There are a few reasons BEAM is taking market attention and winning the MW race, IMHO.
To preface this, I do believe the principles of GRIN are still stronger and longer term it will be a more antifragile project given the true open-source roots and developer talent. However, BEAM has done a better job on the so-called “business” and also user front – this is not surprising given their governance but it still an area of concern moving forward.
The biggest reason is the BEAM Wallet, bar none. Users want to feel like they have a homegrown, GUI-based, tested desktop client to transfer funds to from exchanges. I believe you can also mine BEAM from the wallet. Right now, yes, GRIN has Ironbelly, Grin++, etc but I’m sorry to say, these aren’t appealing to the average user. The sending of transactions is still abysmal and clunky for the average buyer/user. This is far and away the reason GRIN is losing attention.
The GRIN site itself needs a Wallet section, where GRIN devs sign off on the top 3 wallets based on security/usability/etc. Users/buyers have no idea where to go, and the current Wallet ecosystem is utterly behind BEAM. Go download the BEAM Wallet if you haven’t, it’s beautiful. If GRIN had this from the get-go, we’d be seeing 2X the amount of buyers and holders as we do today.
I just hope this focus on raw protocol development versus any semblance of usability pays off in the long run.
The simple fact that BEAM is more centralized allows for more direct marketing, discussions with exchanges, and having an executive team and points of contact. This isn’t a strength necessarily, it’s just a fact that gets things done more quickly. Having an executive team to hold accountable could also be an eventual pitfall for the project, so I am not too concerned with this one.
I’m not sure what the answer here is for GRIN. I know the council has had direct discussions with exchanges when needed, but I know no one wants to be that ‘point of contact’ at all times. Shuffling this duty around may help.
Faster development, more catalysts, more clear roadmap. They have done a better job laying out their ~6-12-18 month plans for development. Again, “faster” is not necessarily a good thing in the long term if they rush protocol development and are not laser-focused on security and scalability. Another reason they can turn development over quicker is their centralized governance. Executives can simply sign off on the roadmap, whereas GRIN has a slower, more conservative consensus.
A more visual, defined roadmap would help outside of Github.
The outcome I am hoping for is that BEAM helps raise awareness for MimbleWimble and paves the way for exchanges and the crypto community better understanding it. BEAM can be the educator for MW, but GRIN needs to eventually come in as the BEST option for MW with cypherpunk roots. From there, GRIN will continue becoming battle-tested and superior on the security and protocol layer front. By the time GRIN ‘catches up’ on usability, MW will be more well-known and integrated, but GRIN should have far better privacy, scalability, and antifragility by then.