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NEM is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform launched on March 31, 2015. Written in Java, with a C++ version in the works, NEM has a stated goal of a wide distribution model and has introduced new features to blockchain technology such as its proof-of-importance (POI) algorithm, multisignature accounts, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. The NEM blockchain software is used in a commercial blockchain called Mijin, which is being tested by financial institutions and private companies in Japan and internationally.
NEM was started by a Bitcoin Talk forum user called UtopianFuture who was inspired by Nxt. The initial plan for NEM was to create a fork of NXT, but this was eventually dismissed in favor of a completely new codebase. Starting on January 19, 2014, an open call for participation began on the Bitcointalk forum. The goal of the call was to create a community-oriented cryptocurrency from the ground up. The NEM project was not a legal entity at the time, though there have been recent efforts to change this. Stakes of NEM were to be distributed to those who contributed to the project in amounts of 2.25 Million XEM. As the project evolved, people were able to redeem the stakes they had paid for. As NEM was not a legal entity, there was an uncertainty if the people running the redemption would leave. As a result, an 8-month deadline was created. All unclaimed funds were decided to be put aside for the development of NEM.
The Alpha version was released on June 25, 2014. Subsequently, the Beta production version was launched on 20 October 2014. NEM launched its first stable release version on March 31, 2015. The next large update to the NEM ecosystem will be called Catapult. It was originally estimated to be released in Q1 2017 but has since moved to Q2 2017 for the release of its alpha version