Frequently Asked Questions

General

Does the World Need Another Coin?

The impact of Bitcoin cannot be understated. As the godfather of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin gave the world a glimpse of a new future: a wholly decentralized currency free from corporate or bureaucratic oversight where money and finances weren't under the oppressive control of legacy institutions. In the years since, hundreds of different coins have appeared and crashed to zero; while most were only slight variations of Bitcoin, others explored the different possibilities that cryptocurrency offered.
While the blockchain technology of Bitcoin was groundbreaking, Bitcoin and many of its imitators suffer from the same flaw: lack of confidentiality. All Bitcoin transactions are not confidential. All Bitcoin user transaction histories record in a public ledger that can be accessible to anyone, making the real-life application of cryptocurrency questionable. What business wouldn't feel uneasy if their competition could see all their income and expenses?
Privacy coins such as Monero and Zcash have fantastic technology and offers much in terms of privacy but cannot deliver on scalability, decentralization, and auditability. Both Monero and Zcash fail to demonstrate a provable transaction graph to external auditors (necessary for business). The ideas behind Mimblewimble protocol allow for the creation of a confidential, scalable, and optionally auditable coin. We believe that the Beam coin will serve as a genuinely usable and confidential store of value, with the addition of second-layer solutions like Lightning to allow for day-to-day usage.

Beam vs. Zcash and Monero?

Several privacy coins (Monero, Zcash) have broken orbit and are floating in the cryptospace, but how does Beam stack up? What sets Beam apart? Here we go.โ€‹

Groth?

The groth is the smallest unit of Beam recorded on the blockchain. It is one hundred millionth of a single Beam (0.00000001 BEAM).
The unit is an homage to Jen Groth, Prof. of Cryptology at UCL. Learn more about how Prof. Groth became a Fractional monetary unit here.

Specifications

What is Beam's Emission schedule?

Beam has a capped total supply, standing at 262,800,000 total coins. Our emission schedule is as follows:
  • First-year block reward: 80 coins per block.
  • Years two, three, four, and five: 40 coins per block.
  • Years six to nine: 25 coins per block.
  • After year nine, mine rewards half every four years until year 133, when emission stops.
The Beam Treasury receives additional coins during the first five years of Beam's existence. The emission schedule for the Beam Treasury is as follows:โ€Œ
  • First-year: 20 coins per block
  • Years two through five: 10 coins per block
It can be seen that our emission schedule is closely modeled on Bitcoinโ€™s, the main difference being a higher block reward during the first year. The reasoning for the higher block reward in the first year is to make sure miners have a strong interest in mining Beam early in its existence and help introduce Beam coin to the market.
Click here to see a more detailed rundown of Beam's emission schedule.

Why is Beam Deflationary?

A fixed supply and lack of governing body are very appealing features of cryptocurrency for many users. The explosion of Bitcoin's dollar value and continuing increase in value is a testament to the principles of deflationary currency.

What is Auditability?

Auditability is an extension added to the original Mimblewimble protocol that allows businesses or private individuals to report their financial history to their auditors or any independent party. If the user chooses to use Auditability, their wallet generates several key pairs specifically for audit.
Alternatively, an auditor (EY, Deloitte, KPMG, or PWC) can issue a public key that the user can add to their wallet. Transaction details are encrypted with that key and attached to the original transaction (that remains private), along with a proof that verifies the transaction details. Users can include additional information (e.g., digital documents, signatures) in the metadata of each transaction by storing the hash of such documents in the blockchain.
With Auditability, each transaction has a tag that only an auditor's public keys can identify on the blockchain. However, the auditor cannot use their public keys to create a transaction or spend any money. The auditor can retrieve all the tagged transactions from the blockchain, verify the ledgers match.
Auditability is strictly an opt-in feature; users must turn on audibility to retrieve their information from the blockchain.

Getting Involved

How Can I Buy Beam?

Beam is available for purchase on over 20 exchanges. Beam coins can be mined as individual mode or via mining pools. A complete list of exchanges where Beam is available for purchase is on our Homepage.

How Can I Support Beam?

Beam has a fast-growing Ambassador program based on locality. Beam ambassadors promote Beam by organizing meetups, conducting knowledge-sharing sessions, and spreading the Gospel of DeFi Crypto. If you love meeting new people, can convey complex information, and are passionate about cryptocurrency and its potential (Mimblewimble), we need your help!
Aside from the obvious hipster credibility of owning Beam before it was cool, we will also offer compensation. If you are interested, drop us an email at [email protected]. Tell us a little about yourself and why you think you'd be a great representative for Beam to your community.

Does Beam do Airdrops?

No. Beam does not and will not do airdrops. Anyone trying to offer you participation in a Beam airdrop is a scammer. We will never ask you to send us funds in Beam or any other crypto, and we will not ask for your wallet address.
We urge our community to be very careful and not to fall for scam attempts.

When Lambo?

We donโ€™t like noisy, glittering and impractical things. So no Lambos for us.

Technology

How many transactions per second does Beam support?

Thanks to the Mimblewimble protocol, Beam supports around 17 transactions per second. While this number is higher than Bitcoin and other existing privacy coins, it is important to emphasize that it is not high enough to use Beam as a means of exchange. In the future, it will be possible to improve transaction throughput by using a second layer out-of-chain solution such as Lightning, Thunderella or similar. Then you should be able to pay for your lattes with beams. Until then, Beamโ€™s primary use case is store of value rather than day-to-day payments.

What is the block time and block size?

In Beam, one block will be created approximately every minute. Each block will contain around 1,000 transactions.

What will your blockchain size be?

Instead of storing the full transaction history as in Bitcoin and other coins, a Beam node only needs to store the current UTXO state, instead of the entire transaction history. Validity of the history that brought us to this state can be confirmed by storing only the headers of the previous blocks, which holds the proof of validity of previous states (using a structure called a Merkle tree) and Proof of Work that allows to reach consensus on which of the header chains should be considered the correct one in case of blockchain branching. This is achieved using cut-through, one of the core concepts in Mimblewimble. We are still experimenting and evaluating, but it is a reasonable estimate that the Beam blockchain will be less than 1/3 of Bitcoinโ€™s blockchain size, possibly as low as 10% (assuming the same amount of activity). So, really small.

Wallet

Which platforms will Beam Wallet run on?

Beam Wallet is available for the following OSes: Windows, Mac and Linux.
We have released both Android and iOS Wallets, you can download them below:

What about hardware wallets?

Super important. Hardware wallet is the ultimate safe for your digital wealth, and a good store of value coin must offer hardware wallet integration. We understand that and are working with several hardware wallet companies to develop such integration.

Mining

Why is Beam using Equihash mining?

We chose Equihash because it has been around for a long time and Equihash PoW mining algorithm is well adopted by miners globally. Equihash is based on solving the Generalized Birthday Problem. It is I/O bound, meaning that it requires quite a large amount of memory as opposed to Bitcoin's SHA256 that requires a lot of processing power. Equihash is built in such a way that does not allow an easy tradeoff between processing power and memory thus making it difficult to use with ASIC miners that existed at the time of its creation. Today there are dedicated ASIC miners that can mine Equihash ten times more efficiently than average CPU.
Beam used PoW algorithm Beam Hash I until its first Hard Fork that occurred on August 15th, 2019. Since then, Beam uses Beam Hash II. More details on Beam Hash II can be found here.
For more details, read this in-depth article about our Equihash implementation.
Last update: August 19th, 2019

Asic resistance

To ensure better decentralization, Beam plans to stay ASIC resistance in the first 12-18 months. To achieve this, we plan to perform one or two hard forks โ€“ first after approximately 6 months of existence and another one after approximately 12 months. Each hard fork will change the mining algorithm. The exact modifications will be revealed several weeks before the actual hard fork

Governance

What is Beam Model of Governance?

The Core Team and Beam Development Ltd. do not have any intentions to govern Beam in the long run. There is no point to having a cryptocurrency governed in a centralized way by a corporation. Therefore, we offer our solution to our community. We are opening the code, welcoming Open Source Developers and setting up a non-profit foundation that will be unconditionally funded by the Treasury.

What is Beam Foundation?

Beam Foundation will be responsible for supporting, promoting and further developing Beam in the years to come. The foundation will be set up as a non-profit and will be governed by a Board of Directors comprising reputable industry figures. The foundation will be receiving a significant part of the Treasury, and will fund projects and initiatives in the areas of Applied and Basic research, Development of Beam and Mimblewimble, Awareness, Financial Literacy and more.

Who is Team Beam?

Beam has put together a remarkable team of first-class engineers and entrepreneurs, and a strong advisory board comprised of accomplished cryptocurrency veterans. We have 8 full-time developers, a marketing team and seasoned management. Beam CEO is Alexander Zaidelson, an experienced entrepreneur, executive and VC investor, the engineering team is led by CTO Alex Romanov (over 15 years experience running complex R&D projects in numerous industries), the operations are run by COO Amir Aaronson, experienced entrepreneur and executive, and marketing is under the lead of CMO Beni Issembert, an entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in the Corporate and Performance marketing. Our Product Management is done by Sasha Abramovich, a top-notch Product Owner with solid technical background, ex-Agora, AppsFlyer, Natural Intelligence and more. The list of advisors includes people like Guy Corem, Bryan Bishop, Gordon Chen, Rami Kasterstein, Ferdous Bhai, Liraz Siri and Addison Huegel. Check out our Team Page for details. We are actively building a global community of developers who share our mission of creating a private digital currency and will maintain and improve Beam.

What is your funding model? What is the treasury?

We believe a startup environment is best for innovation, that's why we are raising money. Treasury model is the best way to repay our investors and to provide a reward to the founding team. Treasury works in the following way: in the first five years of Beam existence, 20% of all emitted coins automatically go to the Treasury. Technically, the additional coins are emitted for each mined block. Our investors, the core team, our advisors and the non-profit Beam Foundation will be getting Beam coins from the Treasury on a monthly basis. We believe that the five year payout period creates an alignment of interest between all the parties and ensures that our coin will get the support it requires to succeed.
Last modified 3mo ago