Now that the Mainnet launch is behind us, it is time to share our plans for 2019 and our overall vision.
Our work in 2019 will be focused along two main avenues: Beam Core and Beam Compliance. We are keen and excited to execute on our mission of creating a currency that supports multiple use cases and works for businesses and individuals.
Beam Core is focused on maintaining and improving the Beam currency and payments network, while Beam Compliance is the home for all things related to the opt-in compliance/auditability that will be an integral part of Beam.
In addition to Beam Core and Beam Compliance, we will also invest some resources into Project Lumini. Lumini’s goal is to create a bridge between Beam blockchain and one or more smart-contract blockchains, enable decentralized conversions of tokens into Beam Confidential Assets and allow private trading of those assets. We will be sharing the detailed roadmap later.
The roadmap below states our current intentions and our understanding of the market and technology right now. Obviously, things may (and will) change as we move forward, and so will our roadmap.
We intend to engage with the global developer community and ask for help developing parts of our grand vision.
We are welcoming feedback from the community regarding features that we may have missed, additional interesting projects, and, frankly, anything else.
Our goal for 2019 is to create a vibrant ecosystem around Beam currency, offer better usability, increase adoption, and integrate Beam into global crypto payment infrastructures.
We divided the upcoming work on Beam Core into five major blocks, each named using Physics-related terminology.
Each block will comprise several software releases, not necessarily one major software upgrade.
Agile Atom release focuses on completing the ecosystem APIs and documentation, and we expect it to be finished in February.
We have also started researching the possibility of integrating Lightning — a second-layer scalability solution for much faster transaction processing. As PoW blockchain, Beam is inherently slow. We estimate current throughput at 17 transactions per second (TPS), and with Lightning, it is possible to reach tens of thousands TPS. Based on the research that is currently underway, we will be releasing a Lightning Position paper and seek community involvement into our work.
Beam BB release should be finished by end of March 2019 and will contain the following scope:
Atomic Swaps with Bitcoin
- Users will be able to perform atomic swaps — BTC<>BEAM and BEAM<>BTC — without the need for a third party
Hardware Wallet Integration
- Mimblewimble works very differently from the other cryptocurrency protocols, and creating a hardware wallet will require some non-trivial work. We plan to release hardware wallet support as part of Bright Boson
- Over 80% of mobile phones run Android. Our Mobile Wallet will be released for Beta testing in February and will be ready for use before the end of March
- A Proof-of-Concept implementation showing opening and closing Lightning channels on Beam testnet will be demonstrated
Payment Platforms Integration
- We will work to integrate Beam with BTCPay and possibly other services so that merchants can easily accept payments in Beam
Some mockups of Beam Wallets planned for this release are shown below:
Clear Cathode is scheduled for Q2 of 2019. It will be a special release because it will include a planned hard fork and a change of the mining algorithm.
Here’s the scope of CC release:
- After addressing Android, it only makes sense to release an iOS Wallet.
- Introducing multisignature support will add additional security to Beam wallets, allow escrow services and more
Distributed order list/bulletin board for Beam <> BTC Atomic Swaps, right in the wallet
- A built-in board for users to generate buy and sell orders and find counterparties for their atomic swap trades.
Alpha version of Lightning on Mainnet
- First payment channels created on Beam Mainnet using Lightning
The DD release will be developed in Q3 of 2019. The scope of Double Doppler includes the following:
Research of alternative consensus
- We will research new consensus mechanism to possibly supplant Nakamoto consensus. GhostDAG is one of the very promising alternatives
- To increase adoption and let people run Beam node and wallet on more platforms, such as Rust
Enhanced Wallet Security
- Two-factor authentication
- View-only, receive-only and limited usage wallets
Beta-version of Lightning on Mainnet
EE is planned to be the last release of 2019 for Beam. It will contain the following major features:
Second change of PoW algorithm
- That will be the last PoW change for Beam
- To improve privacy, we plan to make it possible to run Beam nodes and wallets on Tor and I2P networks
- Boneh-Lynn-Schaham (BLS) signatures are more compact than Schnorr and allow for simple multisig implementation
Alternative consensus PoC
- We will create a proof-of-concept implementation of the alternative consensus based on research done in EE
Lightning on Mainnet
The goal of the Beam Compliance project is to make Beam currency usable for businesses who want to be compliant and to report their transactions to auditors, authorities, or whoever else they may need to report them to.
Beam Compliance will allow businesses to keep their transactions fully confidential, but still have a way to leave a rich trail of information on the blockchain, with the option to selectively and securely disclose it. This will allow businesses to achieve full sovereignty not only of the funds themselves but also the information about them.
The Compliance suite will be a complex piece of software incorporating various use cases, integrated with 3rd party services and conforming to country-specific regulations.
In order to build it, we will be working with Design Partners from both the traditional financial world and from the Crypto universe.
We will start 2019 by choosing the right design partners and starting to work with them on setting the scope, understanding the initial use cases, learning the regulatory landscape and defining the go-to-market strategy.
By the end of Q1, we expect to define the scope of the first release, select the initial target regulations, and the rollout plan.
In Q2, we expect to release a POC of the Compliant Wallet and start showing it to pre-alpha customers. Based on the feedback, we will create and release the Alpha version of our Compliant Wallet and Alpha version of the Regulator interface by the end of Q3. We will also start approaching the regulators around this time.
In Q4, we will release the “Alpha 2” versions of the Compliant Wallet and the Auditor interface. We will also start customer trials in order to be ready to go live in 2020.
In addition to continuing the development of Beam along the avenues discussed previously, we will also be working to enhance the project’s governance mechanism. Our ultimate goal is to have the global community run Beam.
Our goal for 2019 is to establish the Beam Sovereign Money Foundation, define its governance, and attract prominent and respected industry figures onto the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
We have already started the process of establishing the Beam Sovereign Money Foundation in Switzerland. This process will take several months, and in the end, we will have a non-profit organization with the goal of improving Beam Protocol, promoting research, increasing awareness, and pushing the overall privacy and financial sovereignty agenda.
When we have more visibility into the Foundation launch time frame, we will share more information about the Foundation governance, and also issue a call for candidates to submit their applications for the Foundation Board. It is important to us that the Foundation is not controlled by the original Beam team, but rather by people who are well-respected by the community and who have the community’s best interest at heart.
Beam has a big vision and big plans.
We will continue sharing updates on our progress, and seek comments and constructive criticism on one hand, and global community engagement on the other hand.
We would like to thank the community for the interest and support thus far, and we will continue working harder than ever to maintain it.
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