BEAM with CEO Alexander Zaidelson
We recently published an article giving a 101 on MimbleWimble technology with the help of BEAM CEO Alexander Zaidelson. In that same podcast episode
Who is Alexander Zaidelson?
Well, go check out our MimbleWimble write up where we introduce Alexander.
Essentially, BEAM is one of the first implementations of the MimbleWImble Whitepaper. Their only real competitor in the space as of writing is GRIN. If you are not sure what MimbleWimble is exactly, check out our recent article that covers it before you read on!
One of the downsides to MimbleWimble technology is that each transaction requires both parties to be actively engaged at the same time. Whereas with Bitcoin, you could send 0.5BTC to your friend’s wallet address today and they could log on 50 years from now and still receive their funds. BEAM seeks to use the MimbleWimble protocol as a mainchain while allowing for multiple type of transactions in real time for all of its users.
BEAM prioritises privacy and security — this is the reason they have chosen to build on top of MimbleWimble.
“We believe that Privacy is part of sovereignty over your money. If information about your finances is public you’re still not really sovereign.”— Alexander Zaidelson —
Features of BEAM?
BEAM uses an equihash Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism — a proven mechanism in terms of its effective nature nature in validating transactions and making them immutable.Additionally, The BEAM website boasts 8 key features of the BEAM currency: Confidentiality, Versatility, Opt-in Auditability, Confidential Assets, Scalability, Sustainability, Usability, Compatibility. All of these are interesting in their own right and I would encourage you to research each in their own right if you are interested.
However, It is the privacy issue that seems to have most people talking.
The bottom line for Zaidelson is that financial privacy really does matter to the average person. He uses the example of asking any average person if they would be ok with publishing all of their bank statements and transaction receipts for the world to see. Chances are they would not be comfortable with that. This is why privacy matters and as powerful and liberating as Bitcoin is by removing trust in third parties, it does this by depending on a publicly verifiable ledger — which necessitates every transaction being publically available.
“We are building a currency for real life usage. We are working hard to make it really easy to use. We are working hard to test our software — we have spent a lot of effort on security audit which we will publish soon. We are taking this very seriously because we understand that we are building money, we are building currency, there is no place for mistakes.”— Alexander Zaidelson —
Bumpy Start For BEAM?
The BEAM mainnet is now live, though it did not go exactly according to plan. Within a few days of the mainnet going live and users downloading and using their own wallet software, the BEAM Dev team identified a significant vulnerability.
After requesting that users uninstall their wallet immediately and reinstall with their shipped patch, understandably many users and onlookers remained concerned. Sadly a further issue occured not 12 days later where their blockchain stopped functioning all together. To the team’s credit, the problem was identified, fixed and committed to Github very quickly for all to see. It cannot be denied however that two significant blunders in such a short time (though handled swiftly) have not instilled the greatest sense of confidence in the project thus far.
Hopefully the team and the project can see smoother days ahead.