What is Mimblewimble

3 min readMar 30, 2020


If you suddenly do not know the origin of the word “Mimblewimble”, then perhaps you haven’t read novels or watched films about Harry Potter. In the book, this word means a tongue-tying spell that prevents the opponent from pronouncing the spell. The magician binds the victim’s tongue, and one can’t utter a word. But in this article, you will find a description of a cleverly arranged protocol with this name. Let’s see what it is.

Mimblewimble is a privacy-oriented protocol created in 2016 that combines several innovative technologies that drastically change the transaction structure embedded in Bitcoin (BTC). Its idea was originally suggested by “Tom Elvis Jedusor” (this pseudonym is the name of french Voldemort from the Harry Potter series of books, the author’s real name is unknown).

As It’s already been mentioned Mimblewimble aims to create a private default blockchain with high scalability. Let’s look at it in more detail. In the Mimblewimble protocol, no information about any transaction is available to third parties that don’t participate in it. The amount of the deal, the sender, and the recipient are hidden due to confidential transactions. The system does not have usual “addresses” — each person simply keeps their private keys from the coins belonging to them. So two users exchange data with each other when the recipient creates and sends an address to the sender. Only participants of the deal can see the data, and they don’t need to be online at the same time. The entire transaction history is hidden — there are only coin creation transactions and a list of unspent transaction outputs. All intermediate data are reclined (the “cut — through“ method is used). Transaction amounts are hidden — because inputs and outputs are multiplied by a random number (the blind factor, which is a private key). It is a so-called Pedersen Commitment scheme. The proof of transaction validity is carried out by checking zero amounts (the number of outputs minus the number of inputs must be zero). Furthermore, all the inputs and outputs of different transactions within the same block are mixed — the block does not store the transaction structure explicitly, so it is impossible to determine the output which passes the coin and the input where this coin will come.

In early 2019, 2 anonymous cryptocurrencies based on the Mimblewimble protocol appeared in the Crypto World. These coins are Grin and Beam.

Grin (GRIN)

The start of the Grin coin occurred on January 15, 2019. According to the creators, the Grin cryptocurrency has the highest degree of anonymity and decentralization, since its network is under the Mimblewimble spell, which does not allow the blockchain to blurt out customer’s secrets. The main page of the project official website states that Grin is an anonymous and easy blockchain offering electronic transactions for everyone, without restrictions and censorship. As with most other cryptocurrency blockchains, Grin coins are generated as a reward for participants involved in the mining process. An important feature of the project is its full openness — it does not belong to any official company, and all its participants initially worked on Grin exclusively on the principles of volunteerism.

Beam (BEAM)

The Beam cryptocurrency network was launched on January 3, 2019. The current financial model of the Beam cryptocurrency is based on the functioning of the so-called Treasury. Treasury will be replenished by deducting 20% of all mined coins during the first 5 years after the launch of the project.
These savings are used to pay monthly salaries to team members, as well as remuneration to consultants, investors, and others. According to the information provided on the official website, the Beam team consists of first-class development engineers and marketers.

In conclusion, it should be said that Mimblewimble has interesting privacy features that are implemented in Beam and Grin. Teams of these projects try to prove that Mimblewimble can achieve a balance between anonymity and simplicity.

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