Privacy coins have some unique features guaranteeing them a nice place in the crypto world. Although cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are often referred to as anonymous, it is nothing but a misnomer. By nature, such blockchains are public. Upon linking a wallet address to a user, the entire transaction history becomes known to all the participants of the network. Privacy coins solve this problem by using various anonymizing methods: for example, Beam cryptocurrency is the first-ever one to have applied Mimblewimble privacy technology.
Before delving deeper into the peculiarities of the Beam cryptocurrency and its features, let’s have a quick look at what the Mimblewimble privacy technology is all about.
Mimblewimble: The Beam Founding Block
The Beam blockchain has been based on Mimblewimble privacy technology. Introduced in 2016 by pseudonymous Tom Elvis Jedusor, Mimblewimble (or MW) is a blockchain design that leverages the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to offer more privacy and improve the network scalability.
- A Novel Model of Blockchain Transactions
The MW blockchain design alters the course that the traditional models of blockchains have followed to perform transactions. It offers an easier and faster way to download data that is also made more compact and convenient to synchronize and verify.
Mimblewimble also has a feature known as Cut-Through: it enables bringing down a number of blockchain transactions by obliterating transaction records that have become redundant. At its core, the Mimblewimble privacy technology aims at taking the concept of Confidential Transactions (CT) forward to hide the huge volume of blockchain transfers.
- No Identifiable or Reusable Addresses
The MW blockchain contains no identifiable or reusable addresses. While the participants can see detailed info on their transaction, for an outsider, everything looks like some random data.
Essentially, a block is more similar to one large transaction rather than a combination of the smaller ones. One may also verify blocks without having to divulge the details of the transaction. Reputable outputs can never be traced back to their inputs.
Beam Cryptocurrency: The First-Ever to Use Mimblewimble Protocol
The Beam Mimblewimble combination is the first of its type among all the privacy coins. The Beam coin made its official debut on January 3, 2019. Several top persons in the crypto world (for example, one of the early Bitcoin developers, Jameson Lopp) endorsed this currency publicly at the time of its launch.
When describing Beam’s pivotal characteristics, the creators mentioned its ability to offer users the choice of deciding which information they will divulge to which parties. Since this feature of transparency is optional, Beam is also useful for businesses which want to learn more about the parties they are transacting with.
- Dandelion: An Additional Technology
Apart from Mimblewimble, Beam uses another sophisticated technology protocol known as Dandelion. Dandelion Technology aims to obscure network traffic activity. It randomizes the pathways through which the transactions get dispersed on a decentralized network.
Let’s also have a look at how the very system of Beam works!
One can download the Beam wallet from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Both of these wallets are convenient and very easy to use. They are compatible with all the major operating systems — Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can also download the desktop wallet and the CLI wallet from the Beam official website.
Although the Beam network has nodes to validate the transactions, one cannot underestimate the role played by its miners. As we have already seen, Beam mining follows the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism. It uses Beam Hash III security protocol, which is an updated version of Equihash (150,5).
The Beam mining pools work at a network hash rate of 0.43 MSol/s and a pool hash rate of 0.33 MSol/s. All the info on 19 Beam mining pools can be found on the Beam official website.
The Beam maximum supply is equal to 262,800,000 coins. Currently, 75,718,000 coins are circulating. The Beam scarcity is ensured by periodic halving.
The market capitalization of BEAM currently stands at a little above 20 million US dollars. The price of this currency also sees frequent ups and downs. The all-time high for Beam coin price turned out to be $3.21; it was recorded on January 28, 2019, only a few days after the coin has been officially launched. The all-time low value for Beam price was recorded on March 13, 2020: $0.148340.
Beam did not hold an ICO; the developers encouraged Beam coin mining to be performed on the newly released platform. At the time of the launch, it was decided that 20% of the overall block reward will go to a treasury governed by the founders of Beam, its investors, and the Beam Foundation members. These block rewards are to be phased out after five years.
Now, let’s have a look at the list of peculiarities inherent to this crypto!
Top Beam Features
- As we have already discussed, Beam is the first-ever crypto based on Mimblewimble privacy tech and an ultimately anonymous network. Unlike most of the other crypto protocols that are just “known as” anonymous ones, Beam does not store any information about transaction participants on the blockchain.
- Beam uses what is called the “Scriptless Script” technology. This technology enables Beam to go beyond the mere transfer of value. It allows the users to perform a wide range of transactions (including atomic swapping, escrow, and time-locked transactions), keeping the uniqueness of the blockchain intact.
- Beam offers the “opt-in auditability” option. It helps with attaching cryptographically unforgeable and digitally signed invoices/contracts to each transaction. Some auditors are then granted permission to inspect all the attached documents.
- Beam confidential transaction mechanism enables creating and exchanging multiple asset types (including real estate tokens, corporate debts, and new currencies).
- Since the Beam crypto protocol is heavily focused on its sustainability, this crypto has a lot of qualities making it a long-term player. Firstly, it’s open-source and ready to be implemented from scratch. Secondly, its community is backed by the Beam Growth Pool getting 20% of all the block mining rewards. Isn’t it an effective promoting and developing tool?
- To make the Beam system widely compatible, the developers enhanced it with the Equihash algorithm and a diverse variety of tools aimed at running and managing the mining nodes.
- Beam wallets offer Atomic Swaps through which Beam can be confidentially exchanged with BTC, LTC, and QTUM. They also use Lelantus for improving privacy and rupturing linkability. For instant payments, Beam wallets offer the Laser Beam feature.
- Beam also has its confidential DeFi platform named BeamX implemented via Beam Shaders. The BeamX platform includes a rich ecosystem of price oracles, decentralized bridges, atomic swaps, and an in-wallet dApp store.
- BeamX also supports a wide range of financial applications and instruments, including wrapped assets, algorithmic stable coins, DEX, automatic market making and lending tools.
With all its uniqueness stemming both from the Mimblewimble privacy tech and Dandelion protocol, Beam cryptocurrency is undoubtedly important for the domain of privacy coins.
However, the current objective of the Beam founders is to not remain constricted within the periphery of anonymous transactions. The Beam protocol team is aimed at creating a cryptocurrency that could be used for all sorts of use cases.
It would be interesting to see what further avenues Beam is going to explore before moving to one of the leading positions in the domain of privacy coins. Stay tuned to see it taking on the whole crypto market!