Beam has been launched during the 10th anniversary of the launch of Bitcoin. Beam itself is a private ‘store-of-value’ cryptocurrency and it aims to ensure that cryptocurrency transactions will become more confidential. The project begins with the live implementation of ‘Mimblewimble,’ which is a new blockchain protocol.
Mimblewimble has been established to enable cryptocurrency transactions to become more confidential than either Bitcoin or Ethereum. These established currencies have a weakness in that they are easily traceable with ‘blockchain forensics.’
The strange sounding ‘Mimblewimble’ is a reference to a spell used in the Harry Potter novels. The spell is designed to stop those who have become enchanted from revealing secrets.
Bitcoin is described as pseudonymous, in that there is the possibility for a person to deanonymize users via data leaks. In turn this allows for the subsequent mapping of the public addresses of users on the blockchain. This feature can be run for specific transactions.
Other cryptocurrencies, designed to be more secure such as Monero and ZCash also have some vulnerabilities and they are not entirely scalable. Which is where the idea for Beam comes in.
The Beam blockchain will work to maintain the distributed ledger and has the facility for the decentralized validation of any transaction. However, no actual information about sender, receiver or transaction amount can be obtained from the system.
According to Alexander Zaidelson, CEO of Beam: “Sovereignty over one’s own information is a basic human right, and applies to all aspects of life, and especially to financial transactions.”
He adds: “With Beam, we are enabling that sovereignty by building upon the foundations of Bitcoin with an incredible new technology called Mimblewimble.”
Zaidelson notes that Beam is designed with both the traditional cryptocurrency user and the potential new user in mind, appealing to those who have been too hesitant over privacy risks to enter the market.