Nem (XEM)

What is Nem?

  • ✔ NEM is a blockchain platform designed and coded from scratch.
  • ✔ Included in the top 10 cryptocurrency by market cap.
  • ✔ NEM cryptocurrency is very popular in Japan.
  • ✔ NEM introduced a unique consensus mechanism called proof of importance (POI).


Nem Review


The New Economy Movement ecosystem attracts a lot of people for many reasons. The most significant one is surely the newly introduced consensus mechanism called proof of importance (POI), which I cover later in this article. Beside that the code-base was designed and developed from scratch (no fork of other existing project). And last but not least the idea itself is solid and innovative in many aspects.


  • Long Wong the president of founding board.
  • Jason Lee the global director.


NEM is a peer-to-peer, scalable, blockchain platform ready for small and enterprise businesses. NEM aims to penetrate into the banking sector, which requires mainly transparency and transaction verification. For this reason NEM blockchain is public. However NEM offers also private blockchain to satisfy all customer needs.

NEM is regarded as a green friendly technology since it uses 100 times less electricity than Bitcoin for network operations. That is possible by the usage of POI consensus mechanism, which is not so energy demanding as POW or POS.

It is worth mentioning the Catapult project. Within the project the core code-base was rewritten from Java (the first generation) to C++ (the second generation) and complete overhaul of the Mijin (NEM’s permissioned ledger) to give a superior performance. It significantly increased NEM‘s performance and made it ready for the financial sector. Thus NEM can be considered as a competitor to Ripple. For more details check the Catapult white paper.

NEM is able to handle 3.000+ (peak 4000) transactions per second. Transactions are visible within 6 seconds in a wallet/NEM client. Confirmation comes within 20 seconds. Transaction fee is 0.1% of the transaction amount.

NEM allows customers to build arbitrary asset systems. Customers define how the NEM blockchain will look like, what it will be doing and how it is going to be used. The potential is huge as it can be utilized in fintech, logistics, exchange, ICO, document storage and notarization, decentralized authentication, military, medical and many other businesses.

To build an asset a customer must define a namespace (and possibly subdomains), which is in fact the home address in NEM blockchain. Next step is a definition of arbitrary mosaics in given namespace. Mosaics are NEM‘s sub assets. The creation of sub assets requires the rental of a root namespace. Customized mosaic is a basic building block of smart assets that can represent anything. For example coin, signature, document, status or any other thing. Asset can be updated by NEM transaction, which is not always the case in similar competitor projects.

Moreover NEM allows creation of addresses acting as container for mosaics that can be connected with multiple rules. Address can represent a user as a NEM account holder.

In addition, assets can be transferred as an attachment via the NEM embedded messaging system.

This is what makes NEM unique in the cryptocurrency world. NEM invented the revolutionary consensus mechanism called proof of importance (POI). As POW and POS are considered unfair and energy wasting, the POI introduced new way of block selection. Instead of the term mining, well-known in crypto world, the word harvesting is used in NEM. Every user can participate in harvesting when he fulfills the required conditions and thus gains so called importance.


  • Main advantage is surely the POI consensus mechanism. Moreover POI is green and an energy sparing technology.
  • On top of NEM blockchain nearly every considerable business can be built.
  • NEM is a business ready blockchain and is already used in ICO, cryptocurrency exchange, state economy digitalization, etc.
  • It is an open source project. NEM CEO Martin Alf is an experienced manager who has led multi-million dollar companies.
  • Strong community in comparison with other projects.
  • Available SDK.


  • Even though POI brings some great ideas it seems though that POS is being recognized as a more effective consensus mechanism.
  • Huge max XEM supply.
  • Financial results not published.
  • None or not revealed advisors.
  • No mention about the development team at official web side.
  • Nearly no activity on youtube


NEM does not have white paper, however it has a technical reference which represents both white paper and technical overview. It is circa 55 pages document with relevant information. Topics as account, addresses, used cryptography, transaction and blockchain, POI and networks are discussed. I advise you to also read the Catapult white paper.

Real examples of use

XEM is a coin in NEM. It is a deflationary coin with maximum supply of 8,999,999,999. XEM came into existence when 1,500 stakeholders each received 5,999,999 XEM. Then they distributed, said coins, to the community. Other funds were distributed to multi-sig wallets with the intention of distribution for NEMs development and rewards. XEM can be bought on exchanges (available at all major players) or be harvested.

In NEM there are two kinds of users. Either with importance or without it. By default the user does not have the importance. In order to be eligible for importance calculation, the user needs to have at least 10.000 XEM in their balance. The importance is then calculated based on two factors. Firstly XEM amount is taken into account. Secondly a number of transactions within the last month is considered. So not only account balance is crucial by the importance calculation, but also the amount of transactions. It ensures fairness.

Harvesting is the process of generating blocks and earning the transaction fees in that block as a reward. POI determines who generates a new block. To be able to harvest, the account needs to have importance. If that is the case, then every 1440 blocks 1/10th of the unvested balance is moved to the vested part. Note that harvesting does not create new XEM coins. Harvesting revenue is approximately 1% per year (depends on amount of transactions). Read also paragraph related to wallet to understand the difference between local and delegated harvesting.

When the account achieves the importance, then it can become a super-node. There are 2 advantages of being a super-node. Besides the possibility of harvesting super-node might take part in voting and thus influence further NEM development.

Note that POI and harvesting explanation is simplified. To fully understand how POI works I advise you to read NEM tech reference.

NEM in real business

NEM established a partnership with Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). MDEC is the leading agency responsible for introducing digital economy in Malaysia. NEM blockchain was launched in Kuala Lumpur to support innovation and mass adoption of digitalization.

NEM is used as backend and asset system (tokens, smart signing contracts etc.) for Comsa. Comsa is an ICO solution platform. It enables an easy way for companies to create ICO.

NEM blockchain is used in Mijin. Mijin is successful commercial blockchain used by financial institutions and private companies in Japan.

Technical analysis

  • Embedded messaging system with the possibility to send assets in the message.
  • POI.
  • Smart asset system.
  • Passive income via harvesting.
  • Account security with multistage approvals.

Fundamental analysis

The NEM team is formed mainly from Japanese developers. There is about 15+ developers working on NEM. Judging by pull requests on github it seems the project is live. The development team can be reached via Telegram. Beside that there is the NEM forum, dedicated to development on the NEM platform. The development team is not mentioned on official pages.


The Foundation stands behind NEM. The foundation’s purpose is to introduce, educate and promote NEM blockchain technology internationally. It claims official web. There is no mention about funding. However list of founding board, council and founding members is available including names and position.

On the Investor page there is just technical material and no mention about investors.


NEM has a really huge potential and it is already used in real business. It has stepped in the financial and ICO business already. Competitors of NEM are FACTOM, Ripple and DASH (similar node systems for governance). NEM is worth to keep an eye on.


It might be surprising that NEM does not have a road map. There is no mention on the official web site. There are some NEM road maps available for example at NEM‘s facebook, but it is not up to date. It looks more like a timeline and it covers only the years 2014 and 2015. It might be a case that Catapult‘s white paper and other technical doc is considered as a road map.

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