NEM Together: April 2021 update
TOGETHER AT NEM
“Welcome to March’s Newsletter! We officially launched Symbol on 17th March 2021! What a great achievement everyone!
First of all thank you to the entire team for all your efforts in getting to this landmark launch- the tech team especially and all the support around them, including, and most importantly our community. Being part of a launch is a moment in time, it’s one I will always remember and will share with family, friends and colleagues in the future and I am sure you will too. Whilst it’s been a challenging journey, the memories of our collective achievement will never fade.
This has been the accumulation of months, even years, of hard work and many talented people coming together and working relentlessly to launch a project that we are all proud of. I want to personally thank everyone at NEM and our community for all your hard work and support.
This is just the beginning of a long and exciting journey ahead and we can’t wait to share with you our future plans – especially around digitalisation, tokenization and decentralisation of the new economy. It’s what Symbol was built for.
As you will see in this newsletter, our team is busy working on marketing, recruitment and tech development with more projects and events in the pipeline!“
David Shaw, NEM GROUP CEO
As we transition to a fully fledged post Symbol launch era, we have a number of very exciting commercial opportunities emerging for NEM Software. This is just a small selection:
One of the most exciting areas of commercial and technical activity is on NFTs and NFT marketplaces. This is moving very fast and we have already secured two very promising opportunities that have moved into the delivery phase. Some projects include:
- We are working with one of the largest football & sports agencies, with further networks into music and art. We are developing and will deploy a NFT solution over the next few weeks, with early targets among the most famous sports people in the world.
- In discussions with a start-up seeking to deploy market infrastructure for high-end Art assets and in partnership with one of the biggest IT companies in the world to deploy their forensic photography technology to create unique digital signatures for each piece of art.
- We are creating an initial technology prototype for an Impact Bank to secure early investment, targeting patient capital across a number of philanthropic organisations.
- One of the largest LATAM companies that market its products under approximately 70 different brands in 65 countries want a POC with a business proposal to build a loyalty point solution for their entire distribution chain.
- A multinational consumer credit reporting company has requested a proposal for their subsidiary in Colombia, to add digital signature and registry in blockchain for the study of online credits that will be implemented soon in this country.
Our participation in FinSum in Japan has yielded hundreds of contact points and marketing leads. We are also working behind the scenes in South Korea and will report back with progress and updates. Watch this space!
Kristy-Leigh Minehan did an amazing job presenting at a live webinar on her vision and plan for NIS1. If you missed out you can still catch the recording here.
In summary of her talk, NIS1 will be open-sourced (post security-audit and refactor), along with a set of new tools, SDK’s, infrastructure and documentation). She also presented the vision for how XYM and XEM could interact. “If $XYM is about the representation of things (through tokens), $XEM must be about the weighted relationships of and around those things.”
NEM Software will be ensuring all development work, contributions, and project management will be public, community-driven, and collaborative.
Some future plans ahead for NEM Software include:
- Hiring a dedicated product manager that will work closely with the community, trust, and the PMC to manage the issue board, sprints, build out new features and an ever-evolving roadmap.
- A third-party audit of NIS1 will be conducted in order to establish a baseline of areas that have vulnerabilities, need refactoring, or need optimization. This is critical work that needs to take place before NIS1 is open-sourced.
- Core NIS1 products will be refactored, including the NIS1 wallet and the NIS1 block explorer. Core NIS1 infrastructure – such as SDK’s, documentation, faucet and testnet will also be included in this scope of work.
- Across both NIS1 and Symbol, a standard ‘improvement proposal’ framework will be provided and utilized for protocol upgrade submissions; and a standard reference will be provided for new SDK implementations.
- A dedicated protocol engineering team and research team is being established at NEM Software for implementation of cutting-edge academic research, and development of the core NIS1 and Symbol protocol.
- Evolving our community culture from proposals to proof-of-concepts.
To kick off activity post launch, Kristy-Leigh will be organizing an internal virtual Tech Summit on the 2nd week of April that features a series of guest speakers; workshops; a virtual escape room; and a few other fun surprises. During the Tech Summit, the Engineering, Research & Product team will be focused on Symbol and NIS1, including product planning; architecture; and infrastructure buildout. The aim is to come together as a group and work on team building, collaboration and building a structure for the future.
The focus for marketing has been on supporting Symbol launch and working with the Community leads to keep everyone informed about what is going on in terms of launch and then token allocation and listing.
We can now start to focus our marketing efforts on the developer community, encouraging them to build on NIS1 and Symbol, as well as wave 3 of the Trading support which will be extended by 2 weeks to the end of March. This will allow all participating exchanges to list XYM and to provide all interested community members with the opportunity to join in.
The Hackathon is in its final stages – it is not too late to start building on Symbol Mainnet! We also have opened our store for all community members to get their hands on Symbol merch to commemorate the launch of Symbol.
We also successfully participated in FINSUM in Japan, with speaking slots from our CEO David Shaw, as well as presentations and workshops with Iain Wilson, our CFO and Antony Welfare, CCO for NEM Software. We are committed to building the NEM and Symbol brands in Japan and FINSUM is just the start!
NEM Trading has been busy helping exchanges list XYM and has been working closely with marketing to wrap up wave 3 of the trading competition.
March was a very busy month for us but we are happy to see XYM listed and trading well. XYM has been trading between $0.4 and $0.7 since it first listed on Gate.io. This volatility is due to the market trying to find a fair price for XYM and we expect this price discovery to continue as more exchanges come on line.
The Ignite incubator application period for cohort 1 closed with applications from a diverse number of geographies and with a variety of NIS1/Symbol use cases.
We are now processing the applications with plans to announce the winners and begin cohort 1 at the end of March. Follow our Twitter for updates.
For our Japan community we have now translated the NEM Ventures website into Japanese! Visit the website here.
Our Helpdesk support team have been working overtime the past month responding to the huge inflow of inquiries and help requests.
A huge thank you to the team who have put in so much time and effort into looking after our community and partners. We take pride in supporting each and every one of you and ensuring you receive high level support. We thank you for your patience during this busy time. Going forward we will be looking at ways to improve our support process and setting up the structures necessary to enable us to expand and better support our growing community and partners.
Massive thanks to everyone in the team for their hard work and contributions on the Symbol launch.
We recognise everyone has been working long hours and have been putting in that extra effort to ensure the Symbol launch is a success. Everyone’s efforts are highly appreciated! What a team!
In the NSL commercial team, we have made a couple of significant appointments in the last month:
- We’re excited to announce that Ben Brophy has joined the Software team as Head of Sales- Europe reporting to Mike Sotirakos, MD of NSL.
- Leroy Mah has been appointed Head of Strategic Operations, NSL. Leroy’s focus will be to set up Commercial Operations, support the SI Partner programme and lead on SymbolX. Jesyka Hiu has also been appointed into the role of Business Operations and Customer Success and will be supporting Leroy.
- We are also happy to announce that Katie Barber will be transitioning into the Head of Marketing role at NEM Software working under Mike Sotirakos. Katie was previously working as a Digital Marketer at NEM Group and will now move to Software to lead the marketing strategy for Enterprise.
We wish everyone the best in their new roles!
Kristy has been busy setting out the structure of the Technology team post launch and defining the roles each of the current team will play this year as we enhance both Symbol and NIS1 and build our product portfolio. In addition, we are currently building on our existing team for the next exciting chapter, attracting the best talent into NEM is a key ingredient to our future success. We are currently recruiting for another 17 different positions across the organisation, most of these in Technology to complement our current team. The full portfolio of current vacancies is available for everyone to see at Join Us on Nem.io.
Oleg discovered NEM in 2018 when he was introduced to the blockchain by a colleague during a conference in Kiev, Ukraine. A year later he joined the team as a software developer working on many projects including the Symbol wallet which has now launched and was recently updated. He has worked tremendously hard on Symbol and continues to be a valued member of the team as he continuously grows as a developer. In his spare time, Oleg enjoys skiing, traveling, photography and playing the guitar.
Tell us about your background
From childhood, I was interested in creative work. I found computer science to be a huge area where creativity and engineering can be applied. I started to study it at Kyiv College of Information Systems and Technologies. In 2019 I graduated from Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design where I got a Master’s Degree. I started as a C++ OpenGL developer, doing pet projects during my education. Later I found myself as a full stack developer in one Ukrainian company which specializes in IoT solutions. I was working on creating digital twins for the enterprise. In a year I became a lead frontend developer. For a long time, I was interested in the blockchain industry, participating in many hackathons in my country.
What have you been working on?
I’m a software developer. The latest projects I’m working on are the Symbol Block Explorer, Statistics Service, Node Rewards App and Mobile and Desktop wallets. I am glad to work with such a strong team and to have an opportunity to exchange experiences.
What’s an interesting project you’ve worked on as a developer?
All the projects are very interesting, but I can highlight the Symbol Mobile Wallet. UI is one of the gateways to communicate with technology. It must reveal the possibilities of Symbol and make it easy to use, therefore it is very important to build a reliable and user-friendly interface.
What excites you the most about Symbol?
Mosaic restrictions and multisignature aggregate transactions are very powerful tools on the Symbol network.
Bucket List goal
Build a house with my own hands.
Favourite holiday spots
My favourite cities are Prague, it has a beautiful historical center and San Francisco, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and cable car system.
Sharie has been around in the NEM community for a long time, seeing and contributing to its growth over the years. She currently heads up the Creative team in Marketing, overseeing creative requests, working on campaigns and managing our websites. She has done an amazing job with her work on Symbol and managing all the creative assets and team, keeping things running smoothly and multitasking like a pro. Fun fact, she has a fluffy roommate named Dani who’s a corgi and is not a fan of bananas unless it’s been processed such as banana chips. She is also a lover of anime and draws in her spare time.
How did you get involved with NEM?
Getting curious about Bitcoin in 2015, I joined a local community group to help me understand it better. I became friends with the founder who happened to be a NEM OG (he’s an ex-council member of the NEM Foundation). Knowing that I’m into graphics/website stuff, he asked me to join NEM to help him with marketing collaterals and co-lead the Global Hackathon in 2017-2018. Lots of exciting projects and activities were coming to the point where I can no longer focus on my 8-5 job. In May 2018, I finally decided to leave my corporate job to join NEM full-time – I can say that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Tell us about your background
I have a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering. I worked in the oil and gas industry as a Maintenance Engineer for 5 years where I honed my skills in planning, people management, and accountability. Before joining NEM, I’ve always been into creatives. I taught myself how to use photoshop/illustrator and create a website for personal development. Never did I think these skills would land me a career in blockchain!
What are your hobbies?
Music, arts, and hitting the gym. I know how to play the guitar/piano. When I’m in the mood, I create instrumentals of my favorite songs using GarageBand. I used to sketch portraits using graphite/charcoal but since it’s too messy, I explored digital arts and learned how to use Procreate. On weekends, my friends and I do art jam sessions that keep us sane during the pandemic. I also love working out as this helps me release all the stress and anxiety.
What’s been your proudest achievement at NEM?
Being involved in Catapult/Symbol since 2017. I’m really honored to be part of the 4-year journey of NEM and grateful to be included in the genesis block message.
What excites you the most about Symbol?
NFT! I’m looking forward to the Symbol NFT launch where I can mint my own digital works.
Bucket List goal
Own at least 1 supernode!
We want to say a massive thank you to our amazing community for all your support and hard work with the Symbol launch. We appreciate all your help and patience and we’re excited for the next chapter ahead!
For this month’s spotlight, we want to give a special shout out to Joel Aquino! Joel from the Philippines has been one of the NEM community’s outstanding NEMbers. Not only does he keep the community informed, he does it with flair and style. His singing and musical ability have kept the community rapt in the build up to launch and he has been the life of the party in the celebrations that followed. Thanks Joel!
Note of thanks from Jeff Mcdonald
It has been a long road launching what started as Catapult and eventually evolved into Symbol. This could have only been done with the community’s help, some of which have been personally thanked in the Nemesis block of Symbol. But those names are just a few and only a start. Over 25,000 accounts participated in opt-in, and shortly after Symbol network launch, we added over 1200 nodes from the community to the network, which shows this is truly a worldwide effort. On behalf of the old Core Team that originally launched NEM in March of 2015, I would like to thank all the members of the community for helping to make NEM and Symbol be so successful.
Download the PDF version here.