Financial Privacy focused Crypto Protocol Beam Shares Key Updates from Past Year

Beam celebrated its 4th anniversary on January 3rd 2023.

During that time, Beam claims it has “cemented its place as the top confidential cryptocurrency in terms of features, stability and confidentiality, constantly evolving and improving in all categories.”

Launched in 2019, Beam is described as “a deflationary coin with a total emission of 262,800,000 capped using periodic halvings.”

Beam uses “a conservative PoW (proof-of-work) consensus (BeamHash III) and is minable on GPUs.” This has historically “been very profitable for most miners due to a robust token economics design and great performance characteristics.”

Beam uses “a combination of best-in-class privacy protocols to maximize the network’s financial privacy including Mimblewimble and Lelantus protocols (LelantusMW), with an anonymity set of up to 64,000 and boasts an impressive ecosystem of wallets available on all platforms including Desktop, Mobile and Web.”

Beam natively “supports Confidential Assets, allowing the seamless creation of privacy coins as confidential as $BEAM itself, without relying on smart contracts.”

Confidential assets “can be immediately tradeable within Beam wallets using the built in Asset Swap marketplace.”

In 2021, Beam claims it “became the only Layer 1 confidential cryptocurrency with Smart Contract support, enabling the private-by-default BeamX DeFi ecosystem.”

Using a Beam Virtual Machine (BVM) architecture, Beam has “elevated the privacy coin ecosystem, from simple transactions to supporting decentralized applications (DApps).”

Some of the most notable DApps “are the Beam Anonymous Name Service (BANS), NFT Gallery and the Faucet.”

In July 2022, Beam blockchain “integrated with an IPFS storage solution through a network hard-fork enabling support for the Decentralized DApp store, allowing developers to distribute DApps anonymously and without relying on any centralized frontends.”

During 2022 Beam has “continued to develop its private DeFi ecosystem.”

The latest Hard Fork (7.0) “brought significant improvements to the DApp platform and significantly reduced the Beam required to register new Confidential Assets (CA).”

The change enabled many ecosystem projects “to use CAs and develop applications for the Beam platform.”

On the protocol governance side of things, Beam continues its transition “to the BeamX DAO with the release of the voting DApp, allowing the Beamer community to vote on feature development and protocol changes.”

They have “overhauled the community feature request model with the introduction of the Bounty Based development model, where anyone can create a feature request, which is then discussed and voted on in the Beam Forums before implementation.”

As noted in the update:

“2023 is a strategically significant year for Beam. Having developed a great infrastructure, it is important for the Beam Community to determine the direction of development and to consider the tradeoffs that lie within.”

Over the course of the last year, Ethereum has “continued to be the dominant blockchain for DApps and DeFi, in terms of user adoption, development and liquidity.”

EVM has become “a standard de facto and is adopted by many blockchains for crosschain compatibility.” In 2022, Beam announced its intention “to add EVM alongside Beam VM to increase development engagement and allow seamless integration of existing DApps into the platform.”

This effort remains one of their top priorities and “will be enabled in the next Hard Fork (8.0), which is planned for this year, 2023.”

Following Ethereum’s transition to Proof of Stake, many miners “have been searching for an ideal alternative coin to mine.”

Beam intends “to capitalize on this opportunity by being an excellent blockchain to mine thanks to the cost efficiency properties of the BeamHash III consensus algorithm”.

Rough bear market conditions “have provided a harsh testing ground for many DeFi projects. The industry is maturing much faster and has shown which protocols are viable and can withstand adversity.”

Automated Market Makers (AMM) (such as Uniswap) and collateralized stablecoins projects (such as MakerDAO and Liquity) have “proved to be up to mark, demonstrating great user adoption and stability even under the most severe market conditions.”

Scalability remains “one of the top priorities for most blockchains, especially Ethereum, which in turn has brought much attention to Layer 2 scaling solutions.”

Optimistic and ZK rollup solutions “have both remained in focus and we expect to see more advanced rollup protocols in the upcoming 2023.”

One more point to mention is “the increase in the number of Web3 projects, by which we mean non-financial decentralized applications (DApps) based on blockchain technology.”

During the last year, the importance of financial privacy in the cryptocurrency space “has continued to be an obvious issue, in all aspects of the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem from DeFi to NFTs.”

Many of the existing privacy solutions for DApps are “built on top of Layer 2 solutions, including ZK Rollups, which solves some of the privacy issues but it is centralized and leaves open an avenue for censorship and surveillance.”

In the short term Beam will “continue the current roadmap with the development of the DeFi ecosystem, the launch of the Ethereum Bridge and the AMM DEX applications for cryptocurrency swaps.”

Following requests from Beam Community, Bean plan “to rollout a private messaging application within the Beam wallet and improve existing DApps.”

The upcoming Desktop wallet release “includes support for the Ledger Nano S and Nano S Plus hardware wallets, allowing users to secure their seeds in physical offline cold storage.”

As mentioned in a blog post:

“Beam continues the transition to DAO governance, expanding to decentralized development and decision making. This brings us to a strategic dilemma regarding the future development of Beam, boiling down to the question whether Beam should continue development as a stand alone ecosystem or provide privacy oriented solutions for a more diverse part of the crypto ecosystem such as other blockchains like Ethereum.”

The rising number of Web3 applications “brings a clear need for privacy, as users are not too keen to give up data privacy, even the little privacy they had in the web 2 centralized platforms.”

The accidental transparency that “has become more or less the default for financial applications on most blockchains does not sit well when personal data and preferences are involved.”

For more details on this update, check here.

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