Beam: Scalable Confidential Cryptocurrency

in #originalworks3 years ago (edited)

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Contrary to what was expected, turns out most cryptocurrency are not really anonymous. Although wallet addresses aren't directly linked to real-world names and contact information, identities can be deduced or derived from other avenues such as Know Your Customer (KYC) policy or Anti-Money Laundering (AML) or even by back-tracing publicly displayed transaction records.

Beam is designed to obfuscate all transaction records and preserve the privacy of all parties involved.

What Is Beam?

Beam is a concept blockchain built around the "Mimblewimble" protocol as described by the whitepaper written by a "Tom Elvis Jedusor” (French name for Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter novels). Here is their Introduction video.

Beam philosophy is that Privacy = Freedom. This in turn produces a healthy society.
The beam platform was built using C++ to be a privacy-focused blockchain.

THE BEAM ECOSYSTEM

Beam builds upon Bitcoin Core concepts and uses them to not only "Slim down" its blockchain, but also enhance user privacy. Let's see how.

  • Confidential Transactions
  • Transaction Cut-Through
  • Scriptless Script
  • Sustainable Growth Pool

Confidential Transactions

Mimblewimble protocol allows users to hide and bind transactions. The receiver generates a binding factor granting him/her sole ownership over the received coins.

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Transaction Cut-Through

While normal cryptocurrency depend on ledger history to validate transactions, beam only takes note of UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) which is the list of all the output addresses that hold coin balances. This lightens the load that nodes have in verifying transactions.

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Cut-through technology will also allow the network to "beam" a chain of transactions as one transaction. Eg instead of [John -> Gary -> Allen -> Harry], the network can beam the entire transaction as

John -> Harry

Scriptless Script

Beam plans to do away with the complex and weighty scripts that the blockchain (Bitcoin) uses, instead opting for a lite version.
This will not hinder core features like atomic swaps, escrow and time-locked transactions.

All these mechanisms connect to form the secure beam network.

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USER CASE SCENARIO

Frank is the chief accountant of a crypto-friendly company that develops adult games. After a few months, investors begin to pull out. A quick survey reveals that while many wish to support the company, they don't want paper trail linking them through the dividend payments and some are worried that KYC requirements have exposed their identities on the blockchain.
After much research, Frank discovers Beam and the company adopts it as a form of payment.
This pleases many investors as they can receive their profit dividends in complete privacy.

WHY BEAM IS THE SUPERIOR BLOCKCHAIN

Beam offers anonimity on a level that other cryptocurrency are simply unable to.
Beam is lighter, more effective, consumes less energy and is designed to be scalable.
The following chart shows Beam in comparison to some popular cryptocurrencies.

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TEAM AND ROADMAP

Beam Leadership
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Beam Engineering Team
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Beam Advisors
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Beam Roadmap
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Beam has launched their testnet check it out here

FINAL THOUGHTS

Beam is still a work in progress. The script to replace the Bitcoin Script is yet to be determined. It will take a bit of time for users to get used to the binding process but then the project should kick off nicely.

For more information and resources

Beam website
Beam Position Paper
Mimblewimble Paper
Beam Telegram
Beam Medium
Beam YouTube
Beam Facebook
Beam Twitter
Beam GitHub




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