Photo Credit To Jim Sabogal Via Flickr
The MimbleWimble project first came to the limelight in 2016 when anonymous developers published the MimbleWimble text. In it, they laid out plans for the creation of a new protocol to govern blockchains, which promised a return to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision. The developers wanted to bring back anonymity and scalability to the blockchain space and many in the crypto sphere soon caught on. A few months later, developers began to code the protocol. Over 2 years later, two blockchains based on the protocol have emerged. One of the most significant ones is the GRIN coin.
GRIN is a blockchain network based on the MimbleWimble protocol, which was released in January of 2019. The blockchain, using a pair of Cuckoo Cycles for the PoW algorithm, one which is ASIC friendly, and another that is ASIC resistant. However, it does not have a public ledger like other PoW crypto coins. There are no addresses and all amounts are encrypted. To achieve privacy and scalability, GRIN uses the COinJoin method developed for Bitcoin. It is designed to be fast, simple, and has a fixed reward of 60 Grins for each time. Instead of trying to complete with ETH and BTC, the GRIN coin offers an alternative.
The GRIN Roots
When the idea for the MimbleWimble protocol was floated in August 2016, crypto researchers go interested. Andrew Poelstra, an authority in the crypto space even took time to create a technical whitepaper for the protocol. Developers originally envisioned it as a sidechain for the BTC network. However, due to limitations presented by BTC, they decided to launch the GRIN coin. During the launch of GRIN, no airdrops, pre-mining, or ICO was held; developers wanted to remain true to the roots of cryptocurrency. Another implementation of this protocol, Beam was launched around the same time as GRIN.
How Beam and GRIN Differ
Both GRIN and Beam coins have a unique take on the MimbleWimble protocol. GRIN is a community-driven coin that stays true to the ethos of Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper. Beam is a more corporate-oriented version of the protocol. For instance, while Beam is backed by venture capitalists, with 20% of block rewards being used to fund its development, GRIN funds development via donations. Besides that, Beam is written in C++ while GRIN is written Rust. Another difference is that while there are 263 million coins, GRIN has an unlimited supply to discourage holders from hoarding the coins.
Going Back to GPU Mining
GRIN developers tout it as the coin that will return the crypto community to GPU mining. The developers of this coin recommend the use of a GPU with 3.7 GB and a fast DRAM.
Critics of GRIN
The major downside to this coin is that both parties have to be online during a transaction. This has led to the suggestion that a wallet for this coin should run on a server that is continuously on. However, this could lead to centralized control, which is exactly what GRIN hopes to avoid. Besides that, GRIN uses a command-line wallet, which can be a nightmare for those that are not tech-savvy.