Bison Trails Announces Support for Keep

Support for the Keep protocol on the Bison Trails platform will allow ETH holders to participate in Keep’s “Stake Drop,” bringing BTC closer to on-chain usage in DeFi applications. Reward distribution begins May 13th!

Bison Trails
Bison Trails Announces Support for Keep

Apr 26 2020 By Bison Trails
Last updated: May 12 2020


    Keep Guide by Bison Trails

  1. Protocol Goal
  2. Innovations
  3. How Keep Works
  4. TBTC
  5. Stake Drop
  6. Keep Economics
  7. Staking Keep
  8. Why Run a Node?

The Goal of Keep

The public nature of a blockchain is by design; as a verifiable public ledger all transactions are published to the blockchain. By default every transaction can be seen by everyone, including “competing interests.” The Keep protocol was developed to bridge the worlds of secure private data and public blockchains.

Innovations on Keep

With Keep, small amounts of sensitive data, such as private keys, can be stored off-chain but used in smart contracts on-chain in a trustless manner. The trustless component is possible due to the development of Keep’s Random Beacon, a source of true randomness that makes collusion virtually impossible.

Keep’s other major innovation is its ability to allow private data, held off-chain but stored online in nodes, to be used extensively on a public blockchain. The containers holding this data (keeps) can be created for a variety of functions such as proxy re-encryption. Keep is well-positioned to address the privacy needs that would enable broader adoption of public blockchains with private data.

Keep is bridging the gap across blockchains by allowing tokens to be moved between protocols. For example, because the Bitcoin blockchain wants to remain simple and secure, it has been difficult for people to use Bitcoin for financial transactions such as collateral for a loan or to interact with DeFi like Ethereum. To address this, Keep has developed a way to securely use Bitcoin on other blockchains (starting with Ethereum) without losing the features of Bitcoin which make it desirable as cryptocurrency.

Keep's team

How Keep Works

Keep is a Layer 2 privacy layer for Ethereum. It takes pieces of information, breaks it up into chunks, stores these chunks with different node operators, and allows the data owner to put those chunks back together as needed.

For example, a private key can be broken up and stored in pieces, only to be put back together when the data owner needs it for an activity such as sending a transaction or signing a message. A random individual cannot access the data, unless they colluded with others to defraud the network. Even then, the network has established rules that penalize the defrauders, costing them more in ETH than they would gain in BTC.

These are the fundamental concepts to understand about the Keep network:

The First dApp on Keep: TBTC

TBTC + Keep

TBTC is a 1:1 Bitcoin-backed ERC-20, the first token to be minted via a decentralized protocol; one TBTC can be redeemed for 1 BTC. Because it is Bitcoin on Ethereum, not the price of Bitcoin on Ethereum, this token allows Bitcoin to be used in Decentralized Finance (DeFi). TBTC is only possible because of the innovations within Keep that allow for private keys to remain secret while also participating on a public blockchain.

"Storing private data securely to be used in smart contracts is a noteworthy innovation from the Keep team. TBTC as a trustless decentralized asset, has tremendous potential to finally unlock DeFi applications for BTC by moving it onto Ethereum. We're thrilled to support Keep on our infrastructure platform and look forward to a lot of participation in Keep's Stake Drop." —Aaron Henshaw, CTO and Cofounder of Bison Trails

How TBTC works

To mint a TBTC token with BTC, the network must complete a multi-step process.

First the Keep network creates an address for the depositor to put her BTC:

Next the depositor adds her BTC:

To get her BTC back:

Stake Drop

Keep Stake Drop

TBTC functions in a two-sided marketplace. As with most financial products, TBTC needs usage and liquidity to be useful. First and foremost, there have to be BTC deposits and ETH stakers.

To facilitate reaching critical mass, the Keep team plans to heavily incentivize participation in the first 12-18 months. Stake Drop is a mechanism by which users with ETH, but no KEEP, can stake and participate in the Keep network, and be rewarded with KEEP and signer fees.

The first two months of the Stake Drop represent the peak distribution of rewards, favoring active participants who are ready to earn rewards on May 13.

For the first 6 months, participants only need to stake ETH and are not obligated to have KEEP, although staking KEEP during this period substantially increases the probability of being selected to perform work and earn rewards. After 6 months, they will also need to stake KEEP to continue participating but will likely have earned enough from rewards to do so. (If you are interested in participating in Stake Drop and want to talk this through with our protocol experts, please feel free to contact us.)

Keep Economics

Token Types KEEP - Native work token

ETH - Used as collateral to make TBTC and to pay for tx fees on Ethereum

BTC - Used as the initial deposit in the minting of TBTC

TBTC - The ERC-20 token that is a representation of Bitcoin on Ethereum

TDT - The ERC-721 non-fungible token that represents a Bitcoin deposit
Total Initial Supply 1 billion
Total Planned Inflation 20% or 200m of the 1bn will be distributed as a subsidy in the first 12-18 months. No inflation afterwards
Maximum Token Supply 1 billion
Token Price at Sale $.12
Inflation Rate No inflation
Maximum Stake No maximum
Minimum Stake 100,000 KEEP ($12k USD). Will decrease over time on a predictable schedule. Not published yet.
Lock-up Period Signer fee earnings in ETH or TBTC do not have any locks on them
Unbonding / Undelegating period 60 days for KEEP tokens
0 days for ETH (if the TBTC you helped create is redeemed)

Because KEEP is a work token, and the entire token supply exists at launch, the network does not have an inflation rate. Keep plans to incentivize mass participation from the start, rather than over the first few years, by using Stake Drop to distribute KEEP.

Through Stake Drop, 20% of KEEP tokens (200m) will be distributed as a subsidy to participants running the TBTC keep as well as the Random Beacon keep. This will ensure enough ETH is staked on the network and will reward users for nodes running the TBTC keep more than those only running the Random Beacon keep.

Staking Keep

Staking KEEP and ETH as a TBTC signer

Staking KEEP as a Random Beacon Signer

Why Run a Node?

Why Run Keep Nodes with Bison Trails?

Bison Trails was one of the first outside providers spinning up nodes on Keep; we started in June 2019. Since then we have provided feedback that resulted in protocol parameter changes for infrastructure uptime requirements and made the first feature addition not by the Keep team to improve how their infrastructure is configured. Our pull request was merged here.

“The Bison Trails team is phenomenal. They've been deeply committed to Keep, and have been a huge help moving our protocol design and development forward. The Keep network requires an abundance of reliable, distributed, and secure nodes, making Bison Trails a strong partner and a great choice for Keep token holders and anyone joining our Stake Drop on June 8th.” —Matt Luongo, CEO at Thesis / Keep Network’s Project Lead

Our platform is purpose-built to run multiple nodes securely and reliably —perfect for a work token network like Keep that needs node diversity and high availability. In addition, there are three roles, with a related address, used for the set up and management of a Keep node:

This delineation allows using non-custodial infrastructure providers to run your node, such as Bison Trails, to be a simple and straightforward process. Contact us with questions about the Keep protocol or to get started running a Keep node.

Bison Trails: Pioneering Blockchain Infrastructure™

Bison Trails is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service company, based in New York City, specifically focused on blockchain participation. We’ve built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in new chains effortlessly (e.g. by running Cosmos Validators, Tezos Bakers, and Libra Validators, etc.)—without having to invest time and resources into developing any of the engineering, protocol, dev ops, or security competencies in-house. Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.

  1. May 12, 2020 — Keep announced the first 3 judges of "Playing for Keeps" (a chance to learn to stake and win KEEP tokens by contributing to the community): Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Spencer Noon of DTC Capital, and Viktor Bunin Protocol Specialist at Bison Trails