Mimblewimble is a blockchain protocol that combines several innovative technologies in order to radically modify the way Bitcoin transactions are built in addition to reducing the size of the blockchain. MimbleWimble gives great importance to two big factors, privacy and scalability.
Privacy features: Is it safe?
MimbleWimble relies on the properties of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) to structure transactions based on the verification of zero sums and the possession of private keys.
For a transaction to be verified in MimbleWimble, the sum of the results of the transaction minus the sum of the entries must be equal to 0. Therefore, confidential transactions are used that demonstrate that a double expense or the creation of new funds does not they have occurred with a transaction while simultaneously confusing the actual amounts in the transaction. MimbleWimble takes the idea of Confidential Transactions (CTs) from Greg Maxwell.
There are no addresses in MimbleWimble, communication takes place between the wallets themselves. When communicating, the transaction data is exchanged, the recipient creates and sends an address to the sender. Only those involved have access to data that cannot be used by third parties. For this communication to occur, it is not necessary for participants to be online simultaneously.
The blocks that are added to the blockchain contain a single transaction with mixed inputs and outputs. That is, it does not list the transactions individually in each block. Therefore, the blocks do not provide specific information for each particular transaction.
In short, nodes can verify transactions without showing the values involved. There are no addresses or data that can be used to obtain information about transactions.
Another factor that MimbleWimble has focused on is better scalability. This is superior to other more complicated solutions and increases the capacity of chain performance. The technique used by MimbleWimble is to improve the efficiency of the blockchain by eliminating old and unnecessary transactions.
For this, the protocol eliminates the entries spent on the blockchain over time by aggregating intermediate transactions so that the size of the blockchain is drastically reduced. The protocol uses a method called direct cutting.
MimbleWimble transactions consist of the following components:
- Set of inputs that reference and spend a set of previous outputs.
- A set of new exits.
- Kernel transaction that contains an excess of kernel and the signature of the transaction.
In each block, the cut transactions are represented by their transaction core, and all the outputs look the same. They are large numbers impossible to differentiate, so knowing what input relates to which output becomes an impossible task. And still, transactions can be validated within a block.
The scalability of the MimbleWimble network allows users to quickly synchronize to it. It is important to note that the entire state of the chain can be validated similarly to a complete node, even if no user retains most of the historical data in the blockchain.
In 2016, someone using the pseudonym “Tom Elvis Jedusor” (the real name of the evil wizard of Voldemort in the French novels of Harry Potter) published a white paper on a Bitcoin research chat channel. This document described the proposal called “Mimblewimble” (which is the same name used for a Harry Potter spell). Mimblewimble represents a radical thinning of the Bitcoin protocol.
BEAM was launched in January of this year, becoming the first implementation of Mimblewimble. A few weeks later the launch of Grin took place.
Its protocol is written in C ++ language and has added some additional features to those originally proposed by Mimblewimble.
Although the BEAM project was launched before the Grin, its development began later, and in March it adapted a more structured business approach. BEAM’s approach is to provide a private store of value that can be used by everyone easily and that encourages you to start. It aims to change the way payments are made by eliminating monopolies.
Like the vast majority, BEAM also arises with the intention of improving limitations or failures of other cryptocurrencies. In particular, it seeks to overcome the deficiencies of currencies that claim to be “privacy-focused cryptocurrencies” such as Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC) among others.
- Total privacy: BEAM by default treats all transactions as private. The participants of each transaction will be the only ones who will be able to establish the information that will be available and for whom, always maintaining complete control over their personal data always according to their will and the applicable laws.
- Confidentiality in transactions: In addition to confidential transactions, BEAM allows the creation of multiple types of assets also confidentially, such as new currencies, real estate tokens, corporate debts, among others, which can also be exchanged on the same platform.
- Advanced scalability: To maintain the durability of the project also addresses the problem of scalability. BEAM allows deleting old data that is considered irrelevant to the operation of the blockchain and to process current transactions. This process supposedly reduces computing overhead demands and improves system scalability.
- Transaction style: “Scriptless Script” is the technology used by BEAM, which supports it to integrate different types of transactions. Beyond simple value transactions, BEAM will accept atomic exchanges, security deposit and time-locked transactions.
- Accessibility: The BEAM team ensures that the advancement of technology should not interfere with the access and path to the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. Therefore, their wallets have been designed with a daily use approach for individual users and merchants for both desktop devices and smartphones.
BEAM implements the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm combined with the Equihash Algorithm, which the team describes as a stable and friendly solution with the GPU and with the aim of guaranteeing a more equitable token distribution. During the first 18 months they expect that ASIC-based mining will be discouraged by allowing BEAM mining with GPU and decentralizing its network.
BEAM has a reward scheme for founders that states that 20% of the tokens that are mined during the first five years will be allocated and will go directly to the Beam company and the foundation.
BEAM also implements CoinJoin technology, an anonymity strategy proposed by Bitcoin Core taxpayer Gregory Maxwell.
This technology makes transactions merge as if all senders sent to all recipients. In addition, it allows the obfuscation of tickets, makes it impossible to know from which addresses payments are made to the addresses that play the role of departures.
BEAM uses a homomorphic encryption so that although the transaction systems are confidential, it is guaranteed that the authorized parties can verify and confirm the validity of the transactions made with Beam by correlating the number of entries and exits. If the resulting values are equal, the individual transaction can be considered valid, even with the use of “blinded” amounts.