Keep Network (KEEP) ICO Analysis: A Private Layer for Public BlockchainssteemCreated with Sketch.

in blockchain •  4 months ago

Executive Summary

Project Description

Presently, public blockchains do a good job of providing an immutable ledger of records and data. However, everything on the blockchain is accessible to the public; this is not ideal for companies with sensitive data and people who want privacy. For example, using just a wallet address, all activities conducted by the wallet owner can be tracked — how private is that? Furthermore, companies that want to build applications on the blockchain are under threat that their work can be copied once their apps are launched — and accessible to all — on the blockchain. As a result, it is imperative that those that want privacy on the blockchain are provided with a platform that makes this possible.

Keep Network wants to develop that platform. The project aims to provide an off-chain “containers” — called keeps — that should keep private data safe from the public blockchain, thereby enabling smart contracts to maximize the full potential of blockchain tech without compromising on transparency or privacy. Keeps will be used to encrypt and store private data, and the keeps are to be protected by secure multi-party computation (sMPC) that allows generating, storing, encrypting and transmitting of data among different users.

The project claims to have developed “Ethereum’s first private computer, able to store and compute data hidden even from itself. With the help of this system, each individual is given access to a small portion of a secret which is encrypted. To gain or share access to that secret, the outputs are reported back from all the individuals and decrypted to reveal the secret.

If true, this should make it possible for information to be transferred on public blockchains even when all participants are not online. Keep Network also claims that their solution is superior to private blockchains, zero-knowledge proofs, and the hash-reveal solutions in use at the moment.

A potential use case of the Keep Network can be seen in the decentralized signing of contracts; in this case, Keep Network may serve as a digital notary, verifying identities off-chain. Keeps can also be used to store private data like medical reports, credit rating, financial data etc. off the public blockchain. Additionally, in the nearest future, the project sees itself as a potential marketplace for digital goods like eBooks, songs, videos and so on. The files can be kept private in keeps until payment is verified.

Users will pay in ETH in order to store their data private using “keeps” storage capacity. Providers in the ecosystem will hold KEEP tokens and use them to compute and store private data. They may also stake KEEP tokens in order to boost their chances of being selected by the network to secure new keeps — for every new keep, they need to stake new KEEP tokens. The more keeps a Provider secures, the more rewards they receive over time.

Existing Product

No working product has been released yet. However, Keep Network plans to release a part of the platform to coincide with their public sale in order to make staking possible right away.

Hard Cap and Valuation

There will be a total of 1 billion KEEP tokens and the project aims to raise $30 million for 50% of the token total. More details on token distribution will be released in due course.

For their public sale, Keep Network plans to introduce a personal cap for all participants — the cap is planned to be large enough to allow staking. Once the public sale has been concluded, the project claims it will distribute tokens directly to investors.

Important Dates

KEEP crowdsale is expected to start sometime in Q2 2018. In order to get whitelisted, interested parties have to sign up on Keep Network’s Slack channel through their homepage. More information will be released to the public in the future.

Roadmap

Q2 2018 Simple sMPC Keeps

Q2 2018 Performance Improvements

Q3 2018 Signing sMPC Keeps

Q3 2018 Private Smart Contracts

Marketing Power

As of the time this post was published, Keep Network had over 4,100 followers on their official Telegram channel, 4700+ followers on Twitter, over 1,600 followers on Medium, and nearly 900 Reddit readers.

The Keep Network team is active mostly on Slack (around 6,400 users) and Reddit. It is important to note, however, that their Slack channel is full and people who want to join have to join a waitlist first.

Prominent Advisors

James Prestwich

  • Founder, COO and CFO of Storj Labs.

Joe Urgo

  • Co-Founder of district0x.
  • Founder of Sourcerers.

Luis Cuende

  • Co-Founder of Aragon.
  • Co-Founder of Stampery.

Team Members’ Areas of Expertise

Business experts

Matt Luongo, Project Lead.

  • Founder & CEO of Fold, a cryptocurrency application, for over 4 years (ongoing).
  • Technical Advisor at Insightpool, an influencer marketing platform, for 6 months.
  • Head of Research at Insightpool for 7 months.
  • Tech Lead at Agency Spotter, an agency management platform, for 6 months.
  • CTO at Scholrly, an academia platform, for 3 years.
  • Software Developer at The Proven Method, a technical services firm, for a year.

Corbin Pon, Developer & Ops.

  • Co-Founder & COO of Fold for 4 years.
  • Co-Founder of Scholrly for 4 years.
  • Software Engineer at Lockheed Martin for almost 2 years.

Prashanth Irudayaraj, Head of Operations.

  • Senior Program Manager at Tesla for 8 months.
  • Researcher at the Research Faculty in the Georgia Tech Research Institute for 10 months.
  • Co-Founder & CEO of Lumenostics for nearly 2 years.
  • Graduate Research Assistant at Georgia Tech Research Institute for over 3 years.
  • Product Engineer at Alcoa Building and Construction Systems for 5 years.
  • Master of Business Administration & Master of Science.

Target market experts

Members of the founding team have been active in the crypto scene for a long time. As a result, it may be inferred that they have some expertise in the target market — blockchain technology and related services.

Marketing experts

No team member with marketing expertise.

Legal experts

No team member with legal expertise.

Software engineering experts

Antonio Salazar Cardozo, Tech Lead.

  • Maintainer at Vico, an open source editor for Mac OS X , for 5 years (ongoing).
  • UI/UX Team Lead at Elemica, a logistics management platform, for over 2 years.
  • Senior Software Developer at Elemica for almost 3 years.
  • Director of Engineering at Inquus Corporation for almost 2 years.
  • Chief Software Engineer at Inquus Corporation for almost 5 years.

Nik Grinkevich, Developer.

  • Contract Web Developer via Beyond at Google for 10 months.
  • Contract Software Developer at Beyond for an additional 8 months.
  • Technical Director at Believe Creative, a design and development agency, for 2 years.
  • Contract Web Developer at Accenture for 9 months.
  • Contract Web Developer at Virgin Media for 6 months.
  • Contract Web Developer at Fjord, a design consultancy, for 5 months.
  • Python/Django Web Developer at Cyber Interactive for a year.

Raghav Gulati, Developer.

  • Managing Partner at Sha Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund, for 7 months (ongoing).
  • Software Engineer at Backplane for almost 2 years.
  • Software Engineer at Shyp for 10 months.
  • CTO at Insightpool for almost 3 years.
  • Web Developer at Plexus Web Creations for a year.

Lex Sheehan, Developer.

  • Consultant at Lex Sheehan LLC for a year.
  • Senior Software Engineer at TreeTop Commons, a community engagement software company, for 2 years.
  • Software Engineer at Travura Travel Technologies for a year.
  • Software Engineer at Travel Syndication Technologies for 6 months.
  • Software Engineer at IBM Security Division for almost 2 years.
  • Solution Architect and Lead Ruby on Rails Developer at IBM for 2 years.
  • Lead Developer at Citigroup for 4 years.
  • Software Engineer at SapientRazorfish, a marketing agency, for 3 years.

Philip Schlump, Developer.

  • Owner at 2c why, a remote development company, for 8 years (ongoing).

Erin Ng, Developer.

  • Senior Software Engineer at Lightfox, a wireless lighting control system, for 3 years.
  • Software Engineer at Fitbit, a fitness product company, for 9 months.
  • Javascript Engineer at Apple for 7 months.
  • Front-End Developer at Microsoft for a year.
  • Front-End Engineer at Sannya for almost 2 years.

Blockchain development experts

No team member with blockchain development expertise.

Token economics

No team member with token economics expertise. However, they have some financial advisors, along with some advisors that have already launched their products (e.g. Storj, Aragon, and district0x). Therefore, the project is expected to benefit from the knowledge base of the aforementioned advisors.

Token sale structure

Same as above.

Conclusion

Strengths

  • Short Roadmap (private smart contracts may be available by Q3 2018).
  • Strong and well-connected advisor team (ConsenSys, Aragon, Storj, district0x).
  • Already established partnerships with Lendroid and disctrict0x.
  • A use case that tackles a prominent problem.
  • Possibility to stake KEEP tokens.

Potential weaknesses

  • There are some notable competitors in this space (Engima, NuCypher).
  • No marketing & legal experts.
  • No working product yet.

Disclaimers:

  • Nothing written in this article is a legal or an investment advice.
  • Information is provided on a best-effort basis and is subject to change without prior notice. Be sure to verify everything you read with a project team.

The analysis was produced by Research Center team members: Alexander Bugaj, Mark Jedd, Eugene Tartakovsky.

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