Should You Buy Keep Network (KEEP)?

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Keep an eye on the Keep network if you're worried about privacy.

We live in an age where our data is increasingly collected, tracked, and used for profit. Whether on search engines or social media, our online activities and identities have become tradable commodities.

Blockchain presents a bit of a conundrum. One of the attractions is that it is a transparent, tamper-proof ledger that could give individuals more control over their data. But how do you balance that transparency with privacy protections?

Imagine you -- not Google or Facebook -- could earn rewards for the online ads that pop up while you're browsing. Or your medical records could be stored on the blockchain and quickly accessed by any doctor you allow to see them. There's a lot of potential, but only if we can be sure our patient privacy and personal data would not be compromised.

Keep Network is working to solve that problem. It splits data into different "keeps" -- small, randomly allocated, encrypted files spread across its network. These interact with applications and other cryptocurrency networks to provide the necessary information without sacrificing user privacy.

Keep basics

  • Token name: KEEP
  • What it does: Stores private data off the blockchain in accessible keeps that are run by token holders
  • Management team: Matt Luongo and Corbin Pon who previously co-founded a crypto shopping app called Fold
  • Company founded: 2017
  • Market cap: $150 million (CoinMarketCap, June 2021)
  • Availability: Several major U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Coinbase and Kraken.
  • Industry support: Keep Network says it has partnerships with over 40 organizations, including aggregators, exchanges, and custody providers. Financially, it is backed by some big names, such as Draper Associates and Paradigm.

Understanding Keep Network

It can be hard to define a cryptocurrency, especially when you first invest in crypto. Cryptocurrencies are not the same as stocks because you don't own a part of the company. But by the same logic, they aren't the same as a traditional currency like a dollar.

KEEP is a governance token. When you buy a governance token, you can have a say in how that cryptocurrency is run. Indeed, Keep Network incentivizes owners to participate and stake their tokens to form nodes.

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Nodes are network points that keep the network secure and can store the individual encrypted keeps. You can stake your KEEP to earn rewards and participate in increasing blockchain privacy.

Here are some other things to be aware of.

  • Tokenized Bitcoin: Keep Network's first major project and use case is tBTC, a tokenized version of Bitcoin (BTC) that can be used on the Ethereum network and applications. Many applications have been built on the Ethereum network, and tBTC enables Bitcoin holders to get involved without selling their coins. Each tBTC is backed by a BTC. The token launched in September 2020 and an improved version 2 is in the pipeline.
  • Security: Keep Network carried out three independent security audits to ensure tBTC is secure. It is insured. It also encourages ethical hackers to uncover weaknesses through its bug bounty program.
  • Competition: KEEP is not the only token that's trying to bring more privacy to blockchain. Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC) were both designed with privacy in mind, and Cardano (ADA) and Internet Computer (ICP) both offer solutions to the question of digital identity.
  • Merger with NuCypher: Keep Network recently announced it would merge its protocols with an encryption cryptocurrency called NuCypher (NU). The new project will be called Keanu. The companies themselves will remain separate. Both sides believe that joining forces at this stage will allow them to become greater than the sum of their parts. Both networks will keep their own digital currencies, so KEEP tokens will not be directly affected.

Should you buy it?

If you're considering buying the KEEP token, there are a lot of ideas to digest. For example, while you don't need to understand the technology, it would be good to have an understanding of the importance of privacy and how the space may unfold.

All cryptocurrencies are risky investments, but newer currencies are riskier. You might be able to get in early and support a hugely successful project, but you might also put your money into one of the many cryptocurrencies that fail. The technology behind KEEP is relatively new and untested, so there's always a risk things could go wrong.

You'll also need to come to grips with the merger with NuCypher in more detail. The idea is that NuCypher will benefit from Keep Network's tokenized Bitcoin while Keep will benefit from NuCypher's bigger network. But it's important you know and are comfortable with what's ahead.

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