Those keeping their eyes on the cryptocurrency charts may be heard of the NEM ecosystem. However, what is NEM? NEM, short for the New Economic Movement, is a community of projects that operate within the NEM blockchain ecosystem. NEM is creating a unified collective of progressive blockchain projects, aimed at solving many of the issues faced by the traditional financial sector. Furthermore, the team has been working solidly for several years. Finally, we’re about to see the fruits of their labor. The latest offering from NEM is the heavily anticipated Symbol blockchain.

The Symbol blockchain is a secured and trusted value exchange network. Its primary function is to facilitate frictionless data-sharing for individuals, businesses, and enterprises. Symbol aims to reduce costs and improve efficiency in current processes. This is achieved not only by developing a platform that promotes innovation and creation, but also by building a community for developers, businesses, and projects to work with each other.

In this article, we’re going to explore the various arms of the New Economic Movement and the NEM blockchain. Also we'll discuss some of the upcoming developments and announcements that are just around the corner!

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What Is NEM? (New Economic Movement)

NEM, or New Economic Movement, began in 2014. The launch of the first NEM blockchain took place the following year. The NEM ecosystem is broken down into 4 main roles. Each role plays a key part in maintaining governance, effective communication, and the development of the ecosystem. 

NEM Group

The NEM Group is the parent company of the NEM ecosystem. It is responsible for budgeting and strategizing. Also, the board is responsible for making sure all subsidiaries are working towards a shared goal.

NEM Software 

NEM Software is the team responsible for product development and also the enterprise business development arm of NEM Group. NEM software has been through several years of development. Currently, NEM Software is drafting a roadmap for future commercial infrastructure.

NEM Trading 

NEM Trading manages the finances of NEM Group and its subsidiaries. This includes managing budgets and a corporate treasury function. Also, NEM Trading manages the digital assets used by the group for exchange liquidity, token lending, and support.

NEM Ventures 

As the name suggests, NEM Ventures is the investment and venture capital arm of the NEM ecosystem. Mandated by a public vote, NEM Ventures is responsible for the strategic growth of the NEM ecosystem.

NEM Blockchain Ecosystem

Within the NEM blockchain ecosystem, there are various platforms each offering value to different areas of the ecosystem. Though some platforms such as the community forum and NEM Ventures are not blockchain-based, they are inherently intertwined within the NEM blockchain ecosystem.

NEM Community

The NEM community can be found across several platforms and in various languages. The NEM Forum is the best place to get recent updates on projects and communicate with the NEM team. Additionally, there is the NEM Hub web3 site, powered by the NEM community. 

The NEM Hub allows participants holding over 1000 of NEM’s native XEM tokens to become validators, contributors, or both. Also, XEM tokens must be stored in a verified wallet to which you own the private keys, exchange wallet addresses will not be accepted. Following signing-up for the NEM Hub online, there is a prompt to advise users on how to use the platform, and an invite to the Social Mining NEM Hub Telegram chat, to continue discussions cross-platform. 

Social Mining is a way of earning XEM tokens for completing tasks set within the NEM Hub. Tasks can vary from marketing to research to tech-based, with users rewarded an individual amount for each task. This is a way for anyone with a bit of crypto know-how, to get involved and contribute to the crypto industry. If you’re not a developer, but would love to work in the crypto and blockchain industry, make sure to see our guide on how to get a job in crypto, and our list of different crypto careers!

Not only does the project have a thriving Telegram group, but NEM also has a strong community on Twitter with over 200,000 followers. The NEM social network team is incredibly active with an even more interactive community of followers. To keep up with everything going on with NEM; Twitter, Telegram, and the NEM Community Forum are the best places to be.

NEM Ventures

NEM Ventures is the investment arm of the NEM blockchain ecosystem, helping start-ups on the NEM blockchain achieve success. Currently, there are 10 proposals undergoing consideration and each proposal must go through a community vote to be actioned.

NEM Ventures specializes in high-tech companies that show opportunities for growth within the blockchain sector. With an impressive list of collaborations and a robust due diligence process, this is a venture capital team with a real vision. NEM Ventures currently supports Cyclebit, Vimba, and Mobi, amongst others.

As the blockchain industry evolves, venture capital (VC) firms are playing an increasingly dynamic role in the success of many cryptocurrency projects and blockchain platforms.

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The first version of the NEM blockchain is known as NIS1 which impressively, has reported zero downtime, hacks, or outages since its inception in 2015. The history of the robustness of the NEM blockchain boosts the confidence of developers approaching blockchain development for the first time. In addition to its reputation, there are other key features to the NEM NIS1 blockchain that has so far proven NEM a success.

NIS1 offers a ‘plug-and-play’ architecture offering ease of development for programmers. Known for its simplicity and flexibility, NEM NIS1’s API interface can be programmed with any programming language. As a result, this allows any programmer instant familiarity when first developing with blockchain technology. 

NIS1 runs on a network of NEM-based nodes that operate a unique and innovative consensus mechanism known as Proof-of-Importance. Unlike other consensus mechanisms, Proof-of-Importance takes into account the nodes' overall support to the network when considered to ‘harvest’ blocks. This is novel in a sense as other consensus mechanisms (such as Proof-of-Stake) favor more toward the wealth of the node when voting who gets to mine the next block.

NEM’s NIS1 blockchain was designed for scalability and speed, plus ultimate flexibility for developers. Using the unique consensus mechanism, NIS1 can offer either a public blockchain or a private blockchain platform for developers, using the same network of nodes.

XEM Token

XEM is the native token of the NEM NIS1 blockchain. The token is used to pay fees on the network (similar to Ethereum Gas) and as a reward to incentivize the NEM network of nodes. The XEM token performed extremely well during the previous 2017 bull market, reaching an all-time high of $1.87. The token currently sits at #21 in market cap ranking according to CoinGecko at the time of writing.

In the upcoming weeks, NEM is set to release the new Symbol public blockchain with a new native token, XYM. All current XEM token holders can choose to ‘Opt-In’ to a token allocation of the new XYM tokens at a 1:1 ratio. According to the NEM forum, the ‘Opt-In’ function will be available up to 6 years after the Symbol launch, made possible by the use of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). 

XYM will be distributed to XEM holders after a snapshot of wallet addresses is taken. Once holders have confirmed to ‘Opt-In’, XEM holders will receive an equal amount of XYM tokens to the number XEM tokens they hold at the time of the snapshot. Currently, the date of the snapshot is scheduled to be January 14th, 2021. However, this could be subject to change.

Symbol Blockchain

The new addition to the NEM blockchain ecosystem is the Symbol blockchain. Symbol is connecting businesses and organizations, plus developers and individuals to a powerful public blockchain. Symbol has been created with community in mind, developing core features to make Symbol blockchain as accessible as possible.

Also, Symbol blockchain has been designed to be used with current enterprise IT frameworks. Additionally, Symbol provides a solid foundation for new innovative applications.


Symbol blockchain uses an innovative contract plug-in framework, which makes Symbol more resistant to human errors and malicious attacks.


Another key aspect is how Symbol seamlessly integrates with enterprise systems and processors, alongside other blockchains and networks. This is crucial to becoming widely adopted in the future.

Increased Speed 

An additional element all development teams must consider is the speed of a blockchain. By using a tiered approach within its architecture combined with a plug-in approach for development, Symbol maximizes efficiency for start-up costs and onboarding time.

What is NEM doing to deliver such a premium service to the Symbol blockchain? Another novel consensus mechanism has been created by NEM to support this recent innovation.  Proof-of-Stake+ is based on the second most popular consensus mechanism, Proof-of-Stake. However, similarly to the Proof-of-Importance mechanism, nodes are not chosen to validate blocks solely based on the wealth of the node. In fact, the Proof-of-Stake+ consensus algorithm incorporates 3 factors into choosing a node. These are; the number of coins staked, how active the account is, plus whether the validator runs their own node (as opposed to delegated nodes).

XYM tokens, like the XEM token, are used to pay the transaction fees and incentivize the nodes in the network. There has been a lot of hype around the launch of the new blockchain, originally intended to be released in January 2021.

Symbol Blockchain Recent Update

According to the NEM Forum, on New Year’s Eve 2020, NEM made an announcement regarding the launch. Unfortunately, the team had spotted some flaws within the Symbol protocol running on the testnet. Accordingly, the launch of Symbol blockchain has been postponed until February 2021 whilst there is further development, with a new date yet to be confirmed. 

The tokenomics shall be adjusted accordingly, with a poll open now for the community to determine the outcome. Users can vote for one of three options to continue the tokenomic format. Additionally, there is a poll for the community to decide whether or not the ‘Opt-In’ date for the XYM token allocation should also be postponed. Polls are open now for the community to vote. Be sure to keep an eye out for further announcements! 

The NEM Ecosystem Summary

The New Economic Movement is creating a versatile, cohesive collective of blockchain initiatives. The NEM blockchain ecosystem has developed two innovative consensus mechanisms that have impressed the blockchain community. Despite some initial issues with the new Symbol blockchain, with so much around the corner for NEM, there’s a lot to be excited about! 

Hopefully now, when somebody asks you - “What is NEM?”, you can describe the holistic community that is the NEM blockchain ecosystem. NEM makes it easy for developers and businesses to integrate plug-and-play customizable blockchain solutions into existing business models seamlessly. The future looks bright for the New Economic Movement.

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