Beam completes its hard fork

en.cryptonomist.ch 2020-06-30 00:30
Reading time: ~2 m

Yesterday, the Beam blockchain was smoothly updated via a hard fork, as reported by the project team.


We have beamed up to BeamHashIII and the network is stable.

A wonderfully smooth transition to our final algorithm.

Now commences full confidential DeFi. Welcome to the party!#BEAM #HardFork #DeFi pic.twitter.com/2IBuobX8FL

— BeamPrivacy (@beamprivacy) June 28, 2020

Before going into the details of the update, it is necessary to explain that this blockchain did not launch an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) and therefore did not raise funds for the development of the project, but rather holds a kind of fund, called Beam Treasury, which keeps 20% of all coin issued for 5 years.

This protocol offers a default privacy system for all transactions and therefore no special precautions are required like for other blockchains, such as in the case of Zcash or Dash where transactions are not anonymous by default but have to be selected.

For Beam this is its second hard fork; the first one happened almost a year ago, in the middle of August 2019.

This most recent hard fork took place at block 777,777, resulting in the following updates:

  • An update of the PoW (Proof of Work) BeamHash III algorithm, hence the client to mine the crypto and maintain the blockchain;
  • The activation of the support for confidential assets, i.e. privacy-focused tokens;
  • Support for MimbleWimble Lelantus which is the update related to confidential assets, as Beam uses the MimbleWimble blockchain and follows its updates;
  • The activation to support One Side Payments, which are outgoing shielded transactions that previously could only be carried out using a node, while now it is possible to use a wallet.

Clearly, as for any important update like this one, it is necessary to update also the related software and wallets, hence for example the Eager Electron wallet must be updated to version 5.0.

Beam mining

As far as mining is concerned, this latest update was also designed to improve the work of GPU miners and make it more difficult for purpose-built systems like ASICs to get the most out of these algorithms.

In short, just one year later, the Beam blockchain is progressing in development, despite its price struggling to recover after the collapse suffered during the crypto crash in mid-March. Currently, it’s worth only $0.44 and it’s at position 144 on CoinMarketCap.