Keep Network 101

All you need to know about the Keep Network and tBTC.

What is the Keep Network?

Blockchain's public status is limiting in cases where some information needs to stay confidential. However, decentralized applications (dApps) need access to private data without exposing it to the public blockchain.

The Keep Network solves this problem by storing data in “keeps,” or off-chain containers, that can interact with the public blockchain while still remaining private.

Builders of tBTC

Keep is the builder of tBTC, the safe way for BTC holders to earn on Ethereum. tBTC is the open-source and permissionless bridge connecting Bitcoin to Ethereum and other chains.

Bitcoin holders are increasingly taking advantage of opportunities to earn with their BTC on other chains such as Ethereum. The bridge that connects them to those chains must be in line with Bitcoin values, namely, being permissionless and censorship resistant. The existing solutions are centralized and involve intermediaries.

Keep technology is what sets tBTC apart as the only decentralized solution for Bitcoin on Ethereum. KEEP token holders can run tBTC or stake to become signers.

Benefits of Keep Technology

  1. Fully Decentralized. Keep is the only protocol that is truly decentralized. It’s completely trustless and permissionless because many stakers are contributing to operate an incentivized network.

  2. Private. Data store using the highest level of encryption.

  3. Scalable. Only constrained by the blockchain it’s connected with, no other limits to its speed. Can be used for scalability solutions.

  4. Interoperable. Allows for easy interoperation between Bitcoin, Ethererum, and any other L1 blockchain.

  5. Audited. Fully audited for security and a safe user experience.

What is a keep?

A keep is an off-chain container for private data. It contains up to 1MB of encrypted storage that is distributed across one or more keep providers, or members. A keep provider is one economic entity in the Keep Network; they have a stake and must participate in a signing group as a single member.

Keeps allow contracts to manage and use private data without exposing the data to the public blockchain. The keep network is the incentivized network that encompasses all of the keeps.

The Keep Network's native token is KEEP. It powers the network and undergirds all the apps that are and will be built on it.

The Keep Network requires a trusted source of randomness for the process of trustless and random group selection. This trusted source of randomness takes the form of a BLS Threshold Relay, otherwise known as the Random Beacon.

What is the Random Beacon?

The Random Beacon is a way of generating verifiable randomness that is resistant to bad actors both in the relay network and on the anchoring blockchain, assumed here to be Ethereum. It is used to determine member selection for keeps.

No one knows who the keep signers will be – including the signers themselves – until the moment they are selected by the Random Beacon. This ensures that signers are not able to collude to steal funds or attack the network, and it’s why the true randomness supplied by the beacon is so important.

A key way tBTC, the first application built on the Keep Network, ensures trustlessness is by addressing counterparty risk. It uses a system of signers’ groups that allows tBTC to process transactions without a trusted middleman. Signer selection is therefore essential to tBTC’s proper functioning and the creation of ECDSA Keeps.

Read more about the Random Beacon in the technical documentation.

What are ECDSA Keeps?

Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) keeps are the underlying technology of tBTC, a decentralized application built on the Keep Network. tBTC allows you to deposit and redeem BTC in DeFi without intermediaries.

Implemented with secure multi-party computation (sMPC), ECDSA keeps make it possible for contracts to communicate cross-chain by signing transactions between chains with a number of geographically distributed threshold signers. ECDSA keeps secure the transactions with multiple individual key shares, held independently by multiple signers.

Decentralized signing is performed with sMPC for computation on private key shares without revealing them. Responsibility for signatures is divided, requiring a threshold number of participants to create a signature using their key shares.

Read more about tBTC in the technical documentation.