Decentralization is at the heart of everything we do at NEM
Decentralization goes right to the very core of NEM and how the ecosystem operates. It helps reduce and eventually removes the need for trust; in a decentralised ecosystem everyone can verify for themselves, if they wish to.
Here are just some of the characteristics of decentralization that NEM displays:
There is no governing authority or single person controlling the NEM Public Chain(s). Instead, a group of nodes, owned by multiple parties, maintains both the NEM NIS1 and soon to be Symbol network, making the networks operate in a decentralized manner. Any individual, project, company or government agency can run a node and use the chain how they wish. There is no single point of failure in the ecosystem. If any part of the NEM ecosystem disappears, NEM will still progress. The new Symbol source code is fully open sourced, and the NIS1 original code is being reviewed, updated and will then be open sourced.
For the NEM community, the number and weight of independent decision makers count. This is why NIS1 adopted an on chain voting solution that utilises the inbuilt Proof of Importance consensus mechanism. This is used to the greatest extent possible for devolved decision making. Here are just some of the decisions reached by the NEM community this way:
- the tokenomics for Symbol blockchain
- the migration approach by which to launch Symbol
- the decision to move the snapshot date once it became clear that the first launch date would not be met.
- Network Usage Fees
- A further tokenomics update
- Formation/Professionalisation of an investment company and the original not for profit foundation entity
In the case of the tokenomics, there was a collective working group of community members who contributed to the work that was eventually sent to vote. Votes can be Binding or Advisory in nature. Since NEM Group came into existence, all votes have been binding.
NEM purposely started off with a wide distribution, more than most other coins of its time, with the intention of maximising community participation. Since then, token exchange on the open markets has further distributed the ownership of stake. This can be seen in looking at the NEM accounts rich list (publicly available) and comparing it to the rich lists of other coins.
NEMTus is a particularly good showcase of a community led initiative that can add to the ecosystem without the need for a centralised authority to approve it. NEMTus emerged organically from the NEM community, are non-profit, completely independent from other parts of the ecosystem, and focused solely on growing NEM through education and awareness/advocacy. NEMTus played a vital part in testing for the public mainnet launch of the Symbol blockchain. The community ultimately found a critical bug that was resolved before Mainnet launch. When the issue was found, the community also took the decision, via on-chain voting, about how to respond to it in terms of snapshot dates.
As NEMTus has shown, anyone can help with testing on Symbol and anyone can use it to develop ideas. If you have some skills and a willingness to help, you can play your part.
The strength and popularity of NEMs vision and decentralised approach is further shown right now. This is evident from the recent surge in interest from our communities in South Korea and Turkey.
The network, consensus, and rewards were designed to financially incentivize decentralized holders to stake, run a full node and participate in both securing and using the network. There are checks and balances to encourage wider and more decentralised participation, such as a cap on the account size at which you are able to harvest
The architecture of the network was designed to be censorship resistant; meaning no one authority can censor any transactions or any other party that wants to participate in the network.
These are just some of the ways that NEM is decentralized. Join our discussions on social media here.