NEM Together: January 2021 update
TOGETHER AT NEM
“Welcome to January’s newsletter! I am pleased to share that over the past month we have made significant progress as we prepare for the launch of Symbol. Whilst its been a difficult process, our overriding objective is to launch a chain that we can be proud of, is robust, and delivers on the promise of Symbol.
We are now in the last phase of the Symbol Mainnet Release plan, with community and NEMtus testing currently underway. A huge thank you to all the development and test teams who have put in another enormous eort this past month, working tirelessly to resolve any issues.
There is a lot to look forward to in 2021 which you will read about in this newsletter including events, hackathons and partnership announcements. We are looking forward to a busy and exciting year ahead!”
David Shaw, NEM GROUP CEO
We have been busy preparing for 2021, finalizing the Commercial and Tech Roadmaps as well as the financial budget.
We are working on building a solid product pipeline, signing on new partners and hiring talent to help grow the Symbol platform. Our focus this year will be on innovation and harnessing the creativity and talent among our employees and community globally as we build the best blockchain software company in the world!
In the Enterprise space, we are continuing to build our partner programme, and working with some of our top tier SI partners on 2021 GTM (Go To Market) plans. If you’re interested in signing up or know of any Enterprise-grade SI partners who are able to deliver leading-edge solutions for their customers using the Symbol Platform then, please let us know by contacting [email protected].
We are making good progress with the final stages
of testing ahead of Symbol launch.
The timeline below outlines what has been completed and what still needs to be done before mainnet launch. You can follow all the most recent updates in the NEM Forum.
We are gearing up 4 big things as we move into February.
The Symbol Powering Possibility Hackathon, which is now open for registration, has launched and we have 130 participants already signed up. We will be sharing more as the hackathon progresses.
We will be shortly announcing a Global Trading Tournament, with multiple global and regional exchanges taking part across a week window to celebrate the launch of Symbol. With over 10 exchanges taking part we expect it to be the largest ever Trading Tournament to take place – more to follow on this shortly!
The Business Development team is also extremely busy, with a steady flow of New Partnership Announcements coming, which strengthen the NEM network and grow the ecosystem. We are integrating those partners both on NEM NIS1 and Symbol as we prepare for launch.
This includes a campaign to promote StXEM – Staked XEM – an ERC20 token that provides access to DeFi. You can buy StXEM on Uniswap at stxem.io.
Finally, December saw our busiest month yet in terms of social and web traffic, with particularly strong growth in our Korean and Turkish communities, overall engagement in the NEM project at its highest level for many years December and NEM HUB members and participation also up to 2,900 at the end of 2020, with nearly $35mn staked on the platform.
We are delighted to announce that Nikkei Sangyo Kokokusha, part of the Nikkei Group, will work with NEM in Japan to help build the NEM brand and support the launch of Symbol.
The initial focus will be NEM’s participation at the FIN/SUM (finsum.jp) event in March 2021. In addition to a keynote speech from David Shaw, our CEO, NEM will also host blockchain themed workshops and will sponsor a blockchain-related startup pitch. Read more about the announcement here.
The Ventures team has been busy with the re-launch of the virtual incubator program “Ignite“
and has begun to accept applications till February 22nd, followed by the first cohort program set to begin on March 22nd till July 14, 2021. Ignite will provide tailored business mentoring and financial support for early-stage blockchain projects building on either NIS1 or Symbol and an award of up to USD $10K for participating. We plan to have 2-3 cohorts a year open to all geographical regions, and to have language support for English and Japanese.
Aside from our incubator program, we have announced two exciting investments: Propine, a digital securities services firm, and Stakehound, a platform that brings together staking (namely, staked XEM/XYM) and DeFi.
We continue to process deal flow and due diligence as it arrives as a business as usual process, we will update as these deals may come to the investment stage.
The priority for January has been supporting exchanges for Opt-in and Listing of Symbol.
On the surface, this seems simple however in reality the exchange has to integrate a new Mainnet rather than just add an ERC20 token. Longer-term we are keen to encourage full integrations as this means more people use Symbol features, set up nodes and think about more advanced use cases.
In addition, a considerable amount of time has been spent developing our Wrapped XEM token in conjunction with Stakehound (broadly Ethereum Bridge). Long term this is important for the project as we wish to position Symbol for interoperability in a multi-blockchain universe. For those who haven’t experimented with Ethereum, you can buy Staked XEM on a Uniswap DEX pool and benefit from Node Rewards being embedded into the Token Supply. A DEX is a great innovation in finance and in our
opinion a very tangible way that Blockchain technology can impact traditional finance.
Lastly, we are continuing to develop a number of areas including liquidity mining, staking as a service, custody options and payments integrations. Building a healthy ecosystem for Symbol is essential as the technology can’t exist in a vacuum.
We are continuing our search for talent as we grow our Technology and Commercial teams in the Software Co.
Keep an eye out on our job openings page for new vacancies.
We recently welcomed Marcos to the team as our Protocol Engineer. He’s had an extensive career working in research and engineering for companies such as Boeing, Silver Software, Airbus and ARM, before pivoting into blockchain in 2017. We’re excited to have his expertise on board as he works directly on the research, optimization and extension of the NIS1 and Symbol protocols.
Our team has been working hard preparing for the Symbol launch and we want to thank everyone for their commitment and patience this month. We appreciate the support from the team and community as we focus on launching Symbol. This month’s spotlight features two members of the team who have gone above and beyond in their work. Read on to learn about their background and their role at NEM.
Baha joined the NEM team last July as a developer and has played an important role in building the desktop wallet. He’s been a great addition to the team, working endless hours in the lead-up to launch. Baha was living in London with his family but moved back home to Turkey during the pandemic to be closer to loved ones. In his spare time he enjoys cooking (experimenting on Italian and Turkish dishes), snowboarding, cycling and
learning new technologies.
How did you become a developer?
I discovered my interest in science and problem solving during middle school. This led me to attend a Boarding Science High School in another city. Following high school I found myself studying Computer Engineering at Istanbul Technical University. I have been enjoying coding ever since. I’ve been working for the last 15 years as a full-stack developer mainly in the financial sector focusing on payment systems, insurance, trading engines and blockchain. Before joining NEM I was working on e-wallet/payments and cryptocurrency exchange platforms development in Luxon Payments, in London, UK.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve been working on the desktop wallet for the past couple of months. I am glad to be part of this brilliant team who managed to bring all the great features ready for the Symbol launch. Currently working on the Symbol Node Rewards application development. Despite the tight deadlines, working on challenging problems with a great team is really fun.
Favourite Symbol feature?
Delegated Harvesting is a really cool feature. It allows you to use your account’s importance to earn fees, without running a node locally while keeping your account secrets secure. Brilliant.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Oludeniz, Mugla, Turkey – It is a great place where the blue and green blend beautifully with lots of activities including paragliding.
Halkidiki, Greece – Great beaches, fine sand and turquoise waters.
Bucket list goal
One day I want to own a boutique restaurant and create a well-known dish.
Flora has been a long standing supporter of NEM since the beginning of 2017, working within the Taiwan and China community. She is currently working with NEM Trading as a Relationship and Business Development Manager, managing exchanges and wallet listings and promoting Symbol technology. She has played an important role in bringing on new partnerships such as introducing XEM to Swipe Wallet.
Tell us about your background
I moved to Canada with my family when I was 10 years old and majored in art in college. Later on after working for a few years, I obtained different accreditations in the business and operations field. I focused on international marketing and continuous improvements within corporations. I’ve worked in various industries, from trade & investment, manufacturing management, to overseeing 16 world renowned brands in the audio industry.
What are your hobbies?
Prior to the pandemic, for outdoor activities, I practiced equestrian, golf and snowboarding in the winter. I used to play a lot of video games and participate in a series of esport events where I’ve won a few regional championships. As of last year, being stuck in Taiwan, I started to learn and study Ikenobō which is a Japanese style flower arrangement, as well as the art of Chinese tea.
What have you been working on?
Primarily I coordinate with exchanges and wallets for listing and events for the symbol launch, as well as promote symbol technologies to institutions and academics.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Definitely the launch of Symbol, and having more partners joining the NEM/SYMBOL ecosystem.
Bucket list goal
Having my own tea house where I can make formal Chinese tea for my friends and families.