Understanding the Lock Protocol


  • Lock provides timelocking solutions for crypto tokens.

  • The Lock Application is live on mainnet today. The MVP released in December 2019 and v0.1 released in March 2020.

  • Lock is decentralized. No human is ever a custodian of your funds.


  • Metamask (or another web3 wallet)

  • Ethereum (ETH) or any ERC-20 token in the wallet that a user wants to lock


Lock - The process of storing Ethereum assets inside of the protocol

Days to Lock - How many days before a user can claim their assets

Minimum Lock - The lowest number of tokens that a user is able to lock for each asset

LOCK Token - The LOCK token enables users to lock any amount of assets one time for one token rather than paying fees in the token being locked. You can choose this as your fee type if you hold LOCK.

Maximum Amount - Optional setting if user wants to set a cap on the amount that needs to be added to the contract for it to unlock. Example: If user locks 250 DAI and sets Maximum amount to 1,000 DAI, then once they deposit an additional 750 DAI into the same lock, it will instantly become claimable, no matter what duration of time is on their lock.

Beneficiary - A separate Ethereum address who will claim the assets after the lock period is over. If user clicks check box, they will be prompted to enter the Ethereum address that will be able to claim the assets. If beneficiary is chosen, the user who locked the assets will not be able to claim them.

Claim - Once the lock period is over, the user (original locker or beneficiary) can retrieve their assets by using the claim button in the application.

Airdrop - Sending new tokens to users who have locked a specific token inside of Lock

v0.1 Application Functionality


Initial Lock

  1. Navigate to application

  2. Log into Metamask or another web3 wallet

  3. Choose ETH or ERC-20 token to lock and quantity of tokens

  4. Decide the duration of locking period in days

  5. Decide whether fees will be paid in ETH or LOCK token

  6. Decide whether there will be a maximum amount to deposit to achieve instant unlock

  7. Determine whether there will be a beneficiary

  8. Submit transaction

  9. Once the lock period is over, funds become claimable by the user who deposited (or the beneficiary)


  1. Navigate to application

  2. Connect web3 wallet that has rights to claim the tokens

  3. Click claim button on the transaction to claim

  4. Confirm transaction

Other Features

  1. User can add more tokens to the same lock contract by navigating to the Locked section of the application and clicking the + button in the Amount column. This is necessary when using Lock as a savings account.

  2. User can view all airdrop eligibility by clicking the down arrow on any lock in the Locked section of the app


The administrator does not have custody of user funds at any time. Here are the actions that the administrator can take:

  • Add new ERC-20 token to list

  • Emergency unlock of a token in case it needs to be swapped to a different chain or upgraded

  • Manage token airdrops for any asset that is available to Lock

  • Change fee structure

  • Mint, send and burn LOCK tokens

Fee Structure

Lock has two options for paying fees to use the protocol:

  1. Percentage of token being locked - Variable fees depending on how much of a token is being added to a lock contract. More locked tokens means lower fees. You can see the exact fees for each token when choosing a token to lock.

  2. LOCK token - 1 LOCK for making one lock inside the protocol. This applies to any size lock of any duration.

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