Beam review privacy and scalability on chain

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Privacy and scalability are the main problems modern blockchain projects are suffering from. In this Beam review, their unique solution which is trying to tackle this problem.

4/5 star rating

Beam Review: Introduction

Blockchain technology has shown great promise to be the next best innovation of the technological world, since the early days of the internet. In all fairness, it has what it takes to go all the way, but to make this possible, bottlenecks such as scalability (which often affects transaction speed, network performance, and privacy) must be effectively addressed.

For the non-tech-savvy, blockchains are basically immutable blocks of records, each, with its own cryptographic hash which are all linked together by cryptography. Since blockchains are a public ledger, transactions can be viewed by all and traced all the way back to transacting parties. Privacy concerns have severely stunted the growth of this technology, as many investors and potential adopters have backed out due to the lack of anonymity.

Scalability problems have sadly depicted the industry in a bad light. Some blockchains contain a large number of blocks, which makes transactions occur at a slower rate, compared to traditional off-chain systems that can handle thousands of transactions per second. These issues have left investors and blockchain enthusiasts yearning for a means of conveniently addressing these shortcomings and thankfully, Beam brings more than just a glimmer of hope.

A ‘Beam’ of light in Crypto sphere

Blockchain project Beam of light

Beam is a cryptocurrency that offers users the benefits of total privacy, without compromising any other benefits of the blockchain. With beam, transactions aren’t recorded on the chain, thereby making it practically impossible to be viewed by others, talkless of being traced back to the receiver or the sender. How? This Beam review gives deeper insight.

How to bring privacy on the blockchain

Beam brings the much-desired anonymity and privacy on the blockchain. In fact, they are realizing this through the “Mimblewimble protocol” which will be discussed in a later section. Also, through this protocol, Beam is not only able to afford users’ privacy, but it also offers a highly scalable system. Especially, the chain has a leaner and smaller number of blocks. These blocks are usually formed by the fusion of multiple blocks (transactions) into single blocks.

For instance, instead of having blocks 1 through 20, they may be tied in pairs of twos. Furthermore, they are consequently trimming the number of blocks from 20 to 10. What this generally translates to is faster transaction speed, higher efficiency, and a more scalable system. As a result, the network doesn’t have to struggle with transactions meeting the growing demands of the blockchain.

Beam review: Features and benefits

The beam solution comes with the following features and benefits.

  • Beam ensures users are afforded privacy by employing Mimblewimble protocol for confidential transactions.
  • Beam creates a highly scalable system by merging intermediate blocks, thereby reducing block size and consequently, transaction time.
  • It makes use of “blinding” and “hiding” factors to encrypt transaction details, keeping them only between transacting parties.
  • Acts as a store of value.
  • Beam makes use of the very efficient Equihash Proof of work mining algorithm that requires much less processing power like other mining algorithms.
  • On inception, Beam will provide users a desktop wallet application which will be its UI on the platform.
  • Beam makes use of the Pedersen commitment scheme.

Mimblewimble : The underlying technology

Mimblewimble is a form of confidential transaction (transactions whose details are kept private). Furthermore, propounded to tackle issues hampering blockchain anonymity. The word itself was derived from a tongue-tying spell in a Harry Potter movie. In addition, an anonymous blockchain developer starts using this word for the first time. Later on, other community members fully adopted and accepted it as a blockchain jargon.

Beam review mimblewimble

The protocol basically revolves around the “blinding” and “hiding” factors, which entails the use of numbers known as blinding numbers to encrypt amount and other transaction details to ensure confidentiality. These numbers are generated by the receiver and they act dual purposes; as a means of encryption and as certified proof of ownership (of cryptocurrency) to the receiver on the blockchain.

Mimblewimble using commitment schemes

To attain privacy in transactions, most confidential transaction forms make use of commitment schemes and of course, Mimblewimble is no exception.

A commitment scheme is a cryptographic primitive that allows one to commit to a chosen value (or chosen statement) while keeping it hidden to others, with the ability to reveal the committed value later.

Wikepedia.org

Mimblewimble employs the Pedersen commitment scheme, whose linearity property is a major factor in its scalability feature. This protocol can cut through transactions, joining intermediate blocks in a bid to effectively reduce their number and improve system scalability.

Beam review: Use case

Blockshop is a conglomerate of Easyshop Inc., a reputable e-commerce giant that recently entered the blockchain industry. Intentionally, Blockshop accepted cryptocurrencies as an exclusive payment option. Additionally, payments were running smoothly and so far no complaints from customers. However, everything changed until customers discovered that everyone could track their purchases on-chain. Something had to be done to restore their integrity and to boost customer’s confidence in the new brand, and it had to be done real quick!.

The solution of Beam blockchain technology

Luckily, a member of Blockshop’s team heard about Beam and knew it to be a reliable solution. After the integration of Blockshop with Beam, their operation experienced a major and successful turnaround.
Users were able to make orders by using blinding numbers to hide transactions. In detail, the customers are able to pay with cryptocurrency by sending the key in a private memo field. On receiving this, the Blockshop team changes the blinding numbers to certify it’s proof of ownership. Also, they validate the user order after which they begin processing the order.

Not only is the problem of privacy tackled, but Blockshop is also able to handle 10 times more transactions per second than before. Problem solved!

BEAM Tokenomics

The BEAM token is the native currency of this decentralized privacy network. Currently, mining rewards are 40 coins per block and this will continue till 2024. After that, the mining rewards will be reduced to 25 coins per block.

BEAM numbers & details

Total amount raised for ICO5.190.000 USD
Total number of tokens262.800.000 BEAM
Emission rateNo further tokens will be created
Circulation supply50.000.000 BEAM
Token formatsnative
Nominal price1 BEAM = 0.32 USD

Where to Buy Beam token

BEAM protocol with its token BEAM is already available at several bigger cryptocurrency exchanges. Below the places to go with the highest trading volume:

ExchangeTrading pairs available
BinanceBEAM/USDT, BEAM/BTC, BEAM/ETH
HotBitBEAM/USDT, BEAM/BTC, BEAM/ETH
BitForexBEAM/USDT, BEAM/BTC, BEAM/ETH
GateIOBEAM/USDT, BEAM/BTC, BEAM/ETH

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Conclusion

Despite the massive futuristic prospects of blockchain, privacy and scalability issues are two bottlenecks capable of turning the tides. To this effect, the solution of Beam could be coming just at the right time. Meaning, improving on-chain transaction speed together with restoring users’ privacy as key ingredients.

By putting the Mimblewimble protocol to use, Beam has revolutionized the nature of blockchain and it’s operation. Also, users can now enjoy total anonymity and privacy while transacting on the blockchain. By performing these transactions anonymously without fear of being traced. Furthermore, transaction speed will also experience a vast improvement with Beam. As a result, this will lead to a more scalable system since the computational power requirements on the blockchain is ever-increasing.

While this is in no way a total assurance of the success of blockchain technology, the emergence of Beam is definitely a giant leap in the right direction.

Information and resources

WebsiteBeam position paper
TelegramMimblewimble paper

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Daniel Okorafor
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Daniel Okorafor

Passionate about modern disruptive technologies and their impact on diverse aspects of human life. He has a wealth of experience in blockchain content creation and community management. Also he has written topnotch article reviews and whitepapers for several STOs and ICOs.