Grin: The Private And Lightweight Mimblewimble Blockchain

Defining Grin

Grin is considered as the second cryptocurrency leveraging the tech to go live on mainnet, and the first being built by an Israel-based startup called Beam. The Grin developer “Yeastplume” in late October highlighted that though the two privacy-focused chains are split, the projects does not compete, with advocates at Beam even assisting in raising funds at one point for Grin development.

It is an implementation of the MimbleWimble protocol that intends to be a scalable privacy coin that has no addresses, no amounts, and is, therefore, less storage concentrated than other privacy coins and digital coins. The coin has an anonymous founder and has been developed by the community, and Grin is slated to have a good proof-of-work launch in Q1 2019. Its mining algorithm is presently ASIC-resistant, indicating users can mine Grin utilizing a laptop.

What is MimbleWimble?

MimbleWimble is a design for a blockchain that is entirely different from the bitcoin blockchain, and all others for that concern. It is taken from the Harry Potter series, “Mimblewimble” is a spell that when cast binds an individual’s tongue to prevent them from talking about a particular subject; more particularly, to stop them from casting another spell. It alludes to the fact that by design, all sender, recipient, and transaction data is anonymized and cannot be concluded from observing at the blockchain. These features render MimbleWimble extremely unique regarding blockchain architectures and make it is apparently the most privacy-centric ledger for a cryptocurrency ever developed.

How does MimbleWimble operate?

Understanding MimbleWimble needs a basic knowledge of Bitcoin’s unspent transaction production (UTXO) model:

If Jessica sends 1 bitcoin to John she’s not just transferring a one bitcoin balance to him like a cash community, which looks like:

Jessica -1 Bitcoin
John +1 Bitcoin
But that’s not how bitcoin accounting manages. Every transaction is performed of a bundle of inputs and outputs that go from one person to another. So, Jessica’s 1 bitcoin transaction to John, her wallet software is bundling up inputs from preceding bitcoin transactions that advance up the 1 bitcoin she is sending John. Sometimes there can be hundreds of data in this transaction, and each transaction demands to be individually endorsed by the wallet software. It adds a lot of data to the blockchain and becomes cumbersome. Jessica’s transaction is:

Jessica – [0.2+0.1+0.7], and where the [X+Y+Z] are past transactions that need to be bundled and certified by Alice’s wallet.

It’s a little complex, but this is a proven consensus model that has been shown to be protected. Other models provide security that is more of a test.

The Pros and Cons

Pros: It is highly anonymous that no addresses or amounts recorded to the blockchain, fast in 60 second block times, scalable size of blockchain is dependent on the number of active users rather than the amount of addresses).

Cons: It loses some functionality on scripting, highly experimental and may comprise some bugs or coding defects, not certainly a proven store of value.

Grin payments need a three-way process that also presents it a bit different from bitcoin and any other cryptocurrency transaction. These can be done automatically by an IP address or keybase, or can be handled manually.

Conclusion

Grin and MimbleWimble are innovative new developments in the area of cryptocurrency which make the most out of the cryptographic systems initially applied by bitcoin. Grin is a radical departure from pre-existing Proof of Work coins and answers a few major problems from which bitcoin experiences: scalability, speed, and privacy. That being said, it is still in its very early stages and has a long way to work before it can establish itself to be a technically reliable, trustworthy and widely-adopted model for a cryptocurrency, and investors should be conscious of these factors before plunging head-first into it.

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