Beam is a privacy coin that aims to explore confidential DeFi. It utilizes the Mimblewimble protocol which conceals the values and metadata of transactions, while reducing blockchain bloating and improving scalability. With the latest implementation of LelantusMW it aims to bring privacy and anonymity in all fronts.
Beam's mission is to let users have complete control over their money. The team is building a new blockchain to provide confidential, decentralized and usable store of value and medium of exchange, as well as a strong self-governed community to further develop and support it.
Beam is based on MimbleWimble, a protocol that allows full confidentiality of blockchain transactions without compromising scalability. Similar to Bitcoin, the MimbleWimble blockchain is based on the Unspent Transaction Ourput ("UTXO") model. However, in MimbleWimble there are no addresses, and UTXO values are encrypted by the "blinding factors". Blinding factors are private keys which are only known to the UTXO owner. It is not possible for an observer to deduce any information on ownership or value of a Beam UTXO.
Each user holds keys to their UTXOs
Source: Beam Management Team.
To create a transaction, the sender and the receiver wallets need to first establish communication. Once the communication is established, the sender provides the transaction inputs, and both sender and receiver create their respective outputs with range proofs attesting that the values are non-negative. Both parties sign the transaction and then it is sent out to the nodes.
Source: Beam Management Team.
Beam is built on the Mimblewimble protocol, whuch that achieves confidentiality while significantly improving blockchain scalability. However, in Mimblewimble there are no addresses, and transactions need to be built interactively by the participating parties. That poses a challenge: if Alice wants to send money to Bob, both of their wallets have to connect and perform necessary actions. Creating a direct socket connection every time is impractical while most users depend on Network Address Translations (NATs). Beam’s Secure Bulletin Board (SBBS) system solves this problem and makes the user experience similar to that of Bitcoin and other existing cryptocurrencies.
Source: Beam Medium Artile
The nodes verify that the sum of inputs and outputs is exactly zero and that the range proofs and signatures are correct. The inputs are then removed from the current UTXO set, and the outputs are saved.
To improve scalability, the MimbleWimble protocol utilizes the Transaction Cut-Through mechanism. For Beam, the intermediate states of the blockchain are not saved. The blockchain only holds the current state of the UTXO set, and thus does not have to grow linearly with the number of transactions.
As an additional privacy mechanism, Beam implements Dandelion. With Dandelion, transactions are not broadcasted to all nodes immediately. Instead, each transaction is passed through several nodes before being broadcasted to the whole network. At each step of the stem phase, the transaction is merged with other transactions arriving at the same nodes, with the addition of special decoy outputs for better obfuscation.
Source: Beam Management Team.
With the Breaking Linkability feature at heart of Lelantus-MW, it is designed to provide maximum privacy when transacting Beam. An extra layer of protection is added to Beam’s already default privacy and allows users to unlink any potential connections between their transactions, further protecting users' privacy against attackers.
Breaking Linkability is already active on the Beam CLI wallet and in the future ill be introduced to the GUI wallets Lelantus-MW, which brings an anonymity set of 64,000.
Offline transactions are not a given on any Mimblewimble implementation as by nature this protocol is interactive. Offline transactions are enabled through the Lelantus MW protocol implemented on Beam on the 5.1 wallet version.
For consensus, Beam uses Beam Hash, a Proof-of-Work algorithm based on Equihash.
When Beam launched on Jan 3, 2019, it was announced that Beam will perform two hard forks. The rationale was to signal to ASIC developers that there is no point to start developing ASICs until the second hard fork is out. Beam timed the first fork roughly 6 months from launch, and the second one in mid 2020. The 10-month timeframe is chosen considering how long it usually takes to develop a new ASIC chip.
BeamHash III is an improvement to the Beam mining network and is it better for GPU mining and GPU miners, as memory-consuming operations in the design of BeamHash III allow better use of the fuller capabilities of a GPU card. The stronger algorithm binding of the new scheme utilized in BeamHash III aims to make "unknown optimisations" potentially used for secret mining more unlikely.
|Private Sale 1 Allocation||2.40% of the total token supply|
|Private Sale 1 Price||$0.32|
|Private Sale 1 Date||May to June 2018|
|Amount Raised in Private Sale 1||$2.02MM|
|Private Sale 2 Allocation||1.20% of the total token supply|
|Private Sale 2 Price||$0.64|
|Private Sale 2 Date||July to September 2018|
|Amount Raised in Private Sale 2||$2.02MM|
|Private Sale 3 Allocation||0.55% of the total token supply|
|Private Sale 3 Price||$0.80|
|Private Sale 3 Date||October to December 2018|
|Amount Raised in Private Sale 3||$1.15MM|
|Circ. Supply||49,775,040 (19.94%)|
The token distribution was as follows:
BEAM is designed to be a deflationary coin with capped supply, halving every four years, and stopping emission altogether after 133 years.
BEAM emission schedule is largely inspired by Bitcoin's. The main differences are that there are 10 times more blocks and that BEAM's first-year emission is 100 BEAM coins per block. The first halving occurs after 1 year, and then halvings occur every 4 years, 33 times in total.
The emission is of BEAM is denominated in Groth, the smallest unit of BEAM. One BEAM contains 100,000,000 Groth.
In the first 5 years, BEAM emission is split between Mining Rewards and the Token Treasury:
The emission curve of BEAM is shown below, which can also be found in this article:
Beam Foundation was set up during late 2019, and uses the funds allocated to it in Beam Treasury to support the development of the Beam protocol and to promote the wider privacy-related agenda.
The private keys to the Team and Foundation wallets are held in secured vaults with 24/7 security. Opening the vault requires physical keys from two of Beam's core team members.
For the most updated Beam roadmap, see here.
|PLANNED DATE||MILESTONE||ACTUAL DATE||TIMING||COMMENTS|
|Sep 2018||Public Testnet||Oct 2018||Late||Public testnet was ready by end of September, but the team decided to conduct 2 more weeks of testing before announcement. Medium|
|Dec 2018||Mainnet Launch||Jan 2019||Late||The team decided to launch Mainnet on January to commemorate Bitcoin's 10th anniversary. Medium|
|Feb 2019||Agile Atom 1.2 Release||Feb 2019||On time||Medium|
|Feb 2019||Release of Lightning Position Paper||Feb 2019||On time||Lightning Position Paper|
|2019: Q2||Payment Platforms Integration||2019: Q2||On time||Blog|
|2019: Q2||Fast Node Sync||2019: Q2||On time||Medium , Github|
|2019: Q2||Implementation of Payment Confirmation||2019: Q2||On time||Payment Confirmation is a message signed by the receiver of a transaction and kept by the sender. It can be used to prove to any third party that the receiver has received the payment. Medium Github|
|2019: Q2||Hardware Wallet Integration||Delayed to Q3||Late||Delayed due to complexities related to development of the hardware wallet.|
|2019: Q3||Clear Cathode 3.0 Release||2019: Q3||On time||Beam released wallet update for the hard fork. Medium|
|2019: Q4||Release of Atomic Swaps Marketplace||2019: Q4||On time||Medium|
Beam has a combination of public and private repositories.
Beam's community growth strategy is structured around 4 community groups: ambassadors, developers, miners, and privacy-tech advocates.
To foster the growth of its community, the team relies on multiple elements: