NEM Studios Update

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NEM Studios was incorporated on the 20th of May 2019, subsequently receiving funding on the 28th of June. Legally, it is part of the NEM Holdings Group in Gibraltar, the governance structure set up to govern the investment arm of the NEM ecosystem, NEM Ventures. It was founded by David Shaw, David Mansell, and Kailin O’Donnell, with collaboration from the Core Developers and assistance from the NEM Foundation.

This update intended to give the community greater visibility of what we at NEM Studios are up to, and what you can expect from us over the coming months. NEM Studios was created to provide a professional development arm to push forward Catapult, with regular code contributions alongside the open source community contributions. It is primarily supported by core funds earmarked for development to support the ongoing evolution and testing of the next generation technology of the NEM platform, code named Catapult. Further funding was secured with the award of a contract from the NEM Foundation, as noted below. NEM Studios is gradually transitioning to becoming the primary team working on the backend development of the ecosystem.

Building out the Team

Since the creation of NEM Studios, we have onboarded 7 experienced team members, including a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Tech Lead, Victor Ruscitto. Victor is currently focused on introducing a cohesive development workflow across the entire ecosystem, increasing development efficiency, reducing silos, as well as identifying cross platform interdependencies, and in time his role will shift towards future strategic opportunities for Catapult. Victor has 20+ years of technology and commercial experience, encompassing large enterprise, startup and consulting roles. Some recent positions include CTO and Co-Founder of a blockchain startup which went public on the TSX, as well as Team Technical Lead for the Royal Bank of Canada working on a global cloud deployment initiative with $300M budget. As COO of NEM Studios, Victor provides the experienced hand to help guide us through to Catapult, and we are excited to have him leading us through this next phase.

We have also hired 4 experienced Full Stack Developers, Steven Lui, Roger Domingo, Martin Ayora, and Fernando Boucquez, a mixture of existing NEM employees and external hires. The developer team is currently working across REST API, the Java SDK, and the JavaScript SDK. We have also onboarded a Quality Assurance Lead, Wayon Blair, and a tester, Ravitej Aluru, who are responsible for ensuring all components and layers of the platform are fully tested in the run up to the launch of Catapult and beyond. Wayon was recently the Lead Tester for the Tech Bureau, and previously worked at Microsoft as a Senior Developer and Tester for Windows and Exchange.

We are very happy with the team that has come together and will continue to bolster the team with more talent to fill any remaining resource gaps within the ecosystem. Collectively, the new NEM Studios development team has a combined 80 years of experience in software development, architecture and testing. At present, our recruiter is gathering profiles on rockstar C++ developers to take some weight off the Core Developers post-launch, as well as another API developer, to further support the existing developer team. We hope to onboard both of these in the next couple weeks.

Go-To-Market

NEM Studios has been contracted by the NEM Foundation to create the branding and go-to-market strategy for Catapult. We have engaged an external agency who have led major rebranding exercises for global, multi-million dollar enterprises. They have followed a structured approach to defining where Catapult’s place is, and how to ensure it lands there. The outcome of this work will be evident in how it is received by the public, particularly as we can only share some of the details at the moment, due to the nature of the campaign. This piece of work is progressing well and we are very pleased with the results so far, which are being reported to a steering committee comprised of our Chairman David Shaw, NEM Foundation President Alexandra Tinsman, and Tech Bureau Product Manager Nate D’Amico.

Catapult Launch

The big question on everyone’s mind… “When Catapult?”. We are actively engaged in exploring options, challenges, and solutions to how we collectively deliver Catapult. Since the funding of NEM Studios in July, and formation of the migration committee, we have been working carefully to consider the various dependencies and possibilities, plotting progress amongst the various workstream leads and teams.

Great strides are being made towards Catapult with the collaboration of larger stakeholders in the ecosystem, including NEM Studios, NEM Foundation, NEM Ventures, The Core Developers and Tech Bureau. The launch of Catapult is not straightforward, and not something we want to rush into without careful consideration of a number of factors at play. There are countless challenges, permutations, options, and questions to address surrounding the technology, legal compliance, adoption, tokenomics, incentivisation and exchanges. We are working tirelessly behind the scenes, and are making great progress daily.

We thank the community for their patience, and we will be in touch soon with other updates pertaining to Catapult.

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