Blockchain technology: what is NEM?
Crypto Finder sat down with Lon Wong, founder and president of NEM.io, the world's first smart asset blockchain technology.
Mr Wong explained what NEM is, how it is supposed to help and how it is different to the rest of the blockchain market.
Interview from Blockchain Week London, 23 January 2018.
Read the transcript:
My name is Lon Wong and I'm the president of the NEM Foundation.
So, do you want to tell me what NEM does?
Yes, sure. NEM is basically a blockchain technology project. And what it does is to be able to service the enterprise class sort of businesses where it is used to power their businesses with the use of the blockchain technology.
And as well as that you're also a coin, is that right?
Yeah. We are an entity, a project where we do have our native coin. And it's called X-E-M, XEM we call it. And as part of the project, XEM is being floated freely in the market space.
What would you say is different or unique about what NEM is doing?
NEM is one of those projects that are different from the rest of the field in that it is a project that is being developed from scratch, so we have our own sort of solution and we actually surveyed the market space before we embarked on this project and understand the shortcomings that were there before 2014 (that's when we started) and improve on what was available then.
So what would you say were those shortcomings and how are you improving on them?
One of those shortcomings would be a very important feature, the multi-signatory feature where you could actually sign transactions. And on chain means you do not need an intermediate server to serve those so-called transactions that have yet to be broadcast into the network for another party to sign. And that's a very important feature where you don't need to be running a server to actually sign a transaction.
The other feature is the ability for us, NEM, to be able to issue new assets over and above the native asset that we have (which is XEM) and therefore allow enterprises to make use of this asset to issue things like bonds, securities, whatever, that need to be represented by a token. And that's where it's a very strong feature that we have that was not available at the time. In fact, it's still very few and far between today where such technology, such projects could actually deliver a multi-asset environment.
What do you think you offer? Why should people stick with you rather than going for one of these kinds of young, more specific companies?
The entire project has actually been crafted out in a very, I should say, quite unique way. The reason why I'm saying that it's unique is that we actually are taught through the whole process and our approach is very 'blue ocean' in how we do the business. By saying that we have the blue ocean approach, what we actually did was to look at the enterprises and the rest of the 7 billion population in this world rather than that small cluster of crypto boys that we are in.
So we are actually not really concentrating on the crypto boys or crypto sphere but rather concentrating on enterprises. That's one of the approaches, so that at the end of the day the enterprises are the ones that are going to use and make use of the technology to promote and propagate their businesses. And that's where it will start hitting the 7 billion of us out there who are not aware of such technology that's available.
Now with this technology being propagated into the mainstream, there will be people who accept or understand one fine day that there's this technology called NEM blockchain that's powering all the things that they have been doing and therefore there will be adoption. And when the crypto space picks up we are there.
I'll give you an example of what we are trying to do. The NEM Foundation is the only foundation today that has been financed independently of any external funds. If you look at the entire landscape there's no foundation that does that, not that I know of. And we believe we are the most well-funded crypto project in the entire landscape. The reason is this: like I said earlier, when we crafted this whole thing we actually allocated a substantial amount of XEM (our coin) to fund this foundation.
Today as we stand we are worth close to $2 billion as a foundation and if you look at the amount of money that we have it is unprecedented. A typical example is say Linux Foundation. They are nowhere near us. So quietly we've become one of the most or the biggest technology foundation that is non profit, that has never been seen before in the history of the IT or the technology industry – non profit and completely self-funded.
So you said that you're focusing on enterprises. Who is your typical customer?
So that's a very interesting question because if you look at the landscape again, NEM Foundation is a non-profit company and therefore its charter is to promote the technology to industries, governments and academia. So if we are to look at the enterprises, it could be any enterprise that requires a blockchain as a solution. So anyone that comes along, knocks at our door and says "Hey I've got a business that we may want to do blockchain and do you think we can actually do that for you" sort of thing, right. That's how we would do that to the industry.
Our charter, NEM Foundation, is to promote that to the industries, the government and academia. And what we would do is we would actually go out there and promote the solution to enterprises, hold meet-ups and things like that, and basically champion and evangelise this technology to the enterprises. When they come to us they would ask us whether blockchain could fit into their businesses. If we could fit into the businesses then we would actually hold their hands, help them out in terms of providing them with the technology and expertise and help them in developing the blockchain solution for their businesses. So that's how we actually approach the enterprises.
And as I speak today, we are doing it everywhere around the world, especially in Europe, South East Asia, China, Australia, a bit of North America as well, so it is all over the world. So one fine day you see us mushrooming up as one big family or ecosystem, that's going to happen soon.