The last few weeks have seen the launch of two new private coins: Grin and Beam. Grin, the most exalted of the two projects, went live with the mining of his genesis block on January 15th. Beam has beaten Grin in a few weeks' existence, with his January 3 launch coinciding with the tenth anniversary of Bitcoin's genesis blocking. Both use the MimbleWimble privacy technology, and both have caused some enthusiasm in the cryptocurrency communities. However, both have already experienced their first negative titles.
For Beam, negative titles have been associated with technical problems. On January 9 – just four days after launch – Beam's official Twitter account warned users of a "critical vulnerability" in "all previously released portfolios". On 21 January a second unrelated problem caused the blockade of the Beam blockchain. An official post-mortem post describes the problem as being caused by "two cloned portfolios (most likely created by copying the same wallet.db file) [sending] the same cloned UTXO to the blockchain, [resulting] in an incorrect and ultimately incorrect processing in an invalid block. "
CRITICAL VULNERABILITY IN THE TRAVI PORTFOLIO
9.1.2019 20:20 GMT
Critical vulnerability was found today on Beam Wallet.
The vulnerability was discovered by Beam Dev Team and not reported elsewhere.
The vulnerability affects all Beam Wallets previously released both Dekstop and CLI.
– @Beamprivacy (@beamprivacy) 9 January 2019
Beam's blockchain stopped at block 25709, we are investigating and will post an update soon. Stay tuned.
– @Beamprivacy (@beamprivacy) 21 January 2019
While Grin has not yet encountered similar technical difficulties, he has attracted his share of negative attention since the price has crashed immediately after launch. AMB Crypto reported a collapse of 97% from a maximum of $ 261.65 to $ 4.60 within 24 hours of the extraction of the Grin genesis block, which CoinDesk cited Dovey Wan of Primitive Ventures defining "the block genesis more expensive than history ".
But none of this was entirely unexpected and apparently did not do much to dampen the excitement around the two new coins. The launch of Beam was preceded by an official blog post that warned that the "innovative nature" of the project meant that its early implementation could "contain bugs, flaws or errors that could materially and negatively affect the use, the functionality or performance of Beam. " Wan expressed caution against Grin's early extraction, telling CoinDesk that "Grin will not be profitable, especially at the beginning."
Both projects have been under development for some time and many advances have accumulated before their launch.
So what is MimbleWimble and why do these new coins cause such excitement?
"Privacy and scalability without sacrificing anything"
One of the best known cryptographic figures that sparked enthusiasm at the launch of Beam and Grin is the founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, who told Magical Crypto Friends' YouTube channel that these coins were able to provide "privacy and scalability without sacrificing nothing". Lee compared the coins and their underlying MimbleWimble technology with Zcash, which achieves privacy by adding data to the blockchain, making it less scalable. In contrast, Lee defined Beam and Grin as a privacy lens because they "throw things away".
Crypto Briefing describes Grin as "a scalable privacy currency that has no addresses or amounts, and is therefore less intensive than memorizing compared to other private currencies and digital currencies." The data requirements of MimbleWimble are only 10% of Bitcoin, making it "more scalable, less centralized and significantly faster."
Every transaction made using Bitcoin (and many other established blockchains) works by grouping the largest number of inputs and outputs in order to keep an accurate record of which coins have been spent and which coins remain in the users' wallets. MimbleWimble allows Beam and Grin to drastically reduce this by creating a unique multi-signature key for each transaction. The equations then remove the coins from the sender's portfolio and add them to the recipient's wallet without publicly transmitting the transaction to the entire blockchain network. A "blinding factor" is used on all transactions, adding noise data to the publicly visible portion of each transaction and making it impossible to see what was sent and who was involved in the transaction.
In addition to ensuring privacy for all transactions and increasing scalability, MimbleWimble also ensures greater security and decentralization of the network. One problem currently faced by larger blockchains is that the execution of a complete node detailing all network transactions requires the storage of an enormous amount of data. Statistics data show that a complete registration of Bitcoin transactions currently amounts to around 200 GB, while the increase in the use of smart contract data and DApp implies that a complete Ethereum node exceeds 1 TB. The more complete nodes there are, the more decentralized the network becomes. And while Ethereum plans to boost node management by moving to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism in the future, MimbleWimble offers a tremendous advantage in scaling both Bitcoin and Ethereum in the here-and-now.
File .txt of the philosopher
The unusual name of MimbleWimble is taken from a curse that binds the language that characterizes the Harry Potter series. It was proposed for the first time by a user in the Bitcoin Developers chatroom using the Tom Elvis Judor handle, based on the name of Harry Potter Voldemort's archnemesis from the French version of the books. Judor shared a MimbleWimble white paper in July 2016 and this is the basis of the protocol that Grin and Beam have now launched into reality.
Just as with Judor and Satoshi Nakamoto before him, the identity of Grin's creator is shrouded in secrecy. In contrast, the official Beam website lists a roundup of members of his team, including CEO Alexander Zaidelson. Zaidelson's curriculum includes stints with technology companies such as the WeFi big data analytics firm and two years of work in the Venture Capital industry in Israel.
Apart from Satoshi, anonymous founders are often a red flag in the encrypted space, but in reality most see it as one of Grin's strengths. Grin's development was led by the community, with many of its early supporters and developers appropriately adopting the Harry Potter pseudonyms. The commitment of the decentralization project and the lack of central leadership has made it attractive in a moment of conflicts linked to the personality within the cryptographic space, such as the battle between the factions of Roger Ver and Craig Wright on both the sides of the Bitcoin Cash fork.
The Beam approach is much more corporate, from the transparency of its team to the economy that supports it. While both projects avoided the typical cows to be milked by an ICO or pre-mine before activating their main networks, 20% of Beam extracted within the first five years will be transferred to a Treasury. This amount will then be shared between Beam's core team, investors and a non-profit foundation.
Another fundamental difference is that the potential supply of Grin is infinite, while Beam will be limited to 262.8 million coins. As with Bitcoin, Beam's mining reward will decrease over time until the supply is exhausted; the project website states that this will happen in 133 years. Beam is therefore designed to be deflationary, while Grin is designed to be inflationary. This significant distinction represents a fundamental philosophical difference between the two projects.
The Beam website emphasizes that "performance will not be high enough for BEAM to be used as a" medium of exchange "and will instead function primarily as a" store of value. "Instead, Grin aims to use the MimbleWimble technology to create a Bitcoin-like cryptography that can actually function as a medium of exchange.
While bitcoin was conceived in the original white paper as usable currency, a combination of short-term volatile prices, long-term price appreciation and slow transaction times have all combined to make it functionally useless as a medium of exchange. Combining the scalability benefits of MimbleWimble with a limitless supply, Grin aims to overcome these limitations and promote their use as a currency.
Muggles, miners and adventurers
The philosophical differences between Beam and Grin are also evident from the sections of the website of each coin detailing project financing. While Beam lists numerous VC companies on its "Investors" page, Grin's website solicits donations and details on community fundraising efforts.
Despite this, Grin seems to have made more progress than Beam with VC companies since the launch of the project. CoinDesk cites enthusiastically an anonymous partner of an encrypted investment company: "This is the thing that comes closest to bitcoin … In the minds of many investors it's a sort of pattern-match for" bitcoin 2.0 ". The same article includes a raft of similarly enthusiastic soundbites from other VC companies and mining operations, with an excerpt from the Primitive Venture Proof of Work newsletter, which neatly appropriated the unusual levels of attention attracted to Grin:
"There is (according to our conservative estimates) 100 million dollars of money mostly VC invested in investment vehicles for special purposes to extract Grin. This does a lot of strange things: it transforms a group of people who would be Buyers smiles in sellers of it, changes the composition of the first holder roster, and means that the chain will be launched with an extremely high level of security through high hashrate PoW. "
The unbridled enthusiasm surrounding a potential "bitcoin 2.0" has led him to become – in the words of the mining entrepreneur Josh Metnick, quoted in the CoinDesk article – "already outdated". Primitive also explicitly stated to CoinDesk that it should have been inflated for the first few years, and therefore not profitable for mine.
How revolutionary are the new MimbleWimble privacy coins?
MimbleWimble is not the only technology that distinguishes Grin and Beam from other existing cryptocurrencies. In November, an article by Bitcoin Magazine compared the two and their statements to offer total transaction privacy. The writer, Aaron van Wirdum, suggested that someone interested in discovering the identities of the network participants could potentially operate "a spy node". This would involve noting the details of the transactions over time and the progressive construction of an image of where the coins were found in the obscured networks. However, Wirdum said that an additional level of privacy could be incorporating a technique known as "Dandelion". The dandelion works by sending transactions on a random route through the network, "spreading" the transaction data across the network in a manner similar to the dandelion seeds that spread in the wind. Both Beam and Grin have incorporated this and other techniques to ensure network privacy.
Another criticism of their "revolutionary" status is that they are not the only projects that incorporate MimbleWimble to improve privacy. As Ricardo & # 39; Fluffy Pony & # 39; Spiders on Twitter, Tari Labs is currently implementing MimbleWimble as part of a sidechain for Monero.
Monero already * is * implementing a sidechain MimbleWimble, Tari
– Riccardo Spagni (@fluffypony) January 13, 2019
Spagni appeared alongside Charlie Lee in the Magical Crypto Friends episode about Grin and Beam. Spagni mocked the idea that, as one of the main supporters of Monero, could be "frightened" by the clamor surrounding these new private currencies. Instead, he directed viewers to an impartial and fairly complete report on Grin and Beam completed by Tari Labs before the launch of both coins and expressed interest in seeing how the projects developed.
Lee was then asked for his opinion on how to potentially implement MimbleWimble on a privacy-focused sidechain for Bitcoin or Litecoin. Lee was contemptuous of the utility of the idea, saying that any sidechain solution is inherently inferior to a stand-alone currency secured by mining. While Spagni's only reaction to Lee's statement on the video is an ironic smile, he recently retweeted this comedy about Beam's first difficulties.
A short story pic.twitter.com/mTbyUffPbQ
– Crypto Bobby (@crypto_bobby) 21 January 2019
Bitcoin 2.0 …?
The proclamations of Grin or Beam who are a "Bitcoin 2.0" are sure to trigger FOMO and mocking in equal measure. Lee laughed at the people involved when he described Grin as "the new Bitcoin, right?" About Magical Crypto Friends. But with its emphasis on decentralization and community-driven development, it is easy to see why Grin's development has been compared to the original cryptocurrency. But with the main network less than a week, there's still a long way to go before it can begin to meet such wild expectations. And with an intentionally deflationary supply, it was specifically designed to prevent the kind of rampant speculation that fueled the increase in Bitcoin to $ 20,000.
With their incorporation of next-generation encryption technology, Grin and Beam are the most talked-about coins in a long time. If there's still big news in ten years, it's a question with a lot of money.