NEM Q&A – Original, Tested Blockchain Platform, Proof-of-Importance, “Change the World, Forever” Tech

More than a year after its original call for participation on, peer-to-peer blockchain platform project NEM, short for New Economy Movement, launched on 31st of March with 100% original codebase, an original algorithm called Proof-of-Importance (PoI), and a team of over 70 active contributors.


NEM is an original blockchain technology platform that uses the POI algorithm for blockchain consensus. The PoI consensus mechanism calculates an importance score for an account by taking into consideration its balance, activity of the account, as well as the importance of accounts transacted with.

Java-based NEM also incorporates the Eigentrust++ reputation algorithm, multi-signature capabilities, encrypted messaging, and a robust client-server web architecture that accommodates encapsulation of layers within the system. (ACN) this week engaged in a question and answer session with NEM community leaders, Lon Wong and Makoto. Lon Wong is the Founder and CEO of Sydney-based Faithhill Ventures Ltd, a company investing in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Makoto is a core developer of the Proof-of-Importance algorithm and the NEM Infrastructure Server.

ACN: I have read that the NEM is not a fork of any platform/protocol. In the beginning, the NEM project considered basing its platform on the Nxt code base, but then you decided to develop it from scratch. Why was Nxt base code not considered suitable?

NEM: When NEM first started, the Nxt code was not nearly as clean as it is now. The developers at Nxt have done a lot to clean it up and made it a lot tighter over the last year. When we first looked at the code and we thought about what we really wanted NEM to be, we soon realised that to get the feature list we wanted, we would have to alter the entire Nxt code base. We concluded that we would be better off just building the code from scratch to support the features that we wanted. These features include the client-server web architecture design, separating the NIS (NEM Infrastructure Server) and NCC (NEM Community Client), a local wallet instead of brain wallet passphrases, POI, multisig accounts, transaction spam protection, and Eigentrust++, along with a few features that are yet to be built.

The entire base code has been designed so that it can be expanded later to accommodate new features. A lot of these are to increase security, as we feel that security has been one of the sticking points with other implementations of block chain technology. Many of these features we are adding are firsts in the crypto world, like transaction spam protection, on-chain multisig, and network time synchronisation for block stamping. Even if they have been done before, nobody else is doing them with the utility and user-friendliness of NEM.

We also have a lot more features that we are working on. For instance, we have already begun testing sending transactions from cold wallets. This again, will surely redefine setups and security standards for cold wallets. There will be more later, but for now, we will continue to develop those before we announce them.

ACN: Has Nxt still had influence on the development of NEM?

NEM: No. We are totally independent of Nxt. The reality is, we are very much influenced by the industry as a whole and try to identify overall trends and develop a consistent strategy.

ACN: The NEM project has issued statements that are quite bold, for example that its platform is being launched to “rectify problems with the economy”, to “change the world as we know it forever for the better” and to help “governments, corporations, communities, and individuals to transform economies.” This definitely attracts attention but how specifically will NEM change the world?

NEM: Although debatable that other crypto initiatives may be able to do the same, we shall not claim that our ecosystem is a unique solution to alleviate world problems. As a block chain initiative, it is undeniable that it does rectify problems with many current financial and organizational systems in the real world, which is what we were referring to.

Of particular importance and interest to note for NEM, though, is the way we have built the NEM platform to be as open as possible to enable programmers and developers to have the flexibility to treat our solution as the elemental building blocks for their greater initiatives. We intend to be a generic platform solution that provides building blocks for block chain technology that can be exploited to do things that the real world can make use of.

For example, a voting system. Software developers can easily make use of our platform to do so. Another example is form submission. Although the amount of data that can be sent is limited to 256 bytes of characters currently, the type of data that can be sent is sufficient for many transactions. Alternatively, this can also be concatenated, similar to SMS messages. Form submissions allow a client to send information to an operator who would want to make use of the data to do something else. The fundamental difference between the traditional solution and this solution is that the data are stored on the block chain and the operator can actually work in stealth mode, i.e., the operator does not need to publish a website for data input and therefore become subject to hacking, DDoS, etc.

In a later release, our solution can make it simple for governments to issue their fiat currencies on the block chain if they wish to, and use that as part of their monetary management policies. This naturally will change the entire financial system. All unbanked and underbanked can immediately have their own bank accounts overnight, as the bank account is the wallet account being directly controlled by the user.

Finally, although some may beg to differ, we are not here to push libertarian political views. We are here to push the use of the blockchain technology to empower individuals. Hence, we are impartial to both sides of the political extremes. More importantly, it also allows both sides of the political extremes to participate independently of each other within the NEM ecosystem if they choose to.

With such flexibilities, we envision that wide scale adoption will indeed change the world in which we live in, forever.

Date of publication: April 7, 2015

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