Beam — Cryptoverse AMA
17th Nov 2019
Guest: Alexander Zaidelson — CEO
Alex Romanov — CMO
Q:What makes Beam special and better than other projects. What innovative features Beam have which make it ahead of other Privacy Related Project likes Monero, ZCash ?
A:Good question.So, Beam is based on Mimblewimble protocol — the first protocol out there that combines privacy and compact blockchain.
So, back to Mimblewimble. The innovation of the protocol is that it hides sender, receiver and amounts, and does not bloat the blockchain.
Monero is based on Bitcoin architecture, and uses Ring Confidential Transactions and Stealth addresses for privacy.Blockchain size per transaction: five times bigger than BTC.
Zcash uses zkSNARKs to “clean” the coins.
zkSNARKs is an amazing technology, but super hard to understand. It’s even called “moon math” by some people. That means, that it is very hard to find bugs in Zcash, and very few people in the world understand the code.
Because it was (and still is) resource-intensive to do hidden transactions on Zcash, only below 5% transactions are actually private.Still, the blockchain size per transaction is 9 times larger than on BTC.
So, Beam vs. Monero: Better privacy, smaller blockchain.
Beam vs. Zcash: 100% transactions are private vs. only 5%, smaller blockchain, standard cryptography that is easy to test.
And, compared to both, we believe Beam has much better usability — just compare Zcash stock wallet with ours
Q: Do you have on mark of roadmap witth Double Doppler? what status now on Lelantus Testnet + One-sided Payments?
A:We are currently finishing testing the Double Dopple. Testnet version was released last week and we are ironing out the last few issues.I hope it will be released by the end of November.
Lelantus was implemented in the node and is now waiting for the integration into the CLI wallet.
I really hope to release a testnet version by New Year.
Rolling out the production version of Lelantus will require a fork and we have still not decided whether it will be included in the scheduled fork at the end of March.
Lelantus will include one side payments as well
Q:Hi Alexander & Beni, i want to ask, why you must separated between Beam Miner & Beam Validator? And in Layman’s Term what’s make Mimblewimble so special compare to Dr. Maxwell’s CoinJoin version?
A:Our separation between Miner and Validator is basically the same as in Bitcoin or others — nothing special here.
All the nodes validate all the transaction, and miners try to find solution to the cryptographic puzzle (Beam Hash II) to get the reward
As to Coinjoin — one can say that the concept is used in Mimblewimble
The idea of coinjoin is to unite multiple inputs and multiple outputs into one logical unit — one large transaction
Every block in Mimblewimble can actually be regarded as one large Coinjoin transaction — there are multiple inputs and multiple outputs
The difference between BTC and Mimblewimble though is that there is no way to see the amounts in each input and output, and who they belong to
I should also note that in Beam we also use Dandelion — network privacy protocol that starts joining transactions even before they reach a block, and multiple transactions are joined together before they are broadcast to the network — also a coinjoin
Q:Why mumble wimble is better than dandelion?’
A:These are two different protocols. MW hides the transactions themselves. And Dandelion is used to obfuscate network traffic.
Beam uses Dandelion together with Mimblewimble. So, none is better, they can work together or separately.
It’s like asking whether Bitcoin is better than Tor
Q:Why did beam have to do HARDFORK and what’s the advantage
Explain more about LASER BEAM — Layer 2 solution for fast payment channels on top of Beam.
A:Hardfork is done to evade the ASICS for a year or so.
Laser beam allows to create direct payment channels between two wallets. It was demoed, but not yet integrated into the mainnet version
At launch, we wanted to make sure that in the first 18 months there are no ASICs. So right at the start we announced two hard forks that would change the mining algorithm. The first was done in August, another one will happen in 2020.
Laser Beam is the Beam equivalent of Lightning Payment Channels — an ability to open a channel between two wallets and quickly transfer funds off-chain
Q:Beam Coin (BEAM) and Grin coin (GRIN) both use the Mimblewimble protocol. So what are the differences and advantages of Beam Coin? Does Beam consider GRIN a competitor?
A:Despite the fact that both projects use MW, there are many differences including the coin schedules and implementation details. Also being funded project Beam moves faster and focuses on usability in addition to the confidentiality.
Q:Can you explain more about how the “Cut-through” feature and the “Cut-through” feature in Mimblewimble play a role in maintaining the level of security?
A:Cut-thru is more of a scalability feature rather than security. The idea of cut-thru is that you always compact the blockchain history and you do not store the intermediate states. For example, if Alice sends a UTXO to Bob, then Bob sends same to Carol, we do not store the fact that the UTXO ever belonged to Bob. All the intermediate states are actually cut. Because of that, the blockchain is small.
Q:Can you provide details on Confidential assets? Specifically on the level of privacy customization these assets will have at the protocol level because some usecases might need some data (not personal) to be public (e.g. auditability)
A:Great question. Confidential Assets are completely private but allow adding information on top of transactions to allow for auditability and additional smart features. Ultimately, both the tx values and even the type of the asset traded will be confidential.
Q:In the current cryptocurrency ecosystem with all the advances made in the field, why do you think BEAM stands out from the rest of the pack?
A:1. Mimblewimble protocol for great privacy
2. Great usability
3. Big vision of combining privacy and opt-in compliance
Q:Beam — no ICO project, how were you able to secure funding to achieve all the success you achieved and you are in the Double Doppler stage, explain more about Multisig Support and Lelantus Testnet?
A: Beam uses a Treasury model (similar to Zcash Founder’s reward). 20% of all the coins mined in first 5 years go to Investors, Team and part is reserved for Beam Foundation for future development.
Multisig support is what it says — ability to have multisig on a wallet. Lelantus — MW is a great privacy protocol we adapted from Lelantus developed by Zcoin. Lelantus-MW will further improve the privacy on Beam and allow to fully break UTXO linkability.
Q:Can you tell us the motivation and benefits for investors to Beam token long term?
A:Privacy will become more and more important. Privacy coins will become used more and more popular. Beam is developing at a very quick pace and will be in position to serve all the people who are interested in privacy. NOT an investment advice — do your own research
Q:Please explain more about the UTILITY OF Beam,the real life use case and application?
A:Real life use cases — both payments and store of value — you want all your financial to be confidential. Today, Beam can be used for paying for privacy-oriented services, especially VPNs and similar. See here: https://medium.com/beam-mw/mimblewimble-beam-accepted-here-51d421c6a15f
Q: You will agree with me that adoption and UTILITY is very key to project survival, what’s being done to drive global adoption of BEAM AMIDST CRYPTO REGULATIONS AND LEGISLATION?
WHAT’S MAJOR MILESTONES DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE BY END OF THIS YEAR AND WHAT SETBACKS DID YOU ENCOUNTER DURING LAUNCH AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
A:As a privacy coin, we are driving forward the value and awareness of privacy on the blockchain. We explain to people that without privacy, all their operations on blockchain are visible to everyone, make it really impossible to run a business really do payments on large scale.. More and more people understand that.
Our major milestones include successful launch and adoption of Atomic Swaps and good progress with Lelantus and Confidential Assets.
As to setbacks during the launch — in the first month we had two technical issues, one vulnerability in the wallet, and another one when the blockchain stopped. We solved both, and we demonstrated very good crisis management capabilities. Thankfully, no serious issues happened since.
Q:Can you tell us something about your Vision and target that Beam is focusing most until end of this year?
A:The end of the year is pretty close, so…
Our target is to release the Atomic Swaps on Mainnet, make progress with Lelantus and Confidential Assets, and also enable the Beam Foundation
Q:Everybody asking about the pros regarding the beam coin but what are the cons
A:So, one con is that we are a young project. We were born during the crypto winter. So, we have to fight an uphill battle for awareness at the time where not many people are coming into crypto. But it will definitely change in the future.
Technology-wise, there is an issue in MW that to make a transaction both sender and receiver must sign it. Our wallets hide all the complexity of establishing the communication between wallets, but they still must be online during a 12-hour window in order for a transaction to succeed.
As we progress with Lelantus-MW, we will be able to enable truly one-sided transactions, where the receiver does not need to participate in creating the transaction
Q:BEAM is a privacy coin right? so what is the biggest problem of Privacy coin that you see?
A:Literacy if you ask me. People don’t understand in a postive way why they need privacy in general and financial privacy in particular. We understand the privacy paradigm as a human right. But, we do believe that without financial privacy, no business will be able to adop crypto upon Fiat. No business will renounce on its privacy.
Q:How does BEAM align product development, features and raise values together? What priorities will take precedence?
A:Our ethos is mostly around engineering, technology and open conversation with the community. So we prioritize development and shipping of features, and we have proven that our enginering team is one of the best in the industry
Q:There are many risks affecting a project, especially cryptocurrency projects. What are the risks affecting BEAM currently? In the long run, which method do you use to manage and minimize the negative impact of risks?
A:There are multiple risks — technology, regulation, adoption. Some of those risks are shared by many crypto projects, some are unique to Beam. Regulatory pressure may specifically be a risk to privacy coins, but I have two answers to this:
1. If regulators start to attack privacy coins, it may actually have an opposite effect and people will only want to get more of the privacy coins
2. That said, our opt-in compliance will offer people a choice — either to keep all their info private, or to share it with a regulator in a secure way
Q:What has so far been the most fulfilling experience ever since starting BEAM?
I am asking this because after having seen most of your interviews, I could really see the passion for the project.
A:I think the most fulfilling experiences were to see the project actually launch and to see how software becomes real and how people begin to assign real monetary value to our work
Another great thing is talking to the community, like we are just now, and see that we are doing something that people really care about. That is really priceless and amazing.
Q:Does BEAM have any investment support fund? Why is BEAM an anonymous currency? For what reason was the Mimblewimble protocol selected by BEAM?
A:1. Yes, Beam has a Treasury that Beam Foundation will use to continue supporting tehe project
2. Beam is called anonymous currency because if you look at the blockchain, you cannot learn who sent money to how and how much. On BTC, ETH and others you can — there is no privacy there and it is a problem. Beam solves it
3. Mimblewimble was selected because it is actually one of the best privacy protocols out there.
Q:Beam team especially attaches great importance to wallet application. In this sense, do you believe that you provide the desired features in your application? How will users give feedback on the detection of crash errors and similar errors? Will the fingerprint feature be actively used for security?
A:That’s true — usability is super important. We do believe we provide the necessary features, but we are trying to listen to our users all the time. Here’s a report on a survey we made:
We h👂 You!
Beam wallet started as a naive product. What could be simpler than sending and receiving the money while maintaining an…
Users can give feedback in our community or in our dedicated Suport channel on Telegram (https://t.me/BeamSupport).
Fingerprint and also FaceID is already actively used in Android and iOS wallets
Q:All current projects are concerned with the speed and quantity of transactions. Old projects have also improved their network. So what else does Beam need to bring to investors? Of Beam tokens and what potential future updates excite you to share with us?
A:1. Beam has demonstrated that we have more transactions per day than other privacy coins.
2. We need to push forward the notion of financial privacy. When people are using non-private coins, they are exposing their holdings to everyone. Only with privacy coins you can be sure that nobody is looking at your money and transactions
3. Our future updates are super exciting: Atomic Swaps with BTC very soon (means you can buy and sell Beam for BTC confidentially and without any 3rd party), Confidential Assets (meaning you can bring DAI and other ERC20 tokens to Beam and trade confidentially), then DeFi Smart Contracts (meaning fully confidential DeFi ecosystem). So, there is a lot!
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