The NEM protocol has been built from the ground up to be an enterprise-grade solution for companies looking to implement blockchain technology into their businesses. Its goal is to provide value by drastically reducing the cost of business transactions. To assist in this goal, Mijin was introduced as a private blockchain to compliment NEM. The NEM protocol can be used to integrate different Mijin blockchains into one network economy, thus the New Economy Movement (NEM).
The NEM platform is built around the use of Smart Assets, which fulfill a similar function to smart contracts on Ethereum. They provide a very high level of flexibility on the network for users and companies to build exactly what they need on the NEM blockchain. Each Smart Asset has a namespace, which defines your dedicated space on the blockchain. Think of this as something like a domain name on the internet. Within the namespace, you can create Mosaics, which are the building blocks of Smart Assets. Mosaics can be used to build almost anything ranging from financial services to encrypted messaging and notarizations. Even services for loyalty reward points, supply chain management, launching your own cryptocurrency, and creating decentralized organizations are supported by Smart Assets.
The NEM network uses what it calls harvesting to process transactions. Harvesting is similar to mining, but it relies on two methods known as Proof of Importance and Delegated Harvesting. These methods have several advantages over other consensus mechanisms such as Proof of Work and Proof of Stake.
Proof of Importance (POI)
The POI algorithm assigns each NEM blockchain user a score. The score is based on how frequently you use the blockchain to send transactions over the past 30 days. More frequent and larger transactions have a higher impact on your score. The POI algorithm disregards frequent transactions between a few accounts to prevent users from artificially improving their POI score. Your stake in vested NEM tokens (XEM) also influences your POI score. Vested tokens are the tokens left in your wallet for a certain period of time. More vested coins translate to higher POI scores.
Delegated harvesting uses an account’s POI score to determine if it will produce the next block. The higher the POI score, the higher the probability of harvesting the next block. Accounts must have at least 10,000 XEM to be able to harvest blocks. The harvesting happens remotely, so you are lending your accounts POI to a remote node to compete for the next block on your behalf. This prevents people from hoarding computing power and wasting energy since users are only competing with their POI scores for the available computing power at a remote node, meaning you are able to harvest blocks even when your computer is off.
The core team that founded and developed NEM has remained anonymous. Instead, the NEM Foundation has become the public face of the platform. Its purpose is to promote and educate the use of the NEM blockchain around the world and across different industries. The Foundation maintains a large global presence with teams located on six continents and a focus on Asia. With such a global team, the NEM Foundation combines many different aspects of business and engineering disciplines to support companies looking to implement the NEM blockchain.
The NEM Foundation has secured partnerships with 12 companies across industries such as consulting, fintech, and medicine. Below are a few of these partnerships.
- Tech Bureau Corp. is a blockchain fintech company based in Japan. They developed the Mijin private blockchain with NEM to provide companies with more control over who participates in their blockchain network. The cryptocurrency exchange Zaif, one of the major exchanges for trading NEM, is also run by Tech Bureau Corp.
- Dragonfly Fintech has partnered with NEM to provide more efficient international payment and settlement services using the Mijin blockchain. They are aiming to disrupt the traditional SWIFT settlement method used today. Ripple and Stellar are to other blockchain platforms looking to do the same.
- LuxTag is a project of Cyberbloc Sdn.Bhd. based in Malaysia. LuxTag is using the NEM blockchain to offer brand protection through verification of authenticity for products. It provides visibility of a product’s history including where it came from, who its past owners were and information regarding any repairs. Waltonchain and VeChain are both blockchain that are also targeting this area.
- RapidQube is using NEM to put medical records securely on the blockchain. It will use the Mijin private blockchain to add enhanced security while still allowing relevant parties to access medical records for their patients. This is also one of the areas ICON’s blockchain is targeting.
Accomplishments and Future Plans
In addition to these partnerships, NEM has released its NanoWallet for desktop, android and iOS devices. Besides sending XEM, it also allows you to send mosaics and messages to any address or namespace on the network. NEM Apostille was released alongside the wallet to enable its support for notarization services. A new wallet is currently being developed for release in September 2018. Known as Meteor Wallet, it is designed as a lightweight version of the current wallet and will only be available for Android and iOS devices.
Catapult was launched on the NEM network in May 2018 to deliver faster transaction speeds and improved scalability. It was a reworking of the core engine for the platform, thus providing those improvements for Mijin as well. It also offers support for aggregated transactions, allowing transactions between several parties to occur simultaneously. So far, NEM is the only blockchain with this feature.
Exchanges Supporting XEM
Over 20 exchanges currently support XEM, NEM’s network token. Zaif, Kryptono, and Bithumb account for a majority of XEM’s trading volume. XEM has fiat pairs with USD, JPY, EUR, CAD and CNY currencies. But the most popular fiat pairings are the KRW and JPY, each making up about 10% of the total trades by volume. The remaining trading volume is dominated by BTC pairs.
NEM is looking to change how businesses operate by providing blockchain solutions with Smart Assets. It is a very versatile platform with seemingly endless possibilities. Companies across several industries have already partnered with NEM for blockchain solutions. With a global team presence promoting its use and continuing development of the platform, NEM is on its way to expanding its network through real-world use cases.