Mimblewimble Showdown: Grin versus Beam – Who wins?
Mimblewimble is a blockchain protocol that offers the best privacy and has high speeds to boot. Grin and Beam both launched in January this year, but they did so with different visions and goals, not to mention organizational types. There are surface-level similarities, though. Minimal data storage, very light-weight blockchains, super fast and (theoretically) easily scalable.
The two protocols also did not do an ICO or enable a pre-mine, which is an automatic red flag offense to many potential investors. The philosophies of a currency must be confidential to be a success was espoused in their proof-of-work launches.
Grin is currently sitting at double the market cap of Beam and while to many it may say that it is the superior product, this is not necessarily so. The differences between the two are subtle and not immediately noticeable. The governance structure and technology differences could potentially offer a considerable advantage down the line to a lot of people.
Grin is considered a community cryptocurrency. It has been in development since 2016 and it has been helped only by volunteers and donations. The community-focused ethos that Grin has developed is due, in part, to it being founded anonymously. Development goals and targets are set via developer and community conference calls that happen on a bi-weekly basis. Anyone can join and put items on the agenda.
Hardened Bitcoin activists who were most vocal about Bitcoin in the early notice similarities between the two currencies. Particularly at the same stages of development. Grin's development, in fact, gives enough tools to the community make whatever projects it wants.
Beam, on the other hand, is looking to set up a foundation. Financing this foundation would be done similarly to how Zcash is set up. It takes 20% of each block rewarded to be used for further development of the protocol and for marketing/business strategies.
It is structured as a traditional startup and collected five million dollars in venture capital in March of 2018. It has a team-focused development model similar to many traditional startups. This allows Beam to deliver new code faster, hire talent quicker and install a dedicated sales and marketing team that will work on bringing in larger, more targetted customers into the ecosystem.
Immediately Apparent Differences
While Grin's community-driven approach has allowed it to garner a larger community, and thus a larger market cap, it is not without its pitfalls. It is dependant on goodwill from the community and is susceptible to being fractured and forked. Since the most active members of the community are developers they focus on deeper problems, and not immediately apparent ones. Case in point – while Beam has a very user-friendly wallet, Grin's is still command-line only. This is not the only community-related product-suite that Beam has released but it is the most apparent.
The difficult question is which coin is better. This needs some deep digging and there might not be answers that are available or might swing one way or the other depending on future developments. If we compare the ethos of the two coins, many would say that Grin wins out. This is simply due to current circumstances where the best developers will mainly choose to develop for a community focused project instead of a start-up where they don't feel like a part of the group. Beam has over 20 paid professionals on its roster, but they are not all dev talent.
If we look at usability and speed to market on the other hand, then Beam quite clearly wins out. There are user-friendly wallets on almost all platforms under the sun while Grin has only just got out of using command-line only wallets. This is despite Grin's 2-year headstart. They both launched in January, but Beam managed to launch earlier.
One issue that will always rise to the top of any cryptocurrency talk is decentralization. This is grin's win for sure. The decision making is placed in the hands of the community and crypto communities are known as anti-establishment as a rule. There is no single point of failure, what with it being open-source. The founder is anonymous and there is no loyalty to investors whatsoever. Grin also wins when looking at mining. It uses a blended algorithm that works off of two cycles. One cycle is ASIC resistant and the other isn't. Beam's, on the other hand, uses Equihash which has already shown to be vulnerable. Look no further than Bitcoin Gold and ZenCash. This could be a deciding point in the future.
Innovation is Beam's strong point as it has a clear roadmap, while Grin works on needs-based community development which is very slow. All this shows is that both have benefits and drawbacks but the future is what will truly tell us which project was right on the money.
Mining a Ray? Going Step by Step on How to Mine Beam
While there are a number of cryptocurrencies around that have managed to cultivate a major following from miners, one of the newcomers is the recently launched digital currency - Beam - which has a very special focus placed on privacy. This, along with a myriad of other features has since made Beam one of the influential and popular newcomers for crypto miners.
Within this guide, we will be getting you introduced to the world of Beam, including a comprehensive guide about the various features that it boasts for miners and users, as well as a procedural guide about how to start mining the digital asset.
MimbleWimble - The Beam Bringer
Beam is one of the two digital currencies in the world that make use of MimbleWimbe, which operates as a decentralized protocol / blockchain architecture. MimbleWimble was purpose built in order to improve the fundamental scalability of the blockchain, while also ensuring a higher level of privacy for users.
So where does the name MimbleWimble come from? It has it's own level of magic behind it - originating from the name of a magic incantation from Harry Potter, the spell itself prevents targets from speaking or revealing secrets about others by tying their tongue, very literally.
The MimbleWimble protocol aims at achieving a similar kind of thing for those using the digital currency - offering a high level of security for whoever mines, stores and exchanges Beam.
As for a White Paper - MimbleWimble's was published online as of the 19th of July, 2016 by the relatively mysterious figure known as Tom Elvis Jedusor, which makes for two HP references in one blockchain solution. One of the other things that makes this white paper all the more confusing is the fact that it was published and is written in a mixture of French and English, with the mathematician for Blockstream, Andrew Poelstra clarifying this in his own revision of its paper.
So, apart from the influence of Harry Potter and the world of magic, what makes MimbleWimble remarkable compared to other solutions is that it provides a high level of scalability relative to other solutions that are out there. How it does this exactly is by using a mix of elliptic curve based crypography, the use of Merkle Trees, which are commonly used as a way of solving complex transactions and addressing speed.
Along with this, MimbleWimble brings its own unique feature that it refers to as 'Cut Through,' through the use of this solution, Beam only uses up 10 percent of the space that is needed by other blockchain solutions like Bitcoin for example.
Along with these innovative solutions to scale, Beam provides a great deal of support for privacy, thanks in large part to its MimbleWimble Foundation. It is successful in this by rendering the transaction graph hidden. If we compare this to other cryptocurrencies out there with an emphasis on privacy, Beam is different because it introduces something new to the MimbleWimble architecture, allowing users to have unrestricted access to the underlying auditability as it relates to transactions.
For the moment, this auditability remains feature users need to opt in to, in order to make use of. But it is a highly valuable mechanic as it allows users to enable certain permitted third parties, like tax agencies, to access and assess their history.
One of the final components which sets Beam apart is that it is accessible to miners that use s GPU, making it a very lucrative cryptocurrency to mine for those that mine on a more casual home-based basis.
How to Mine Beam
How you go about mining this cryptocurrency depends quite a lot on the kind of wallet and software you intend to use in order to accomplish it, either way there are a number of methods you can use in order to mine it.
One of the ways that miners can do this is through the official desktop wallet, which is pretty simple to do. We will go ahead and start here when it comes to mining Beam.
Firstly, you will need to download the wallet that has compatability with the kind of computer and operating system that you have. So far, Beam offers various wallets for iOS, Windows and Linux.
The net positive for the official wallet via browser . is that it provides a good deal of support both for GPU and CPU mining, giving users a great level of flexibility. On the other hand, it is developed with the provision that users can get better performance by using a GPU when mining, so with this in mind, it is far better to use one.
It is important to take into consideration too that your mining software should be set so that it is exempt from any anti-virus program that you use for your system. This is because the vast majority of security solutions flag mining software as dangerous or harmful.
Now, once you have this downloaded, you'll recieve a request to set up a new wallet, or load up an old wallet for use on the application. For those that are completely new to the network, you'll need to set up a new wallet, whereas those that already have a wallet can just load theirs up.
While you are getting onboarded, the system will give you a seed phrase that you will need to securely store. Make sure that you do this by writing it on a piece of paper and keeping it on you, as opposed to soft storing it. After this, you can create your own password for the wallet before letting the wallet sync up to the blockchain. Depending on the speed of your internet, this may take some time to accomplish.
Once you have this fully downloaded and it has fully synced you up to the network, you will now have complete and full access to your brand new wallet.
From here, go to the 'settings' screen on the right hand side of your wallet.
It is through the settings screen that you can get started on the process of mining. In order to do this, you just need to select 'Run Local Node' on the bottom right-hand segment. From there, just set the number of mining threads to any number above zero. The higher the number, and this is important to note, the greater the burden this will place on your CPU / GPU depending on which of these you're using.
In contrast, this thread count does not generally influence GPU mining, simply because these are given a high potential for parallel computing.
One of the other steps needed is to edit your address settings for your wallet. In order to ensure a high level of security and pricvacy of users, Beam is built to make wallets expire after 24 hours. While this is a good approach in ensuring better security, it's not exactly a good system for miners. Meaning that miners will need to develop a permanent address to prevent their wallet from expiring. How do you do this? you can find it on the dashboard in the top right side labelled 'receive'.
By selecting this icon, you can create a brand new permanent address for your wallet. You can then set this wallet to never expire, from there you can save your features by clicking close.
One of the elements that make this wallet effective for mining is that it automatically connects to the node operating within your computer. Meaning that miners can get started pretty quickly, with no need to mess around with deeper settings. Along with this, you can sync your wallet up to a more remote node as an alternative.
Now that you have these settings changed in order to reflect your requirements, you now have your desktop wallet fully operational and serving as another mining wallet on the Beam network.
Beam Mining - Some Important Things to Remember
Here are some important things to bear in mind as you go forward. Always make sure that you have previously and routinely check to see that your GPU drivers are operating effectively without incidence. These checks can depend on the kind of graphics card that you're using. These include cards like AMD or Nvidia that you will need to check and ensure is running on the latest version.
At this moment in time, there are four kinds of AMD cards and seven Nvidia ones that support the mining of Beam.
As a final note, if you are aiming to increase the kind of profits you make off mining Beam, you may want to consider joining an already operating mining pool.
In order to do so, this will involve joining your seleced pool and updating its existing server settings. There are a range of mining pools out there that provide ready access to Beam mining but have their own setting with regards to GPU or CPU mining, so bear this in mind.