Mimblewimble, currently, has two implementations of its protocol – “GRIN” and “BEAM”. These relate to Mimblewimble the same as Bitcoin Core relates and is an implementation of Bitcoin.
Take a Closer Look:
What is GRIN?
Another less known fictional character from the Harry Potter series, assuming the pseudonym of Ignotus Peverell, created the cryptocurrency GRIN. On January 15th, 2019, the GRIN mainnet went live. GRIN had no ICO, was not pre-mined, nor had a founder’s rewards. Along with possessing many of the properties of the Mimblewimble protocol, it does not own any of the following:
No addresses, no transaction amounts are visible, no transaction history and no fixed supply.
GRIN Miners have a choice of one of two algorithms: cuckAroo29 and cuckAtoo31.
CuckARoo29 was designed for GPU miners, and CuckARoo31+ was designed for ASIC miners. Both come from the Cuckoo Cycle Algorithm. When mining GRIN cryptocurrency the headers must include:
- The latest target difficulty
- A set of transaction available for validation
- A Coinbase transaction
- The current timestamp
- A randomly generated nonce
- The Merkel root of the UTXO set
GRIN is a built-in programming language, whereas Rust is a community-backed programming language and thus relies on donations for funding.
What is Beam?
Another cryptocurrency implemented on Mimblewimble is BEAM. The BEAM cryptocurrency project is built using programming language C++ and will convert to Rust* programming. Alexander Zaidelson, an entrepreneur, headed the project. The mainnet on BEAM has released January 3rd 2019 and the BEAM project, like GRIN, did not include an ICO or pre-mining; however, venture capital funding was secured.
BEAM uses the proof-of-work mining algorithm called Equihash**. Each block contains 1000 transactions in the time of about a minute Per block. Rewards currently stand at 80 BEAM per block, due to fall to 40 BEAM per block for the years 2 through 5. In year 6, this block reward will fall to 25 BEAM and halving occurring every four years until the year 129. After the year 133, there will no longer be a block reward.
To repay investors, give incentive to the development team and fund the BEAM Foundation, a treasury, created to store 20 BEAM for the first year from block rewards. And in the years two through five, this will lower to half or 10 BEAM each year for five years.
To remain decentralized, the protocol of mining on the BEAM network plans to stay ASIC resistance by performing hard forks when necessary.
How is Price Performance on each?
GRIN began trading for USD 9.96 in January 27th 2019. As of 7/8/2020, this price/value has fallen to USD 0.439784.
BEAM began trading on January 17th 2019 and experienced a sharp rise in price as well as a subsequent decline. BEAM began trading at a rate of USD 0.58 and currently is at a rate of USD 0.400154 as of 7/8/2020.
Roadmaps of Each cryptocurrency:
GRIN has no roadmap. However, there is an abundance of technologies it could make use to add further value to its network. Things such as:
- Smart contracts
- Payment channels (similar to the Lightning Network)
- Atomic swaps (the cross-chain exchange of one cryptocurrency for another)
- Onion routing (a technique for anonymous communication over a network)
If the GRIN network were to make use of these mechanics, the implementation would provide more functionality and add more interest to potential users.
GRIN’s work to create a roadmap, read here: https://forum.grin.mw/t/grin2020-roadmap/7096
BEAM has a more defined roadmap. For the year 2019:
- Agile Atom (Jan-Feb) – Release payments & exchange API
- Bright Boson (March) – Beam to Bitcoin atomic swap
- Clear Cathode (June) – Proof-of-work algorithm change
- Double Doppler (September) – Research alternative consensus mechanism
- Eager Electron (December) – Proof-of-work algorithm change
The year 2020 has very promising Roadmap implementations you may read about here: https://medium.com/beam-mw/beam-foundation-presents-roadmap-update-q1-2020-161106894cf5
Space savings, as well as privacy through Mimblewimble protocol, is rather apparent. Scalability is much improved as well due to the pruning of the data needed on the blockchain. (fewer data = more room on each block) This confusion of inputs and outputs, as well as eliminating public addresses in Mimblewimble transactions, creates true anonymity, as opposed to pseudonymity.
Mimblewimble can only integrate into the Bitcoin network as a soft fork, or as a sidechain. If and when this happens, users would be able to transact with increased privacy.
Soft forks are “backward” compatible software that doesn’t require nodes to upgrade to maintain consensus. Because they still follow the old consensus rules as well as the new ones. If however, a node creates blocks only under the old consensus rules, they violate the new consensus rules and the blocks will become “stale”. Therefore, a miner must cease working on his/her old, or stale block, and restart the process over again. This time with the new consensus rules added OR if the majority of the consensus is against this soft fork, a hard fork will be necessary.
Hard Forks is pretty much a software upgrade that is not compatible with previous versions of the software. All miners who want to continue to verify and validate transactions on the blocks and new software protocol must upgrade to this new software. When a hard fork happens, blocks of data that are confirmed by Nodes that are not upgrade become invalid. If Miners want these blocks to be valid, they must upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software. In the event, there is still support for the minority chain after the hard fork; then two blockchains can continue to exist simultaneously.