Beam is a cryptocurrency that demonstrates an emphasis on privacy and anonymity with Mimblewimble implementation.
Without address information stored on the blockchain and keeping transactions private by default, Beam is meant to give control over privacy to users and scalability in it’s compact design. Having no premine or ICO, Beam is backed by a Treasury and designated a non-profit foundation to govern the protocol.
What is Beam?
Launched in early January 2019, Beam cryptocurrency is yet another representative of what a “new wave” of coins implementing Mimblewimble protocol as their main shtick. Together with the launch of its Grin which took place only a few days apart, Beam is a part of the effort to improve what its creators see as the shortcomings of the existing privacy coins such as Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC) and others:
- Stronger control over one’s privacy. The Beam’s competitors are seen as defining privacy as a model which does not make transactions private by default. In other words, users of these currencies users have to turn on privacy features if they do not want to see their transactions treated as public. With Beam, however, all transactions are treated as private by default, instead of being offered as an “option”. In words of the team behind the project, the users will be the only party capable of determining “which information will be available and to which parties, having complete control over his personal data in accordance to his will and applicable laws.”
- Privacy can be paired with the confidentiality model as an added value. The Beam introduces the concept of both confidential transactions (more on that below) and confidential assets. Its innate mechanisms support creation of multiple asset types, such as new currencies, real estate tokens, corporate debts etc., which can be subsequently exchanged with the help of the Beam platform.
- Beam will offer advanced scalability based on keeping its blockchain compact and lean. In addition to privacy, Beam aims to address the issue of scalability in order to secure the longevity of its “cryptoverse”. Transactions taking place with Beam are not supposed to create bloating of the blockchain. Its Mimblewimble protocol allows for the pruning of the old data which are considered irrelevant for the processing of the current transactions. This is supposed to reduce the computational overhead demands and improve the system’s overall scalability.
- Transactions with Beam should be both versatile in scope and easily auditable. Beam uses “Scriptless Script” technology which provides support for integrating various transaction types beyond the scope of those focused on mere transfers of value. Based on this, Beam will support escrow, atomic swaps and time-locked transactions. While the focus on privacy remains the prime directive for Beam, the system still aims to play by the rules when it comes to regulations: Beam supports the integration of unforgeable digital signatures with its wallet. Upon demand, the authorized auditors can be given permission to check the full list of transactions, together with the attached documentation relevant to them.
- Broader accessibility. The Beam team believes that technological excellence should not impair accessibility if their solution is to gain mainstream adoption over time. To this end, they designed wallets for desktops and mobile devices, whose dashboard design reflects the focus on daily use by individual and business users alike.
What Are the Components of Beam Platform?
The launch of Beam’s mainnet meant the public release of the following components:
- Desktop wallet app (with CPU miner node)
- CLI (command line interface) wallet
- Beam node
- Stand-alone OpenCL and Cuda miners
In addition to these, Beam coin (BEAM) serves as the officially designated cryptocurrency of the project.
Immediately after the release, the Beam team promised that 2019 will see its members working on additional components of the Beam ecosystem:
- Pool support
- Atomic Swap with BTC mobile wallet
- Payment platforms integration (API)
- Integrated bitcoin wallet
How do I buy cryptocurrency?
While some cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are available for purchase with U.S. dollars, others require that you pay with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
To buy cryptocurrencies, you’ll need a “wallet,” an online app that can hold your currency. Generally, you create an account on an exchange, and then you can transfer real money to buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum.
Coinbase is one popular cryptocurrency trading exchange where you can create both a wallet and buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.