Now almost three years in the making, the second privacy coin operating on the Mimblewimble protocol has gone live. Mimblewimble is a proof-of-work based protocol which was originally created in 2016. Similar to the makings of Bitcoin, the origin is of an anonymous nature. But mimblewimble uses references from Harry Potter as analogies for the inner workings of the cryptocurrencies on the network.
Cryptography or Harry Potter Magic?
The whitepaper published in 2016 was authored by ”Tom Elvis Judisor” which is the French name for Voldemort, who is the primary antagonist in the Harry Potter series. The name itself, mimblewimble, is the name of a spell from Harry Potter for a kind of tongue-tying. The spell removes the ability of the receiver to talk about a specific topic or subject. Soon after this was published, a new GitHub project was started for a cryptocurrency that would operate on Mimblewimble - Grin. The project was started by an anonymous user with the account name “Ignotus Peverell” which is the original owner of the invisibility cloak from the Harry Potter.
Privacy and Scalability
Beyond the entertainment of the allusions to Harry Potter, the associations do play into the functions of the network and new cryptocurrency. Grin, which was just fully launched on January 15th, provides the ability for anonymous transactions. The function is made possible by a process of data transfers and cryptography that essentially put an “invisibility cloak” over the transaction until it has been completed. Afterward, there is no way of knowing where the values came from or what their total amount transacted was.
Of course this is not the first cryptocurrency to offer anonymous transactions. Currently Monero (XMR) is the most popular privacy coin, but it comes a series cost. The Monero network is much slower and costly to operate than Bitcoin - a network that is also argued to be slow and energy consuming. The mimblewimble network allows for increased efficiency by categorizing the data necessary for a transaction differently. Each transaction requires many of the same things as a Bitcoin transaction, but as the blockchain grows, pieces of each blockchain are gradually removed without degrading the integrity of the ledger overall.
Now that Grin has gone live as the second cryptocurrency using Mimblewimble, it draws attention to the distinctions of the first - Beam. Unlike the creative, anonymous and peer-to-peer development of Grin, Beam was developed more traditionally. The Beam organization sources venture capital funding to hire a team of developers to work on the software. This was beneficial for the speed to launch, but more importantly the organization chose a different governance structure for their cryptocurrency. Rather than community focused, Beam imitates the structure of Zcash, where a corporate structure is in control of the cryptocurrency overall.
By: BGN Editorial Staff