Nexus Mutual – the popular insurance mutual protocol- has announced a new staking feature called “shield mining” to incentivize smart contract cover, starting with Keep Network.

Shield mining allows any project listed on the Nexus Mutual platform to incentivize coverage providers (NXM stakers) by rewarding them with native protocol tokens.

The first partner to go live with shield mining is KEEP Network, the project behind tBTC. Starting today, Nexus Mutual stakers will receive an additional 2 KEEP for every 1 NXM staked, in addition to the baseline NXM staking rewards. If you are looking to stake NXM to earn KEEP, rewards must be claimed weekly through the Nexus Mutual UI, meaning KEEP rewards will not be available retroactively if rewards are not claimed. KEEP rewards will continue every week until 750,000 KEEP tokens have been distributed. The KEEP token powers tBTC which is an audited, open-source protocol that enables users to swap their BTC for tBTC, an ERC-20 representation of BTC that can be utilized in the DeFi ecosystem that is growing on Ethereum.

Shield mining seems to solve two problems at once. It enables NXM stakers to achieve more competitive yield and gives new projects a way to crowdsource smart contract insurance cover. Within a few hours of the announcement, staking on the KEEP (tBTC) contract through Nexus Mutual was already maxed out. The 750k of KEEP token rewards are enabling $10M worth of smart contract cover that users can now purchase through Nexus Mutual.

Partner projects that are looking to bootstrap insurance cover availability for their users can get started by reaching out to Nexus Mutual to first get their project listed on the platform. Projects can then provide some number of tokens and set a distribution rate to property incentivize NXM stakers. If you’re looking to apply to offer insurance on Nexus Mutual, fill out this form.

While KEEP is likely the first of many incentivized NXM staking opportunities, readers should keep in mind that the general risk of NXM staking still apply. If successful claims are made against the contracts you’re “shielding” you will take a loss.

Stay up to date with the latest on Nexus Mutual by following them on twitter.