In conversation with Team Beam...
Privacy coin Beam is preparing to undergo its second hardfork this week. This fork is being conducted as a consensus change and upgrade, and begins a foray into the rapidly-growing DeFi space - with one twist in the tale; another step in the continued evolution of Beam’s privacy fortress.
This upgrade will take place at block height 777,777. New nodes and wallets to support the fork have already been released, whilst mining pools and exchanges have updated in anticipation of the Beam network evolution, which in this case has been named Eager Electron 5.0.
How Beam delivers privacy
Since launch, Beam has delivered exceptional privacy by default, utilising the scalability of Mimblewimble’s confidential transactions, Dandelion++ for network-level privacy, and indistinguishable decoy outputs for transaction graph obfuscation. The latest upgrade brings with it a huge addition to Beam’s already stellar privacy: Breaking linkability. This feature comes via Lelantus-MW, massively increases the anonymity set, and makes reconstruction of the transaction graph essentially impossible. Lelantus-MW also helps bring non-interactive transactions to the Beam blockchain.
As you may know, DeFi is short for Decentralised Finance, software that can be pieced together, enabling financial applications on the blockchain infrastructure. Confidential DeFi adds the all-important ingredient of privacy to the mix. So what is Beam going to bring?
Confidential Assets and Scriptless Contracts
Confidential Assets (CA) are independent tokens on the Beam network. CAs can be issued by anyone by locking 3,000 Beams and they enable a variety of different use cases: Confidential Synthetics (commodities like gold, stable coins, and digital assets such as shares, stocks, and bonds, etc.), Confidential Wrapped Assets (BTC, ETH, etc.), and Community Coins/Tokens. The CAs, being first-class citizens of the ecosystem, will benefit from the same incredible usability, privacy and scalability that we see with Beam. Beam CA will also inherit the ability to unlink the transaction history, send using non-interactive transactions, and create Laser Beam payment channels for instant transactions. This will all be seamlessly integrated into the wallet, keeping the same usability we have come to love.
The Beam DEX will expand on the already available Atomic Swaps, which will come out of beta. CAs will be immediately swappable with Beam, BTC, LTC and QTUM. Users will benefit from a wider range of order types and trade execution, with greater order matching capabilities. An Atomic Swap API has been developed for traders, market makers, and asset issuers to ensure liquidity.
Further functionality comes with what Beam calls Scriptless Contracts. These will offer a collection of cryptographic contracts built into the Beam nodes, in turn supporting business and application logic for both Beam and Confidential Assets. Scriptless Contracts are the cornerstones of financial applications yet to come on the Beam blockchain.
A plethora of opportunities for integration with 3rd party wallets and platforms will come with the Beam Web wallet and Beam Wallet Chrome extension, which is soon to be released on Testnet.
To add to all of the above, an Opt-in Auditability feature (a.k.a. Beam Audit), is developed for compliant users and businesses (which is entirely optional) to provide the ability to comply with relevant regulations, report their wallet activity and holdings to any 3rd party who received a special audit key generated from the Beam Wallet. The team highlighted that it will only be possible to audit the wallet from the time the audit key is created onwards. The team mentioned they had conducted talks with a number of accounting firms, collecting valuable feedback that has influenced the development and direction the Beam Audit product is taking.
Finally, more advanced building blocks such as sidechains and bridges are planned to forge Beam as a full-fledged confidential DeFi ecosystem.
“The upcoming fork brings us some incredible upgrades that are greatly anticipated by the community, taking Beam from a privacy coin to an all-encompassing confidential DeFi ecosystem,” said Beam Community lead Gus Sullivan.
Leading with 18 releases in 2020 alone and growing, Beam’s vision, execution speed, and strong community are bound to see them lead the way in the Confidential DeFi realm.