with single-sided staking, where users deposit assets that are then managed by a market maker, earning interest on the asset they deposit. Impermanent loss refers to when the quantity of an asset locked into an AMM pool changes due to trades placed against the liquidity, such that the user faces an unrealized loss relative to having just held the asset on its own.

    Additionally, an impermanent loss protection insurance pool will be baked into the functionality of a forthcoming Catalog token.

    Additionally, Catalog will be able to interact directly with users’ bank accounts for “easy deposits and withdrawals,” according to a press release. No details for how this would be accomplished were provided.

    The goal of the design is to strip down user experience to simple components, abstracting away the “extreme complexity on the back end,” Nadimpalli said.

    The team is currently targeting an April launch for Catalog, and a full Ren chain launch in “Q3 or Q4,” though the full launch is dependent on a number of outstanding technical and integration-based milestones baked into Catalog’s development.

    From there, Ren has its sights set on expanding to a suite of decentralized finance (DeFi) products.

    “Once we solve these problems for Catalog, then we’ll be able to solve them for all of Ren chain, and then other people will be able to build on Ren chain as well,” Nadimpalli said.

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    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Andrew Thurman

    Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.


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