Privacy coin Beam wants to reinvent decentralized finance – Decrypt

Beam, one of crypto’s most promising—and most experimental—privacy coins is undergoing a hard fork on June 28, which is essentially a network upgrade. This will enhance its privacy protections and lay out the foundations for creating privacy-first decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.

Beam is getting new features that lets it support DeFi applications. Image: Shutterstock.

The problem with the flourishing $1.5 billion DeFi sector is that the majority of its applications aren’t private. Typically built on the Ethereum blockchain, all the trades are publicly available. And, as Decrypt pointed out in February, even such tools like the Ethereum Name Service–where you give your own address a name—can be used to help identify users and watch their trades. So, if Beam could bring privacy to the DeFi space, it would be a big step forward.

“Beam will enable true private and decentralized DeFi instruments like private stablecoins and private synthetics which will track commodity, stocks and ETFs. All will be traded on a fast and unstoppable true DEX. Most of this will be built and will be launched this year,” Guy Corem, director of the Beam Foundation told Decrypt.

The upcoming Beam hard fork

Launched in January 2019, Beam is based on a blockchain protocol known as Mimblewimble. The Harry Potter-themed protocol makes transactions really small so it can support more transactions without making its blockchain hard to run—increasing scalability. It