It has been fun to cover the various crypto 2.0 projects we have seen spring up since the creation of Ripple — that chronology includes BitShares, NXT, Storj, and a bunch of technology that I personally find exciting.

Conceived in January on the forum, the New Economy Movement (NEM) ups the rhetorical ante on all these crypto 2.0 efforts.

NEM is a self-styled movement “based on the principles of financial freedom, decentralization, equality and solidarity.” Actually, it’s just a cryptocoin at the moment that purports to solve some of the issues of first-generation cryptocurrencies and some of the non-egalitarian aspects of coins such as NXT.

The main ideas, initially laid out here, are as follows:

  • All 4 billion NEM are released in the genesis block.
  • NEM relies on a proof-of-importance scheme that rewards the most active nodes with coins.
  • NEM has a decentralized exchange built into the protocol, as with NXT.
  • Blockchain times are about 1 minute.
  • NEM also allows encrypted P2P messaging.

There are more features, including support for colored coins, described in an August 10 post on Medium from xtester, one of the members of the NEM community.

“Leveraging the enhanced and optimised blockchain design is the actual ecosystem capability of NEM,” the author writes.

"NEM is designed with expandability and integration in mind. As an example, a hybrid fast-trading exchange can be integrated into the NEM ecosystem, which will allow easy real-life interaction with financial instruments such as equities, forex, and derivatives."

“Its powerful and secure encrypted messaging system allows for a plethora of applications that can utilize messaging to make transactions of all kinds, not just sending messages, per se. Further, its ability to have colored coins within the ecosystem allows for fiat currency integration, and therefore allows for fiat-related transactions to exist within the ecosystem.”

NEM’s Branding

An interesting conversation on the NEM forums Monday night/Tuesday morning addressed the how-to aspect of bringing a critical mass of people on board.

User rockethead suggested that the developers themselves need to become public figures. A movement, the argument goes, needs a figurehead: Bitcoin has Satoshi; Ripple and Stellar have Jed McCaleb.

Interestingly, this was the same criticism lobbed at the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots.

But perhaps rockethead is on to something. “From here we learn that the most important criterion to a big reception is the name of the person behind it,” the author writes. “NEM has great developers, but they choose to remain anonymous, and that is our biggest setback. If they went round the world presenting the concept of NEM and show the world in all the conferences, there would have been a big difference.”

Let’s scale that thought up a little further and consider the mindset of the average non-technical person who might one day be curious about adopting new forms of money. Who outside of cryptocurrency die-hards would actually participate in an economy whose founder, spoken of in reverential tones, is known as Utopianfuture? That sounds like some dude you’d meet at Burning Man.

None of that is to denigrate the hard work NEM’s developers are currently putting in. As xtester told us, NEM has a one-click-install client ready to go, and the coin is listed on the NXT Asset Exchange. Plus, the community seems very open to all participants and whatever they can contribute.

I will personally be excited to watch this project grow. Perhaps as new features roll out, the focus will then move away from the project’s rhetoric and on to the technology itself. And if in the meantime someone would like to step out from behind his/her username, that would be cool, too.

- NEMcoin logo

Did you enjoy this article? You may also be interested in reading these ones:

Help Cointelegraph tell the World Health Organization to accept bitcoin to fight Ebola! They have no reason not to take it!