List of commonly used terms scattered throughout Beam Documentation that might be unfamiliar with developers and new users.
The seed phrase is a 12-word mnemonic sequence used to generate all of your secret keys. Your seed phrase generates when you create a new wallet for the first time. Always keep your seed phrase secret!
An unspent transaction output (UTXO) represents the amount of cryptocurrency left after each transaction which can also be used to record as a input for new transactions on the blockchain.
A macroblock is a compressed version of blockchain history implementing the cut-through feature of Mimblewimble protocol. Each node generates macroblocks in the background and stores them on the local disk. When a new node connects to the system it first downloads the latest Macroblock and then updates more recent blocks in the blockchain one by one. This allows to significantly reduce the time of onboarding new nodes into the system.
SBBS (abbreviation of Secure Bulletin Board System) is a subsystem within Beam Node that allows wallets to securely exchange encrypted messages and create transactions without having to be online at the same time.
In Beam, addresses are only used by SBBS system to connect between Wallets during transaction creation. Unlike most other blockchains, addresses are not recorded in the blockchain and are not used to prove ownership of the coins. Each address has a default expiration time of 24 hours (which can be changed using Wallet UI). In general, it is recommended to generate a new receiving address for each transaction.
Mimblewimble is a blockchain protocol developed by anonymous user Tom Elvis Jesudor (the French translation of "Voldemort"). Mimblewimble differs from other blockchain protocols in that there are no addresses, so all transactions are completely confidential.
Atomic swaps are a peer-to-peer marketplace built directly into your Beam wallet (desktop only) that allows users to swap Beam for another cryptocurrency. Trade your Beam for Bitcoin, Ehtereum, Litecoin, DOGE, and more!
Beam Shaders (a.k.a., Smart Contracts) are programs that create DeFi applications that are made available on Beam's Decentralized Application (DAPP) store. Beam Shaders run on the Beam Virtual Machine (BVN) built into each Beam Node.
Laser Beam is a direct payment channel created as a part of our expansion of the Mimblewimble protocol. Laser Beam allows for direct payments similarly to the Lighting Network.
A shielded pool is a process that allows for anonymous one-sided payments. The Lelantus protocol describes placing a UTXO set into a "shielded pool" with other UTXO sets to "shuffle" and anonymize. After enough time has passed, the first UTXO set will leave the pool as a "new" UTXO set while still carrying the same initial value when first entering the pool.
Distributed DeFi applications are blockchain-based smart contracts implemented directly in your Beam wallet through Beam's DAPP store.
Beam combined Lelantus with Mimblewimble to create a hybrid LelantusMW protocol meant to resolve linkability, which in some instances could allow an active attack to establish a link between wallets (though not to determine identities or values of the transactions).
Tokens (a.k.a., Confidential Assets) are new assets created on the Beam blockchain with native support via Beam nodes, wallets, and DAPPS. New tokens created on the Beam blockchain offer the same privacy and security as Beam coins.
Beam Node is an essential part of the Beam network. Each node forms the peer-to-peer network that validates transactions and blocks on the blockchain. Beam Node can run on Linux, Mac, and Windows operations systems. Nodes can either mine for Beam coins or validate the Beam blockchain.
A Confidential Asset (Token) issued on top of the Beam blockchain with a fixed emission of 100,000,000 units
A unique wallet address is permanently associated with your seed phrase; a Public-Offline address offers less security than Regular addresses but is a perfect option for users receiving donations.
Groth is the smallest denomination of Beam, an homage to Jens Groth, a renowned computer scientist and cryptographer that laid some of the groundwork for zero-knowledge proofs.One Beam contains 100,000,000 (one hundred million) Groth.
Beam Hash III is a modified version of Equihash used to secure the Beam network. It uses the proof-of-work method for validating and securing each block on the Beam blockchain.
Miners are a vital part of the Beam. As is the case with most cryptocurrencies, miners validate transactions and help secure the Beam network.
Since Beam does not record addresses on the blockchain, all your transaction history and wallet metadata will store in a wallet.db file. If you restore or install your Beam wallet on a new device, not transferring yourwallet.dbfile from your old device to the new device will lead to inconsistent bookkeeping.
Payment Proofs are "signatures" automatically sent with each transaction that you can use to verify sent transactions.
Beam logs are files that record the events that occur within the Beam software and the Beam network. These files contain vital information that is very helpful to Beam support if you encounter any technical difficulties.
The Beam Virtual Machine (BVM) is the lynchpin of the entire Beam Confidential DeFi platform. Powered by the WebAssembly stack, the BVM allows Beam Shaders (i.e., Smart Contracts) to implement on all Beam wallets and nodes as first-class citizens.