The KEEP Project: Launching Blockchain Nodes Made Easy
A lot is going on in the world of emerging technologies where blockchain and cryptocurrency have begun to blaze the trail for more use cases to emerge. The crypto community has a lot of blockchain-based applications that have been created for different purposes, and integrating some of these applications has proved Herculean for developers because of the complexity attached to its development.
There seems to be a chasm between private data and public blockchain, and this gap has contributed to the slow adoption and integration of blockchain technology. In order to bridge that gap, KEEP was created. Keep is a platform that intends to create a paradigm shift in the development of blockchain-based applications and platforms.
What is Keep?
Keep is a blockchain-based service that functions as an Ethereum-based privacy layer. It was designed to facilitate the containment of private data off-chain. Among its different features, it can aid contracts to make proper use of the full abilities that come with the underlying blockchain framework, and thus create a level playfield for the facilitation of seamless interaction between private data and the blockchain ecosystem.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi) apps and platforms are experiencing exponential growth within and outside the crypto space, and KEEP is strategically designed to attract more players in decentralized finance and other blockchain-based services to utilize its embedded features like; dead man switch, decentralized signing, blockchain storage encryption, custodial storage, etc.
There are diverse applications of the Keep Network, and it is implemented in the creation of tBTC, an application that allows owners of Bitcoin to redeem and deposit bitcoin in decentralized finance without interference from centralized third parties.
There are some other platforms or networks that offer similar services, however, many of these networks depend on validators for their security. An example of such a platform is Cosmos, and its validator is dependent on running a full-node, as well as being a participant in consensus via the transmission of votes that contain digital signatures that are signed by the private keys of the validators. Validators are tasked with presenting new blocks within the blockchain ecosystem, and then get revenue in exchange for their commitment. Furthermore, it is imperative that the validators are part of the governance system, and they achieve this by casting votes on different proposals within the ecosystem. The total stake of tokens by the validators is what is used to determine the weight of the validators. It may interest you to know that Cosmos uses the PoS (Proof of Stake) blockchain. Cosmos runs a full-node protocol, and it requires a lot of resources to validate blocks within a blockchain, as well as blockchain-based transactions. However, downtime, network latency, security, etc. are factors that could make validations difficult, because even users who do not intend to function as validators, are encouraged to go through full nodes.
There are a lot of technicalities associated with the Cosmos validator-delegator system, and with these technicalities come some complex irregularities that have discouraged some blockchain developers from implementing the Cosmos blockchain. Furthermore, becoming a Cosmos validator is an expensive venture to get into, considering the cost of equipment, the running cost every month, and the amount of ATOMS to own to be among the top 100 validators. In 2019, it cost about $20,000 to own the equipment, with a running cost of about $2,000 monthly, and ATOMS worth $37,000 in order to earn a place in the top 100 validators.
Some risks associated with being a Cosmos validator include:
- Loss of top 100 spot a month after making upfront payments for ATOMs and capital costs.
- Susceptibility to hacks
- Network failure after investing.
Keep has taken the flaws and shortcomings of the Cosmos validator system into consideration and is providing users with a much easier way for blockchain developers easily to create nodes without spending so much, and with so little programming commands. Having the nodes installed on a VPS framework is as simple as creating a new server and following some simple steps:
- Access your browser (most preferably Google chrome), search and install the chrome extension of MetaMask.
- Open www.vultr.com and register.
- Click on the ‘deploy’ option.
- After the server is created, copy the password, username, and IP, to your notepad because they will be needed again.
- Go to myetherwallet for your new wallet. Access the Keystore button, input a new password, then download your generated Keystore file (do not forget your new password)
- Link wallet to MetaMask via the JSON button, and upload the generated Keystore data.
- Acquire KEEP tokens: https://us-central1-keep-test-f3e0.cloudfunctions.net/keep-faucet-ropsten?account=walletaddress and place in the address field of your browser (replace [wallet address] in the link with real wallet address).
- Confirm that the tokens are there.
- Get Eth (test) by visiting https://faucet.ropsten.be. Enter your wallet’s address, and hit the “send me…” button. Confirm the receipt of 1 ETH from MetaMask.
To use Keep tokens as delegates for authorization of contracts as well as for staking purposes, visit https://dashboard.test.keep.network/, and click on ‘Tokens’. Use the MetaMask login option. Use 300,000 as the amount for delegation token. Select “Delegate Stake” after inputting your wallet’s address where necessary. Navigate to the applications part of https://dashboard.test.keep.network/and confirm the authorization of contracts for random operations.
Next you need to get an Infura account here https://infura.io/register for the creation of two projects. Select the “Create new…” option and you can name them. Use Ropsten as endpoints. Repeat step for second project.
Visit https://github.com/nikgrego/keep_nodes_template_en to get configuration formats for the creation of two nodes. Download the file, and have them extracted.
Open a text editor. Both node folders have subfolders named “config”, and they contain 4 files each that should be edited:
- keyfile (copy the content of the keystore data that was created earlier and paste)
- password (input the password of the wallet you created earlier)
- address (input the wallet address)
- Config.toml (edit according to the contained suggestions)
- Repeat above for second node.
You need to have the edited config uploaded to a server. Filezilla (client) is a good SFTP application. Download and install.
Connect to the Vultr platform server you created on www.vultr.com, copy the password, username and IP. Use 22 as the port number.
Copy the contents of both node folders to the server’s root folder.
Before you run your nodes. You should link to a VPS server by implementing an SSH framework. There are different SSH services. Windows users can choose https://www.putty.org and Mac users can opt for https://www.iterm2.com (they are both free). Use the info from Vultr. Use ssh root@[use IP address from Vultr] as login, type in the Vultr password, and proceed.
Compared to the Cosmos process, Keep is much easier and relatively cheaper to get your nodes running, and it is much safer to use. Furthermore, Keep offers an opportunity to earn tokens that you can use for staking or any other purposes. The keyword is: Playing for Keeps. Happy hunting :)