tBTC – a trustless Bitcoin bridge built by Keep Network, Summa, and the Cross-Chain Group – is now live following an official blog post.

tBTC is an ERC-20 token that allows Bitcoin to be securely on Ethereum as as tBTC. Each tBTC token is backed by at least 1 BTC in the reserve pool. Unlike WBTC, tBTC allows users to trustlessly go to and from the bridge without having to use a centralized custodian.

 

The project uses threshold ECDSA, which is audited and is in use on Binance among other top wallets and exchanges. To emphasize user safety, Keep Network has provided protections via Nexus Mutual so users can have high confidence that their funds will be protected in the event of a black swan.

To prepare for the launch, tBTC has undergone three security audits: The first by ConsenSys in March, the second by Trail of Bits in June and the last one by the Keep Network themselves in August. The maximum reward for the tBTC bug bounty program is now set at 1 million KEEP tokens, which is worth around 950k USD at the time of writing.

tBTC has released a release candidate (rc) model. These progress from 0 to 1 to 2, onward until a candidate is deemed final and upgraded to the stable release. This allows the team to test the system in real-time without putting user’s funds at risk.

Earning Their Keep

The Keep Network team has shown great resilience. The tBTC alpha version, the rc.0, went live in May. However, things did not go well for the team as they had to shut down the protocol in under two days. The latest rc.1 solves this issue by using threshold ECDSA.

The supply cap grows weekly starting from 100 BTC, then 250, 500, 750, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, and finally 3000 BTC. Finally, after 10 weeks, all the limitations will be lifted and up to 21 million tBTC can be minted on the protocol. If at any point a critical vulnerability is found in the smart contracts, the team will push the emergency deposit pause, and coordinate a withdrawal of funds — then re-deploy the patched contracts as rc.2, resetting the cap schedule. After 6 months without incident, the team will disable the emergency pause button.

The team stated that they have garnered over 50 partners in the past few months. Scalar Capital, Synthetix, TokenSoft, and Aragon are a few projects that have said that they plan to use tBTC as their ETH-BTC bridge. Their latest integrations include Matcha, UMA and FalconX. Keep has raised $10M throughout 2020.

Keep’s stakedrop, which will let people stake ETH to earn KEEP, will continue in the near future. ETH holders will soon be able to earn KEEP by proving their ability to secure the Keep network. In addition to the stakedrop, there will be an upcoming opportunity to earn KEEP via liquidity mining. Users will be able to provide liquidity for tBTC pools and earn yield.

Matt Luongo, the founder of thesis, further revealed more details about liquidity mining.  He stated that the team has 5% of the total KEEP supply to spend on liquidity mining rewards. This will be done slowly and to ensure stability.

Their first liquidity incentive program will be launched with Nexus Mutal, where NXM holders that stake to provide cover for tBTC minters, will be rewarded with KEEP tokens on a weekly basis.  Lastly, Mr. Luongo also proposed a tBTC pool on Curve Finance which will allow early tBTC minters to build liquidity and to mine rewards.

Overall, the launch of tBTC comes as an interesting twist to Ren Prtoocol’s recent dominance in permissionless Bitcoin bridging. With trustless design being a big selling point for tBTC, it will be interesting to watch if protocol architecture is of greater important for BTC holders than UX and convenience.

In the meantime, be sure to stay up with tBTC by following Keep Project on Twitter.