Beam 2021 Week #5 - Whopping Swapping

Covering January 25th - January 31st 2021

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Beam News

A busy week for Beam with a lot taking place on the development front, as Eager Electron 5.3 edges closer to hitting testnet, with mainnet following close behind. This will usher in a new age of Atomic Swaps, namely between Beam and: ETH, USDT, WBTC, and DAI. A huge release as the gates to the Beam confidential DeFi ecosystem continue to open and expand.


The increase in Atomic Swap capabilities goes hand in hand with some upcoming features that will come to fruition with the release of BeamX. Expected to hit mainnet late Q1/early Q2. Namely Decentralised exchanges, and Confidential Assets.

DEX

With decentralised exchanges coming heavily into the spotlight in 2020, and increases across the board in terms of liquidity and trade volume, it’s essential to get a grasp on what it’s all about. As with centralised exchanges, both lending and synthetics are often used to execute a wide variety of trading contracts. These include futures, options, and margin trading, along with a multitude of other financial instruments. Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) are platforms that allow for the on-chain execution of the above-mentioned contracts. Unlike centralized exchanges, the goal of DEX is allowing users to keep custody of the assets whenever possible and use trust minimized federated schemes in case it is not.

Beam currently supports the capabilities for a wide range of Atomic Swap pairings, and with the launch of BeamX, will provide the platform for a plethora of financial instruments. DEX will be a big part of this, including the possibilities for AMM (automated market maker), and order book styles.

For more on what is to come for Beam wallets and DEX, check out the latest community call where Sasha takes us through what to expect!

Confidential Assets

Confidential Assets (aka CAs) were introduced in the EE 5.0 release, making it possible for any Beam user to create a new asset type by locking 3000 Beam. The owner can then emit or burn any amount of the newly created asset that belongs to that owner; an event which is openly visible on the blockchain and reflected in the blockchain explorer. If the owner controls all of the emitted assets, they can choose to burn all of it and unregister the asset type, thus getting back the locked deposit. Of course, if some amount of the new CA was transferred to other users, it can no longer be burned and thus it is no longer possible to unregister the CA for obvious reasons. The CAs inherit all the confidentiality and scalability properties of the original Beam coin, and are handled by Beam wallets. This includes the Atomic Swap capabilities, and the decentralised exchange made possible via BeamX. It should be noted that while individual transactions and holdings are fully confidential, the total supply of a CA can be seen on the blockchain.

With the launch of BeamX, these assets will be able to be controlled via a Beam Shader (smart contract running on the Beam Virtual Machine). This opens the doors for many a distribution model for CAs, and will introduce the possibility for the control of the CA to be truly decentralised.

Research and Development

With the Eager Electron 5.2 release behind us, work is progressing on the 5.3 release, due to hit testnet in the coming weeks. This will bring more pairs to the Atomic Swaps board, with ETH, DAI, USDT, and WBTC joining the ranks. You can follow the latest developments on the Beam GitHub.

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