Meet Beam — the Next-Generation Privacy Coin

Meet Beam — the Next-Generation Privacy Coin

By ChangeNOW | ChangeNOW Crypto Blog | 12 May 2021


Many refer to Bitcoin as an anonymous cryptocurrency, but this is far from the truth. Every wallet address has a balance and a transaction history that are available to the public. Bitcoin address is a random number of characters and you can’t see who it belongs to, but there are special tools that can link a Bitcoin address with a particular individual. If this happens, all holder’s data gets disclosed. 

Privacy coins make cryptocurrencies really anonymous — they hide the payment details, and you can’t trace the way of transactions on the blockchain. Monero and ZCash are the most well-known cryptos of this kind, but the progress does not stand still, and many new advanced privacy coins emerge. One of them is Beam cryptocurrency. Let’s start exploring it from the Mimblewimble protocol, the core technology behind the coin.

How to put a spell on a blockchain to make it silent? 

Miblewimble is the privacy technology introduced in 2016 by the anonymous developer Tom Elvis Jedusor (Tom Marvolo Riddle in French). In the J K Rowling books, Mimblewible is a spell that binds someone’s tongue to keep them from talking about a certain thing. Accordingly, the Mimblewimble protocol is a Proof of Work consensus algorithm with enhanced privacy that also offers increased scalability. Together with other features, it makes the Beam crypto coin one of the most promising among other privacy coins.

Why Beam is faster

A Mimblewimble blockchain is more compact — it makes it easier to download data, synchronize and verify it. 

  • MW leverages the so-called cut-through technology. This feature allows recording fewer data in a block, hence its size decreases. Beam’s blockchain weighs 3-10 times less than Bitcoin’s and 100+ times less than Monero’s. This allows syncing a Beam wallet with the blockchain much faster.
  • MW supports the Confidential Transactions feature that hides the amounts of Beam transactions. 

Why Beam is more secure

  • In Mimblewimble, you can’t see the details about transactions — the whole block looks like one big transaction. This allows hiding the users’ inputs and outputs. 
  • There are no identifiable or reusable addresses in MW. The transaction data, including the outcome and income wallet addresses, is only available for the transaction participants and can’t be seen by the outside users.  
  • Along with Mimblewimble, Beam leverages the Dandelion technology that obfuscates the pathways of the transactions on the network. This is one more tool to guarantee complete privacy in Beam. 

The first cryptocurrency to use the Mimblewimble protocol 

Since 2016, there have been numerous discussions on how to implement the Mimblewimble protocol, and finally, in January 2019, the Beam cryptocurrency backed by MW was introduced. As a new generation of privacy coins and the Proof of work coins in general, it was supported by many top developers in the crypto industry such as Jameson Lopp and others. 

Beam wasn’t designed as just a simple upgrade of the PoW consensus. While Bitcoin or Monero were introduced primarily as means of peer-to-peer value transfer, Beam has intentionally programmed tools for business. The team calls this enhanced auditability: while the transaction details remain hidden for the public, you can optionally choose what parties you can disclose this data to. This is a convenient feature for those who need to report their financials but want to stay invisible to the general public. 

Now, let’s see what infrastructure supports the usage of the Beam privacy coin. 

Wallet 

Beam desktop Wallet is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Mobile versions are available for iOS and Android. These are pretty good apps rated by users at 4.5 and 4.4, respectively. In these apps, you can set privacy options, receive notifications, create single-usage addresses, and more. 

Mining 

Since Beam is a Proof of Work cryptocurrency, mining is the central process that helps its network run. For validating transactions, Beam miners receive rewards of 40 BEAM per block, which is about $60 at the time of writing. Each block is mined every 1 minute. 

Beam uses the Equihash (150,5) mining algorithm. To mine Beam, you’d need to install a GPU that has at least 4 GB in memory. Beam positions itself as an ASIC-resistant coin to ensure good decentralization. 

Is Beam mining profitable? This depends on how much you’re ready to spend on hardware, the electricity costs in your area, and more. To see if Beam mining will be profitable for you, use a mining calculator. For a guide on privacy coin Beam mining, see the official docs

Beam tokenomics 

Same as Bitcoin, Beam is an inflationary token: every several years, a halving occurs cutting the mining reward by 2. Currently, the mining reward is 40 Beam. The next halving is planned for 2025. The max supply of Beam is 262,800,000 and is supposed to be reached in 127 years. 

At the time of writing, Beam crypto price is $1.5, placing it among the top cheap privacy coins.  87M of coins are in circulation, and the market cap equals $130M. 

To pay back the Beam investors, incentivize the Core Team, and fund the Beam Foundation, additional 10 Beams are minted with every block and distributed among the listed beneficiaries. These rewards are to take place in the first 5 years of Beam’s existence.  

Why Beam? The coin’s top 9 features

  1. Ultimate anonymity combined with scalability. By merging the Mimblewible and Dandelion protocols, Beam is the first cryptocurrency to achieve two things at a time: you can’t trace the transactions in the blockchain, and the coin’s blockchain is very light which makes it highly scalable. 
  2. Auditability that doesn’t harm anonymity. If you want to grant someone permission to inspect your financials, you have tools to do so: the auditor will have a public key and you’ve got the private one. They can see your transactions but can never initiate them. And if you show your data to an auditor, that doesn’t mean anyone else will get access to it too.
  3. High speed — Beam’s block time is 1 minute, which is times faster than for many Proof of Work coins. 
  4. Atomic swaps are possible — exchange Beam for coins from the other blockchains with your peers directly, with no third party involved. Swap BTC, LTC, QTUM, DASH, ETH, WBTC, DAI, and USDT.
  5. Beam introduces anonymous Decentralized Finance — unlike the public Ethereum- or Binance-based DeFi, BeamX allows for confidential oracles, smart contracts, DEXs, dApps, lending, and more. 
  6. Easy-to-start and profitable mining — to mine Beam, you don’t need to own a huge mining plant. Entering a pool will even make it easier. And Beam is in the Top-10 most lucrative coins to mine.
  7. Focus on sustainable growth that makes Beam a good long-term player. The coin is open-source, has an ambitious roadmap, and consolidates a community of ambassadors, developers, and miners. 

Final word 

Beam is a new word in the domain of privacy coins. We know well about Monero and ZCash — and one would say, what else could be added to the anonymity in crypto? Beam answers this with enhanced scalability, built-in auditability, and several features that make it something more than just a privacy coin. 

The Beam’s team is creating the whole ecosystem where developers can build dApps and users can profit from the confidential DeFi. With the high demand for privacy in crypto, the latter may become a significant part of the cryptocurrency space. 

To try the features of Beam, feel free to get some coins on ChangeNOW Beam crypto exchange instantly without registration. Use this calculator to estimate how much you’d like to get.

To follow the Beam crypto news, follow the official Twitter of the coin.

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