🌟 AMA Recap: BEAM featuring CTO, Alex Romanov

We’re super excited to share the recaps to the AMA we had earlier with BEAM’s CTO, Alex Romanov!

In the AMA, we covered about the upcoming Hard Fork update expected to happen at block height 777777 approximately on 28 June 2020! The community and I (Kim Kan, Marketing @ BiKi) had a wonderful evening exploring about the features, benefits and upcoming plans of the update and the BEAM project.

Without further ado, here is the recap —

Kim Kan (Host)

📌 Hi Alex, to kick things off can you give us a brief introduction about the BEAM Project?

⚡️Alex Romanov @ BEAM


Beam started in March 2018 with the idea to create practical, confidential and scalable cryptocurrency that can be used by both businesses and individuals. We chose Mimblewimble as our layer 1 protocol because it elegantly solves the combination of great confidentiality while at the same time keeping the blockchain size small

In Beam, all transaction are confidential by default. The block creation time is 1 minute on average, with about 17 TPS capacity. Mimblewimble does not require trusted setup and is based on relatively simple cryptography At the same time, it also allows for quite a lot of interesting extensions as I will describe later.

Beam didn’t have an ICO nor is pre-mine, it is backed by a treasury, emitted from every block during the first five years.Our mainnet was launched on January 3rd 2019, which was a ten year anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block.

During 2019 we rolled out a lot of great features including…

  • Beautiful and usability focused wallets for all platforms both desktop and mobile
  • Atomic Swaps to trade Beam for BTC, LTC and QTUM, without any trusted third party intermediaries
  • Laser Beam, which is a ability to create payment channels with instant confirmations
  • And many more

You can see our entire roadmap on our website, http://beam.mw.

Kim Kan (Host)

💪 A privacy-oriented cryptocurrency to go along with an equally power-packed wallet, this is great news for the community!

📌 Before we go on, can you introduce yourself?

⚡️Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Of course. My name is Alex Romanov, I am the CTO of Beam. I have been building software for the last 17 years, but this is my first crypto project.

Anything else you want to know about me?

Kim Kan (Host)

Perhaps a short summary of what you did before you joined crypto? :)

Also, we’re really glad to have you join the crypto-sphere with an excellent project!

⚡️Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Mostly startups in many different fields. Ad tech, Machine learning marketing optimizations for retailers. Before that, I worked in Magisto, which is a video editing startup. Lots of different places, people and technologies.

Kim Kan (Host)

👏 That’s great!

📌 I understand the network upgrade will occur at Block Height 777777 on 28 June, what changes can we expect after the upgrade?

⚡️Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Indeed, this fork introduces some major upgrades and enhancements.

First of all the mining algorithm will be changed to Beam Hash III, as a part of two announced hard forks to avoid ASICS and keep Beam minable on GPUS. The previous fork was last summer. Beam Hash III was developed by Lolliedieb, our PoW advisor and director in Beam Foundation. It’s a very interesting and innovative development and I encourage anyone interested in mining to read more about it.

Also, this version introduces Lelantus MW. Lelantus was originally developed by Aram Jivanyan, a young and talented cryptographer, for the ZCoin project. We have adapted it to work together with MW and we have recently published a paper about the changes we did.

We use Lelantus MW for two key features:

  • First one is the UTXO unlinking, which solves one of the weaker points of the MW which is the UTXO linkability problem. Using Lelantus shielded pool, you can submit one utxo to the pool, and then after some time get back a completely new utxo of the same value but unlinked from any previous history. This is a significant improvement in overall blockchain privacy.
  • The other feature enabled by Lelantus MW is one side payments or non-interactive transactions. MW requires interaction between both sender and receiver wallets to create a transaction. Using Lelantus we can send funds without requiring the other party to be online, just like in Bitcoin.

The last, but definitely not least key feature is the introduction of Confidential Assets. This is a major development, taking Beam onto the road of building Confidential DeFi applications.

Assets are similar to new tokens, as we all know on Ethereum, but unlike Ethereum they are implemented in layer one, without requiring smart contracts. Also, Confidential Assets inherit all properties of Beam, namely confidentiality and scalability. They will be integrated into all our wallets and can be used seamlessly alongside Beam and exchanged for one another using our built-in DEX like functionality. To make it simple to build applications on top of Beam we have several APIs and are in the process of developing more APIs, SDKs and Tools for developers.

We have created a centralized but trustless Wallet Service, that enables building web wallets and other web services that work with Beam. This comes, in addition, to support of HW wallets that will be available soon, bridges that will allow moving assets from Ethereum to Beam and back and Auditability features for businesses that want to use Beam in their day to day operation.

These are just the key features. Many more to come!

Kim Kan (Host)

👀 👀 Wow! That’s a lot of features and improvements to look forward to! 🔥 🔥 🔥

📌 One concern from the users is how should they prepare for the update?

⚡️Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Beam Eager Electron 5.0 version is already released and all the users should just download nodes and wallets for their platforms and upgrade before the fork date which is roughly on June 28th. Block 777,777. Mobile wallets were updated as well.

All the APIs are backwards compatible, so if you are running applications on Beam they should work smoothly after the fork as well.

Kim Kan (Host)

🙌 Fantastic, a super simple transit for them then! 🙌

📌 How about BEAM miners, are they too affected and how can they transit smoothly?

⚡️Alex Romanov @ BEAM

All the main Beam mining software was upgraded to support Beam Hash III including smooth switching to the new algorithm at fork height. Miners should upgrade their software before the fork.

Beam Hash III has several important improvements:

  • The wider memory operations in the design of BeamHash III allow better use of the fuller capabilities of a GPU card. Making it easier to saturate the given bandwidth of the GPU card, reducing the potential advantage of other devices, especially FPGAs.
  • The stronger algorithm binding of the new scheme utilised in BeamHash III will make ‘unknown optimisations’ potentially used for secret mining, more unlikely. Enhancing the network with what we hope to be 100% GPU mining (for the foreseeable future, at least) and ensuring any FPGA would be much similar sol/watt as the fastest of GPU mining cards.

Kim Kan (Host)

Ok, now that wallet users and miners are all set, let’s talk about features! ❤️

📌 Can you share more about support for Confidential assets?

⚡️Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Well as I have mentioned, Unlinking, One side payments and Confidential Assets will be enabled in this fork. But this is just the beginning.

CAs will allow anyone to create new types of assets on Beam chain and trade them confidentially and easily, thanks to the built-in wallet support.

In the coming weeks, we will publish a more detailed roadmap for Beam Confidential DeFi ecosystem that will utilize CAs in a variety of DeFi applications.

There will be two key mechanisms for building these apps

  • First one is side-chains, that will allow creation of MW chains that run independently but allow moving Beams and assets from the main chain to the side chain and back. This will greatly extend the possibilities for innovation and applications, including different consensus types such as GhostDAG or Proof of Stake and also integrate various types of smart contracts if necessary.
  • The second one is called Scriptless Contracts and it’s a collection of cryptographic contracts built into the Beam node and allowing implementation of the application business logic

Kim Kan (Host)

💪 Looking forward to the roadmap!

📌 Please share more about the support for Lelantus Mimblewimble?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Sure. In the current 5.0 version, Lelantus is completely supported in our nodes and CLI wallets.

In 5.1 we will add support for Unlink operation into our GUI wallets and it will be as simple as clicking one button. The wallet will automatically deduce the optimal time to wait for the maximum anonymity set and recommend the window of time to get the unlinked UTXOs out.

In 5.2 we will add GUI support for one side payments through Lelantus MW shielded pool.

Kim Kan (Host)

📌 And one-sided payments will also be a feature, can you tell us more?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM


Once one side payment is performed, the user will be able to send funds without requiring the receiver to be online. Since these payments work though Lelantus MW pool, if the receiver wishes to wait for the optimal anonymity set they will also be unlinked in the process.

But this is not required, you can always get the funds out of the pool at any time, nothing is locked so you always have access to all your funds.

Kim Kan (Host)

🔥 An excellent feature, if I might say so!

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Sure is

Kim Kan (Host)

📌 BEAM listed with us a long time ago but I would like to turn back time and ask why did you decide to partner with BiKi Exchange?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Indeed, BIKI had listed us before our first hard fork in August last year.

We see great volumes come from BiKi, along with an active community of traders and privacy advocates. This kind of support from the exchange and community is very important to any project, and it was only natural for us to have such a relationship.

Kim Kan (Host)

👏 Thanks for sharing so much with us so far, I have one last question for you

📌 Do you have any juicy updates to share with us about BEAM? 😜

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Well, our decision to tackle confidential DeFi is a major move for Beam.

Beam was always about practicality, innovation and very fast execution and our DeFi roadmap is as aggressive as it can be.

Ultimately, our goal is to create one smooth interconnected infrastructure, integrated into our wallets and accessible from any device, allowing our users to create assets and applications, use them and trade within a single consistent environment that is easy to use

It does not get any juicier than that :)

Kim Kan (Host)

🚀 We’re definitely looking forward to seeing the changes after this update!

Now we will open the session up to the community to ask some questions!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

🔔 Community Q&A 🔔

💡 Community Question

What type of business are you aiming for? Do you aim for global solutions and services?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

At first, we will address essentials such as DEX, Synthetic assets, Lending and Stable coins. Yes, we are definitely aiming for global reach and are actively looking for partners to design Confidential DEFi applications together.

💡 Community Question

How do you plan to spread awareness about your project in different countries where English is not spoken well? Do you have local communities for them to let them better understand about your project?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Yes, we have a lot of local communities in many languages. They are listed on our website http://beam.mw. We also have over 40 Ambassadors in many different regions over all five continents. They represent Beam, manage local communities, organize meetups and AMAs. I would like to use this opportunity to give a shout out to them and say big thanks to Gus, who is our head of communities and Raskul who is mining community lead.

💡 Community Question

What great achievements have been achieved by the Beam team in 2020? And what other big goals do you want to achieve in the future?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

During 2019, Beam had 64 releases in 52 weeks! This is an amazing speed of development thanks to our great and passionate team. Beam has many firsts. First MW implementation to be released on mainnet. The first implementation of the FlyClient protocol. The first implementation of Lelantus protocol. We also have the most beautiful and usable wallets in the industry. So we will work hard to achieve the same results in the DeFi space in 2020. Definitely something to look for!

💡 Community Question

How do you see the future of BEAM in the Gaming industry? There are other projects as well with the same field, how is BEAM unique?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Not sure about the gaming industry specifically, but Beam is definitely very special in both achievements and future plans. Beam development is outstanding and Beam consistently delivers a lot of value for the community.

💡 Community Question

Most investors simply focus on the price of the token in the short term, not on the real value of the project. So why should I buy BEAM? Do you have plans for investors to invest in the long-term BEAM?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Beam has a lot of value both short and long term. Every day we move the project forward, make it better and more usable in many different fields.

💡 Community Question

How are the plans shaping up for marketing + building a strong, core community which is essential for any project in the crypto industry?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

We have over 40K people across many communities on several platforms. We listen to what people are saying and engage as much as we can. Community is very important for us and gives us a lot of support, love and feedback which are essential to creating a successful project.

💡 Community Question

Staking seems to be popular right now on many blockchain projects to encourage investors to hold tokens to build a healthy project ecosystem. Does BEAM support this as well? If yes, what are the requirements of a node and a validator node? And how does the reward system look like?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Beam will not support staking on the main chain, but it will support it on the side chain and within certain applications.

💡 Community Question

DeFi is an important topic in the blockchain space right now, can the BEAM team share their opinions on DeFi? Do you think that DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system or do you think we can live in a balance where both systems can work cohesively?

⚡️ Alex Romanov @ BEAM

Most of the answer is above, but yes, we believe DeFi will explode in the next year and we are seeing it happen already. A lot to do there and it’s all good!

Kim Kan (Host)

Ok, we’ve come to the end of our AMA session. Do remember to update your BEAM wallets and mining software so you transit smoothly after the hard fork expected to happen on 28 June!

If you’re interested in downloading the beam wallet or exploring the mining aspect of BEAM, do follow these links -

🔥 Beam Wallet — https://beam.mw/downloads/mainnet-windows

🔥 Mining — https://beam.mw/mining

Have a good evening everyone!

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