Inside NEM Episode 38

NEM Foundation Reorganization, NEM XPOS, and DarcMatter Interview

This past week was a whirlwind of 4 blockchain events in 5 days as Jeff McDonald and I traveled along the California Coast preaching NEM to the masses. (Can I get a Hallelujah?!) There was no shortage of news during this time. The biggest story, of course, was the NEM.io Foundation reorg with Kristof Van de Reck taking on a new role as Interim President. NEM has hit a critical stride where the NEM Catapult Private Developer Beta has turned up the heat with the impending launch. Lon Wong and Jeff McDonald are now focusing their strengths and leadership on building out much needed strong partnership companies like LuxTag and ProximaX. Meanwhile, we’ve kick-started our developer outreach with a new developer focused tech blog. (You know you want to join us.) All this and we’re juggling exciting new partners and products. This is why I don’t sleep. — Alexandra

Episode 38 Transcript

Welcome to Inside NEM, the show about the NEM Blockchain Network. I’m your host Alexandra Tinsman. In this episode I’m going to talk about recent reorganization to the NEM.io Foundation, media and events, the XPOS point of sale device, an interview with a securities investment company called DarcMatter, and a new coin from Korea built on NEM. Let’s get started!

Last week the NEM.io Foundation announced that President Lon Wong and VP Jeff McDonald moved from their positions on the NEM.io Foundation and shifted to advisory roles. Kristof Van de Reck has been elected as the interim President of the NEM.io Foundation which is a great choice since he’s spent the past year building out NEM Europe and the framework for NEM’s Center of Excellence.

With the early phase of the Catapult private beta release safely underway, Lon and Jeff plan to now focus on NEM’s business partners. These startups and consultants are needed to implement NEM applications worldwide. The NEM ecosystem is thriving and by moving to advisory roles, Lon and Jeff can dedicate more time to developing strong system integrators — a critically underserved piece of NEM’s ecosystem. So to be clear, both Lon and Jeff are 100% Committed to supporting NEM’s long term success. But you can hear it in their own words in the letters from Lon and Jeff in the links below.

COINSTOP

NEM has partnered with Coinstop, an AUS leading cryptocurrency cold storage hardware wallet provider to offer a $10 off discount off purchases. They sell devices like TREZOR, Ledger and Keepkey devices. Plus people can buy from anywhere in the world and it’s critical to keep your coins off exchanges. Make sure they are in cold storage! You can check out Coinstop.io for more details.

Media and Events

NEM South Pacific lead, Nelson Valero, was interviewed by Dennis Jacobs on Huobi Talk to discuss more about how NEM is the community driven Blockchain.

Dennis Jacobs and Nelz Valero

It was also nice to see Emerson Fonseca, head of NEM Philippines, discuss Blockchain use cases for government and voting procedures on ANC’s 24/7 The World Tonight news channel.

Emerson Fonseca, NEM Philippines Lead

Now moving onto The NEM Ukraine team which recently presented at the International Blockchain UA Conference last week in Kiev. NEM regional leads Anton Bsnko and Ricar Medrano Lopez were there as well as council member Nelz Valero meeting with potential business partners and technology leaders.

Anton also presented at a packed Blockchain Global meetup in Kiev last week. So cool to see the hard work in NEM Ukraine.

NEM Ukraine Team

Now for some upcoming events. Jason Lee and the Head of NEM Southeast Asia Steven Chia will be in Kuala Lumpur as speakers at the Global Blockchain Conference on April 23 and 24. Jason will be the moderator on a panel titled “Blockchain as a Platform for Future Innovation.”

Now onto the United States where Jeff McDonald and I came back from a US West Coast tour where we spoke in Los Angeles at the CryptoBlockCon run by Phu Styles where Jeff was on a panel, then headed over to Block2theFuture conference in San Francisco at the USS Hornet ~ which is a US Navy aircraft carrier ship that has been turned into a museum. He gave a talk on Solving Real World Problems with Aggregated Transactions. This explained more of the features that you’ll be seeing with Catapult.

Phu Styles, Crystal Rose, Simone Syed, Amy Wan, Leah Callon-Butler, Alex Tinsman

I also gave a talk at the Women In Blockchain Summit on April 8th at UC Irvine in Southern California. The topic was NEM as a practical blockchain solution.

Alex Tinsman and Women In Blockchain event organizer, Sid Kasat

DarcMatter

Next on the list is DarcMatter. This is a company that is using NEM’s permission blockchain to manage investments. Their goal is to bring transparency and cost reduction to investment managers and investors. The system will give them access to alternative investments with a complete audit trail. This includes investments like hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital funds. They have had some good media attention lately and I got a chance to interview them.

Natasha Bansgopaul (COO) and Sang Lee (CEO)

Sang Lee: You know, I think that one of the things that financial services faces is a lot of inertia, right. It doesn’t move very quickly. So when we first started DarcMatter, you talk about the cloud… you talk about the Internets… and fund managers ask you to politely leave the room. Because it’s one of those things they cannot talk about and once the compliance offer is there, you’re definitely not talking. (Laughs.) So there’s no, like, question about infrastructure or efficiency because at that point, to be honest, the industry didn’t care about efficiency. There’s so much money being made that nobody cared to make it more efficient. There’s more money to be made by NOT being efficient. Things are changing now, right. The importance of the individual investor vs just institutions. The importance of being global. The importance of being transparent. The importance of compliance and saving money — that’s by parading through the whole industry. But what happens is you have to play catch up and you can’t play catch up at that pace. So when we went from “please leave the room” to “how do we use DarcMatter”… we in our product road map actually had a blockchain based distributed ledger built into the system. And we said we were going to move all the contractual basis online and it’s going to be stored in the blockchain and you won’t be able to fudge it. You won’t be able to modify it and that’s going to create this new level of security because the industry… every time it runs into trouble, it adds another layer of inter-mediation. “You check this! You do that!” and so for us it was the perfect storm right now where everyone’s focus right now is obviously on blockchain — and not just cryptocurrency — but blockchain in of itself. The way that the industry is moving toward acceptance it was a great time for us to start last year.

For us, there’s a lot of new businesses that are trying to use blockchain to improve certain industries but they have no background in financial services. We’re one of the most well equipped because we were born of changing regulation. — Sang Lee, CEO

We worked on the jobs Act. We worked on deregulation. We’re very familiar with what the SEC is looking for and if you want the global police for securities… it’s the SEC. There is no other arm that is that severe. Right? Right. If you look at actual regulated industries in the world, it’s second to only one industry in the United States — and that is nuclear energy.

Natasha: I think we’re kind of just kicking off. We’re really talking about a blockchain project and the integration implementations we’re using through NEM and utilizing both the permission and public blockchain. So right now we’re getting… or ramping up talking to outside of the DarcMatter client base and telling them about our plans and who we are and how we are building. So the cool thing now is that we get to talk to external stakeholders that are particularly interested in the technology who may not have been able to participate or be a part of the alternatives market due to many other regulations or restrictions. It’s an interesting time where you can really talk to people who understand the technology. They get the solutions. They see the potential impact it has for the future vision and they are along for the ride. It’s cool for us to now be in the seat where we are building the community who will get it and WANT to be along for the ride when for so long we were part kind of pioneering the community just trying to get into the door… and tell people, you know, that this is the next step.

This is how financial services needs to push forward for the next type of Century. And now we’ve got this constituent of people that are like “Yes! That’s exactly what we need to do and here are some ideas on other ways you can do it. — Natasha Bansgopaul, COO

So it’s cool for us to be in this seat where we were outside looking in and now we’re kind of driving really a lot of change and we get to do it from the seat of alternatives. We really get to piggyback on all the learnings we’ve got from building our platform that last three years. So it really puts us in a very great position to really to be authoritative in this space… talk to people about what our learnings are… and really kind of know that there are certain steps that need to be taken before you can get full on change and impact. We’ve learned from that from building our business. It’s cool we’re continuing to make those strides and deliver on DarcMatter’s vision. Through blockchain we can increase transparency and access on a global scale.

We’re all over the place. The biggest business site is darcmatter dot com and that’s where you can register as a credited investor to browse opportunities that we have on the platform OR if you are a fund manager and GP actrively raising capital you can interact with us there and have your fund listed so you can reach investors in the US and abroad. You can also find us through our Telegram and community channels. So I think the key is darcmatter dot com and you can find us everywhere!

TokenPost

TokenPost is a media company covering technology and business for the blockchain industry. They are based in South Korea and this week they announced that they are the first media company to issue their own cryptocurrency token. It’s called the TokenPost Coin, or TPC, and it’s built on the NEM blockchain.

TokenPost

They partnered with systems integration and consulting company KChain to release the coin. They envision that the coin will be used in an ecosystem that includes events and conferences, educational services, and merchandise, all centered on the blockchain and distributed ledger industry. They are issuing the coin themselves so if you are interested in finding out more, you can visit their site.

XPOS

XPOS is a new point of sale device built on NEM. They’ve announced they are delivering 20,000 of these devices to retailers and other NEM partners.The device uses a platform called XPlugins to connect cryptocurrencies and fiat.

The great thing about XPOS is that it enables nearly instant low fee crypto to fiat or fiat to crypto transactions. This means users will be able to pay retailers using XEM or any other coin built on the NEM blockchain. But the retailers can receive payment in their local fiat currency. Currently it supports XAR, the gaming token of Xarcade and the PundiX token, but they are planning to add other NEM-based coins soon.

This is a great step forward in making cryptocurrencies easy for a mass market audience to use and it took a lot of confidence to produce 20,000 of these units. They could have tested the water with a much smaller number, but they saw the potential of getting early adoption and they went all in. So congratulations to PundiX.

That wraps up today’s episode. Thanks for watching. Please like and subscribe and I’ll see you next time on Inside NEM.


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