“Symbol” from NEM: unfolding new possibilities for blockchain.
The blockchain ecosystem gets shaken up with Symbol, the NIS1 evolution.
Interview with David Shaw, CEO of NEM Group, published originally on March 12th, 2021, on Bizgate (translated from Japanese).
NEM (New Economic Movement) is a project that seeks to create a new, decentralized, economic world using state-of-the-art blockchain technology. Its new platform, called Symbol, is a secure, efficient, and fast value-exchange network to fulfill a wide range of companies’ needs while working on its final goal — creating a new economy.
On March 17th, 2021, Symbol was launched as the next generation of blockchain technology. Right before the launch date, we caught up with Symbol’s CEO, David Shaw, to learn more about the NEM Group’s philosophy and where Symbol fits in.
You can also watch a video version of the interview here.
The “New Economic Movement” is a bold declaration. What is its primary purpose?
A world with a blockchain-enabled new economy offers countless opportunities for business. And since most of these opportunities are still emerging, it’s not a race for market-domination — all players have room to grow. We’re all working together to develop blockchain in our unique way. It’s the pioneer’s era for blockchain.
Unlike traditional IT systems or the current Internet, the blockchain world will be completely decentralized. This model will allow the ultimate economic activity democratization, allowing everyone to exchange value on an equal basis.
Besides developing blockchain software, NEM Group also deals in cryptocurrencies and invests in startups.
NEM Software provides a range of solutions to companies to effectively use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. We are also undertaking our R&D to develop NEM’s services even further.
NEM Trading, as the name suggests, trades cryptocurrencies in the token marketplace. Through partnerships with fintech innovators, we’ve been promoting the use of XEM, the NIS1 blockchain cryptocurrency. We will also simultaneously promote XYM, a new cryptocurrency available once Symbol is launched as the next generation blockchain on March 15th.
NEM Ventures invests and nurtures startups that are or will be operating with blockchain technology.
These three companies have complementary roles — the NEM Group bases these organizations’ premise on promoting blockchain development in a multifaceted and robust way. And since Japan is a significant part of all the NEM Group’s business activities, we focus on our Japanese users’ needs. That’s why we will be working on Symbol and NIS1 simultaneously to ensure its penetration into the Japanese market.
Since the launch of the NIS1 blockchain in 2015, there has been zero downtime, or systems/services hacking. NIS1 was explicitly designed with the needs of businesses in mind. What makes Symbol different?
Symbol is available for both public and private use. It builds on the strengths of NIS1 and dramatically increases its flexibility, speed, ease of use, and security, making it ideally suited to businesses’ needs, including non-financial companies.
Could you share some examples of what you can do when using Symbol?
Of course. Our equity partner Wave Financial, a fintech solutions provider focused on SME businesses, has launched a bourbon whisky investment fund based on Symbol. The customer is a prestigious Bourbon whiskey producer in Kentucky, USA.
In recent years, whisky has become an investment. The whisky value can vary from year to year, depending on how good or bad the whisky is. Investors buy whisky by the cask, hoping that the price will rise when the whisky has matured for 10 or 20 years. By selling some or all of the whisky they have just made, the maker can gain working capital and, at the same time, hedge against price fluctuations.
Wave Financial plans to recruit investors to the fund and use their stake to buy casks for the distillery. The fund will have a quota of 25,000 units, which is about a year’s production worth. In turn, the investors will buy the whiskey’s value in the form of tokens, which they can hold and buy or sell at any time.
NEM Group has also long been expanding the application of the blockchain by developing unique applications.
Like in an earlier example for the whisky investment fund, we applied blockchain to market research for a sportswear giant. The client company had been paying tens of millions of dollars worth of market research every year to understand consumers’ preferences in different countries. Now, thanks to the use of blockchain, they no longer need to — sportswear manufacturers can gather information directly from consumers.
Consumers take part in the blockchain-enabled surveys by registering their preferences, such as color and style. The manufacturer economically rewards consumers for their participation. Consumers earn money by providing information, and manufacturers learn first-hand about market trends. Costs are also reduced as there is no need to go through a market research company.
As you can see, the NEM Group is taking on the challenge of adapting the blockchain to different companies’ needs, including the non-financial companies.