What is Beam?
Beam is a truly anonymous store-of-value coin.
While maintaining the benefits of an immutable and incorruptible blockchain system such as Bitcoin, Beam is also built with scalability and features in mind.
Private by default: The user has absolute control over transaction data available, allowing the option of transparency as well as privacy
Based on Mimblewimble: Beam has smaller blocks than any other blockchain, giving it maximum scalability. It’s a faster and more efficient network
Computing, data storage, medicine and automotive markets make up a small sample of areas to which blockchains are being tested.
Bitcoin has started an entire revolution, but it is yet to be perfected when it comes to one of its’ core use cases: the private transferring of assets in a peer to peer fashion.
Beam is the solution that offers true anonymity as well scalable peer-to-peer transactions.
What can Beam do?
Beam is the scalable, confidential cryptocurrency. It uses the Mimblewimble protocol (famously named after the tongue-tying spell from Harry Potter) to automate its algorithms for the purposes of:
Giving users control over which transaction information is shared, and to whom it is shared with
Making a leaner blockchain with fewer transaction details per transaction: enabling faster confirmations and therefore very efficient scaling
Tying multiple transactions into a single transaction, tying blocks into a single transaction, tying an entire blockchain into a single transaction
Concealing transaction values for the sake of privacy
Concealing addresses of both the sender and receiver
Enabling multiple transaction types in a private manner: escrow, time locked, atomic swaps, etc.
John has a been in the cryptocurrency space from the very beginning and has amassed quite a fortune. He wants to continue storing his Bitcoins, but since he has been around for a while, there are quite a few transactions that lead back to him. He is worried that his fortune is on the public radar, and that it can be deciphered should somebody decide to do so.
He can’t leave it on an exchange due to security concerns, and yet he can’t leave it offline because he needs to access his funds to invest, and make purchases.
His research leads him to Beam. Regardless of how many transactions are made from his wallet, his holding information will never be traceable. It also offers features like escrow which he often likes to use in his dealings!
Grace works for an accounting firm - CryptoAccounting Inc. They are well known for being on the bleeding edge of new technologies. They are experts in accounting as it relates to cryptocurrencies.
Grace is the head finance engineer responsible for applying the most up to date technologies to their accounting practices!
One of the issues that CryptoAccounting Inc. faces is the limitation of choice when it comes to privacy. While their corporate clients want to broadcast their business transactions to their investors, they want to keep individual employee salaries private. Existing blockchain solutions put employees at risk of breach of privacy.
This is when Grace found out about Beam!
With Beam, companies can control transparency at a corporate level while retaining privacy for their employees. With Beam, companies can use one layer of blockchain technology to handle their finances instead of depending on a combination of cryptocurrencies!
For more information watch this presentation by the CEO, Alexander Zaidelson:
UNDER THE HOOD: Mimblewimble
Mimblewimble is a protocol published by an anonymous author; much like the famous Satoshi Nakamoto; creator of Bitcoin!
Mimblewimble focuses on
(a) Confidential Transactions and
(b) Transaction Cut – Through. 
(a) Confidential Transactions use cryptographic commitment scheme with two basic properties: hiding and binding.
It is similar to giving someone a closed safe box with some message inside that only you know the combination for. When time comes you can reveal the key and the person can make sure that your commitment is valid (blinding) while she can not know what is was before the key is received (hiding).
(b) Transaction Cut – Through:
A block in a block chain is a large list of transactions and can be thought of as one large transaction to be “cut through” (combining all the transactions in between A-Z). Applying this principle even further from individual blocks to the entire blockchain creates a system that only needs the current state of transactions instead of the entire history of all transactions as they occurred (which is how Bitcoin works).
With this system, unspent transactions outputs (a transaction received by a user which has persisted in the blockchain) can be proved to belong to the receiving user via the value of the message and the value of the blinding factor. After creating the transaction, only the commitment is recorded on the blockchain; not the addresses of the users or the amounts exchanged.
Cutting down the amount of data required to store and verify transaction data allows Mimblewimble to work with smaller blocks!