Beam is a cryptocurrency based on the new MimbleWimble protocol. As the first MimbleWimble implementation to go live, Beam is an innovative cryptocurrency that offers base layer privacy. It achieves this by ensuring that address information isn’t stored on the blockchain and keeps all transactions private by default, as opposed to its competitors that have privacy as an optional feature. The token allows for multiple transaction types that include; time-locked transactions, atomic swaps, escrow transactions, and more.
The development of the Beam testnet began in February 2018. The testnet was launched in September 2018 and the protocol’s mainnet was released on January 3rd, 2019. Later that spring, Beam implemented a full suite of wallets for the most popular desktop and mobile operating systems. The Beam protocol was hard forked on August 15th, 2019 to upgrade its mining algorithm. The digital asset and protocol have been developed by Beam, a for-profit corporation.
Eventually, funding for the digital asset and protocol will come from the Beam Foundation, a non-profit entity. The foundation is funded by the Beam treasury which will allocate 4% of all Beam that is mined in the first five years of the token’s existence for the purpose of further developing the project. The foundation is currently being controlled by an independent Board of Directors. However; they wish to fully decentralize the project in the future by increasing community involvement when making decisions about the platform.