Beam is one of the most interesting coins to make its appearance in 2019. The mainnet for Beam was launched on the 15th of January, with the person behind Litecoin saying that Beam has the potential to become as important as Bitcoin. At the end of 2019 Beam is still around, so let’s check out how you can mine Beam.
Just like Grin, Beam makes use of a cryptocurrency privacy protocol that’s called Mimblewimble. For this reason crypto experts often talk about Beam and Grin in the same breath. The reason why Mimblewimble is so important is because it can dump a large proportion of old transaction data that’s recorded to the blockchain.
The result is that blockchains remain relatively “light” to handle, without enormous extra amounts of data – blockchain users do not need to spend days and days downloading the blockchain. At the same time it also improves the privacy of the blockchain.
Beam has other advantages too, according to its creators. First, the supply of Beam coins is capped – there is a maximum number of Beam coins that can be mined. The creators also think it is very user friendly, and people often mention that ordinary investors were not asked for funds during launch – there was no ICO.
Features of the Beam coin
The website for the Beam project points to a number of key factors that makes Beam special compared to similar coins.
To start off with, all the transactions on the Beam network are anonymous because transaction information is not stored on the Beam blockchain. Furthermore, auditing is “opt-in” – in other words, only specific auditors are able to retrieve a list of the transactions on the blockchain alongside the associated documentation. So, regulatory requirements can be satisfied too.
Scalability and sustainability
Use of the Mimblewimble protocol means that Beam is relatively light compared to other blockchains and that it can store a lot of transactions over a long period of time. Beam was open source from the start with heavy involvement from the community – including the Beam Growth Pool. This pool takes 20% of total mining rewards, which is given to developers to pay them for the promotion and development of Beam.
You can mine Beam using most GPUs, unlike some other coins which would only support ASIC mining. Furthermore, because of Beam’s scriptless script tech it means that many transactions can be completed on Beam beyond a simple transfer of coins. You can do time-locked transactions, use Beam for escrow and also perform atomic swapping.
So is Beam a coin worth checking out?
There were two very popular new coins in 2019: Beam, and of course Grin. Beam is popular because they launched in the middle of a cryptocurrency bear market, and they didn’t use an initial coin offering to do so. Instead, they launched a unique coin based on Mimblewimble and the coin is already making solid progress.
Beam’s developers had other options, options often used by less enterprising blockchain developers. Instead of using a copycat fork to retrieve money from existing users Beam figured they would make a brand new coin, and their efforts deserve applause.
How did Beam fare in 2019
Like we said, Beam is making good progress. The maximum supply of Beam coins is 262.8m, and by the end of 2019 51m Beam has entered the supply. The overall market cap for Beam is USD 27.6m, while the daily volume is just over USD 19m. Beam was seen trading at USD 0.53 by the end of 2019.
Keep in mind that the peak value of Beam was USD 3.18 in January 2019, it got nearly close to the same value at the end of June 2019. It’s a long way away from the USD 7,000+ of Bitcoin, but it does not mean that mining Beam is not profitable.
Beam is widely available – you can buy Beam from a range of popular cryptocurrency markets including Hotbit, BitForex and BKEX. Note however that the volume of Beam on some platforms is very low.
Beam’s developers created a custom wallet for Beam – it looks great on an iPhone, and the iPhone app works a lot like every other app you’d use – using your fingerprint for authentication. In fact, it looks a lot like a budgeting or banking app.
There are Beam apps for a range of other platforms too – Android, where you can download the apk file or choose the app in Google Play; and of course desktop wallets for Windows, Linux and OS X.
The algorithm behind Beam is based on proof of work, but is a modified version – like Equihash 150.5. Beam’s mining algorithm is called Beamhash. New blocks are created around every minute and the size of a blog is about 1,024 KB – containing about a thousand transactions. Beam’s blockchain operates on an encrypted network so mining is completed using a SSL connection.
We said earlier that the supply of Beam is capped – this means that the block rewards are reduced over time. In year one, the block reward was 80 coins for each Beam block that is mined, this drops to 40 for year 2 to 5. In year 6 it becomes 25 coins per block, and thereafter every four years until year 129 the number of coins awarded are decreased by 50%. In year 133 there will be no more Beam coins awarded for new blocks.
In theory Beam should be ASIC resistant for about a year, the developers made use of hard forks to ensure that this is the case – one in August 2019, and another about the same time in 2020.
Mining Beam with a GPU
As the Beam blockchain is currently resistant against ASICs you can still mine Beam using either an Nvidia or an AMD GPU. You need at least 4GB of graphics RAM, but a GTX 1060 from NVidia can mine Beam with just 3GB.
In terms of expected hashrates, you can expect a GTX 1060 to achieve 14 Sol/sec, while a top-end RTX 2080 can achieve 41.5 Sol/sec. For AMD kit, expect 10 Sol/sec on a RX 480 or 570, and 24 Sol/sec on a Radeon VII with 16GB.
Setting up your GPU for mining Beam is easy, and we recommend that you use Gminer for both Nvidia and AMD GPUs. You can download it here, use the password “2miners” to access the file archive. You need to use a specific batch file for Gminer – one that will be compatible with the 2Miners pool will contain:
miner.exe --algo beamhash --server beam.2miners.com --port 5252 --ssl 1 --user MY_ADDRESS.RIG_ID --pass x
Where MY_ADDRESS will be your Beam wallet address, and RIG_ID will be your rig name.
Smart mining for Beam
Beam can be mined without using your own mining equipment – instead, services like Jicek can be used to mine Beam as this allows you to rent the computing power required to mine Beam.
How profitable is it to mine Beam?
Mining profitability will always vary with Beam – and depends on what mining equipment you have available, what the current value of Beam is as well as the cost of electricity in your area. You can make these calculations yourself, or use 3rd parties to work out how Beam relates to other cryptocurrency for mining profitability.
At the time of writing, Beam is the second most profitable coin to mine, with average block awards taking about 9 hours. Also keep in mind that, for a while at least, Beam cannot be mined with ASICs so you don’t need these specialist mining rigs which can also rapidly lose their value – you can mine Beam using a GPU.