What is NEM?

NEM is a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform launched on March 31, 2015, written in Java computer language. It was created by a Bitcoin Talk forum user called UtopianFuture who was inspired by Nxt.

What is NEM?

The initial plan for NEM was to create a fork of NXT, but then it was completely written a new codebase. Launching on January 19, 2014, an open call for participation began on the Bitcointalk forum, with the aim of calling to create a community-oriented cryptocurrency.

NEM Foundation, founded in 2016 by Lon Wong, approximately 2 years after the Public Chain launch. It was funded from one of the reserved pools, which is a Company Limited by Guarantee in Singapore. In late 2018 the first council’s term came to an end and a new council was elected by members.

Image via Do It

Unfortunately, in 2014, UtopianFuture was accused of having a sock puppet account. He has admitted it is true and apologized to the NEM community. As a result, he has stepped down as the leader and has left the community.

NEM’s design architecture consists of two components. One is the node or NEM Infrastructure Server (NIS), and the client used for interacting with the nodes. Another client was the NEM Community Client (NCC). The NIS is connected to the P2P network and acts as a gateway for the NCC. The NCC is client software that includes a wallet. The NCC has since been deprecated in favor of the NanoWallet. Both NCC and the NanoWallet can be run isolated from the internet, providing security through an airgap.

The firm issued a fixed decentralized, its cryptocurrency wallet is the NanoWallet built with HTML and Javascript. Its unit is called XEM.

Features of NEM


Overview of the NEM structure | Source: Wikipedia

1) Namespaces

It allows users to own domain names on the NEM blockchain just like a person or an organization owns an Internet domain name. Just like on the internet, a domain can have a sub-domain, namespaces can have sub-namespaces. And it is possible to create multiple sub-namespaces with the same name (example: “foo.bar” and “foo2.bar”, “bar” is the sub-namespace/sub-domain).

A namespace and a domain name are the same in this document and shall be used interchangeably. Namespaces can have up to 3 levels, a namespace and its two levels of sub-namespace domains.

2) Reputation and harvesting

NEM network implements a modified version of Eigentrust++, a security clustering algorithm, to identify and minimize the impact of malicious nodes. In proof-of-work, the amount of work a node does is used as a measure for its ability to protect the network. But, with Eigentrust++, it is the quality of work that is important, adding to the NEM network’s ability to be run and maintained efficiently.

NEM uses a proof-of-importance (POI) to score how people can harvest XEM; a person has to have 10,000 XEM in their balance to be scored, and the number of transactions they have with others, to timestamp transactions. This was designed to encourage users of NEM to not simply hold XEM but instead actively carry out transactions.

3) Multisignature transactions

Its multi-signature contracts are universal, meaning they are built into the blockchain, not on top of the blockchain as in third-party reliant software. This unlocks various advantages and interesting possibilities for the user. The contract enables several people to administrate the activity of an account, control assets such as XEM from one account, other mosaics, or create additional contracts such as creating a new token.

Real-world Application

In July 2018, the Ukraine Central Election Commission began investigating the use of blockchain technology in elections using the NEM platform. The tests were performed in a test environment with 28 nodes, using test coins provided by the NEM Foundation. The commission estimated that the cost of a node would be approximately $1,227, which was described as a “small” price to pay for the technology. The test proved NEM’s potential utility in voting.

In November 2018, Malaysia’s Ministry of Education formed a consortium of universities to use NEM’s blockchain technology to authenticate academic certificates. The consortium was created to combat the rise of fraudulent fake degree certificates and to optimize certificate authentication. The ministry stated that NEM was chosen because of its “unique features in managing traceability and authentication requirements”.

Statistics comparison: NEM vs. Bitcoin

Specifications NEM (XEM) Bitcoin (BTC)
Coin limit 9 billion 21 million
Price $0.04702814 $9,153.55
Market Cap Dominance 0.17% 65.26%
Trading Volume $31,934,793 $54,491,733,617
Volume / Market Cap (as of Feb. 2020) 0.0754 0.3275
24h Low / 24h High (as of Feb. 2020) $0.04526188 / $0.04964485 $9,133.21 / $9,354.34
7d Low / 7d High $0.04071797 / $0.04934848 $9,276.89 / $9,509.81
Market Cap Rank 29 1
Creator Utopian Future Satoshi Nakamoto
All-Time High $1.87 (Jan 07, 2018, about 2 years) January 3rd, 2009
All-Time Low $0.00008482 (Sep. 5, 2015, over 4 years) $67.81 13445.1% (Jul 06, 2013, over 6 years)


NEM is still fairly new, and any cryptocurrency so young will suffer from a great amount of risk, ups and downs. Not only that, but there is still no roadmap set in stone, so we will just have to wait and see.

It is hard to cover every aspect of this cryptocurrency in such a small amount of words. Anyhow, you should have a fundamental understanding of what it is and how the technology works, as well as how it is different from Bitcoin.

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