Lesson 18 of 20
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18. MimbleWimble – what is it? 

The MimbleWimble protocol is something for Harry Potter fans. It is a very fascinating new privacy-focused operating scheme for blockchain. It is designed to revolutionise privacy and security in the cryptocurrency world. 

MimbleWimble was created in 2016. It was created by a person under the pseudonym Tom  Elvis Jedusor. Incidentally, this is the French name of Lord Voldemort. MimbleWimble is also a name from the world of these famous wizards. It is a term for a defensive spell. Tom Elvis  Jedusor has developed a new protocol that has dramatically improved the privacy,  scalability, and volatility conditions of cryptocurrencies. This scheme is said not to work as a  traditional blockchain transaction model. It is more of an implementation that facilitates the process of retrieval, synchronisation and verification. 

How does the protocol work? 

You understand a high level of privacy in transactions is only guaranteed by many cryptocurrencies. Thus, they require a lot of space on the blockchain, which at the same time makes it bigger, heavier and less scalable. A perfect example of this is Bitcoin or Ethereum

The blockchain, which runs on the MimbleWimble protocol, does not contain individual addresses and user transactions. It collects everything into larger groups and writes in a  large transaction. It is then validated and verified without individual, unnecessary details.  MimbleWimble hides the public addresses of the sender and recipient, and the amount of the transaction. This saves space in the blockchain significantly. 

Putting the above facts together, you will have noticed that transactions made using this scheme belong to so-called confidential transactions. As a result, the user can even encrypt the number of coins sent from third parties. As we mentioned above, when verifying transactions in MimbleWimble you only observe the list of inputs, outputs and basic information. What is missing here is the detail that is sometimes necessary. 

So, how are transactions validated? The number of inputs must be equal to the number of outputs. The difference between the two must always be zero. Who is the transaction validator, then? No one. The entire validation process is based on the Pedersen scheme. MimbleWimble has two basic, and most important, features: 

Cut Through a feature that compresses blocks in the blockchain. This removes a lot of unnecessary information from the blockchain without compromising the security of the entire blockchain. 

CoinJoin – is a cryptographic function. It links payments from different users together. The  result is a single, larger transaction in which all data is confidential. Information about addresses, the amount of the transaction, is known only to the parties involved in the process. 

Dandelion protocol 

This is undoubtedly the basis of MimbleWimble’s anonymity. It was proposed by Giulia Fanti.  It proposes privacy and anonymity solutions. It is designed to reduce the risk and probability of the origin of a given transaction on the blockchain. Therefore, Dandelion operates on the  basis of two phases: 

Stem Phaze (we translate this literally as root phase). This is where the entry point of a  transaction is sent to randomly selected nodes. In this way, there is no way for the node to which the transaction goes to recognise where the source and repeat of the transaction is.  Clever. 

Fluff. Phase two. It uses the Gossip protocol in its operation. This is an information relay,  dealing with the distribution of information between the nodes of the network, which operate 

because of MimbleWimble. In phase two, Dandelion sends a given transaction to all pairs,  using the Gosspi protocol just mentioned. 

Advantages 

Surely, you have had time to notice how many advantages MimbleWimble has over other cryptocurrencies. The most significant are three of them: 

∙ Scalability. Transactions made within the MimbleWimble protocol require little space. ∙ Anonymity. The lack of public sender, receiver addresses makes it impossible to track transactions. 

∙ Fungibility. Addresses on the MimbleWimble blockchain are not registered.  Consistent, we cannot know the origin of the coins. As a result, we are therefore unable to mark them negatively. 

Disadvantages 

∙ It is true that the protocol has the potential to revolutionise the blockchain system.  However, it also has its disadvantages: 

∙ It has a longer transaction throughput compared to other protocols. ∙ It is more vulnerable to attacks by quantum computers because it relies on digital signatures. 

∙ 

Cryptocurrencies with MimbleWimble 

Beam – launched in 2018. It has its private investors backing the project. Beam has the  MimbleWimble protocol implemented. Written in C++, it is based on the Proof of Work:  Equihash algorithm. 

Grin – a relatively young cryptocurrency that was created in the second half of 2019. Also supported by donations and its community. Developed in the Rust language, it uses the  Proof of Work: Cuckoo Cycle algorithm. 

MimbleWimble, and Bitcoin 

The protocol can be implemented as a soft fork of Bitcoin. Exactly as it was in the case of  Lightning Network discussed earlier. MimbleWimble would contribute to Bitcoin’s scalability.  To date, there has been considerable discussion about this among the community of this flagship cryptocurrency. 

Some Bitcoin experts or developers believe that implementing this protocol on Bitcoin could be too difficult. The other side believes that MimbleWimble could be a sidechain solution for  Bitcoin. 

Well, if Litecoin was able to implement MimbleWimble, Bitcoin can too. 

MWC – the MimbleWimble coin 

This is, of course, the protocol’s native coin. Often described as ‘superior ghost money’. It is very rare, private and as the MimbleWimble protocol goes – an untraceable currency. It is therefore available on just three exchanges: Bitforex, Hotbit and TradeOgre. It is not one of  the most popular because, given a choice, most crypto users will opt to transact using  Litecoin, Monero or Zcash. 

MimbleWimble, and mining

Yes, you read that right. As the scheme is based on a Proof-of-Work protocol, it can be mined like Bitcoin. MimbleWimble mining is available based on the Cuckarood29 and  cuckAToo31 algorithm. The reward per block is 0.6 MWC. You will use CPU, GPU, and ASIC copters for this. 

Summary

The MimbleWimble protocol can work not only as a standalone network. It will also work well as a sidechain or payment channel solution. It enhances scalability and privacy.  Furthermore, it can be useful in the adoption of virtually the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.  At this point, we know that the protocol introduces revolutionary solutions and has many good things to offer.