January 3rd 2019 marks the launch of a new cryptocurrency called Beam. Beam is one of two highly sought-after privacy coins that implements the “Mimblewimble” payment protocol. Mimblewimble is a new and innovative way to make confidential and virtually untraceable transactions.
The Mimblewimble protocol was first announced in the summer of 2016 by a user by the pseudonym Tom Elvis Jedusor in a Bitcoin developers chatroom. He left a link to a whitepaper that states by using the Mimblewimble protocol, the privacy and scalability of the Bitcoin network could see significant improvements.
Two different cryptocurrencies will be launching in January, both supporting the protocol. These are Beam and Grin. Developers initially thought of Grin at the end of 2016. Beam, on the other hand; was only conceived in March 2018.
While the two cryptocurrencies are somewhat similar, Beam is run by a start-up. Eventually, they will hand over all operations to a dedicated non-profit foundation. The development of Grin, however, has been completely community funded through donations. We will have to wait and see if bitcoin privacy features warrant a separate token.
Mimblewimble is putting the pressure on other cryptocurrencies to adapt and find the right trade-offs, creating a net positive to the ecosystem
On Beam’s Official GitHub page, they explain that users will be able to choose which information they leave available and to which parties. This gives users complete control over their personal data, according to their wills and applicable laws. To summarise, Beam will also have the feature of full transparency. This could be a big benefit to the businesses that want to use Beam tokens. The Mimblewimble protocol definitely has the potential for large scale adoption.
The Beam cryptocurrency essentially allows for truly private transactions and a scalable, vastly smaller blockchain than other implementations. The Beam main net launched in nine months after its initial proposal. This launch beat Grin, a competing Mimblewimble project that has been in development since 2016.
After 48hr of the first MimbleWimble implementation went live
‼️acquired 1/3 of $XMR hashrate
‼️$500M fully diluted mcap
⚠️consumer level GPU mining won’t work pic.twitter.com/SntLcnS70h
— Dovey “Rug The Fiat” Wan🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) January 6, 2019
Beam uses the Equihash Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, making the coin GPU-friendly for miners. As there is no pre-mine or ICO, the development of the Beam project will see support from a trackable treasury system. 20% of each block reward will go towards the treasury. This has nothing to do with the Mimblewimble protocol but is rather a business decision by the Beam development team.
Post-launch, Beam still has plans to develop and release various features such as; Atomic swaps with Bitcoin (BTC), mobile wallet support, and API integration for payment platforms.
If the word ‘Mimblewimble’ sounds familiar, its probably because it was a spell in the “Harry Potter” series. But if you don’t read Harry Potter, it’s because the protocol was one of 4 proposals by Charlie Lee. Charlie as many know is the founder of Litecoin. This was initially not for bitcoin privacy, but rather when they were considering adding new privacy features to Litecoin.
Mimblewimble is definitely a significant development in the cryptocurrency space. Once Beam and Grin are both on the market, people may see the potential for the Mimblewimble protocol. As a consequence it could see wider adoption. If you want to support the new protocol for yourself, you can mine or buy BEAM tokens on the market.
Let us know what you think of these new developments in the comments below!