Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency of the moment. The next in the ranking is Ethereum, but there is another following them: NEM (New Economy Movement).
Both NEM and the rest of the cryptocurrencies work within a generic technology that we call Blockchain. Imagine an accounting book or excel sheet. A chain of blocks is essentially a register of digital events that is distributed in a decentralized network (nodes). These nodes are maintained by the so-called “miners“, who charge a commission to maintain the operational network. All this is done through complex algorithms and computer processes.
The possibilities are several. The best known is to send money using Bitcoin, but you can also make transactions with other cryptocurrencies, including NEM. Thanks to the blockchain technology, the tracking of transactions, purchase or documents can be verified and audited without the need for banks, notaries and other intermediaries. It is a system based on trust.
How NEM works and its difference with other cryptocurrencies
The use of Bitcoin allows you to make monetary transactions from one account to another without using banks or intermediaries. Each transaction is registered in the blockchain and can be verified. The transactions involve a small commission that goes to the miners who supervise the nodes of the network. It is the cryptocurrency with the highest capitalization of the market with 71,000 million dollars.
Ethereum also allows transactions, but one of its main features is to schedule and execute Smart contracts or smart contracts. A basic example of Smart contract is a beverage vending machine: it is a basic purchase contract, whereby when you insert a euro you receive a bottle of water. These variables are written in a computer language and will be executed if we insert the coin and, for the machine, if you have the chosen drink. With Ethereum we have more complex contracts, but all are registered in the chain of blocks and can be verified. It is the second in capitalization with 30,000 million.
NEM, like the previous cryptocurrencies, allows transactions with its currency called XEM. With it, you can also send messages, register domain names, create accounts with several owners or make votes.
Undoubtedly one of its most interesting applications is to register smart assets. These assets are still the traditional titles of property, notarial documents or patents that, when inserted in the NEM platform, can be transferred or registered without the need for third parties such as notaries and property registers.
Another difference is that the NEM algorithm is based on POI (Proof of Importance) and not on POW (Proof of work). Unlike Bitcoin, where the power of hardware plays a fundamental role (it takes a huge amount of resources to produce a Bitcoin), NEM uses an algorithm that gives importance to the use we make of the platform. This especially interests the miners.
NEM currently has a capitalization in the cryptocurrency market of more than 2 billion dollars, placing it in the sixth position.
Start with NEM: the Nano Wallet
Whether you want to buy XEM (the currency of NEM), mine (here is called harvesting) or use the many utilities, the first thing we have to do is download their software called Nano Wallet. It is free and available for Windows, Linux, Mac and Android. You can download here
If we want to take advantage of all the NEM functionalities, the PC or desktop version is the most complete. The smartphone version is mostly limited to send and receive XEM between users.
Once the portfolio is installed, we need to buy or receive XEM. To buy, you will have to buy it in the Exchanges. The most popular, such as Poloniex or Bittrex, have the currency available. Once purchased the amount of desired XEM you have to transfer it to your Nano Wallet. Also, you can send messages anonymously and record information (facts) permanently.
Nem, a minable cryptocurrency
For those interested in mining (harvesting) the cryptocurrency and making a profit, you have to make an initial investment of 10,000 XEM and delegate it to a node. There is an option in the Nano Wallet to do it. Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, where you have to have your own mining hardware, here you only need the minimum amount required and link your account to the network of nodes. The transactions have a small commission, as in Ethereum and Bitcoin, which go to the miners or harvesters in the case of NEM.
Likewise, and thanks to the POI algorithm mentioned above, you will receive more XEM if you make more transactions. In Bitcoin, only miners who have very powerful hardware receive a reward. although, if you are thinking of mining some cryptocurrency, I recommend that you think it over and deepen more on the subject.
We have already seen some of them how to send money and harvest the coin, but the possibilities of NEM, thanks to its platform, go much further:
- Accounts with multiple signatures: It is very common to have an account in the bank between couples, families or associates of a company. In the event that one of the signers of the account wants to withdraw money, he needs the signature of the other person or of several. In NEM you can do the same with bank accounts.
- Mosaic. Creation of domains and goods: As it is usual for companies to have their domain on the internet, the NEM platform offers the possibility of registering ours. Once created, we can register “Smart Assets” or smart assets. For example, imagine a farmer who has several fields. You can register each one on the platform, give it a value and then sell it. The new buyer in turn can resell the plot and so on. One of the advantages of the blockchain is that you can see all transactions without fear of them being modified, which generates security and confidence in business or purchase sale of land or property.
We can also create our own Token or cryptocurrency without having programming knowledge. Very useful to create an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) so popular these days. Or a crowdfunding campaign. It is the recent case of the Japanese fintech COMSA that has launched an ICO based on NEM technology.
For those who do not know what an ICO is, it is an initial offer of cryptocurrencies. As in Kicktstarter and other platforms, they serve as a financing round for companies. In this case, whoever puts the money, is given a number of tokens, which can then be used in the exchanges. Here you have more detailed information.
- Apostille: In legal terms, an apostille is a special seal that certifies the authenticity or validity of the document and what is signed in it. It is used for documents issued in a country but that are required abroad. That apostille ensures that it is not a forgery. Also to validate documents such as testaments or certain contracts, we need a third party, in this case the notary for life. Thanks to the notarial system of NEM, we can upload and certify documents, being less necessary the figure of the notary. In addition, each document will have a unique key linked to the user. Perfect for use with patents, commercial records, licenses and anything that should be notarized.
- Voting: NEM provides security for voting. The votes can not be manipulated since there is no permanent record. It is useful for governments and institutions that require automation, speed, security and transparency of voting records.
- Private and public blockchain for companies: Companies can benefit from the aforementioned functionalities by creating their own economies, registering facts in the blockchain without the need to use Smart contracts. To provide facilities to the company, APIs are available so that developers can quickly implement NEM technology. They can choose the use of the private blockchain when speed and privacy is a priority. The other option is the use of a public blockchain, decentralized open and self-sustainable.
The NEM community
NEM is a Foundation based in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The purpose of the Foundation is to introduce, educate and promote the use of the NEM platform on an international scale, to all industries and institutions. They have an international team chaired by Lon Wong, an entrepreneur with several companies based in different areas, the last focused on Fintech and Blockchain.
One of the members of the Board, is the Spanish Albert Castellana, whom I contacted during the realization of this article to know a little more about the future plans of the Foundation. Coincidentally Albert and the rest of the Foundation are meeting in Kuala Lumpur marking the guidelines and the next steps of the organization.
One of the news that I commented, is that by the date this article is published, the new website will be ready, with much more information on all the functionalities of NEM explained above, as well as new ways to connect and work for them. , or simply be part of your community.
One of the last actions they have carried out has been the sponsorship of the Lietuvos Rytas basketball team (Lithuania). The agreement includes the logo on the T-shirts, the possibility of buying tickets through XEM and bringing the entire administrative process to the NEM blockchain.
As you can see, NEM takes a huge leap in terms of functionalities in the world of cryptocurrencies. They intend to compete with Ethereum by offering an alternative to smart contracts, making it easier for companies to implement blockchain technology. Likewise, the Nano Wallet favors the approach of the general public to the increasingly popular world of cryptocurrencies.
Find more information about NEM & XEM in this video: