It’s been over six weeks that we first published our roadmap, and we think it is an excellent time to give our community an update on how we are faring, what was done, what wasn’t and how things change.
It is well known that correctly estimating the delivery time of software development projects is a daunting task — some things go much faster than planned, others get stuck because of unexpected technical challenges, and new super-important things pop in all the time.
Let’s see what we planned to perform in January-February time frame in our Agile Atom release family:
- Payment and Exchange API — Done
We spent a lot of time improving our wallet API to accommodate the needs of exchanges. The latest Wallet API documentation is available here, and we believe it meets the requirements of exchanges and also of payment providers. An integration guide for Exchanges and Pools has also been published and is available here.
Going forward we are planning more features including ‘multi-wallet’ support — the ability to create several different wallets within a single API process and ‘read-only’ wallet support for safer reporting and wallet management.
- Mining Pool API — Done
Mining is essential for any Proof-of-Work coin. Miners are guaranteeing the security of transactions of the network. Beam node implements Stratum protocol which allows both pools and solo miners to mine Beam using either the open source mining software provided for both nVidia and AMD cards or commercial closed source miners.
The mining API guide can be found here.
- Lightning Position Paper — Done
This preliminary work made it clear to us what needs to be added to Beam to have a working Lightning tech.
As of now, we are working hard on the features that were planned for Bright Boson, and a couple of new ones.
- Beam<>BTC Atomic Swap is a complex feature, and the team is performing a lot of work on it now. We hope to have the first release in several weeks from now.
- Hardware Wallet Integration is something we are spending a lot of time on. We are currently working on integration with Trezor T device and are making good progress.
- Android Wallet is currently live on Testnet. It is stunning and easy to use. You can download it here. We expect to release the Mainnet version soon. We also made some excellent progress on the iOS side, so the iOS wallet may be ready earlier than we initially thought and be released as part of Bright Boson.
- Payment Platform Integrations — we have the API ready and are now working with partners who will use our API to make beam available as a means of payments on their platforms. We cannot share specific details as of now, but we are calling on all payment platforms that are interested in privacy technology to integrate with us.
- Lightning POC — the actual development has not started yet. The POC will be delayed to Clear Cathode release in June 2019. This means that the work on Lightning Alpha will only start after we have the POC out and do additional analysis.
As it usually happens, in addition to the features we originally planned, we came up with additional stuff that we think is very important.
The first such feature is Proof of Payment which is the first step to opt-in auditability. Mimblewimble offers excellent privacy, but complete privacy can lead to a situation where Alice transferred Bob 100 Beam, but Bob can deny that he ever received the money. To solve that, we are developing an extension to the protocol. The sender will be able to demand a cryptographic signature proving that the owner of the receiving SBBS address confirms receipt of the funds. We expect to release Proof of Payment around April. An article outlining the technical details of the implementation can be found here.
The second important feature that we are adding on top of the previously published roadmap is One Sided payments. In Mimblewimble, both the sender and the receiver need to participate in creating a transaction, which requires them to have a communication channel. At Beam, we built the SBBS that serves as an asynchronous communication channel. While the sender and the receiver do not have to be online at the same time, they still need to come online for several hours for the transaction to happen. In many cases, this can be inconvenient. We came up with a scheme to allow for transactions where only the sender side is required. In this scheme, the receiver creates and publishes its side of the transaction with “receiving” UTXOs, allowing the sender to send funds without the receiver ever coming online at all. One or more UTXOs can be published, and any amount that is a linear combination of those UTXOs can be sent(much like dollar bills and coins). While this scheme results in less anonymity than classical MW (it can be seen how many times a specific receiver got paid), but the senders’ and receivers’ identities, as well as the amounts, remain confidential. One-sided payment will be added to Clear Cathode release.
Fast Node Sync is another significant development that we will be releasing as part of Bright Boson. It allows for much faster node synchronization by replacing the macroblock based first-time sync with continuous range synchronization. The new mechanisms provide significant advantages especially for wallets running full nodes that are not always online.
We are still not 100% sure about the need for a Web wallet so that we will remove it from the roadmap for now. We would love to hear the community opinion on this one.
In terms of the Beam Compliance avenue, we are still in conceptualization and product definition stages, talking to potential partners and industry stakeholders. With every day that passes, we are getting more and more convinced that a combination of Confidentiality, Scalability and opt-in Compliance is needed everywhere people transfer value between them, be it money, tokenized securities, collectibles or anything else. And we at Beam have the capability to deliver on this need.
Our roadmap is a living document, and we will continue updating it from time to time. Some things will get delayed or abandoned; others will be introduced as we go — that is the nature of developing products in an uncertain and continuously changing environment.
The updated roadmap is below: