Participate with confidence based on Bison Trails’ expertise and experience with Keep. We were one of the first outside providers running nodes on Keep, and have worked closely with the Keep team to grow and scale the network.
We have provided feedback that resulted in protocol parameter changes for infrastructure uptime requirements. We were also the first external team to make a feature addition to the protocol, which helped improve how the infrastructure was configured.
Run multiple nodes securely and reliably via our easy-to-use platform
Maintain node diversity and availability
Manage governance and participation with insights and guidance from our protocol specialists
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 stakedrop June 8th.
Matt Luongo, CEO at Thesis / Keep Network's Project Lead
A Guide to Keep by Bison Trails • Navigate to a Section:
Keep is a privacy layer for Ethereum, providing a bridge between the world of public blockchains and private data. 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.
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 on 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 Key Concepts
The First dApp on Keep: TBTC
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.
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 24 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.
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. The full subsidy details are here, courtesy of the Keep team.
In February 2021, the Keep team launched a KEEP-only staking pool with no minimum deposit to participate. Any KEEP holder can earn rewards and help secure the network by staking their KEEP. The pool, which was launched with 100K KEEP per month in rewards, also includes a multiplier to incentivize longer-term participation.
Read more about actively participating on Keep in our guide.
Staking KEEP and ETH as a TBTC signer
Node operators that run a TBTC keep must stake ETH along with KEEP to participate and receive rewards. During the Stake Drop, you only need to stake ETH. Rewards will come in the form of KEEP from Stake Drop and signing fees paid in TBTC.
Staking ETH and KEEP would increase rewards by 11% over ETH-only staking during the Stake Drop. In addition, staking both would increase the node’s chance of being selected to create TBTC by 20-30%, which would maximize participation sooner than ETH-only nodes.
The rewards are calculated based on an operator’s reward weight, a function of the amount of ETH locked along with the amount of KEEP staked over time. Calculated against the rewards weight of the entire pool, stakers can calculate the share of rewards they are able to earn. As more ETH is locked and KEEP is staked, the earning potential grows logarithmically.
18% of the total KEEP supply (180m) will be rewarded to TBTC signers through Stake Drop. The amount any individual node will receive depends upon the amount of ETH staked to the node. Because the amount of work (percentage of the total) any node is asked to do is equivalent to the percent of total ETH the node has staked, rewards will depend greatly on both an individual’s stake and the total stake.
At launch (June 2020), fee rates were 5bps (0.05%) per BTC in a deposit; this rate will increase as the TBTC network scales and is expected to total 2-4% per year of the TBTC market cap in the medium- to long-term. The only fee charged by the TBTC system is the signer fee which is escrowed when a singer mints the TBTC and is paid out to the signers when the deposit is redeemed.
Staking KEEP as a Random Beacon Signer
Of the 20% of tokens distributed through the Stake Drop, 2% percent will go to KEEP holders running nodes with the Random Beacon keep.
At the end of the first year (June 2021), this results in a reward rate of 4-5%.
The nodes will also earn signer fees for their participation in the Random Beacon, but these will likely be minimal until usage of Keep hits critical mass.
Staking KEEP as a KEEP holder
A KEEP-only staking pool launched in February 2021 with no minimum deposit; it will allow any KEEP token holder to earn rewards and help to secure the network. The pool, which was launched with 100K KEEP per month in rewards, also includes a multiplier to incentivize longer-term participation; during the first month of staking, a token holder will earn 0.3 of possible rewards. After one month of staking, she will earn full possible rewards, and so on, up to a 3x reward rate for staking one’s KEEP.
There are two primary risks in Keep: Signer Failure and Signer Fraud.
Signer failure - Random Beacon
In order for the network to know your node is ready to work, signing nodes must continuously submit tickets indicating they are ready to participate in DKG as a signer.
When a random beacon signing request comes in, your node could be selected to sign.
Only half of a signing group (32 nodes) must sign for a signature to be successful. As long as at least 32 nodes sign successfully, no one will be slashed. However, because the network can not attribute fault, all nodes in the group are penalized equally if a signature fails.
Slashing consequences are 100% of the minimum stake.
Signer failure - tBTC
A signer not responding to a tBTC redemption request in a timely manner constitutes a signer failure.
A signer has 3 hours to provide a signature from the time of the request. After three hours, anyone can submit a proof that the node is late, which puts it into liquidation. Note: no KEEP tokens are slashed if this happens!
All failures are treated as protocol aborts, and initiate the abort liquidation flow. Signer bonds are seized and auctioned off for tBTC so that the user can be reimbursed for their inaccessible funds, and half of the remainder of the signer bonds (a maximum of 1/6th of the original bond) are returned to the signers.
Signer fraud is the only action in the tBTC system that leads to full, punitive slashing.
Any signing group that moves Bitcoin without authorization by the tBTC protocol is slashed, burning their KEEP and seizing their entire ETH bond for user recourse.
A single signer cannot complete this action to grief the other signers in its group as it only has one of the three shards of the Bitcoin private key. (Griefing means that you’re willing to take a loss to make someone else take a loss as well.)
Fraud is proven by presenting the unauthorized signature on-chain as a fraud proof. Anyone can present a fraud proof and receive the ETH left over after auctioning of signer bonds.
Signer fraud is punished in both tBTC and Keep ECDSA protocols:
At the tBTC layer, the fraud liquidation flow is enacted and bonds are used to purchase tBTC. The holder of the tBTC Deposit Token is compensated in tBTC, unless the deposit is backing currently-circulating tBTC. In this case, the tBTC is burnt to maintain the 1:1 supply peg.
At the Keep layer, the signer is slashed and their KEEP tokens are burned, potentially removing them from the candidate pool. Slashed signers note only lose their capital, but opportunity for future fees.
Why run Keep nodes with Bison Trails?
Enterprise-Grade Infrastructure Security: As one of the most trusted names in the blockchain infrastructure industry, we have best-in-class security augmented by information, application, and incident management policies.
We designed an intuitive user experience that is surprisingly simple given the complexity of the underlying technology. Our platform’s automatic node management workflow frees our customers from the worry of constantly checking or managing their active participation. We also keep our customers in full control.
Infrastructure and Protocol Engineering Experts:
We’re node, participatory infrastructure, and protocol experts. We test all software, infrastructure, and protocol upgrades on our own infrastructure first ensuring any breaking issues are caught well before propagating changes to our customers’ infrastructure.
Our dedicated protocol specialists keep Bison Trails’ customers up-to-date about changes to the validator ecosystem. They provide advice, insights, and guidance that arms our customers with critical information to better manage their participation.
We are the world’s premier multi-cloud, multi-region infrastructure provider specializing in permissionless participatory networks.
As a non-custodial infrastructure provider, we can work with you to participate in Keep regardless of your custody solution.
The Keep protocol enables the secure use of private data on public blockchains.
Latest Keep News
Q&A on Codename Keanu
We sat down with Protocol Specialist, Viktor Bunin, to discuss the challenges and opportunities around the upcoming merger of Keep and NuCypher.
Keep active participation
If you choose to bond ETH on Keep, it is critical to understand how collateralization and liquidation work, and what to do if a deposit you are securing becomes undercollateralized
Jun 5 2020
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.
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