NEM/Mijin Blockchain Technology Briefing January 2017
This article first appeared in the Official NEM Blog on January 10, 2017. Giving an outline to the NEM/Mijin Blockchain Technology as a brief summary to start in 2017.
NEM is an open source blockchain project that first started in January, 2014. A project that was developed from the ground up using Java, it is undergoing a second iteration in order to enhance its performance. The NEM blockchain solution is a peer-to-peer platform technology that comes in 2 flavours, i.e., the private chain (Mijin) and the public chain. NEM platform technology is designed to work with mainstream industry requirements, and as a highly versatile solution, it is well suited for the financial sector as well as for general use. NEM’s enhanced features give rise to a holistic solution not found in most blockchains. These include a multi-ledger solution for management of multiple assets and multi-signatory of transactions. One of the more creative applications of the NEM blockchain technology is the Apostille solution where documents can be notarised and subsequently updated and transacted from one owner to another. As a financial blockchain solution, NEM finds its use in payment, clearing, and settlement in a totally controlled private environment that meets the requirements of most regulatory frameworks.
- Structure. Team, Users / Contributors
- Features, Public and Private (a.k.a. “permissioned”), Introduction of Mijin
- Major Use Cases
- Public Articles and PR Releases
- Major Sponsors and Supporters, Media Coverage
1. Structure. Team, Users / Contributors
NEM is re-imagining of what an ideal blockchain would look. It has been in development for almost three years and has been running without interruptions or major difficulties for two years. It is being developed by four full-time enterprise level professional developers — not just some hobbyists, as well as many 3rd party developers and contributors. It is tried and proven technology with an excellent track record.
A large core group of 15–20 core members is spread over the globe and driving adoption and application development as well as conducting educational events. The dedicated community of NEM users and supporters counts several thousand people worldwide. We can identify these countries as hotspots of activity of NEM support and events:
In July 2016 the NEM community agreed (consensus of the community with blockchain-based voting) to set up a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) in Singapore, NEM.io Foundation Ltd. (“NEM Foundation”) to represent the roof international organisation. This CLG is set up in December 2016 and will lead country/regional chapters which are being registered as local non-profit societies.
Country chapters have the duty to follow conventions set by the Singaporean foundation. Not only do they gather and organize the community, they shall engage with industries, academia, and local governments, conduct local educational events and run workshops, too.
Malaysia is the first country to have its own legal entity set up already in 2016, being the NEM Association of Malaysia (“NAOM”).
The NEM Foundation is spearheading the setup of a Blockchain Test Lab and Blockchain App Development Lab in cooperation with NAOM, Dragonfly Fintech Pte.Ltd. (SG) and Tech Bureau Corp. (JP) at the time of writing.
The Malaysian Government via its agency under the Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), has recently agreed to host the NEM Foundation and NAOM in its premises to foster and create awareness among Malaysian businesses on blockchain technology. The NEM Foundation shall thus have its global operative center in Malaysia.
2. Features, Public and Private, Introduction of Mijin
NEM also has lots of new features. It was the first with multisig contracts, the first with a new kind of namespaces, and it introduced highly customizable assets that can have adjustable quantities, levies, and adjustable 3rd party transferability rights. It has transaction spam protection, node reputation to ignore malicious or faulty nodes, and a new proof-of-importance consensus that is much more environmentally friendly and much more efficient to operate than PoW. See What is POI to learn more about POI. It makes the NEM network light, fast, and easy to maintain with all these rich features built in.
Public blockchain networks will always have an issue with bandwidth (max. no. of transactions per second). This is because of technical limitations derived from the node network synchronization throughout the large network. Maintaining a chain of many nodes with variation in connectivity and geographical distance in sync simply requires time.
Thus, in the opinion of NEM, the future lies in permissioned chains based on technologies like NEM and anchor these to the public chain — which means to embed hashes of e.g. every tenth private chain block into the public chain. That way immutability and certain public auditability can be achieved using private chain technology with its benefits without compromising public chain advantages.
Mijin is NEM’s private chain project. It is built and licensed by the Japanese company Tech Bureau Corp., NEM’s strategic partner for permissioned-chain implementations. Mijin is currently in the process of being future proofed as a new 4-tier architecture design. Codenamed Catapult, it is being implemented and written in C++. The current end-to-end prototype has been independently tested by third parties at over 4000 tx/s.
- Public blockchain “NEM” and
- Private high-speed blockchains “Mijin” from Tech Bureau Corp.
are based on aforementioned technologies. The consensus of the Blockchain network is achieved utilizing the unique environmental and energy friendly algorithm “POI” (Proof of Importance). POI is a technologically advanced algorithm compared to the earlier established PoW (Proof of Work) and PoS (Proof of Stake). The NEM Blockchain is designed for easy accessibility via API calls from second and third-party apps and web-apps, an example being the “Nanowallet” — NEM’s de-facto native feature-loaded wallet app which requires a mere web browser to run and interact with the NEM chain.
NEM’s mobile apps are sleek and don’t consume large amounts of bandwidth because of the above-described feature.
No other public blockchain offers similar advanced technology at this moment of time, and no other permissioned chain is ready for full-scale rollout.
3. Major Use Cases
- As a proof-of-record or proof-of-existence application
- Time stamping of events
- Messaging, encrypted or not, for messaging applications
- Unique to NEM only, wallet agnostic, multi-signatory on-chain signing. Use case extension example: A specially written small footprint software in a thumb drive that can be used to sign transactions and submit them to the chain. It does not require any chain synchronization.
- Sign-on for “password-less” applications, using NEM key ID (NEMKID) to authenticate a random challenge statement. Highly secure method of authentication. Can be used with a password for 2-FA. Allows users to sign on securely to websites without needing to remember complex passwords.
- DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) utilizing NEM’s multisig as its foundation.
- Voting on-chain enabled with POI or Mosaic weighting of votes to either by share or by account.
- Makings digital assets to represent any financial security with NEM Mosaics including fiat representations, game tokens, coupons, member loyalty points/awards/miles, micropayments, remittance applications and so on.
- Using the NEM Namespace feature to act as a decentralized DNS.
- Back-end solutions for large specialized databases
- Apostille: Document, database, and property fingerprinting and notarization preventing tampering with data sets. Branded, Certified, Transferable, Conjointly Owned and Updatable Blockchain Notarizations. (mind: Tokenization of Assets, Titles of Ownership)
- Fundraising and ICOs
- Identification systems
- Government registration, government asset, citizen registration, citizen status, property registration, and property title transfer applications.
Use Case Examples
Prescription Abuse Prevention using a Blockchain.
4. Public articles and PR releases
5. Major Sponsors and Supporters, Media Coverage (Public & Private Sector)
Mijin NEM technology is tested by more than 300 companies and institutions,
- Arara Inc.
- SBI Sumishin Net Bank
- BC Fintech
- Dragonfly Fintech
- Metro Money Exchange