After decentralized finance, or DeFi, markets collapsed in late March 2020, a number of industry players joined forces to support emerging fintech. Today, the Ren Alliance, a new DeFi consortium backed by veteran crypto investor, Polychain Capital, has added another batch of new members. The group’s membership has now surpassed 50 companies in total.

Launched in early March 2020 by DeFi project Ren, the Ren Alliance has added 14 new members, expanding the network up to 51 firms, the firm announced to Cointelegraph on April 16. The new entrants include major decentralized exchange, IDEX, Switcheo, Dex.Blue, 1inch, Jarvis Network, Charged Particles, DEXTF, Zerion, and others.

Cross-chain future of DeFi

By joining the Ren Alliance, IDEX is advancing its goal of bringing more crypto assets to their customers, the firm’s CEO Alex Wearn said. IDEX, a firm that reportedly handles more than 40% of all DEX transactions, will also be able to offer Bitcoin (BTC) trading through the Ren Protocol, Wearn added.

IDEX stated:

“DeFi is about removing the need for trusted intermediaries. Our vision is to enable our customers to trade any cryptocurrency without having to trust anyone else with custody of their funds, and RenVM brings us one step closer to that goal.”

Officially introduced on March 2, the Ren Alliance is a consortium of DeFi companies that are helping secure, develop, and utilize RenVM — an open protocol that intends to enable public and private transfer of value between diverse blockchains. The consortium’s concept stipulates that bringing cross-chain assets to Ethereum (ETH) will “expand the utility of DeFi by introducing larger collateral types into the ecosystem.”

DeFi and interoperability combination gets the industry to another level

Ren COO, Michael Burgess, told Cointelegraph that DeFi and blockchain interoperability combination is “a very natural next step in the space's maturation,”. He explained that interoperability “really just enhances DeFi’s utility” as DeFi has more liquid assets to work with.

While the protocol claims to facilitate both the permissionless and private transfer of value on blockchain, RenVM does not plan to work with private blockchains in the near future, Burgess noted.

He said:

“Working with private blockchains is indeed possible with RenVM but not within our short-term roadmap. With that said, we’ll be following updates on Libra and China’s DCEP quite closely.”

RenVM will support three major cryptos at the mainnet launch in May 2020

Burgess also elaborated that RenVM currently supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Zcash (ZEC). According to the exec, these three assets will be available immediately within DeFi as soon as RenVM launches in May. Ultimately, RenVM “can support any Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm based on blockchain,” Burgess noted.

Functions of the Ren Alliance members

DeFi projects in the alliance are supposed to work on three main areas, including introducing cross-chain assets to their DeFi app, running a “darknode” in RenVM's semi-decentralized core, and developing ancillary services to further bolster RenVM.

At launch, the Ren Alliance featured major companies including Polychain Capital, DEX protocol AirSwap, Kyber, and DexLabs. According to public data, Ren raised $34 million in an initial coin offering back in 2018.

On April 7, a group of major trading and cryptocurrency companies in the United States launched the Chicago DeFi Alliance in order to provide DeFi-focused startups and entrepreneurs with support in complying with industry regulations.