Technology Road Ahead

Team Nimiq
Oct 16, 2018 · 7 min read

Since the Nimiq Mainnet launch, we gained a lot of valuable insights from Nimiq operating live. Over the last few months, we made adjustments to meet the initial needs of the real world operation. Having reached a very stable ground-level, now it is time to revisit the greater technical roadmap in this post. Later on this week, we are planning to release our marketing strategy followed by our branding and styling guideline the week after. With these three publications in place, we want to provide a broad view on the future of Nimiq.

Important technical questions are: How to grow and scale Nimiq? What evolutionary aspects to focus on while keeping our Nimiq core values in mind? And what does our community desire?

A good moment for a quick recap.

What is the goal of Nimiq?

One question that might arise: Isn’t a centralized service such as Coinbase much more user-friendly?

While this is usually true from a UX perspective, any blockchain expert will agree that decentralization and censorship-resistance are the fundamental properties that make the key difference between our current banking system and the point of a real cryptocurrency. So the resulting challenge is: How can we raise awareness about the importance of decentralization and at the same time create decentralized interfaces that fit the user’s expectations and are equally usable.

How do we achieve our goal?

We imagine Nimiq moving in a similar direction: our protocol is tailored towards our use-case, being able to run nodes in the browser as nano-clients. And while having a fully decentralized blockchain underneath our UIs, we can sometimes introduce small centralized components to improve the user experience. One example could be an encrypted, centralized storage place for your contact book to easily sync it across devices. Of course, such centralized components need to be transparent, open source, and optional. This way we are able to maintain all our desired blockchain properties while offering better usability for the average user. In particular, we will not sacrifice being open for third-party services and censorship-resistant as Bitcoin while at the same time being reliable as independent, community-owned and driven blockchain.

Beyond this, we want to identify and implement applicable, proven research results to move along with the technical progress of the blockchain domain, most importantly concerning matters of scalability that remain one of the top challenges.

To turn this into a solid basis for our community to build an extensive Nimiq-based ecosystem on top, our approach will be based on implementing tools and entry points, writing documentation and providing demos.

Four Pillars: Wallet, Exchange, Payment, Blockchain

In parallel, we are working intensively on empowering and supporting the community in building alternatives to our approaches in order to cater to the broad range of users with varying demands and wishes while also increasing the level of decentralization within the ecosystem.

The Four Pillars in Detail

Wallet

The components are:

  • Nimiq Safe UI
    Simple and easy-to-use web UI
    Dedicated native apps for mobile devices
  • Cashlinks
    Send NIM in a link for easy onboarding of new users
  • Nimiq Accounts Manager
    Integrating hardware wallets and the Nimiq Keyguard
  • Nimiq Keyguard
    A software wallet storing your keys securely in your browser

Exchange

Payment

The components are:

  • Checkout process
    Focusing on easy integration for merchants and optimal ease-of-use and simplicity for the buyers while ensuring security on par with other major payment providers.
  • Web shop integration
    Consisting of a core component in combination with wrappers for particular e-commerce systems such as WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and Shopify. We will put additional effort on optimal code documentation inviting the community to create support for further platforms.
  • Donations facility
    Making donations as simple as clicking a link and signing a transaction.
Design proposals for the Nimiq Checkout experience

Blockchain

At the same time, we are working on porting the Node.js implementation to Rust to be prepared for growth with higher overall performance and a more maintainable codebase.

Timeline

Our technical roadmap is composed of milestones related to the the four pillars described above as well as parallel efforts with less predictable timelines regarding community work, research of innovative usability concepts, and core technology advances.

Milestones

Q4 2018

  • Official Nimiq style guide and corporate identity.
  • Beta release of the Nimiq Payment plugin for web shops.
  • Cashlink integration into Nimiq Safe.
  • Donation feature.
  • Marketing and growth roadmap.

Early 2019

  • Service for sharing your data between devices for improved convenience as opt-in feature:
    Synchronized contact book
    Backup your encrypted private keys
  • Nimiq Payment system:
    Beta testing with selected web shop owners
    Beta version of hosted merchant server service
  • First Nimiq full-node implementation in Rust.

Mid 2019

  • Complete Nimiq node in Rust.
  • Have first web shops using the Nimiq Payment system live.
  • Release merchant server service.

Mid 2020

  • Innovative multisig features for Nimiq Safe:
    We are currently researching and exploring this topic to derive concrete applications and features and plan to implement those into Nimiq Safe by mid 2020; details in next section
  • Content monetization system:
    Providing integrated browser mining to content providers as an alternative to advertisement
  • Recurring payments.
  • At least one big (national) online shop using the Nimiq Payment system.

Exploring Multi-Signature

If we can address this matter possibly by making Multisig wallets simple enough to have easier backups and become less single-point-of-security-dependent, then that could be a leap forward in the blockchain sphere. Multisig is a unique feature of the blockchain technology and opens a broad range of services and functions concerning various aspects of managing funds such as

  • Easier security without single point of failure
  • Backup keys
  • Multi-party accounts for business, family or other group needs
  • Democratizing funds
  • 2nd factor device

Our goal is to explore, research, and build prototypes to better understand the opportunities and finally build winning features and UIs into the Nimiq ecosystem.

Next, we are planning to release our updated vision and mission driven marketing strategy this week and our branding and styling guideline the week after.

Follow Nimiq on Twitter, Discord and Telegram to be notified about updates on apps of the Nimiq Ecosystem.


DISCLAIMER: None of the statements must be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation for Nimiq, any cryptocurrency, or investment product. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained herein constitutes a solicitation or offer by the creators or participants to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

Nimiq

Browser-based Blockchain & Ecosystem — https://nimiq.com

Team Nimiq

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Unleashing the Blockchain https://nimiq.com

Nimiq

Nimiq

Browser-based Blockchain & Ecosystem — https://nimiq.com