A bit more than three months have passed since our last roadmap update, and it is time to share our progress and plans for the future.
What was Planned and Executed
Let’s start with a recap of what has been done since the last update. As usual, Team Beam was working hard crunching out code. We shipped the following major releases since June:
Usability-wise, our wallets have been further improved.
The last Android release introduced the long-awaited Restore from Seed feature and significant UI improvements: address and transaction management, notifications, privacy mode and more. The iOS wallet will be catching up on the feature set soon. You can read more on the process of defining and executing UI in this in this excellent 2-part article by Sasha, our Head of Product.
In September, we demonstrated the POC of Laser Beam — our Layer 2 solution for fast payment channels on top of Beam.
We also made significant progress with hardware wallet development — our Trezor T integration code is ready and waiting for review and approval by the Trezor team.
Overall, while some of the items were not delivered as planned, we are quite content with the progress so far.
Not Planned, but Executed — Lelantus-MW
In the past couple of months, we spent a lot of effort on something that was not planned before — researching and implementing the Lelantus protocol.
Lelantus is a new exciting protocol for private financial transactions, developed by Aram Jivanyan from Zcoin. Lelantus uses standard cryptographic assumptions and allows the creation of a shielded UTXOs pool with strong anonymity. It also does not require any trusted setup.
The Lelantus paper was first published by Aram in December 2018. The technology caught our attention in July 2019, and Vlad Gelfer, our core dev, started studying it and finding ways to adapt it to Mimblewimble. The result of this work is a special Mimblewimble-adapted flavor of Lelantus that we called simply Lelantus-MW. For more details on the protocol and how it is different from the original Lelantus, read our Wiki article here.
The PoC implementation of Lelantus-MW can be found here, it is still work-in-progress.
We would like to thank Aram, Reuben and the Zcoin team for the friendly cooperation, and we hope to continue working together to make Lelantus better for everyone. All our discussions are available on this Gitter channel, and we welcome community input.
We will go on working on Lelantus-MW and plan to fully implement it on Testnet before the end of 2019 and release Lelantus-MW on mainnet in early 2020.
What was Planned but not Done
Originally, the Clear Cathode version was planned to include One-sided Payments and Multisig Support.
As we started working on Lelantus, it became clear that in addition to greatly improved privacy, it can also be used for non-interactive payments on Beam. Therefore we decided to drop the original one-sided payment architecture and use Lelantus for that. Therefore, one-sided payments will be released together with Lelantus.
Also, implementation of Multisig support was moved to the next release.
With the updated priorities and new technologies, we made a review of our development Roadmap.
First, we decided to extend the scope of the Double Doppler release till the end of the year.
The release will include the following major features:
- A decentralized marketplace for Atomic Swaps in the Beam wallet
- Lelantus-MW on Testnet
- Confidential Assets POC/Testnet
- Hardware Wallets — Finalizing Trezor working on Ledger support
- Opt-in Audit — initial features
The next version, codenamed Eager Electron, will be released in the first quarter of 2020 and will contain the following items:
- Second Hard Fork (PoW update)
- Lelantus-MW on Mainnet
- Confidential Assets on Mainnet
- Tor/i2P integration
Some of the functionality that we originally planned for 2019 but was given lower priority compared to other tasks:
- GhostDAG research and POC — delayed to 2020
- Porting to Rust — we will seek the community help for this. Beam Foundation will issue grants to perform this task.
- Enhanced Wallet Security — delayed till we start working on Beam Business Wallet
- Lightning — while Lightning is a fascinating technology, we feel that Beam network is fast and private enough at the moment, so the work on full Lighting implementation is also delayed
- BLS Signatures — currently delayed, we will review this in the beginning of 2020
We will be evaluating those and other technologies from time to time and re-prioritize accordingly.
The next big thing — looking further into 2020
Our 2019 goal is to build a solid Layer 1 network for Beam. In 2020, we will spend more time on expanding Layer 2 and making Beam more of a platform.
Confidential Assets being the first step in this direction, the natural next steps is to offer full Smart Contract capabilities to our network.
Smart Contracts will allow for a multitude of applications, including stable coins, P2P lending, non-custodial exchanges, and other DeFi applications.
Mimblewimble does not support smart contracts per se, so the right way to add them to Beam is through a sidechain. We will be researching the existing projects to choose the right technology for the sidechain (can be Libra, Ton or something else). Our high-level design goals are to create a sidechain with Turing-complete smart contracts, multiple assets with the ability for 1-to-1 pegging to assets on Beam mainnet, fast execution and strong privacy.
Beam is continuing to move forward, adapt and learn. We are passionate about our vision of building the best-in-class confidential cryptocurrency and a strong ecosystem around it, giving financial privacy back to individuals and businesses.
This article was originally published here: https://medium.com/beam-mw/beam-development-status-and-roadmap-update-2bfdcaa9c729