RUNE is the native token of the Thorchain network.
Thorchain is a liquidity and interoperability system with an emphasis on facilitating secure cross-chain cryptocurrency transactions.
|Circulating supply (approximately, as of August 2020)||183,500,000|
|Purpose||Validator node staking, liquidity|
How does Thorchain work?
Thorchain's goal is simple: build bridges to enable anyone to securely and cheaply move any assets between any blockchains.
Although similar to other cross-chain compatibility systems, such as wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), Thorchain aims to enable the movement of the assets themselves on their home chains.
The first part of Thorchain's solution is liquidity pools, all of which are composed of RUNE tokens in combination with other assets.
These pools serve as the source of all the different swappable coins from different blockchains, while the RUNE token acts as an intermediary currency to allow swapping between any two supported assets. Basically, whenever an end user wants to swap an asset from one blockchain to another, they're making a trade through these pools.
In addition to providing the liquidity necessary for the system to work, Thorchain also uses its liquidity pools for pricing data, under the assumption that any discrepancies between its liquidity pools and other markets will be arbitraged out quickly.
The other part of Thorchain's solution is the nodes, whose job it is to provide security to the network, to build bridges to all the different supported blockchains and to ensure that all transactions are broadcast to the appropriate chains.
Basically, the nodes all keep one eye on the liquidity pools and another eye on the supported blockchains. When someone makes a cross-chain transaction using the liquidity pools, the nodes see it happen and then perform the actual on-chain transactions on the user's behalf.
Nodes are theoretically kept honest through their staking of RUNE tokens, so the system can act as a convenient one-stop shop for someone's cross-chain transfer needs.
What does the RUNE token do
The RUNE token serves two key purposes in the Thorchain network.
Firstly, the token is found in all Thorchain liquidity pools, to create an intermediary asset for use across all of them, greasing the wheels for transfers.
Secondly, it acts as an incentive and penalty mechanism, helping ensure that nodes are honest in their behaviour and their reporting of transactions on different chains.
How to buy RUNE
Here's a step-by-step guide on one way of buying RUNE. Note that there might be other options available, so you may want to compare cryptocurrency exchanges to find the one that's right for you.
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