Inside NEM Episode 43

New NEM Blockchain Hubs, Mulechain Interview with Ralph Liu, NEMsp Network Trial, PoliPoli App and Enspiral Dev Studio.


Today’s show is all about expansion. I’ll be discussing the newly launched NEM blockchain hubs, give a highlight of the NEMsp Network pilot, discuss the new community fund guidelines, share regional updates plus we have an interview with the Ralph Liu, CEO of MuleChain.


Let’s get started! This past week we announced a partnership with Enspiral Dev Academy, New Zealand’s premiere full immersion web development school. They train programmers to work with blockchain. This partnership will focus on a few key items:

1. Develop a blockchain programme for Dev Academy’s existing students and alumni to enroll in.
2. Promote NEM’s Community Fund for projects that would like to utilize the NEM platform.
3. Provide resources and training for developers getting into blockchain.

This comes after the launch of the NEM Blockchain Hubs in New Zealand, Malaysia and also the NEM Philippines team announced their partnership with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, the first blockchain hub in the Philippines.

NEM signs a partnership with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA)

All of the NEM Hubs are key to expanding visibility and opportunities where the NEM team can engage with the public, do training on our platform, and support start-ups who are interested in blockchain. And the expansion is continuing as the NEM Foundation works on adding new Hubs across the globe — including one slated in Austin Texas in 2018.

Introducing the NEMsp Network Trial

In addition to training individual developers, we are also training development companies. Recently we announced the NEMsp Network. NEMsp stands for NEM Service Partner. The NEMsp Network selects qualified partners and provides them with the technical skills and business structure to integrate clients on the NEM Blockchain. These software development companies will have the skills to put their clients on blockchain and scale them regardless of industry, specialization or experience.

There’s 8 companies total right now and Three companies have already completed training and become NEMsp’s with a fourth company underway this week. Of course, we are always looking for more. You can learn more about the program in the links below.

NEM Community Fund Update

Speaking of expansion… we’re now making it easier than ever for start-up companies looking to build on NEM to get funded through the NEM Community Fund. The NEM Community Fund promotes the development of the NEM ecosystem by having the community vote on funding NEM start-up companies. We recently updated the guidelines for the fund. One of these major guideline changes includes new funding tiers designed to meet the needs of anyone, in any circumstances, who may want to apply for funding so it’s worth checking out. The tiers now include:

The fourth tier is capped at $5M USD and requires 3% of NEM Blockchain POI projected at YES address, and is only accessible to publicly traded companies. 
A limit of USD 800k total funding has been placed on private companies to counter project overvaluations, and extend the sustainability of the fund.

We hope that this new tier system will be more inclusive of the NEM community, and help provide funding access to smaller projects. A new submission process has also been released. This process is designed to make it much easier to submit proposals and accompanying materials. If you have a project, we’d love to see it.

Mulechain Interview with Ralph Liu

Speaking of community proposals — there’s one in the works right now called Mulechain. MuleChain is a decentralized, peer-to-peer logistics network powered by blockchain technology. I had a chance to chat with Ralph Liu, CEO, to learn more about it. Here’s the interview.

Alex: What is the problem that Mulechain is trying to solve?

Ralph Liu: Without blockchain, none of this would be possible. Mulechain is going to take full advantage that this new technology can offer. Take a look at what is going on in the “new sharing economy”. So many people say, “Oh, Mulechain sounds like Uber and Airbnb.” They are only half correct. If you look into it deeper there is a lot of differences between these types of services.

With the blockchain, of course, the sharing economy becomes possible. But the majority of what you see, people cannot differentiate between on-demand service verses peer-to-peer service and what is decentralization.

Something new that Mulechain brings to the table is called “convenience assistance service”. If you look at all the other services — let’s say Uber. It’s primarily just an on-demand service. So they are neither peer-to-peer nor decentralized.

So none of them in the marketplace are doing a “convenience assistance service”. Basically you are asking somebody to do something they are already going to do. They don’t have to consume more resources or make more effort or spend more money. By sharing part of their existing resources and providing this service to you. That’s something new!

“Basically you are asking somebody to do something they are already going to do. They don’t have to consume more resources or make more effort or spend more money. By sharing part of their existing resources and providing this service to you. That’s something new!” — Ralph Liu, CEO of Mulechain

Alex: How does this scale in the future?

Ralph: In order to understand the potential power of this, I have to take you to the second part of the business…

Alex: Oh, please do. Tell me.

Ralph: That is the packs business! In the old days when you said “mule”, it was a sure-footed animal. They are hardworking and can transport goods. So if you have a mule train and not just a mule, right, you’ll need to have a mule station. Here you can pack the mule and cargo on the mule so they can get somewhere. So similarly on the Mulechain platform, we have the mule train concept. Who could be the pack station owner? That could be your neighbors or the local restaurant owners… that could be anybody. Anybody other than an existing UPS or Fed-Ex store. It could be your parents… retired citizens sitting at home. Again, anyone can become a “pack station” for a period of time. They can work as a full-time or part-time.

Alex: So people can sign up to be a “mule” or a “pack station”. They can test and see if Mulechain is the right platform for them. It’s not as if it’s a long-term commitment. They can actually figure out, “Does this work for me? Oh it does-great! There’s a way I can spend my life while being flexible and try Mulechain out. That’s the beauty of this business model that you’ve created… you are creating opportunity where [job] opportunities may not have existed before.

Ralph: Correct! That’s a brilliant summary. Thank you, Alexandra.

Regional Events — Japan

We’re seeing a ton of top-notch events in Japan including the recent NEM developer-focused event NEM Dev Nagoya and also the NEMber’s gathering party that was held in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. In this event, NEM projects and products were introduced.

NEM Dev Nagoya in Japan

Speaking of innovative products in Japan, be sure to check out the app PoliPoli by Kazuma Ito.

This app is helping bridge the gap between politicians and Japanese citizens, especially young people. It’s built on NEM and it facilitates communications between citizens and politicians. PoliPoli was selected as “a top 100 great venture in 2018” by a famous Japanese magazine called “Weekly Toyo economy”. Check out the link below for more information.

Regional Events —Malaysia

If you’re not paying attention to what’s been going on in Malaysia, you should be! We brought in Jasmine Ng, NEM Malaysia’s Director of Investment & Special Projects. She gave a presentation on Blockchain and the new NEM Blockchain Centre at the Asian Blockchain Hub on July 21st.

The Asian Blockchain HUB was a one-day conference under the patronage of the European Blockchain HUB that aimed to kick-start the future of blockchain in Europe and Asia. Why is this important? Having direct strong partnerships between European Blockchain HUB and our NEM Asia teams means that we’ll continue to have high-quality partnerships coming out of Europe and working closely with NEM Asia. Where we have partnerships, we end up with NEM adoption and XEM usage. These are positive signs.

And you may have seen Southeast Asia Regional Head, Stephen Chia, interview on the Money Today Network. Take a listen and check out the link below.

Regional Events — North America

Moving onto North America, our very own Jeff McDonald gave one of my favorite talks at the Blockchain Open Forum in Korea on Unlocking Advanced Blockchain Applications. It is a must-watch for all NEMbers.

And you can catch me on the recent podcast of Wild West Cryptos. I’ll also be at speaking at two upcoming industry events — the ChainXChange show in Las Vegas where I’ll be joined by NEM LATAM’s own Pedro Guiterrez.

Regional Events — South Korea

The NEM team has established its presence in South Korea after its engagement in FutureBlock, a blockchain event organized by the Asia Leadership Conference (ALC), last May 16–17 in Seoul.

Lance Cheang, Project Director for NEM Southeast Asia

Lance Cheang, Project Director for NEM Southeast Asia (SEA), was one of the keynote speakers and panelists on crypto finance, tokenomics, and ICOs. Korea is a really important place for cryptocurrency, so this is great progress.

Regional Events — Thailand

Moving over to Thailand, Laura Tanaka, Thailand Country Lead, spoke at the Hybrid Summit in Bangkok on July 28–29 alongside NEM Advisor, Jeff McDonald and Vietnam Lead, Kimble Ngo.

That’s it for me today! If you want to keep up on weekly news, make sure you’re following XEM on Blockfolio and the NEM Foundation Blog post that goes live every Friday.

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