The NEM Blockchain: Overview of the New Economy Movement

The Beginnings of the NEM Blockchain and XEM Coin

The New Economy Movement (NEM) aims to provide a low-cost, low-bandwidth solution for the management of both physical and digital assets. Unlike the native cryptocurrencies of other blockchains that primarily serve as means of payment, the NEM cryptocurrency, XEM coin, is mainly used for NEM’s internal network governance. NEM has subsequently released the Symbol blockchain, which uses its XYM coin to provide additional benefits via a different network infrastructure.

NEM’s crypto origins can be traced to an online forum discussion on Bitcointalk, a prominent online crypto community. From its inception, NEM’s aim was to empower large companies to easily migrate their assets and business processes onto a blockchain network for improved performance and transparency. Unlike projects that originate as forks from other blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum, NEM’s blockchain evolved from an entirely native codebase. Building the project from scratch in alignment with NEM’s goals has made it quick, adaptable, and scalable for the project’s intended purposes.

Many private and governmental entities have been rapidly developing and investing in their own blockchain capabilities — usually on what are known as private blockchains. Many of these ledgers remain isolated within their respective organizations. The NEM crypto protocol acts as a bridge between private blockchains and enables them to plug into the public crypto economy (and its public blockchains), providing cross-functionality and information-sharing opportunities.

NEM’s Blockchain Focus: Enterprise Adoption

The NEM blockchain offers a robust network, an innovative consensus mechanism, an accessible user interface, and an active community with the goal of bridging traditional business practices and the new world of blockchain ledgers. Multiple ledgers can be simultaneously maintained by NEM’s chain, and its digital tokenization protocols are able to manage a broad range of asset types — including financial, legal, and physical assets. The protocol is compatible with application programming interfaces (APIs), so it can connect to and interact with almost any application independent of device type. As such, it can be used to launch everyday payment apps similar to CashApp, or even to launch Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The NEM blockchain helps address some of the biggest hurdles companies face when attempting to implement these systems, such as slow network speeds due to long block confirmation times and lagging connectivity. The project also streamlines the program implementation process, which can be hindered by the use of multiple incompatible software languages. For these reasons, NEM continues to gain traction all over the world — particularly in East Asia — and the project’s XYM migration was brought about with an eye toward accelerating its enterprise adoption trajectory.

The NEM Foundation and the NEM Community

The NEM Foundation was established in Singapore in 2016 as a nonprofit aiming to bolster the NEM crypto ecosystem. The primary goals of the foundation are to spread awareness of NEM’s benefits, integrate new NEM-driven projects, guide the network, and encourage the community’s growth. Notably, the foundation played an active role in helping NEM stay afloat after one of the largest cryptocurrency robberies in history. In 2018, $400 million USD worth of XEM coins were stolen from an exchange in Japan. While this was due to a vulnerability in that exchange and was not due to a flaw in the NEM blockchain network, the project still suffered fairly heavy losses due to the sizable disruption to the ecosystem. Despite such a large setback, the foundation worked closely with the NEM community and the exchange in bounceback efforts, and as a result, NEM now has one of the most involved communities of any project.

The NEM Foundation has worked on a number of large-scale projects:

  • The Ukrainian Central Election Commission and the NEM Foundation collaborated on a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of a blockchain-based voting system. Leveraging the transparency and security of blockchain was a historic step for the country, which has suffered from alleged election fraud on more than one occasion. This marked Ukraine’s first attempt at e-voting.

  • The NEM Foundation worked with the Ministry of Education of Malaysia and a group of the country’s higher education institutions to establish a blockchain-based authentication system for academic certificates.

  • The Bank of Lithuania worked with the NEM Foundation to issue a digital commemorative coin based on the NEM blockchain, designed for collectors and for memorializing the country’s 1918 independence.

In 2018, the NEM Foundation created an incubator to develop startups that utilize its ecosystem. As these different ventures develop globally, they will boost the ecosystem and expand its uses. The NEM Foundation’s leadership and experience has helped instill confidence from stakeholders, and stands to continue playing a pivotal role in NEM’s ongoing success.

For more information on NEM, check out our articles on the project’s unique consensus and governance structure, as well as its updated Symbol blockchain and XYM cryptocurrency. Additionally, to learn more about other projects tackling enterprise adoption, check out our articles on Ethereum, NEO, ICON, and Cardano.

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