Beam Delivers a Full Privacy Suite with Eager Electron 5.2 Release
Beam offers the ultimate level of privacy accompanied by opt-in auditability, delivering the best of both privacy and regulatory worlds. Once relying on a single protocol, today one can find a bunch of cool tech under the hood such as Lelantus-MW, Mimblewimble, Dandelion, decentralized atomic swaps marketplace and confidential assets, all packed with the best-in-class UX and free online customer support.
Let’s recap the amount of work done during almost 3 years, one milestone at a time.
Agile Atom: the first Mainnet
From the early days in 2018, Beam was conceptualized as a privacy coin that is very friendly to use. We crafted our own implementation of the Mimblewimble protocol where blockchain contains only UTXO, the sender and receiver wallets negotiate the transaction details off-chain and communicate directly. The wallets can either stay online or be helped by a “mailbox” service (we’ve called it SBBS) to enable the message exchange.
If a node would tell the entire network about its own transactions that would leak privacy for the sender. Dandelion helped to obfuscate the transaction’s origin, nodes send the transaction on several hops, before it is randomly broadcast to the wider network.
Beam Mainnet was successfully launched on January 3rd, 2019, on the 10th Bitcoin birthday.
Bright Boson: mobile apps
Time flew, we introduced mobile wallets that scored 4.7+ on the AppStore and PlayStore. We needed a smart way for them to sync with the blockchain after being offline for a while. It turned out that downloading a snapshot ain’t an easy task for mobile, this is where FlyClient came into the picture, preparing all the data in a single file for a mobile app to consume and get in sync fast and reliably in the background.
Also, our users were telling us that it takes too long for a wallet to sync with the blockchain. This is how FastSync was invented, reducing the nodes’ sync times by an order of magnitude.
Clear Cathode: Atomic Swaps
The next step was to enable everyone to get in and out of Beam in a confidential and decentralized way, straight from within the wallet. For this, we brought in Atomic Swaps with BTC, LTC, and QTUM. The in-wallet Atomic Swaps are complimented with a decentralized order book, by way of SBBS, the same used for addressing.
The liquidity has been bolstered with the open-source API for Atomic Swap market making. These are major steps towards a full-fledged decentralized exchange, extending the Beam wallets beyond just a friendly wallet for sending and receiving privately!
Double Doppler: foundation revisited
We laid down a lot of infrastructure for web wallets and many more things to come. From the UX perspective, we’ve introduced messages, pushed to the network, so that wallets will know about the exchange rate changes or when the new version of the wallet came out. Later on, these mechanisms will be called “oracles”.
Eager Electron: the way to DeFi
Confidential Assets issuance made possible on Beam. These share similarities with the Ethereum ERC20 tokens, but unlike ERC20s, Confidential Assets are first-class citizens (e.g. their UTXO are fairly indistinguishable from Beam UTXO on the blockchain) in the Beam suite of products.
Since Mimblewimble as a privacy layer is prone to flashlight attack, we’ve adapted LelantusMW from the Lelantus protocol by Aram Jivanyan. These Max Privacy transactions take the Beam anonymity set to a massive 64k!
Namely, if 64k UTXO belonging to different people are put into a jar, shuffled so that every one of these folks can withdraw a fresh UTXO of the same value he put in, that would render transactions on Beam practically unlikable.
Following Dandelion and Mimblewimble, Lelantus turned Beam into the best privacy coin with the sweetest UX on the market: the wallets smartly pick the coins, breaking up the first-come, first-served heuristics.
The shielded pool also allowed us to implement truly offline transactions. Making it possible for transactions to be sent without the sending and receiving wallets needing to talk.
In the coming 5.2 release, Atomic Swaps with Dash and Doge have been released.
Fierce Fermion: the future is now
Atomic Swaps with ETH and DAI are underway, expected in 5.3, with plenty more to look forward to on the horizon.
Embracing all the building blocks mentioned above, Beam launched BeamX, the pre-Тestnet experimental network for confidential DeFi. We have elaborated on BeamX, and what it brings to Beam in a recent article here. You can expect Algorithmic Stable coins, lending, Uniswap-like AMM, NFT tokens, and many other financial instruments to appear powered by the Beam blockchain.
To complement all the above numerous other innovations are also in the works, including a full-powered DEX, oracles, side-chains, wrapped assets and bridges with Ethereum and Polkadot.
Beam continues to progress far beyond just privacy, into the realm of an elegantly-syndicated suite of confidential financial applications. With much of the privacy coin mission accomplished, it is time for development pushing Beam beyond the competition, increasing the use cases and extensibility, promoting a private future with confidential DeFi.
Come discover Beam and join our community!
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