MimbleWimble is a protocol that was put forward by an anonymous user in a Bitcoin developers chatroom by the name of Tom Elvis Jedusor (the French name of fictional Harry Potter character, Voldemort).

MimbleWimble itself is the name of a spell used to tongue-tie victims in Harry Potter. Jedusor left a link to a whitepaper in which he outlines that by using the MimbleWimble protocol, the scalability, as well as the privacy of the bitcoin network, could significantly be enhanced.

MimbleWimble can be thought of as a stripped back—but still powerful—blockchain protocol which aims to improve upon existing implementations scalability and privacy. What makes it interesting is that it tackles scalability in a different way to a lot of other protocols. Rather than focus on centralisation (masternodes, coordinators), Layer 1 (sharding) or Layer 2 solutions (state channels), it focuses on creating a new and stripped back protocol. This makes running a node less resource intensive.

MimbleWimble Scaling#

Unlike other projects, which aim for huge throughput (amazing how many projects are promising 1 million transactions per second), MimbleWimble elects to eradicate inefficiencies, rather than increase the power, by pruning the blockchain of superfluous data. To run a Bitcoin node you have to download the entire ledger, some 175GB at present. The Ethereum ledger, meanwhile, is now over 1TB. Every new transaction takes up a little bit more space. MimbleWimble, however, gets rid of old and unneeded transactions.

A single block which consists of hundreds of transactions as well as plenty of information that needs to be stored on the blockchain. However, these blocks can be compressed with MimbleWimble’s Cut Through feature as a large part of the info can be removed from the blocks without risking the Integrity of the blockchain.

MimbleWimble Privacy Enhancing Technologies#


With Grin, an implementation of MimbleWimble, the recipient a destination for the sender to send the funds and this information is only ever seen by the two parties. In other Blockchain transactions the addresses are public.

No transaction details#

Unless you were one of the participants, none of the transactions in any given block will be recognisable to you. Unlike the likes of Monero, if you view a block you won’t see a list of transactions in that block. You’ll just see one big transaction which has mixed and merged everything—all that is left are the “list of new inputs, a list of new outputs and a list of cryptographic signatures created with the aforementioned dummy outputs.”

Confidential Transactions and blinding factors#

The above points may mean that it is impossible for anyone to trace down historic transactions, it leaves transactions open at their source for anyone monitoring the network. What we have to do is make sure that no-one can see output amounts.


Fungibility isn’t something MimbleWimble is doing to solve the problem, but rather is a problem solved by Grin.

More Information#

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