Updates on the NuCypher and Keep Merger; the Final Roadmap to Launch the Threshold Network
If someone was to keep a tally of the top questions amongst the Keep and NuCypher communities it would be a tie between “when?” and “why not yet?”. These questions are being asked so frequently that each team is having to expand and seriously consider adding a second bus to the fleet just to accommodate the rapid growth! NuCypher announced this month that new job opportunities are open on their team, a need that arises from a super shadowy thing John “Tux” Pacific (a former NuCypher cryptography engineer) has founded called Entropy. NuCypher is on the hunt for a Solidity developer specifically but has room for an additional backend/cryptography engineer also. Keep Network just hired a new front-end developer but still has numerous positions open with Thesis, the parent company of Keep Network. Thesis also has open positions at Tally, the new community-owned crypto wallet that will leverage the Threshold Network for account recovery.
Entropy on Twitter ~ Entropy Website
Tally on Twitter ~ Tally Website
Since the community whispers ignited this whirlwind of the unknown; everything has moved rapidly yet seemingly at a turtle’s pace to an outsider. These faint whispers back in February led to community members arranging a call between the founders of each network, which promptly led to the initial proposal of a hard merge in early March 2021. Since that first call, much has been pioneered and many unforeseen hurdles overcome; including 10 iterations of proposals to get to the final ratified version. Although we have accomplished much, there is still much more that lies ahead to finalize the unification of what should have been a story of two potential competitors who instead decided to take a novel approach, align and unite. A few people continue to ask “why merge” but the reasons were apparent to many from the start as MacLane Wilkison, co-founder of NuCypher, and Matt Luongo, Founder of Keep Network, recently told Wilson Withiam, an Analyst at Messari Crypto who interviewed them for a Panel discussion at MainNet 2021.
Below we will outline the milestones already achieved, what is currently in progress and what still must be pioneered before the World’s First Decentralized Protocol Merger, “KEaNU”, comes to a wrap and the Threshold Network takes life. Viktor Bunin, a Protocol Specialist at Bison Trails, was interviewed for an in-depth Q&A on the merger which is a great resource for getting up to speed.
Since the green light came in June, when the final proposal known as rc0 was ratified, both teams and communities have been busy navigating the uncharted decentralized merger scene. The rc0 proposal signaled the alignment of both communities in the belief that our future is brighter together, making way for the first-ever hard merge in crypto history.
Previously, the closest to a merger that the decentralized community has seen were acquisitions such as; Yearn Finance/Sushi Swap. Yearn acquired Sushi but they are each still independent and have their own native token. Even the Founder of Yearn has struggled with what to title the collaborations. “I don’t have an answer on if these are mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, or collaborations,” Cronje said in a Medium post from November 2020 where he spoke to Yearn’s collaborative strategy. “The simple answer is, a bit of each, the teams merge, the protocols leverage off of each other, vision is aligned and shared by all team members. This is something new that I don’t think fits into the boxes we have previously used.”
What makes the merge between Keep and NuCypher unique? The networks are truly being merged; resulting in a brand new protocol and token. The novel approach taken has paved a path for other protocols that might not have had the gumption to be the first or who might not have even realized it possible.
Brayton Williams of Boost VC, which backed Keep, put it another way.
“In most cases, the competition is not crypto to crypto teams,” Williams said. “We are fighting against traditional finance and how things work before crypto emerged. More high-quality teams that can join together to compete against the real competition will make for a better fight.”
As of July, “Threshold Network ‘’ and “T” are the official new network name and ticker. The branding for the new network is still in progress but eager to bring the communities together the team launched the new Threshold Forum, Discord channel, and sub on Reddit in August. We have yet to see the official Twitter or website but whispers in the community indicate that the branding agency is working on these feverishly.
The tBTC v2 protocol is the only true decentralized bridge to bring Bitcoin to Ethereum, it’s the biggest initial benefactor to the merger. It immediately enables scalability for tBTC with a large network of over 2000 nodes from the NuCypher network. If you are not familiar; here is an intro to tBTC written by MacLane Wilkison, to get caught up.
A new Money Lego has arrived! The team has talked about this in the hypothetical for the past few months, but Coverage Pools are now a reality. The deployment on mainnet is live with the ability to deposit KEEP and earn rewards while unlocking tBTC safety and scalability. KEEP rewards have also been shifted from the KEEP-only pool to incentivize the use of the new pool. If you want to get into the pool or just explore the process and design behind Coverage Pools check out this guide written by Chdru, a Keep community member.
“Threshold Network Reward Mechanisms Proposal I — Stable Yield for Independent Staker Welfare” was just posted to the Threshold Forum. This is a very important proposal as it determines the inflation mechanics of the new network. There are lots of ways to get involved in the discussion- leave feedback on the forum, join discord or join community calls that could occur in regards to the proposal.
The most recent component of the merger to be finalized is the Threshold DAO design. The DAO will be a new approach to common DAO designs; it will consist of a three-body governance model which is an elected multisig council and two chambers — the Token Holder DAO and the Staker DAO. The proposal was ratified with a snapshot and passed with consensus from both communities this week.
The end of 2021 is going to be a busy one for everyone with a hand in pouring the foundation of the Threshold Network. In no particular order, these are the upcoming steps in the Keep Network and NuCypher merger
- The first security audit was completed with no major findings and the second is scheduled to begin on October 8
- Community discussions around the inflation proposal, reiteration if necessary, snapshot and vote
- Introduction of a proposal to stop current network inflation for NuCypher/Keep; community discussions, reiteration if necessary, snapshot and vote
- Elections must be held for the multisig council — The council will determine the initial per-application rewards and outline a process for setting future network rewards
- Launch of the T token and the smart contracts to wrap NuCypher/Keep tokens to T
- Rallying for integrations of tBTC v2 with other networks/protocols to accelerate adoption
As you can see we still have much more to accomplish. As community members ourselves we would like to highlight some opportunities for involvement in the direct and immediate success of the Threshold Network.
- A group is working closely with Will Rhodes from Thesis Co. on getting proposals drafted in anticipation of having full support of tBTC v2 on the most popular protocols such as; Curve, Saddle and mStable. If you have an overlapping interest in tBTC and a protocol that you want to see supported at launch, jump in to the governance channel on discord and lend us a hand in securing these early integrations for tBTC v2. We shall call you a Protocol Politician!
- Additionally, if you have an interest in helping with any aspect of marketing, join us on our weekly community hangout on the discord voice channel each Thursday at 3 p.m. EST.
When Vitalik Buterin said in 2018 that a crypto merger would be ten times more complex than your typical corporate merger, I don’t think he knew half of it. Nobody did! Each day we move a little closer to the completion of the world’s first decentralized protocol merger and the launch of a huge decentralized threshold cryptography network that can be built on top like legos.