CoinGecko Podcast

Alexander Zaidelson & Alex Romanov Talks Privacy and Beam's 2020 Plans - Ep. 1

January 07, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
CoinGecko Podcast
Alexander Zaidelson & Alex Romanov Talks Privacy and Beam's 2020 Plans - Ep. 1
Chapters
CoinGecko Podcast
Alexander Zaidelson & Alex Romanov Talks Privacy and Beam's 2020 Plans - Ep. 1
Jan 07, 2020 Season 1 Episode 1
Bobby Ong

In this episode Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko is joined by Alexander Zaidelson, CEO of Beam and Alex Romanov, CTO of Beam. They discussed about Beam, comparison with other privacy coins, decentralized governance, and Beam’s emission curves. They discuss achievements from 2019 and what is coming next for the evolution of Beam, the foundation and operation of the company. 

[00:00:02] - Intro
[00:00:43] - Disclaimer
[00:02:02] - Background on Beam and Mimblewimble protocol
[00:03:45] - Fundamental differences between Beam and Grin
[00:09:08] - Dandelion Protocol
[00:10:12] - Beam achievements this year
[00:12:20] - The roadmap for 2020, plans, biggest goals
[00:18:34] – Implementation of the Lelantus Protocol
[00:21:17] - Growth in popularity, block halving, deploying funds, and continuing development
[00:27:04] – Coming changes that will be implemented in March 2020
[00:30:37] - Beam Foundation, decision making process and operation
[00:34:12] - The movement of delisting privacy coins
[00:37:45] - How did you catch the crypto bug?
[00:40:37] - One thing you would like to see in the crypto world

Quotes from the Episode:

“In the crypto-space, especially in privacy coins, it’s much more desirable in some sense to have a decentralized governance, just because a decentralized system is more resilient.” [00:04:45]

“Beam has created a very active, organic community of over 50,000 people across different platforms.” [00:11:40]

“The first logical step would be to allow confidential trading of existing tokens.” [00:16:05] 

“Even today our wallets both desktop and mobile can actually work with remote node using the Flagline Protocol.” [00:28:36]


Links:

Beam - https://beam.mw
CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/
Beam's Info on CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/beam

Social Media:

Beam -
https://twitter.com/beamprivacy
https://t.me/BeamPrivacy
http://discord.gg/BHZvAhg

CoinGecko -
https://twitter.com/coingecko
https://t.me/coingecko

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko is joined by Alexander Zaidelson, CEO of Beam and Alex Romanov, CTO of Beam. They discussed about Beam, comparison with other privacy coins, decentralized governance, and Beam’s emission curves. They discuss achievements from 2019 and what is coming next for the evolution of Beam, the foundation and operation of the company. 

[00:00:02] - Intro
[00:00:43] - Disclaimer
[00:02:02] - Background on Beam and Mimblewimble protocol
[00:03:45] - Fundamental differences between Beam and Grin
[00:09:08] - Dandelion Protocol
[00:10:12] - Beam achievements this year
[00:12:20] - The roadmap for 2020, plans, biggest goals
[00:18:34] – Implementation of the Lelantus Protocol
[00:21:17] - Growth in popularity, block halving, deploying funds, and continuing development
[00:27:04] – Coming changes that will be implemented in March 2020
[00:30:37] - Beam Foundation, decision making process and operation
[00:34:12] - The movement of delisting privacy coins
[00:37:45] - How did you catch the crypto bug?
[00:40:37] - One thing you would like to see in the crypto world

Quotes from the Episode:

“In the crypto-space, especially in privacy coins, it’s much more desirable in some sense to have a decentralized governance, just because a decentralized system is more resilient.” [00:04:45]

“Beam has created a very active, organic community of over 50,000 people across different platforms.” [00:11:40]

“The first logical step would be to allow confidential trading of existing tokens.” [00:16:05] 

“Even today our wallets both desktop and mobile can actually work with remote node using the Flagline Protocol.” [00:28:36]


Links:

Beam - https://beam.mw
CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/
Beam's Info on CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/beam

Social Media:

Beam -
https://twitter.com/beamprivacy
https://t.me/BeamPrivacy
http://discord.gg/BHZvAhg

CoinGecko -
https://twitter.com/coingecko
https://t.me/coingecko

Speaker 1:
0:02
Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast. I'm your host Bobby Ong. Each week we will be interviewing someone from the blockchain industry to learn more about this fast moving crypto currency economy. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. The CoinGecko podcast is produced each week to help you stay ahead of the curve. Show notes can be found at podcast.coingecko.com. I highly encourage you to join our newsletter where we send out top news in the crypto industry every Monday to Friday. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow us on Twitter and Telegram at CoinGecko.
Disclaimer:
0:43
This podcast is provided as part of the overall information on cryptocurrency content on our website is for your general information only and does not howsoever constitute any endorsement, financial, or investment advice, nor any solicitation or offer of securities, other financial instruments. CoinGecko and the podcast presenter makes no warranties implied or express of any kind in relation to this podcast, including without limitation, the accuracy and updatedness of its content. All opinions and recommendations there in the podcast are based on the personal opinion of the presenter. Please conduct your own research and procure professional advice should you, at your own risk, decide to howsoever invest or trade in relation to the content contained in the podcast.
Speaker 1:
1:18
Hi everyone. Today we have Alexander Zaidelson, CEO of Beam Mimblewimble, a leading privacy coin based on the Mimblewimble protocol. And we also have Alex Romano, CTO of Beam on the call today. So welcome Alexander and Alex.
Speaker 2:
1:34
Thanks Bobby. It's a pleasure to be here.
Speaker 1:
1:36
All right, so I guess maybe want to introduce yourself so we know who is Alexander and who is Alex from the call.
Speaker 2:
1:41
So I'm Alexander. I'm CEO of Beam
Speaker 3:
1:45
And I'm Alex the CTO. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
1:47
So, very happy to have both of you on the call today. I guess just one introduction, for the benefit of our listeners maybe, can you explain to us a little bit about what is Beam and the Mimblewimble protocol and why is it important?
Speaker 2:
2:03
Okay, so I'll start. Beam is a next generation confidential coin based on the Mimblewimble protocol. And I call it next generation because the privacy coins or private blockchain for these before were all based on the bitcoin architecture, meaning they inherited the basic Bitcoin architecture and then added a lot of technology on top of it in order to tie the transaction graph. So Mimblewimble actually was built from the ground up with two goals in mind, one being privacy and the other one being good scalability or in other words, small blockchain. So beam actually implemented Mimblewimble to create a coin which is confidential on the one hand, but also doesn't suffer from blockchain bloating leading to poor scalability that we can observe in prior privacy oriented contents. So essential Beam is all about privacy, but it's also about usability and about coin that can really fulfill the dream of replacing money into [inaudible].
Speaker 1:
3:11
That sounds very interesting and I mean, I guess you guys are on the way on this mission to do that. Talking about the Mimblewimble protocol. So there were two coins, two main coins that tried to implement this pretty much at the start of 2019. One of them is Beam and the other one that you guys often get compared to was Grin. So do you want to perhaps walk us through a little bit about some of the fundamental differences between Beam and Grin?
Speaker 2:
3:36
Yeah, sure. So, I'll guess I'll talk about some of them and Alex will touch upon the more modern technology. So indeed, there are two main projects in this space, Grin and Beam. Grin started a little bit earlier and Beam uh, started in early 2018. And there are a lot of difference. So one is probably governance. Grin is a fully volunteer based effort, fully decentralized with a group of developers that assembled itself. While Beam started off as a company with venture capital funding and with the professional team working on the project 24/7. As the results, and you know, we've shown it in the past year or so, the speed of delivery of Beam and also the usability of our projects is way, way higher then that Grin. And that's just because we can afford to run a professional team with very clear goals with clear set of deliverables and with a clear vision and clear management.
Speaker 2:
4:43
Now that said, we know that in the crypto space, and especially in privacy coins, it's much more desirable in some sense to have a decentralized governance just because the decentralized system is more resilient, right? So it means if you have a company, it can be pressured by the government or can be attacked in all kinds of ways. And that's why we are actually, after this initial period of about a year and a half of development, we're now moving the governance to a more decentralized form and we have already announced Beam foundation last months. So we're now moving to a more decentralized governance where we have a foundation that does not have like a CEO. It just has an independent board. Right now there are four members, there will be more. And the goal of the foundation is actually to eventually move to fully decentralized community based projects and get closer to projects like
Speaker 2:
5:43
Monero, Bitcoin, in terms of governance. So this is one fundamental difference and as I said, we are, in the long run, we'll get to the same governance model with similar governance model to what it has now. Another important difference is the mission purpose. Grin was designed as an inflationary coin, meaning their emission is constant forever, 60 coins per minute, forever and ever, while Beam follows the more classic Bitcoin style admission curve where we start with emission of a hundred coins per block and then whether it's halving coming, coming up very soon in the beginning of January, January 4th, there will be halving, so the block reward will go down to 50 and then after four more years it will go to 25 and so on and so forth. Initial schedule will, the mission will actually finish after 133 years. That's another very important difference. Alex, maybe you want to take, take it up and continue with technology and maybe other stuff.
Speaker 3:
6:45
Yeah, sure. So from technological perspective, these are also very different projects. So basically the Mimblewimble protocol is the only common parts between the projects but all the rest of the pieces are completely different starting from the implementation language, the architecture behind many decisions, for example, Mimblewimble, in order to create a transaction, both wallet have to participate actively and their activity is very different from how most of the other cryptocurrencies work today, in Bitcoin or all the other. They can just create a transaction and send it to the network, not so in Nimblewimble. In Nimblewimble you need corporation of both wallets for that purpose. And for that, for example, we have created a separate system called SBBS, the secure bulletin board system which allows the wallets to communicate in an encrypted and safe session and create a transaction. This is just one example of different architectural decisions that we had. Along the way.
Speaker 3:
7:41
in addition of us implementing everything ourselves from scratch as Alexander mentioned, we have also made a lot of interesting improvements and additions and extensions to the basic Mimblewimble protocol, and in fact there is much more today than meets the eye if you just download a wallet today and you see most of the basic stuff. And we have recently also added Atomic Swap, which is I believe one of the more interesting features and a major breakthrough in terms of being able to trade coins in a completely decentralized way. So with Atomic Swap, we support Litecoin, Bitcoin and Quantum Coin. But in addition to that, there are a lot of features and interesting developments that we did that are not in production yet and can only be seen and tested in our more like development version such as, for example, the laser beam, which is our version of the Lightning network.
Speaker 3:
8:33
It allows to create direct channels between the wallets and have instant payments with zero confirmation time, which is very interesting. And the development and extension of the Mimblewimble protocol. And of course the confidential assets which I believe we'll talk more about later and yet another extension that allows basically to create new types of token on Beam or similar to the way you can create your token on Ethereum but inheriting all the good properties of Beam such as confidentiality and scalability. These are just like a couple of examples and we have a lot more. We have improved for example, the Dandelion protocol which is used to obfuscate the IP addresses behind the transactions being sent and we have as a deployed inputs and outputs to make these type of attacks or detection even harder than it is and a lot more features that we're currently working on in this state.
Speaker 1:
9:27
That sounds like a lot of things and I'm hearing some of these things for the first time such as the token, I didn't know that you guys are working on a token plan on Beam. So I'll ask a little bit more questions about your governance structure later on but before that maybe, maybe they say like, just get to this question, like in crypto they say that we operate in dog years where one year feels like seven years and I find it hard to believe that Beam only really started its Genesis block as a startup on January this year. It's now December is approximately one year from your launch. Perhaps you might want to, I mean you probably have already said some of these things I was gonna ask, like maybe you want to explain some of the things that Beam has achieved this year and what are some of the route map that you guys have planned for 2020 and beyond?
Speaker 2:
10:11
So in my view, Beam has really achieved a lot both on the delivery level. We shipped tens of different software releases. We have developed a beautiful and usable wallet on all the major computing platforms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android so people can use our Beam wallet on any platforms they like. But maybe even more importantly, we gained a lot of mindshare and a lot of respect in the community. And we gained that by both delivering great software and any viral promises and also by behaving in a very professional and ethical and honest manner, which sounds like irregular things to do, especially for people coming from other industries like myself but in crypto, we know that there are a lot of projects that talk a lot and have very little actual substance. So in our case, we're all about substance, all about engineering, all about delivering, being honest.
Speaker 2:
11:15
So I think this is a very important achievement. You know, in terms of adoption, we, Beam is traded on tens of different exchanges including Binance. So it's very easy today for anyone to get into the confidential ecosystem by acquiring Beam. Beam is accepted by over a hundred of different online retail outfits and we're working to get more. Beam has created a very active organic community of over 50,000 people over across different platforms. And we have a lot of interactions with the community. And also I think the transition to the new governance form that we have announced in the beginning and some people were skeptical about it, the fact that we are doing it is also another proof that this team is standing by what it promises and really delivers.
Speaker 1:
12:11
And what about like some of the plans in the coming years for example? What would be your one biggest thing that you would like to achieve in 2020 for example?
Speaker 2:
12:19
So the 2020 will be here building on the first layer, building on the Beam blockchain, building steps towards confidential, confidential DeFi ecosystem and this includes an ability to ring tokens from other platforms as Alex mentioned and he will elaborate on that a little bit more. We are working on creating bridges that will allow people to take any ERC 20 token from Ethereum and create its representation on Beam and trade it confidentially. And then the next step is creating smart contract functionality that will allow real DeFi applications to be possible on Beam. And this again is in the same vein of bringing back the privacy because today there is a lot of buzz and a lot of things happening in Defi but all of the DeFi projects are, or like 95% of them are based on Ethereum and there is no privacy there at all. So whatever you did today in DeFi, you take out a loan, create derivatives, it's all like playing in the open, anybody can see what you're doing, which again is nice for small scale things, but you think of it in a bigger scheme of things, it cannot really work. You cannot have all your finances exposed to anyone. So Beam is actually taking steps and we'll develop this confidential ecosystem that people will be able to use in privacy.
Speaker 1:
13:50
Yeah. I think what you mentioned is really true. I mean I play around with DeFi on Ethereum and it's quite scary thinking how that if you have one address that you know that is owned by me and you can shortly soon after see every other DeFi applications or things that I've done on Ethereum ecosystem. And it's very trivial because it's account base, I mean if it's on Bitcoin it's UTXO which is still quite clear with chain analysis, but you can still remove for the privacy but on Ethereum it is really trivial to see all the history on just one account. Just go to Etherscan and you can see everything. So I know Ethereum recently made Istanbul hard-fork where there was interoperability with Zcash and you mentioned that you plan to have Etherium token tradable on Beam and to have privacy for Ethereum DeFi applications. Maybe you want to walk us a little bit through it on how you plan to achieve this? And does it have anything to do with the Zcash interoperability or nothing to do at all?
Speaker 3:
14:53
So the difference between adding zero knowledge type of Maths and cryptography to Ethereum and building on top of Beam is that, Beam is built as a confidential cryptocurrency and confidential blockchain from the ground up. So the first layer of the, which was our points of, you know, establishing and developing it in 2019, the goal that we have achieved, it's easier to build confidential DeFi applications on top of the blockchain, which is already confidential on the first layer, in my opinion. So whatever the architectural decisions that will be built on top of Ethereum, you have to somehow circumvent all the basic problems that Ethereum have in the privacy domain. What we are going to do is basically try to very organically and naturally extend the Mimblewimble protocol, which is very elegant solution for this problem of confidentiality, scalability. So we're building more sophisticated solutions that allow a much more logical stability to be performed inside the DeFi application.
Speaker 3:
15:52
So confidential arch is the base, the basis for that. Basically the ability to create new types of tokens, but these tokens have to come from somewhere. And of course you can always create a new token, but we believe that the first logical step would be to allow confidential trading of existing tokens, let's say stablecoins like DAI or any other token that is being traded than Ethereum and for that purpose, well first we're building the bridges from the Ethereum to Beam and vice-versa of course. That allow locking the tokens on Ethereum and than emitting appropriate amount of tokens on Beam and saving them confidentially within the Beam ecosystem. So this is going to be probably the first application of confidential arch we are going to present. We are building this right now as we speak and then there will be more to do with these tokens by adding additional mechanisms.
Speaker 3:
16:44
Beam does not have smart contracts in the conventional sense, but we do have something called script the script, which is basically ability to add cryptographic mechanisms on the first layer to be able to verify results of certain calculations. So basically most of the calculations are done off chain and then the results are being processed on chain and verified by the node. So this is the idea of how we're going to build things in 2020. There are also lots of additional privacy improvements that we're working on in this year. Namely Lelantus, which is the protocol developed originally by Zcoin. And it turns out it plays really nice with our implementational of MimbleWimble. So we have basically created a version called Lelantus MimbleWimble, which is an extension for our basic protocols that improve the confidentiality even further and using these methods, we are also able to improve the confidential arch in the way that, for example, you don't even see on chain which asset type is traded. Not only the amount or who is trading, but not even the type of the assets being traded. So everything looks exactly the same for the external server, but they in fact we can support trading of many asset types at the same time. So these are our key plans for 2020, to develop these platform and make it as usable as the rest of our products. Of course, everything will be eventually integrated into all of our wallet ecosystem and play together.
Speaker 1:
18:09
That's very interesting that you brought up the Lelantus protocol. That's actually my next question to you and you sort of answered the question already. So based on my understanding, I read your Medium article, Medium blogpost about Lelantus, it seems that it's also privacy protocol that was developed by Aram Jivanyan of Zcoin and, I'm not so sure if Zcoin has already implemented Lelantus but it seems that you have already done that implementation.
Speaker 3:
18:33
Yes. So, the paper was published, I believe this time last year December, November or December 2018. And we found about it almost right after it was published and we actually talked with Zcoin and Aram about it even before. So at sometime, when we first got around it, we implemented our version. It's not in the production yet, so it's just developing the personal stages as of right now, but we are hoping to make it available in the Mainnet by our next scheduled fork, which probably will be sometime in March 2020. So the idea of this protocol is to complete the break the linkability of UTXO, which is one of the weaker points of MimbleWimble, so dedicated and the targeted actual attacker can still try to somehow determine the links between the difference between souls and chain and reconstruct parts of the transaction graph.
Speaker 3:
19:29
It's a very difficult time consuming process, but, and it's only give a probability results, but still it is possible to do that even despite the Dandelion and the additional . So Lelantus first of all, it solves this problem completely. That's a very useful feature of Lelantus we're going to add this year. The second one is the support of one side payments, one side transactions. As I mentioned earlier, Mimblewimble is interactive but this actually presents in some use cases, presents more problems being solved. So we do want to be able to create noninteractive transactional as well, as Lelantus give us this feature alongside the additional security and confidentiality. And also we're going to use the Math behind Lelantus to hide the different types of tokens as I mentioned being traded. So these are the three things we're going to use Lelantus for next year.
Speaker 2:
20:21
Cool. Cool. So I've got, I've got a question. So as I was doing a research about Beam, I knew I read up about your emissions schedule when Beam's emission is scheduled to, the block reward use to be hundred coins per block, which is one block per minute and it will be half from years two to five. So somewhere around 4th January as I mentioned, the block reward will be halved. Everyone's pretty excited about Bitcoin's halving, but no one seem to be talking about Beam. And halving is happening in January, which is at about a couple of weeks time. Are the community excited about this? Have you heard much people talking about it? That's the first question. The second thing is, do you see any that your treasuries revenue would be pretty much reduced by a half? And lastly, like do you think that there'll be a case in the future, where that you guys need to do a hard fork to continue payment to the Beam treasury perpetuity like how Zcash is sort of facing crisis with their treasury?
Speaker 2:
21:17
Okay. So let's start. So first of all, of course our communities fully aware of the halving and you are right, Beam is not that popular or as popular as Bitcoin. But there are some public, some publications about our halving. Recently. Bitcoin.com had post that and some other people are picking it up, so in the coming weeks we'll also be pushing this message outside of our community. So hopefully more and more people will know about that. So we are working to spread the word and again, people who are involved in Beam or privacy coins, they all obviously know that. Now regarding your second question on the treasury funding, so we are actually managing our finances in a very responsible way and several scenarios can happen and we're ready to all of them, I would say. So yes. The amount of funds that the foundation will be getting from the treasury will get halved. But the foundation is actually starting to deploy the funds just now. So we have all the first year in front of us. Also we made quite a profitable forward sale in the beginning of the year, so we feel pretty confident that we can make and continue the development with the funds that we have. Of course everything also depends on the market, but right now we're in good shape and we are prepared to all kinds of scenarios.
Speaker 1:
22:42
That's great to hear. That's great to hear. Are you guys worried about miners leaving Beam once the block went halving thereby reducing the security next year?
Speaker 2:
22:51
Well, I think it depends a lot on the pricing, on the price of the coin. The security of the protocol is pretty good and the miners are coming and going. You know, at least to me, for a lot of miners it's a very simple economic equation where they just decide price goes up, they decide to join, the price goes down, they need a protocol, so I'm not really worried about that. Alex maybe you have a comment on that one.
Speaker 3:
23:15
Yeah, so I just wanted to say that we actually improved the efficiency of our mining protocol between the Beam hash 1 and Beam hash 2, which was the point of most recent fork that we did this summer and then the efficiency of the mining was improved by 25% which was very nice, I think. And we are also planning the fork in March. I'm not sure exactly what will be the perimeter so I will not speculate about this, but there will be additional changes to the mining protocol in probably March 2020. And the yeah, of course mining is always very competitive area, especially if you mining that we have and the, yeah, everything could happen. I wouldn't say I'm really worried about it, but there always could be changes and yeah, we tried to get ready for all of them.
Speaker 2:
23:59
And also to elaborate on the third question regarding the possible hard fork, It's not something we're planning right now. We don't think it's a really good practice to change the rule, the rules of the game and kind of ask for more money. In my view, it's not a really good move and we'll see how it plays out for Zcash. But right now we plan to continue with what we have and not to ask for additional funds.
Speaker 1:
24:28
Yeah, I completely agree. Once the rules are set in place, like it's really bad if you try to change the rules to be true and especially changing the monetary supply. It always have consequences and a lot of people would not be happy. And then you end up with forks or splits in the ecosystem. Talking, talking back about miner, like I've read somewhere that Beam does not hold a basic resistance policy. This seems to be quite different from other coins, other privacy coins such as Monero and Zcash. Why do you hold a view that it is not important to be ASIC resistant, whereas the others think that is important to be ASIC resistant and carry on for that, do you know if anyone's working on basic for Beam already and when you think to expect the ASIC?
Speaker 3:
25:09
So regarding the product, the mining protocol that we use it's very difficult to implement on ASIC as it is because it's very memory intensive. And in order to build ASIC for beam, it requires quite a lot of investments in rather expensive hardware. And I'm not sure our market cap and price today actually justify that even if we were not ASIC resistance. Regarding the ASIC resistance policy, we have announced from the beginning that we're going to do two schedules for it and after that is basically fair game and up to the foundation board of directors to decide where it's going to be going forward. So we have all [inaudible] for and the next one is coming in sometime in the beginning of 2020. But after that we do not have specific anti-ASIC plans or you know, any specific ideas about that.
Speaker 2:
25:57
And Bobby just do a comment on Zcash. Zcash is not ASIC resistant. There are ASIC mining Equihash. It is true for Monero. Monero is changing their mining algorithm every six months. So they don't have ASICs. Our plan from the beginning was to execute, as Alex mentioned, to two hard forks And then the idea was to get the protocol off the ground, get it, you know, let it grow, get, get it stable and I'll also allow everyone to participate in the initial mining during the first 18 months. And then if somebody finds it nautical and viable to develop an ASIC and that's fine, that's fine. We're not, because ASICs , some said, is a little bit more security to the network. They are
Speaker 2:
26:44
loyal, right. That's lead to a different protocol very easily, which is the case with the GPU and we're seeing the fluctuations happening together with the price performance.
Speaker 1:
26:56
So you mentioned just now that there is an upcoming hard fork in March. What are the. some of the changes that will be implemented in March?
Speaker 3:
27:05
Yeah, in addition to the change in the mining protocol detail. There will be probably, it really depends whether we are actually able to manage the achieve all the milestones that we want to but so the possibilities, let's, let's talk about the possibilities for improvement. I'm not sure how many of them will be actually ready by then, but Lelantus support is one. Confidential arches is another one. We are also planning some improvements in the SBBS protocol which allows secure communication within wallet and we're also running out web wallet with some centralized faster service to support this. I think it will improve our adoption and integration capabilities in addition to giving users more options and this will also be used by bridges to transfer assets from Ethereum to Beam. So all of these are also plans for the next fork.
Speaker 1:
27:59
That sounds pretty interesting. Yeah, I agree that having a web wallet would be a big point of improvement to increase adoptibility because getting someone to download actual wallet and running a node is a lot of effort. Web wallet will make it a lot more easy. I will say that one of Bitcoin's main adoption curve in the past few years during its early days was blockchain.info web wallet, which made it a lot easier for anyone who wants to run a web, uh, Bitcoin wallet compared to running initially a bitcoin called, a full node wallet or later on, Electrum SPV wallet. So I would say that web wallet would definitely do really well for you guys. So looking forward to that.
Speaker 3:
28:36
Yeah. Even today, our wallets, both desktop and mobile can actually work with remote nodes using the flight line protocol was developed by Benedict wounds and we have implemented it so you can run with the remote nodes. Even today, even though it's very easy to run your own node on the desktop, very compact due to the feature of MimbleWimble. You don't have to download too much data. But yes, definitely a web wallet will improve adoption and integration capabilities and we're really looking forward to that.
Speaker 1:
29:05
Just to get an idea like how much space do I need on my laptop if I were to run a Beam full node wallet. I know, you can't basically run a bitcoin full node wallet on your laptop. This takes a few hundred gigabytes. But what about Beam?
Speaker 2:
29:19
I think it's about the 3 Gigs today. Or two. Actually two.
Speaker 3:
29:27
Yeah, it's important to note that there is a difference between the amount that you have to store on your desktop and the amount that you have to extra download. The amount you'd have to actually download is much smaller because most of the space they can buy this to make the operation faster. But I'm not sure about the exact numbers, but I think what'd you have to download is just a couple of hundred megabytes.
Speaker 2:
29:52
So today, yeah it's like less than 2.5 Gigs all together. Oh, it's pretty manageable. Even on a mobile device.
Speaker 1:
30:02
All right, let's, let's get that question on the foundation. So Beam started out as a company and then a couple months, a few months ago you guys transitioned to a Beam foundation. So obviously with the company, so I was gonna ask like how do you guys handle governance for the coin? How does decision making gets made in Beam? Is it like a traditional company where the CEO gets to make the final decision? And if you somehow made mistake like the board of director can select a new CEO, let's say for example, like if Beam wants to change it to the supply from 163 million to let say, 1 billion coins. Can you as the CEO make the decision internally?
Speaker 2:
30:37
Not anymore. So as the governance pass the foundation, the decision making is by equal voting of the foundation board. So there's no single person who can push any decision anymore, but through other board of directors that as I mentioned, will be expanded to different people. By the way, the directors are not related to the original Beam team. So they are people from different industries that we kind of met Beam projects and we offered the foundation board and they accepted and the board will be expanding, maybe even changing with time, we don't know. So we have all the provisions in the foundation constitutions to add or remove directors as needed. So while before the foundation, the governance was, as you said, centralized with a CEO making all the decisions internally. Now it's more decentralized, probably not so long enough, but much more decentralized than it was before. So now there is no single person who can make a dramatic decision.
Speaker 1:
31:41
So how, how would it work now? Like they will, you are the CEO of Beam the company, what decisions do you get to meet and do you pose these to the foundation to be implemented onto the Beam protocol or how does it really work?
Speaker 2:
31:53
Oh, I think it's a joint work. So, so the core team now, the company is now switching to the core team and executive roles will be changing as well as we move forward. But it will be a joint work of the original team, you know, like Alex CTO who knows very well obviously how things work inside. But the guidance and the strategy will be coming from the foundation. So the foundation will be determining or signing off the roadmap and any important decisions like, like you mentioned, you know, it changing, of course not, it's not going to be something that's going to happen, but you know, changing the, the mission or big things like that, they always need to be agreed upon by the foundation directors.
Speaker 1:
32:36
So I guess you can say sort of say that the foundation sets the strategic direction of how Beam is going to go ahead. And Beam that the core team which you run as a CEO basically executes the strategy that has been decided by the foundation. Is that somewhat correct?
Speaker 2:
32:51
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, so all the strategic decisions are moving to the foundation and the core team is more of a development arm of the foundation. By the way, in the future, we don't really want it to be the single, the only development arm. In the future wants to attract more developers from all kinds of places to contribute.
Speaker 1:
33:13
Yeah, I think that's definitely an interesting progression of how things go. But I guess, I mean we'll see how it goes in five years time and the hard part is obviously trying to fund development, right? This point in time, the first five years there is Beam treasury rewards, which goes to the foundation,to investors and I guess to the company itself. After five years, it'd be interesting to see how you guys handle decision after this.
Speaker 2:
33:36
Yeah. So again, the goal is that after five years or during those five years, the foundation develops a much more decentralized and diverse system ofdevelopers.
Speaker 1:
33:50
Okay cool, So I've got one question actually on these exchanges listing privacy coins. So in recent months, many exchanges have started to delist privacy coins due to pressure from regulators. Beam is one of the very lucky coins that have been listed on many exchanges. What is your take about this move by exchanges delisting privacy coins, and do you think it is the right thing for exchanges or for regulators to ban privacy coins in the first place?
Speaker 2:
34:12
So first of all, frankly, I don't think it's really a trend or a movement. We've seen a couple exchanges in Korea with I think only one significant exchange, delisting privacy coins and the rumors I hear also from Korea that they kind of overreacted. So it was not like a demand from the government or anything like that. So actually today I think it's, we're talking about two or three exchanges from what I know. So it's not like a sweeping movement of all, you know, all exchanges in the world. So, so there is certain concern of course, but right now this concern is a little bit over exaggerate. So it's not like, uh, I everybody is delisting privacy coins. Now let's imagine that it does start to happen. So, which is again, probably very far maybe will ever happen, but if it does, so there are two approaches that we have to that.
Speaker 2:
35:10
So first approach is developing an alternative system, an alternative decentralized exchange system. And we actually already made the first step into this direction. We just recently released our atomic swaps marketplace, which is a fully decentralized system without any third parties involved. So any, any centralized parties involve where people can publish offers to buy and sell Beam for Bitcoin or Beam for Litecoin, they publish their offers and uh, other people can take their offers and then, an Atomic Swap happens between the two wallets and the value's exchange without any third party, without any counterparty risks. And also without any one specific running the exchange. Now this is just the first step. It's not a full fledged exchange. There is a long way to get there, but we can get there. So this is one approach.
Speaker 2:
36:04
Just creating an alternative exchange. If changes don't or all of them still trading price points, then these for Beam, we will be able to offer a fully decentralized experience. And the full decentralized ways to get in and out of the life support. This is number one and number two is our opt in or disability vision, which we've been talking about rental at the beginning. And it's the idea that people who want to create a trace will be able to do so. And then it will create like subsystem inside Beam where users can show all their transaction history and pass any AML tests with any exchange if they need to, but without really hurting privacy. So think of it as a middle ground between Bitcoin or Ethereum, where everything is in the open and Beam today where everything is confidential. So the middle ground, it will be that I have my transaction history and I have my information and I can show it to a regulator if I want to, but only the regulator will view.
Speaker 2:
37:06
So that's the, that's the middle ground. So, uh, so we can play with the regulation and let the users play with, with the regulation by having this opt in ability. But we also can go without exchanges because [inaudible].
Speaker 1:
37:25
It's very interesting that you guys have thought about ways how we can go around doing things if exchanges just start banning all the privacy coins. Very interesting answers from you. Let's move on to something more personal about both of you. Perhaps you want to explain to us how do you catch the crypto bug in the first place and what got you into the industry and then later on like what inspired you to start Beam?
Speaker 2:
37:46
Okay. So, so I'll start with, with myself. So I was a part of the original team. I joined Beam a little bit later with a goal of, you know, creating and running the company and uh, taking it to a place where it can eventually pass the foundation and making good on all the promises and all the ideas. And I joined Beam because I think the promise is really huge. Okay. So, so here there is certain technology that promises to replace gold and replace money and this technology has created a market of couple of hundred billion dollars, and we know that gold is like 9 trillion and that money is whatever, 90 or 100 trillion. So, so this entity has a huge, huge potential to grow and the technology is fascinating and the philosophy is also fascinating. So that's what brought me actually into, into this place and keeps me here.
Speaker 3:
38:42
Yeah. So, um, for me it was like I didn't know anything about blockchains or cryptocurrency before Beam and I mean like absolutely nothing. So the first coin I actually ever owned was Beam. I didn't even have the single Bitcoin or things like that. And uh, Geico Aramco is one of the foundation directors today. It's an old friend of mine. He just called me and said, listen, we're wanting to build MimbleWimble implementation. Would you like to participate in that? I said, yeah, sure, why not? And that's how it started in February 2018 and like a couple of weeks later we had our core team assembled and just started working. So that's, that's how it was for me. But today I think the most fascinating thing for me is that blockchain and cryptocurrency specifically is unbelievable combination of technology, sociology, politics, and it's much more than just another product that I would have ever dreamed to develop. It's basically a combination of a movement. Some people treat it as kind of religion and some people treat it like new world order. So there is a lot of really interesting psychological directions around this area and I find that fascinating. Basically something that we, I think we have never seen before. Something that basically the first time in the history of humanity that money became decentralized that way. I think it's amazing thing happening around us and I'm very glad to be part of that.
Speaker 1:
40:12
I agree. Um, I mean it's very interesting because the concept of money is being redefine and questioned every single day with this move in crypto. Not just money like even central bank money is being questioned and being developed on blockchain technology these days. So it's very interesting seeing how things have moved very rapidly in the past few years with blockchain technology. All right. So I guess one of the last questions I would like to ask you is if there's one thing that you would like to see in the crypto world what would it be?
Speaker 2:
40:37
I would say two things. One is more honesty and the other one is more uh, ease of use leading to adoption.
Speaker 1:
40:50
Yup. Yup. I agree. I mean it makes sense like a lot of scammers in this place. It's still relatively quite hard to use any blockchain application in this day and age.
Speaker 2:
40:59
Yeah. So that's why we're putting so much effort on making what we do, usable. But still, you know, Beam is just one project and uh, I don't think we can solve all the problems of what we are doing. In terms of adoption and we're, we're working hard, but all the needs to make to become easier to use and less scary, both technology-wise and scam wise. Right. Still for a lot of people outside crypto, it is very much associated with some tax and scams and stuff like that. So this, this will eventually change, but the sooner the better. And hopefully this year in 2020 we'll make progress in that direction.
Speaker 1:
41:40
All right, sounds good. So maybe one final one. If someone's interested to follow Beam, where do you think, how can someone follow to learn more about Beam?
Speaker 2:
41:48
So first of all, our website beam.mw Very simple MW stands for MimbleWimble. So just go to beam.mw and there we have links to our telegram channel. Very, very active. Our Twitter feed, very active, Reddit, Discord, other platforms as well. There's a lot of information, a lot to learn and the community's very helping. So every day people are asking all kinds of questions from basic ones to complex ones and they always get an answer. So just jump on any of our channels. Start with the website, find our channels there, jump on one of the channels and you'll get all information.
Speaker 1:
42:29
Thank you very much. It's been a great pleasure talking to both of you, Alexander Zaidelson, CEO of Beam MimbleWimble and Alex Romanov CTO Beam.
Speaker 2:
42:38
Thanks Bobby. It was really a really good talk. Great questions. It's a pleasure.
Speaker 3:
42:43
Yeah. Thank you very much.
Speaker 1:
42:45
All right. That wraps up the show. Thank you very much for listening to the CoinGecko Podcast with Bobby. If you like our show and what to know more, checkout podcast.coingecko.com or please leave us a review on iTunes. If you have any feedback, do drop us an email at hello@coingecko.com. Join us for more next week. See ya.
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