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 raise 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.
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.
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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.
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 backend,” 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 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.