Two new cryptocurrency projects are generating a groundswell of excitement in crypto-land: Grin and Beam. The two ‘privacy coins’ both went live this month, with Beam’s genesis block minted on January 4, and Grin’s on January 15. They’re relatively similar in their use of a technology called MimbleWimble to create currency that’s both decentralized and untraceable, in contrast to bitcoin’s public ledger.
They’re innovative and potentially important projects in their own right. But most importantly, they feel like a major breath of fresh air after a dispiriting boom and bust cycle in 2017 and 2018, full of puffery and scams and lies. In ways large and small, both of these new projects—but Grin in particular—represent a page turned on all of that. Their twin arrival could be an important step towards cleaning up the wreckage of a callow gold rush and rebuilding the crypto sphere as an ethos-driven community.