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Beam 6.0 Hardfork Aims to Bring Better Privacy to DeFi

3 mins
Updated by Leila Stein
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In Brief

  • Beam 6.0 hardfork is expected to go live on June 13.
  • The update is part of a bigger move by Beam to full decentralization.
  • Bean aims to provide privacy to the DeFi space.
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The confidential cryptocurrency platform Beam is getting close to its next hardfork. This update aims to create a baseline for confidential DeFi opportunities. 

“With the Hardfork, Beam sets the stage to fix the fundamental void in DeFi… Privacy,” explains Beam in its news update. 

DeFi is the response to centralized financial institutions. It provides private ownership of financial assets to the person that owns them, rather than using an intermediary with some powers over them.

However, while DeFi provides private ownership, it does not provide privacy. All transactions are listed publicly on a blockchain like Ethereum. This means anyone can see what is being done by various wallets, and who is doing it if they know who owns that wallet.

This is what Beam is trying to address with this latest hardfork. The platform aims to provide the privacy missing from the blockchain without compromising transparency and participation.

The fork will initiate on June 13 at block 1,280,000. The upgrade includes updates to the Beam shaders and integrating the Beam Virtual Machine live to the mainnet. 

However, users were warned that this new hardfork isn’t compatible with the old wallets. This means that those who don’t upgrade run the risk of having an incompatible wallet. 

These updates are all aimed at increasing programmable, custom logic that can be executed on-chain. This is Beams’s big step into being a full-featured confidential DeFi platform.

Beam background 

Beam’s privacy focus stems from its aim to create a platform and cryptocurrency that can be viably used in the real world.

In arguing for its platform, the company explains that no businesses want all their transactions on a public ledger.

In addition, when referencing other privacy coins like ZCash and Monero, it points out that they do not offer decentralization. 

As a result, Beam has turned to the Mimblewimble and LelantusMW protocols, which offer privacy for transactions.

Mimblewimble is technology, named after a spell from Harry Potter, allowing for complete privacy of transactions with its own security framework. 

With the use of this protocol, Beam is able to support different custom transaction methods, such as time-locked swaps, atomic swaps, and escrows.

A hardfork for privacy

As part of the hard fork’s effort to bring privacy to DeFi, Beam is implementing an upgrade to their own form of smart contracts, Beam shader.

Beam shader runs within the Beam Virtual machine and implements the custom contract logic. 

The integration with the Beam Virtual Machine is key to these improvements and the expanded use by developers. 

Both of these updates allow developers to build and deploy DeFi applications such as confidential assets, AMM pools, lending, stable coins, and others. 

Overall, this hardfork aims to improve the scope of financial assets, dApps, users can create and use while still keeping them private and secure. 

BeamX DAO a transition to full decentralization

While Beam is working on DeFi privacy, it hasn’t always been a fully decentralized platform. The exchange only recently raised funds to fully decentralize with the BeamX DAO. 

This move is the beginning of a transition from the Beam Foundation to the DAO control, making the platform fully decentralized. 

The Beam Foundation is a non-profit that aimed to foster research and develop the Beam privacy blockchain.

“The endgame goal is to transfer the process completely into the community’s hands, providing a sufficient level of stability has been achieved,” explains Beam its their news update. 

The Confidential Asset (CA), $BEAMX, governs the BEAMX DAO. To receive $BEAMX, community members can stake the native token $BEAM or another asset. 

At the time of writing, $BEAM was trading at $0.6272, an almost 6% increase over the last 24 hours. However, still well below its all-time high of $2.10 on April 11. 

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Leila Stein
After working in news and lifestyle journalism, Leila decided to bring her interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain to her day job. She now runs the Features and Opinions desk at BeinCrypto which fits perfectly with her enthusiasm for crypto's social and political impact.