What Is THORChain?
RUNE is a token powering THORChain – a liquidity platform used as a fast, cheap, and decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, on the one hand, and an opportunity for some users to become liquidity providers and get some yield on their idle digital assets, on the other hand. Importantly, it facilitates cross-chain swaps, but unlike most of the existing solutions, does not require a third party i.e. centralization for that. THORChain was launched on Binance DEX through IDO in 2019, but its mainnet went live in January 2021. The people behind the project keep maintaining their anonymity.
As a decentralized exchange, THORChain allows its users to swap assets using liquidity pools, without having to give up their custody of those assets to the exchange, with no order books. THORChain uses some novel or unique technologies – for example, a way to mitigate impermanent loss or a protocol for cross-chain swaps.
RUNE as a token has multiple purposes, one of which is also facilitating cross-chain swaps by being a native settlement currency that is supplied to liquidity pools. The network is secured with Proof-of-Bond protocol, requiring every node to provide RUNE as a bond to discourage attacks – the details make this usage THORChain-specific too. RUNE is also used in more or less ordinary situations like providing network incentives, governing the network, and securing the assets.