Image source: Beam Website
The Blockchain revolution is on! Automotive markets, finance, data storage, social media, computing; these are all areas in which the Blockchain technology is being applied. Bitcoin lies at the apex of this revolution but its limitations greatly inhibits its widespread application.
Two very important limitations of the Bitcoin Blockchain are the lack of privacy in peer-to-peer transaction and scalability. Beam is the solution to these limitations and more.
i. Introducing Beam
Beam is more than just a new cryptocurrency on the block. It is an innovative Blockchain technology that seeks to consolidate on the advantages of the existing Blockchain models and revolutionary improve on their weakness. You can think of it as the second Bitcoin.
Privacy: Beam is designed to allow the user have total control over the entire transaction. This allows privacy on the part of those involve in the transaction as well as allowing transparency.
The Mimblewimble Advantage: Beam takes advantage of the the Mimblewimble structure. This translates to small blocks thereby enhancing scalability, speed and efficiency. The Mimblewimble structure will be discussed shortly.
ii. The Beam Revolution
Beam is truly autonomous and scalable cryptocurrency. Harnessing the advantages of the Mimblewimble protocol, it is able to automate its algorithm to:
Give users total control over information are shared for each transaction
Reduce transaction details in each transaction, thereby creating a scalable Blockchain with faster confirmations
Streamline transactions such that multiple transactions are tied into a single transaction, multiple blocks into a single transaction and the entire Blockchain into a single transaction
Mask transaction details (value and addresses) to enhance privacy
Allow multiple transaction types to operate using privacy features: escrow, time locked, atomic swaps, etc..
iii. Current Blockchain Models And Privacy
Current Blockchain models allow people to track transactions. This is because details of each transaction including value and addresses of both the sender and receiver are accessible on the Blockchain. This means one’s transaction history can be tracked and easily traced. This is a great cause of concern as careful analysis of the Blockchain could give details of the parties away.
Even more, current Blockchain models are bulky and have make huge demands computationally. This leads to inefficient as more resources are continually needed to achieve the same result with each transaction. This also greatly inhibits scalability leading to problems as more users come on board
iv. Beam And Privacy (Based on Mimblewimble)
The Mimblewimble protocol allows for privacy transactions without making huge demands on the network. Beam is taking advantage of this by building their network from scratch in C++ based on the Mimblewimble protocol.
This gives Beam the dual advantage of scalability (mass adoption) as well as operating a lean Blockchain and giving users total privacy!
Mimblewimble is a protocol published by an anonymous author. It focuses on Confidential Transactions and Transaction Cut
- Confidential Transactions: This is the use of cryptographic commitment scheme with two basic properties: hiding and binding.
To understand this, imagine you give someone a closed safe box with a message in it. You alone have the combination to the safe. When the time comes, you will reveal the combination key and the receiver can ensure your commitment is valid but cannot know what the key was before it was received.
- Transaction Cut – Through: A Blockchain is essentially a chain of blocks. Each block contains a large list of transaction. Therefore, a block can be considered as a one large transaction to cut through. When this is applied, one only needs the current state of transactions to validate new transactions rather than the entire history of all transactions as they occurred. This is one major divergence between Beam and Bitcoin as Bitcoin requires the entire history of all transactions.
With this innovation, “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.” At the end of each Transaction, the only detail recorded on the Blockchain is the commitment only. The addresses of the users or the amounts exchanged are concealed
Lesser transaction details on the Blockchain translates means lower amount of data is needed to store and very transaction data thereby allowing Mimblewimble to operate with smaller blocks.
vi. Beam In Summary
Beam is an innovative store-of-value cryptocurrency built on Mimblewimble that allows users to send and receive money in a private and secure manner. This is due to the absence of addresses and amounts in the verification of transactions.
Less transaction details for each block results into a leaner, faster and scalable Blockchain architecture. The privacy and efficiency of this Blockchain architecture complements each other! This increases privacy and decreases the load on the system at the same time!
You can check out Beam Downloads & Testnet by clicking on the link provided
vii. Beam Use-Case
Steven is a cryptocurrency whale with large Bitcoin holdings. He wants to retain his investments but he is worried that his transactions are being tracked as they openly accessible on the Blockchain for all to see.
He is in a dilemma as he cannot leave his holdings on an exchange for security concerns and he cannot move them to a paper wallet as he continually needs his funds to invest and carry out daily transactions.
In his quest for privacy, he stumbles on Beam. Now, his transaction details are safe and can never be traced. He also has the added advantage of features offered by Beam such as escrow which makes his dealings risk-free.
Sarah is a private accountant who consults for leading companies around the world. She prides herself on being on the cutting edge of technological innovations. This is what drives her constant research for Blockchain based solutions to solving accounting problems.
One of her corporate clients demanded an seemingly impossible situation. They want to be able to broadcast their business transactions to their investors but keep their employee financial details private.
Thankfully, Sarah discovered Beam and her problems are solved. With Beam, she was able to help her corporate client maintain transparency with their investors without sacrificing their employees’ privacy.
For more information watch this presentation by the CEO, Alexander Zaidelson:
More Information & Resources:
- Beam Website
- Beam Position Paper
- Mimblewimble Paper
- Beam YouTube
- Beam Telegram
- Beam Facebook
- Beam Github
- Beam Bitcointalk
- Beam Medium
- Beam Twitter