There has been some buzz recently amidst the announcement of an alliance between NEM and Mijin leading users and developers to ask what does this mean for the future of NEM.
NEM is an advanced, bitcoin 2.0+ system that has been in development since January of 2014. NEM is not just a cryptocurrency. Above that, and more importantly, NEM is a peer to peer platform and it provides services like payments, messaging, asset making, and namespace system.
While NEM is an open source project, and a public blockchain platform, Mijin is a private blockchain product that has been developed by the 3 core developers of NEM along with Tech Bureau since the fall of 2015.
Public blockchains, like Bitcoin or NEM, allow anyone to join and set up a node to share and receive data. However, many real-world businesses and financial uses require that those who can participate in a blockchain be restricted; these are called permissioned blockchains and Mijin provides this powerful functionality.
Mijin has been proven that it can be applied for bank ledger systems in April 2016 by a third party test initiated by a major Japanese bank through Dragonfly Fintech, which uses Mijin at its core.
Mijin is a redesign of the NEM public chain including its chain data structure and configuration parameters, but maintains API compatibility. This allows the Mijin chain to specialize in meeting the needs of private businesses but also allows any third parties building on Mijin to also build on NEM. In this way Mijin and NEM work hand in hand, not only to maintain a common API specification, but also to create a new ecosystem as a fusion of the Tech Bureau commercial entity and the NEM open source-project.
Tech Bureau has announced that it shall contribute the commercial version of Mijin as an open-source product in summer the 2016, with a dual-licensing scheme. The official launch date has yet to be confirmed.
The project codenamed, “Catapult”, is a newly amended and augmented version of the current Mijin platform that Tech Bureau has developed previously with the NEM core developers. With this architecture, Mijin and NEM shall be creating yet another first in the crypto-sphere. Catapult will mark the beginning of an enterprise-class approach. It will create a new standard of design and is unprecedented in the blockchain domain, lifting its bar.
Catapult will be the entire architecture re-worked and migrated from Java to C++ to aid in increasing performance and will be switching from the HTTP protocol to socket communication which will help reduce latency and improve bi-directional communication. It is a high-performance product that can handle high transaction throughputs, such as 4 digits per second, even on a geographically dispersed network.
Catapult has been under development since the first quarter of 2016 in stealth mode. Tech Bureau said that it is committed to the open source project of NEM and will contribute this code base into the NEM open-source project
Tech Bureau CEO, Takao Asayama has said:
“It’s an unprecedented and big challenge for us all to develop products in a more efficient way than ever by fusing a commercial entity and an open source community into one, without conflict, and without interfering the very existence of an open source initiative. However, once the ball gets rolling, future versions of Mijin and NEM will be historical outcomes of this totally new ecosystem.”
What does this mean for NEM and Mijin going forward?
As this partnership matures and development continues, the main benefits of this collaboration would be that enterprise users would gain access to the secrecy of a private blockchain for sensitive information like databases and auditing work bundled with improved transaction speeds. The benefit for both sides is separation itself will help to load balancing the community and development.
In addition to this as needs change or develop for each collection of users new features can be developed and integrated into either side of the community. A feature which originally is implemented for Mijin can be integrated into the open source community of NEM and vice versa. Although the two models will work independently for different sectors (enterprise vs open source), they will collaboratively work to innovate each other by using the same API resources and sharing new features.
The NEM Team would like to thank Ryan for contributing this.