Place/Date: Singapore - June 24th, 2022 at 7:00 pm UTC · 4 min read
Contact: Beam, Source: Beam Foundation
“With the upcoming hard fork, Beam is poised to fix a fundamental void in DeFi… Privacy,” explains Beam in its news update.
DeFi enables trustless banking powered by blockchain and smart contracts, eliminating the need for centralized entities. DeFi ensures that the owner of a digital asset is its true custodian, rather than an intermediary that holds the asset on the owner’s behalf. e.g. user funds stored on exchanges are actually stored on that exchange’s wallet.
However, while DeFi provides private ownership and permissionless banking, it does not provide users privacy. All transactions are listed publicly on a blockchain like Ethereum. This means anyone can see what is being done by various wallets, and of course, take advantage of that knowledge.
On public blockchains like Ethereum, pending transactions that have not been executed are stored in a mempool, which can also be monitored to gain an advantage by front running other transactions by paying a higher gas fee.
Beam addresses these problems in the latest hard fork providing much-needed privacy missing from DeFi enabled blockchains. The hard fork took place on June 24th at block height 1,820,000.
The update included an integration with IPFS storage to efficiently handle large amounts of data such like NFTs and the new High-Frequency Transaction (HFTX) schema.
Following a Beam Improvement Proposal (BIP) and community-voting, the cost of minting confidential assets (CA) was significantly decreased from 500 $BEAM to just $10 BEAM. This change will come into effect with the hard fork upgrade.
Prior to the hard fork, users were advised to update to the latest version of Beam wallet.
With the hard fork, Beam is committed to increasing programmable, custom logic that can be executed on-chain.
Beam’s privacy focus stems from its aim to create a platform and cryptocurrency that can be viably used in the real world.
In arguing for its platform, the team explains that no business or individual wants all their transactions on a public ledger for anyone to view or monitor.
In addition, when referencing other privacy coins like ZCash and Monero, it points out that they do not offer programmability.
As a result, Beam has turned to the Mimblewimble and LelantusMW protocols, which offer privacy for transactions.
Mimblewimble is technology, named after a spell from Harry Potter, allowing for complete privacy of transactions with its own security framework.
With the use of this protocol, Beam is able to support different custom transaction methods, such as time-locked swaps, atomic swaps, and escrows.
As part of the hard fork’s effort to bring privacy to DeFi, Beam is implementing an upgrade to their own form of smart contracts, Beam shader.
Beam shader runs within the Beam Virtual machine and implements the custom contract logic.
The integration with the Beam Virtual Machine is key to these improvements and the expanded use by developers.
Both of these updates allow developers to build and deploy DeFi applications such as confidential assets, AMM pools, lending, stable coins, and others.
Overall, this hard fork aims to improve the scope of financial assets and dApps, users can create and use while still keeping them private and secure.
The Beam Foundation is a non-profit that aims to foster research and develop the Beam private-by-default ecosystem. The team are active advocates of privacy, transparency and decentralized community decision making.
The current vision for Beam protocol is to transition governance over from Beam Foundation to the BeamX DAO, making the platform fully decentralized. $BEAMX holders can influence the roadmap of the BeamX DeFi ecosystem by voting, incentivizing sustainable and decentralized community governance.
“The endgame goal is to transfer the process completely into the community’s hands, providing a sufficient level of stability has been achieved,” explains Beam in their news update.
Beam is a layer-one maximum confidentiality & privacy-by-default blockchain based on a suite of privacy-centric technology protocols such as mimblewimble, Lelantus and Dandelion, which completely conceals the value and metadata of transactions.
BeamX is a DeFi ecosystem, governance token and decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) under one umbrella. Built on the world’s most confidential blockchain, BeamX paves the way for an unparalleled private DeFi infrastructure with a core focus on scalability, interoperability and fully decentralized community governance.