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If you’re playing for keeps, it might make sense to earn interest on your KEEP tokens.
Blockchain technology underpins the thousands of cryptocurrencies that have been created in the past decade. It has the potential to impact our lives and a number of industries, from banking to healthcare.
However, it is still early days, and the cryptocurrency industry is scrambling to solve various issues, such as sustainability and scalability. Some blockchains consume large amounts of energy, and others are proving difficult to scale. Another challenge? Privacy.
Blockchain ledgers are heralded as better ways to store all kinds of information, including medical records, contracts, and credit histories. They are anonymous, transparent, and hard to hack. But that transparency may be a double-edged sword: If you start storing personal info on a public ledger, you’ll want to be sure it will stay private.
This is where Keep Network (KEEP) comes in. It stores private info in encrypted containers — known as “keeps” — off the blockchain. Applications and other blockchain networks can then access that data when necessary.
KEEP is the native token on the Keep Network. KEEP tokens can be staked to maintain the network and to support the keeps where private data is stored. Read on to find out more about how this works, and whether you should stake your tokens.
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What is staking?
Many cryptocurrency networks offer rewards for staking certain coins. It’s a bit like a dividend-paying stock. These networks use staked coins to validate transactions and keep themselves secure.
If you’re willing to tie up your coins for a set period of time, you can be rewarded with anything from 0.5% to 40% or more. It depends on the coin, how many other people are staking, and how long you’re willing to tie up your assets. If a currency has just launched or is in the process of an upgrade, it may offer higher rates for a short period of time.
Stakers have responsibilities on the network. And failure to meet those responsibilities can result in the loss of your coins. If you stake through a cryptocurrency exchange or a staking pool, they fulfill those requirements on your behalf and pay you the rewards.
Some require stakers to vote in major decisions or help validate transactions. You may not be aware of what goes on behind the scenes, but it’s important you trust the main staker — if they don’t play their part, you could lose your stake.
This is relevant because Keep Network may ask certain stakers to run the “keeps” mentioned above and help secure confidential data. The system randomly selects a staking node to store a particular piece of encrypted information. A node is a network participant that usually represents a certain number of coins.
To go it alone, you’ll need to meet high minimum coin requirements, have a good technical background, and the right infrastructure.
Is it easy to stake KEEP?
Up until this February, it wasn’t easy to use a staking pool to stake your KEEP. The main exchanges do not offer KEEP staking, and you’d need a sizeable minimum amount and some technical knowledge to join an existing pool. Even more if you wanted to run your own node.
Now, however, you can stake your KEEP directly on its website. There’s no minimum and no obligation to validate anything or store data. You need a Metamask wallet and enough Ethereum (ETH) to pay transaction (gas) fees.
At the time of writing, you could earn about 6% which gets multiplied by up to 3x if you stake for longer. There are also ways you can earn Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum through the Keep Network.
Should you stake KEEP?
If you support Keep Network’s mission, staking can be a way to actively participate in making blockchain ledgers more private. As with many cryptocurrencies, if you buy and stake the coin, you can be part of that community.
However, be cautious, especially if you’re new to staking. Right now, Keep isn’t 100% geared up to support smaller investors. For example, there isn’t a support desk, so you’ll need to sign up to its discord channel to get help. You need to be confident moving your assets away from the exchange and into a Metamask wallet and then using that wallet. Those are solvable problems, but problems nonetheless.
The other question is whether you want to buy and tie up a volatile asset for any period of time. Keep Network is a relatively new cryptocurrency that’s only recently listed on Coinbase. All cryptocurrencies are risky — the huge drop in recent months has wiped out a lot of the gains from earlier this year. But newer digital currencies carry even more risk. So you need to do careful research to decide if you can see a strong long-term future in the coin.
Keep’s privacy solutions do look interesting, and the management team has past crypto experience. But it’s worth also understanding other coins operating in this space such as Cardano (ADA) and Internet Computer (ICP).
If you’re new to staking and don’t use a third-party wallet, it’s a good idea to start with the exchange where you bought your crypto. Look at the coins you can stake there, balance the potential staking rewards against any losses due to volatility, and stake a small amount at first to get a feel for how it works. And if you’re confident in your crypto skills and Keep Network’s future, you can follow the staking instructions on its website.
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About the Author
Emma owns the English-language newspaper The Bogota Post. She began her editorial career at a financial website in the U.K. over 20 years ago and has been contributing to The Ascent since 2019.