Steven Gleiser - October 15, 2019
One of the biggest challenges for the adoption of bitcoin as a global currency is scalability. There have been several attempts at solving this, among others:
So, what is Grin, how does it work and why is it interesting?
Grin is a community-supported implementation of the MimbleWimble protocol. The MimbleWimble protocol seeks to accomplish 3 main things:
Grin seeks to accomplish scalability and privacy by having no addresses and no amounts stored on the blockchain.
MimbleWimble relies on Confidential Transactions and CoinJoin to keep information about the transaction private. Confidential transactions use blinding factors to hide the amounts in a transaction, and nodes only need to verify that no new money is being created. An example of how blinding factors work in cryptography can be conceptualized through the following sample equations:
1 + 2 = 3, or 1 + 2 – 3 = 0
Adding a blinding factor would look something like multiplying every value by 5:
1×5 + 2×5 = 3×5, or 1×5 + 2×5 – 3×5 = 0
Secretly multiplying every original value by 5 does not change the fact that the equation is balanced (nodes verifying the process will see 5 + 10 = 15 and confirm no new money was created) but will obscure the original values. This zero-knowledge proof works when both parties involved in the transaction communicating directly:
Grin claims to follow the original spirit of Bitcoin by being a community-supported project and remaining decentralized and somewhat ASIC mining resistant. It is a one of a kind coin; its closest competitor is BEAM, another implementation of the MimbleWimble protocol but under a more centralized approach. Right now, Grin can be mined in PCs, and it has the potential to be a truly private, decentralized, and scalable coin.