Interview with Lon Wong, president and founder of NEM Foundation

First appeared on Crypto Economy

Lon Wong

Probably everyone knows about the NEM blockchain solution platform. But always behind every project there are those responsible who put their best to advance day by day. One of those people behind the NEM ecosystem is Lon Wong, president of the NEM Foundation, who kindly gave us an interview that we will share at this time:

Who is Lon Wong?

Founding President of the Foundation

Lon Wong oversees the development and strategic growth of the Foundation that was created for the promotion, adoption and support of the NEM blockchain technology around the world. This open source technology utilizes advanced cryptography to execute transactions that can be used by both private and public enterprises. NEM’s native cryptocurrency, XEM, enjoys a wide circulation and trades on multiple exchanges with an overall market capitalization of over US$2.8 billion as at September 2017.

Lon has played an instrumental role in the design of the NEM blockchain technology and he has filed a patent on the utilization of the blockchain as a representation of fiat money. Prior to his involvement with NEM, Lon spent more than 30 years building and selling businesses that span engineering consultancy, software development, networks and ISP wireless broadband.

He previously served as the Vice-President of the Association of Consulting Engineers in Malaysia. Lon graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering honors degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia. As part of his impact investing activities, Lon funded the establishment of an autism centre in Malaysia.

What is the status of the NEM development ?

NEM has been in production for the last two and a half years. It has been running without any major failures and has been very stable. A new version of the NEM project is being developed and the private chain version of it should be released before the end of the fourth quarter, 2017. This new version is a highly enhanced version of the first version, giving it more features and increasing the private chain transaction rate to at least four thousand transactions per second.

What makes NEM different from its counterparts?

NEM keeps its designs simple and functional. It is developed for mainstream applications where logic and business rules are usually decided off chain in an environment whereby these off-chain smart contracts or business logic can be developed in any language. The outputs of these smart contracts are fed into the NEM blockchain as immutable records.

Further, NEM is different in that it has highly customisable assets that it can create where there is no programming required. This reduces any errors in the provisioning of assets as opposed to some other assets that can be created by the competition. It is quick to deploy.

Named as smart assets, this feature is a templated design and therefore makes it very user friendly.

Another feature of NEM is its smart multisignatory feature for its transactions. It is designed as an on-chain multisig feature where, again, it does not require a user to do any programming. An on-chain multisig means whenever a transaction is signed by one party, it is broadcasted to the entire network. It sits there till it is signed by one or more parties, as defined by the multisig condition.

This feature is a very powerful feature whereby it can be used by a financial institution to manage AML and allow or reject a transaction based on various AML test methods.

Other features that make it different from its counterpart is the ability for NEM to integrate with off-chain smart contracts, where, now, anything can be programmed, designed and applied with the help of the NEM blockchain to complement with immutable data records. This feature makes it possible to use NEM for document proofing and authenticity. The application for such a feature includes, notarisation, license issuance, registrations such as car and land title, KYC solutions, certificates of authenticity such as degree certificates or product certificates, and trade finance documentation and process flows.

Will we be able to see new projects in the future that use the NEM Network?

In the future, we should see NEM applied in sovereign fiat money issuance, financial settlements, payments, trade finance, Stock markets, forex, and a host of applications using document proofing as aforementioned. All these applications can now be implemented as the blockchain is in production mode.

What kind of applications can we expect in the NEM network?

Other applications include a voting module and aggregate multisig transactions where it can be used as a trustless escrow solution. This escrow solution shall be one of our new features to be released in our latest version.

Will we see any framework soon to facilitate the use of the Network for the developers?

Integration with NEM is through the use of JSON RESTful APIs. There are many versions of abstractions that are being developed by the NEM community members to make it very easy to onboard developers.

Hence, we are already seeing a lot of developers coming onboard to make use of the platform as we speak now. Developers do not need to learn a new language and therefore the framework already exists with the type of languages that they are familiar with.

How are you going to promote adoption of NEM?

Mass adoption of NEM is done through continuous education and engagement with the mainstream industries, governments and academia. It is now being rolled out as part of our program to penetrate the markets globally.

Has NEM had any security problem as in the case of Ethereum?

NEM does not have smart contracts on-chain, which is the biggest flaw in Ethereum. It has always been our argument that smart contracts cannot work in an immutable and irreversible mode simply because it has no real practical use. Ethereum has proven this point, time and again.

NEM is an enterprise class solution and therefore is not an experiment. It therefore does not have such security problem. It’s off-chain smart contract is the best approach to making the solution very practical. Any failure in one off-chain smart contract does not expose the system to a systemic failure and it can be stopped, corrected and re-run without having to fork or rollback the blockchain, which may have other applications that may not be part of the problem application.

Is there any big company interested in NEM today?
Yes, there are companies working on NEM, many of which are still in the development stage and under NDA.

What are NEM’s plans for next year?

NEM’s plan next year is basically out to market. We have assembled a team are undertaking a huge marketing effort for the next year. We just held a global strategy summit recently to identify our goals for the near future.

Regarding XEM’s market prices, what could we expect in the future?

We will expect the price of XEM to climb up significantly as we roll out our projects. Or growth was intentionally designed to be organic and steady.

Lon Wong

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