Editor’s note: This article from the value chain: carbon (ID:cc-value), author: Tang Han, the daily planet Odaily authorized reprint.
The future encryption ecosystem at least half of the project should be associated with privacy, even more. This is not to say that there will be more Grin, in fact, a situation is more likely and privacy related technologies continue to emerge. As people increasingly understand money and assets must be private, they will be in a different way to privacy type encryption currency.
Respondents: Beam CEO Alex
Interview & written by Han Tang
Some problems on the MimbleWimble protocol
Carbon chain value: about CT- secure transactions: because this technology a great change to the transaction data structure, not directly into the new version of bitcoin, but began to use in the side chain. Beam and bitcoin side chain compared to what is the difference? The advantages and disadvantages of each where?
Alex: first of all, one side of the MimbleWimble protocol Beam is not bitcoin chain based on, but a new independent currency.
Secondly, there is such a person in the community, they tried to construct a MimbleWimble side chain, and added to the bitcoin. However, this does not change the main chain, side chain, it is the protection of privacy, but the main chain or not protect privacy. When you want to use the side chain of hidden bitcoin transactions, you will need to bitcoin from the main chain to side chain, when after the completion of the transaction, may also need to transfer bitcoins from the side chain to the main chain. So this approach does not protect privacy from the essence, and the operation is not very convenient.
We believe that privacy is very important. May all the currency will to some extent to consider the future of privacy, bitcoin is also improving their privacy protection by using these methods, but to achieve this point it is still very difficult to. After all, Beam is to solve this problem in layer 1, but the side chain bitcoin is in layer 2 to solve this problem.
Carbon chain value: we cannot directly to the MimbleWimble protocol to bitcoin.
Alex: yes. MimbleWimble there is no script, but the script is bitcoin. If you want to add MimbleWimble to bitcoin, bitcoin may need to put all the scripts are eliminated, this might lead to the transaction between accounts. To achieve this thing is not realistic.
Carbon chain value: Beam sender and receiver are involved in the process of creating the transaction, which is completely different with bitcoin. This way to avoid the leakage of receiver address, but the sender and receiver must somehow get in touch. Beam contains a security BBS system (separate from the Beam block chain), the sender and receiver can safely exchange their Pedersen commitments. However, the BBS system is the center of? This BBS system can guarantee the user privacy and transaction security?
Alex: the BBS system is to the center of the. You can imagine it as a picture of BBS on the whole exchange of information is segmented stored in different nodes, different nodes as a supplement to each other, after a node is broken, the other nodes will get these data automatically fill. Overall, it is a complete hash table (Hash Table).
If you want to use more and more like the example to illustrate this matter, we can say: do you know BitTorrent? The BitTorrent data is not stored on the company server, but stored in nodes, and these nodes store only a part of the overall data, which is similar to the slice. In general you can understand the communication of data storage, the storage is to the center of the data, does not belong to a central node for all.
Carbon chain value: so, although Beam traders must be online at the same time in the transaction, but Beam itself does not store the dialogue information, while Beam is not compulsory transaction transaction communication software. However, the exchange of information is publicly available?
Alex: first of all I have to say that these traders do not need online at the same time in the transaction, as long as two hours they can pick up words on the line.
At the same time, the exchange between traders and not directly, but through a bulletin board system to complete the. For example, I want to launch a deal with you, and I will send you a message. You see this message, you need to send the address message to me, then I uploaded to bulletin board in the system.
The Bully Board system is open to the public, does not belong to the Beam development team of private ownership. Then, the system itself and the information is encrypted, in addition to the parties to the transaction, other people do not know what information, even the Beam team itself does not know what it is.
Carbon chain value: on the dandelion agreement: MimbleWimble, the node sends a transaction is divided into two steps, the first transaction to send one to one to the next node, after a certain number of nodes after the transaction will be broadcast, the miners have verified packaged into blocks. This makes the monitor nodes more difficult to figure out the process of transaction, it is difficult to distinguish between the original node sends the transaction. However, whether this makes the attack more difficult to be found?
Alex: Dandelion (Dandelion) security protocol and the network privacy. Dandelion agreement is about one thing: there is no such agreement before you will send it directly to broadcast the whole network, so we all know where is the source of this transaction; a dandelion agreement after you put the deal sent to the next node, the next node and then sent to the next node until then, a node to the whole network broadcast. So if someone wants to back out, who is the original node sends the transaction, will become very difficult.
However, if someone attacks in the entire network, its external representation is still very obvious. You will observe obvious bifurcation, then you will know the network problem. Privacy and security are not contradictory.
The value chain: in this case, the attacker will find more difficult?
Alex: as I understand it, you said the attack did not appear in the transaction level, but in the mining level. As a result, tracking such attacks also means to find support node for a bifurcation. And other bitcoin network, we can solve this problem through similar analysis, this does not have too big difference.
About Beam and Grin
Carbon chain value: BEAM provides secure transactions (traditional Bulletprooof signature), BEAM also put forward design audit wallet. Selection of audit function allows the enterprise or other users to generate unique public / private key pair, a key pair can make the external metadata third party verification of funds or any other stored in the transaction (e.g., documents or other digital assets). The Grin team is a clear choice to give up expansion among other functions outside the core function. What do you think of these two different choices?
Alex: I think we and Grin had made a different choice and the reasons or because our ideology is different. Grin is more idealistic, it is more like a product of anarchist punk movement and password. You know, they want a no government, no tax, or even a no order of the world. They also use their technical support with this vision, this is my understanding of Grin. They want to create a new world, but not willing to compromise and the existing system.
In beam’s view, the government will not be so quick to die, the tax will exist for a long time. – in some time ago, I also heard that Ernst launched a crypto currency tax calculation tools. So I want to say is that you can do with the ideal, but you also have to take into account the reality. To see how the American government would like to immediately collapse? If you have offended the government, well, they’ll put you in jail. In prison you can believe bitcoin or Grin, but it is difficult for you to use it. This is the reality.
Grin is more idealistic, more anarchist; and we are more pragmatic, more focus on solving practical problems. – the ideal school and Practice for such differences, are visible in the encryption which also determines the currency of the world, our view on many things will be different, have different coping styles. For example, they always adhere to the open source community, and we choose the type of company, to develop their own encryption currency.
Idealism may start to be more suitable for spread as a story, but the world is not only an idealist, also need a realist, to target their target down-to-earth work. Have the same view of people will eventually make their thought was right.
Carbon chain value: do you think Beam and Grin are competitors? How to look at some time ago in the Grin China fire?
Alex: Yes, we are competitors in a way, because we are using MimbleWimble, so people need to choose between us. Some people love Grin, some people love Beam.
There is a word called coo-petition English, this word can well describe the relationship between Beam and Grin, while the competition side cooperation. We love Grin very much, they are pioneers, they have excellent technology. And we are doing MimbleWimble, also saw the potential of the agreement. But at the same time, our vision is different, we take a completely different path is two.
At the same time, I think this track is not only a project, this is actually a good thing. You know, we began to sound in August last year, and I think that is because of the existence of the Grin, only to make our rapid development, because we know that there is a rival. Otherwise Beam may take a long time to complete, and give each person’s experience may be even worse. Now there are two projects, two competitors and each have ideas, but everything is open. Therefore, if we have a good idea, so they quickly from the technical point of view to understand and learn it at the same time, it also inspires us to do what we think is right.
You know, this is the way we make progress. If you have a competition, then you know you can’t just sit still. You need to move more quickly. Although Grin has published many Beam and Grin relations of speech, but I do not know their true inner thoughts. From my point of view, I think we really need some competitors.
The anonymous money market, tracking the company and the government
Carbon chain value: in addition to like Grin the same time the birth of the opponent, the anonymous coins on the track, Beam also faces like Zcash, Monroe and other anonymous currency competition. How do you view the anonymous money market?
Alex: I think more and more people will begin to understand your need for privacy. Wikipedia is an interesting example, it is a bit like an anti government organization, and accept bitcoin donations. Wikipedia believes that bitcoin transactions can protect privacy, but in fact in the bitcoin network, no matter what you do, the transaction will always exist. Unfortunately, in accordance with the current technology, to track bitcoin transactions in the networks is very easy. Two or three years ago, when people use bitcoin, they are like in a fairy tale world like, think that the world can protect their privacy. But the actual things on the contrary: bitcoin transactions on the open to all, it even more than the bank is not private. Because in the bank, at least you don’t know my account of the transaction information. In bitcoin, everyone knows everyone’s trading. It sounds crazy, right? More and more people begin to understand this point, more and more projects are trying to solve the privacy problem in different fields.
So I think the future encryption ecosystem at least half of the project should be associated with privacy, even more. This is not to say that there will be more Grin, in fact, a situation is more likely and privacy related technologies continue to emerge. As people increasingly understand money and assets must be private, they will be in a different way to privacy type encryption currency.
Carbon chain value: according to what you mean, you think bitcoin digital currency is not last every day we use?
Alex: I think the real public use of encryption currency should be private. You know, bitcoin may eventually become a store of value like people, only occasionally in the network some transactions, it is difficult to be tracked. However, if we consider the use of encryption currency for payment or for the operation of daily life, it must be private.
Carbon chain value: so bitcoin is a digital gold, but it is not a very good digital cash.
Alex: Yes, I can not say that it is a great number of gold, because gold is also need privacy. If I were holders of gold, I don’t want anyone to know I have how much gold, especially a lot of gold in my case. After all, if I fall, the wealth of well known, so that some people will call me idea, want to break away the wealth. Ideally, all should be private.
However, bitcoin is the world’s first encryption currency, and has over ten years of testing, so instead of bitcoin is not easy. But I think about privacy encryption currency will be more and more, finally may account for half of the entire encryption monetary system. This trend will initiate the impact on the existing pattern of encryption currency.
Carbon chain value: what do you think of Zcash and Monroe? They are very strong competitors.
Alex: of course, for us, Zcash and Monroe are two very strong competitors. Technically, Monroe may be more severe, because they are all confidential or private. But everything has two sides, Monroe in the expansibility is not doing well. From the block size, the space of each transaction it wants to spend fifteen to twenty times greater than Beam, five times bigger than bitcoin. Therefore, if Monroe has the same amount of trading and bitcoin, it should be more than 1TB of data storage. For one, the amount of data is very big. In addition, the data synchronization Monroe need to spend a few weeks time, this is also a problem. And in the same amount of data and bitcoin, Beam may be 50G, much smaller than Monroe.
Carbon chain value: but some people say Monroe is better in privacy.
Alex: This is a very interesting question, but I don’t think this is true. First of all, Zcash ninety-five percent of the transaction are not private. By default they are open to the public, when you use cash or through an account transfer, you need to explicitly choose it as a private, and only five percent of the transaction did.
Monroe made use of zk-snark technology, this is the best of all hidden technology. But it also has a big problem, which begin with a centralized setting, people must come together to create a special set of keys. Even if this set of keys is compromised, the owner of the key is still in no one see the case of printing money. Of course, we hope they are honest people. But this assumption is not permanent, we should give it a big question mark. Now, some researchers have tried to prove that Monroe currency traders can follow the trading plan.
At present, people have not found this problem MimbleWimble. Therefore, we believe that privacy coin using Mimblewimble protocol is wise, because you can not point out is not where the set of protocols. We also believe that Beam is not worse than the Monero, or even better, because there is no Beam address. But the Monero still have the address, this transaction in contrast appears to be somewhat confusing.
Carbon chain value: as a private money team CEO, what do you think of the government, and make a balance between privacy and government regulation? After all, the government always want to know and control each person’s situation.
Alex: This is of course, the government wants to know everything to everyone. But we believe that human beings have the right to privacy, and technology can protect our privacy.
We want to create a similar cash system in terms of privacy, but not with the government does not want to make too much struggle. How to understand this thing? For example, if I have cash, can I have a private money, but generally do not spend too much. For example, I went to Starbucks and McDonald’s consumer consumption, I certainly will not exceed $1 thousand. But if I had $one million in cash, this is a problem. Usually people don’t take $one million in cash, right? Unless they are criminals. On the other hand, if I were like Starbucks businesses, may every day I will earn ten million yuan in cash from consumers. But then I took it to the bank, all receipts are, I will use the cash to pay taxes to the government through the bank.
So this is completely anonymous, but business is compliance. This is what we want to create. We tell the government, see, this is a private currency. Business people can complain, but it can also be used by the government.
From the point of view of the government, as a regulator, you can say that private money is illegal, is prohibited, it is not good. But first of all, the policy implementation is very difficult, right? Even if the regulations are set on it, but if you really want to implement it, all you need to check the mobile phone for everyone, look at their mobile phone is encrypted currency. But it is expensive and difficult, and not worth it. In many countries, people will not agree with this, right?
So we propose is such a secret currency, it can protect people’s privacy, but also can meet the requirements. We hope that with the passage of time, regulators will begin to accept this point. After all, this technology is here. You can fight it, or embrace it and make it meet the requirements.
Carbon chain value: more and more money is poured into the field of encryption currency tracking. Do you think this privacy threat to Beam?
Alex: No, they will not be able to do. Frankly, I think the track and data analysis firms are now even not too concerned about us. It is almost impossible to track Beam. Maybe they can find some information, but you know, beam and bitcoin is completely different.
In the bitcoin world, everything is put in there, you do not need to be too clever to track a lot of things. In the Beam network, and I’m not even sure to track whether the transaction may be. I mean, you can try; you know, those people are smart, they will try to do what. But from what we know now, there is no way to eliminate this anonymity in Mimblewimble.
The value chain: the last question, the problem about lightning. I heard that beam is planning to launch the latest in lightning network. About this technology have many different opinions. Some people think that if you use the lightning network, we will face a very center of the situation. What do you think of this?
Alex: we actually had a lot of discussion. You know, we do some research, we understand the lightning network. This technology has a great potential, but also faces enormous challenges. Based on this, we will continue to do some work, and the trend of the market and technology to maintain a high degree of concern.
Honestly, if lightning completely to the center, it will be very difficult to operate. This is like a group of small people, find the right way in the sea, looking for valuable liquidity, but they do not know the path they choose to have such ample liquidity. As a result, lightning network operation will be difficult, even impossible.
Lightning network like the Internet, but we must have enough money at each node. Finally, it may become a situation like banks, the network will have several large hub with a large number of liquidity. I China remit money to banks, and through them to the United States bank remittance, and then transfer to retailers. This is the center of the. They might even will review your transactions, if these large hub into the government, they even for some reason you stop paying any fees to Iran.
In this case, a large network node lightning can do this, but at least they can take away your money, so still better than bank system. On the other hand, if you have to give money to a person, but a large node forbid you to do so, you can also try to create other channels. Although the creation of such a path than directly through the center node transfers to difficulties. In the worst case, you can still operate in the main line, to ensure that you want to complete their transactions.