WorkLock is the distribution mechanism for the NuCypher token.


The Ethereum address for the WorkLock contract is 0xe9778E69a961e64d3cdBB34CF6778281d34667c2. Please make sure that you interact with this contract address and no other.

WorkLock CLI

The nucypher worklock CLI command provides the ability to participate in WorkLock. To better understand the commands and their options, use the --help option.

All nucypher worklock commands share a similar structure:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock <COMMAND> [OPTIONS] --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI>

Replace <YOUR PROVIDER URI> with a valid node web3 node provider string, for example:

  • ipc:///home/<username>/.ethereum/geth.ipc - IPC Socket-based JSON-RPC server

  • https://<host> - HTTP(S)-based JSON-RPC server

  • wss://<host>:8080 - Websocket(Secure)-based JSON-RPC server

If you’re using a network different than NuCypher mainnet (like for example our ibex testnet), you can include the --network <NETWORK> option to any WorkLock command.

Show current WorkLock information

You can obtain information about the current state of WorkLock by running:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock status --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI>

The following is an example output of the status command (hypothetical values):

Reading Latest Chaindata...

WorkLock (0xe9778E69a961e64d3cdBB34CF6778281d34667c2)


Escrow Period (Open)
Allocations Available . No
Start Date ............ 2020-09-01 00:00:00+00:00
End Date .............. 2020-09-28 23:59:59+00:00
Duration .............. 27 days, 23:59:59
Time Remaining ........ 26 days, 15:43:43

Cancellation Period (Open)
End Date .............. 2020-09-30 23:59:59+00:00
Duration .............. 29 days, 23:59:59
Time Remaining ........ 28 days, 15:43:43


Lot Size .............. 225000000 NU
Min. Allowed Escrow ... 5 ETH
Participants .......... 71
ETH Supply ............ 620.65 ETH
ETH Pool .............. 620.65 ETH

Base (minimum escrow)
Base Deposit Rate ..... 3000 NU per base ETH

Bonus (surplus over minimum escrow)
Bonus ETH Supply ...... 265.65 ETH
Bonus Lot Size ........ 223935000 NU
Bonus Deposit Rate .... 842970 NU per bonus ETH

Refund Rate Multiple .. 8.00
Bonus Refund Rate ..... 105371.25 units of work to unlock 1 bonus ETH
Base Refund Rate ...... 375.0 units of work to unlock 1 base ETH

    * NOTE: bonus ETH is refunded before base ETH

For the less obvious values in the output, here are some definitions:

  • Lot Size

    NU to be allocated by WorkLock

  • ETH Supply

    Sum of all ETH escrows that have been placed

  • ETH Pool

    Current ETH balance of WorkLock that accounts for refunded ETH for work performed i.e. ETH Supply - Refunds for Work

  • Refund Rate Multiple

    Indicates how quickly your ETH is unlocked relative to the deposit rate e.g. a value of 4 means that you get your ETH refunded 4x faster than the rate used when you were allocated NU

  • Base Deposit Rate

    Amount of NU to be allocated per base ETH in WorkLock

  • Bonus ETH Supply

    Sum of all bonus ETH escrows that have been placed i.e. sum of all ETH above minimum escrow

  • Bonus Lot Size

    Amount of NU that is available to be allocated based on the bonus part of escrows

  • Bonus Deposit Rate

    Amount of NU to be allocated per bonus ETH in WorkLock

  • Bonus Refund Rate

    Units of work to unlock 1 bonus ETH

  • Base Refund Rate

    Units of work to unlock 1 base ETH

If you want to see specific information about your current escrow, you can specify your participant address with the --participant-address flag:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock status --participant-address <YOUR PARTICIPANT ADDRESS> --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI>

The following output is an example of what is included when --participant-address is used

WorkLock Participant <PARTICIPANT ADDRESS>
NU Claimed? .......... No
Total Escrow ......... 22 ETH
    Base ETH ......... 15 ETH
    Bonus ETH ........ 7 ETH
NU Allocated ......... 68000 NU

Completed Work ....... 0
Available Refund ..... 0 ETH

Refunded Work ........ 0
Remaining Work ....... <REMAINING WORK>

Alternatively, when the NU has been allocated, the following is an example of the output

WorkLock Participant <PARTICIPANT ADDRESS>
NU Claimed? .......... Yes
Locked ETH ........... 22 ETH

Completed Work ....... 0
Available Refund ..... 0 ETH

Refunded Work ........ 0
Remaining Work ....... <REMAINING WORK>


  • Total Escrow

    WorkLock Escrow

  • Base ETH

    Minimum required escrow

  • Bonus ETH

    Surplus over minimum escrow

  • NU Allocated

    Allocation of NU

  • Locked ETH

    Remaining ETH to be unlocked via completion of work

  • NU Claimed

    Whether the allocation of NU tokens has been allocated or not

  • Completed Work

    Work already completed by the participant

  • Available Refund

    ETH portion available to be refunded due to completed work

  • Refunded Work

    Work that has been completed and already refunded

  • Remaining Work

    Pending amount of work required before all of the participant’s escrowed ETH will be refunded


--signer is not required if you are running a local ethereum node or your --provider is the same entity as your signer.

Place an escrow (or increase existing one)

You can place an escrow to WorkLock (or if you already have one, increase the amount) by running:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock escrow --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI> --signer <SIGNER_URI>

Recall that there’s a minimum escrow amount of 5 ETH needed to participate in WorkLock.

Cancel an escrow

You can cancel an escrow to WorkLock by running:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock cancel-escrow --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI> --signer <SIGNER_URI>

Claim your stake

Once the allocation window is open, you can claim your NU as a stake in NuCypher:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock claim --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI> --signer <SIGNER_URI>

Once allocated, you can check that the stake was created successfully by running:

(nucypher)$ nucypher status stakers --staking-address <YOUR PARTICIPANT ADDRESS> --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI>

Check remaining work

If you have a stake created from WorkLock, you can check how much work is pending until you can get all your ETH locked in the WorkLock contract back:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock remaining-work --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI>

Refund locked ETH

If you’ve committed some work, you are able to refund proportional part of ETH you’ve escrowed in the WorkLock contract:

(nucypher)$ nucypher worklock refund --provider <YOUR PROVIDER URI> --signer <SIGNER_URI>