BEAM Privacy
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BEAM Privacy

Beam: Incorporating Our Universal Right to Privacy into Blockchain

The Evolution of Privacy

As humans, privacy is essential to our general well-being, sense of safety, and personal identity protection. The United Nations designates the “right to privacy” as a universal human right in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948, Article 12.

In the past, the word “privacy” would be discussed in conversations related to illegal spying or state interferences. In today’s modern digital society, the context for “privacy” has shifted toward safeguarding “personal data” from corporate exploitations and data pirates. According to EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), “personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (name, identification number, location data, data relating to economic, cultural, or social identity of that natural person)”

As human lives become increasingly digitized, more and more users’ personal data is stored online. Adversaries like “data-intensive technologies, such as artificial intelligence applications are increasingly able to track, analyze, predict and even manipulate people’s behavior to an unprecedented degree.

According to the UN’s Office of High Commissioner (OHCHR), “these technological developments carry very significant risks for human dignity, autonomy and privacy and the exercise of human rights in general if applied without effective safeguards.”

Personal Data Regulation & Recent Data Leaks

Despite laws such as GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) offering users extensive protection, data hacks & breaches remain prevalent. In 2018, Marriott International suffered a data breach leaking personal information of up to 500 million guests. Many of the records included extremely sensitive information such as credit card and passport numbers. The most notorious data breach perhaps is the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal harvesting data of over 87 million users to generate US voter profiles using artificial intelligence. The data custodian, Facebook, was fined USD 5 Billion, the target of a viral boycotting campaign, and congressional hearing for its negligence in handling user data.

Blockchain as a Disruptive Force

At its best, the digital revolution will empower, connect, inform and save lives. At its worst, it will disempower, disconnect, misinform and cost lives.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner For Human Rights

Since its inception, blockchain has taken the world by storm promising to disrupt fields such as finance, healthcare, real estate, and even insurance. So far, this potential has been realized mostly in disrupting traditional financial institutions such as banks and exchanges.

One small example of how blockchain disrupts a bank’s main service “lending & borrowing” is through decentralized finance (DeFi). Smart Contract technology enables users to deposit money, earn interest & even borrow a loan by clicking a few buttons, zero paperwork, and NO KYC! In fact, proprietary technology drives costs down so significantly that it allows users to get rates far more competitive than traditional banks.

However, Blockchain is still a relatively new concept when it comes to data recording, coming into existence 13 years ago with Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper. Blockchain enables a decentralized public ledger with a list of all transactions that have ever taken place on the network. This data is available publicly forever, accessible to users and the above-mentioned “data-intensive technologies”.

As of writing, the two biggest blockchain networks are Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with a combined have a market cap of USD 890 Billion & over 650 million transactions in a history that spans less than 12 years. All of these transactions’ metadata such as sender & receiver wallet addresses, transaction time, token type, amount, etc. are stored permanently on the blockchain.

If you have ever transacted with the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchain, you’ve left a marker on the blockchain that can be traced back to you forever. Forever. If your transaction was completed on a centralized exchange (like Binance) and you completed KYC, it is very likely your wallet may be marked and labeled. If the exchange (Binance) gets hacked, adversaries may be able to access your personal and financial information.

While blockchain technology is certainly the driving force behind the new wave fintech revolution, time and increasing adoption have highlighted blockchain’s dual-edged sword: data permanence & pseudo-anonymity. Currently, blockchain’s issues also do not scale well with extremely data-sensitive fields such as healthcare or insurance.

Beam: Incorporating our Right to Privacy in Blockchain Technology

Beam is built by strong advocates of privacy that also believe in the technological wonder that is blockchain. The Beam Team has developed & implemented several privacy protocols such as Mimblewimble, Lelantus-MW & Dandelion to create a DeFi enabled private-by-default blockchain.

The Beam blockchain doesn’t store any user transaction or wallet metadata. Adversaries that track user’s wallets and transactions have access to zero user data. BeamX is the smart contracts layer built on top of the Beam blockchain that enables a truly confidential DeFi ecosystem.

Not all users and blockchains developers will diverge towards a privacy-first blockchain ecosystem like Beam. The industry is still in the exploration or the technological phase and many new technologies are emerging every day. The Beam Team is developing bridges to create interoperability between some of the leading blockchains such as Ethereum (ETH) & Binance Smart Chain (BSC) planning to allow users to bridge funds and transform them into confidential assets.

At Beam, we build upon the technical marvel that is blockchain, by integrating our universal “right to privacy” into Beam’s private-by-default blockchain. Beam also solves Bitcoin’s blabber problem enabling complete confidentiality for Beamers. In the future, when blockchain mania shifts out from fintech and into other fields, we envision Beam to be the de facto privacy-enabled blockchain.

Curious to know how Beam uses a variety of privacy protocols to make blockchain data confidential & private? Read more here about how protocols such as Dandelion and Mimblewimble work

Come discover Beam and join the community!

Download Beam Desktop Wallet here

Download Beam iOS Wallet on App Store

Download Beam Android Wallet on Google Play

Learn more about Beam on our website and blog


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Danai Raza

Danai Raza

Finance Graduate from Mahidol University International College 2020. DeFi Degenerate. Writing about blockchain, crypto, DeFi and privacy coins.

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