NEM Announces Its Seventh Hardfork, Harlock

The project team claims that, after six years, NEM is coming out of BETA and will be open-source.

NEM Announces Its Seventh Hardfork, Harlock
Shutterstock cover by Visual Generation.

Key Takeaways

  • NEM’s Harlock hard fork was announced today.
  • NEM nodes will vote on whether or not to merge into a subChain of Symbol.
  • NEM is known for pioneering the "proof-of-importance" consensus mechanism.

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NEM has announced its Harlock hard fork, which it says will “decide the future of #NEM.” The hard fork will enable voting on whether NEM will integrate into the Symbol blockchain. 

Hardfork x7

Harlock will allow nodes to vote on whether they support NEM becoming a dedicated subChain of Symbol, an enterprise blockchain launched by the NEM project in March 2021. NEM nodes will vote on whether or not the NEM blockchain will merge into Symbol as a “subChain,” or “a type of transaction-specific sidechain.”

Symbol was launched earlier this year, and the vision of its founders has grown since then: 

“…subChains will be a pinnacle of innovation: not just Symbol, but the broader blockchain space. We already have plans to collaborate with other chains on research and development, and we envision a future where other cryptocurrency projects are brought in as dedicated subChains of Symbol, supplying new logic and transaction types to the entire platform.”

The Harlock update represents NEM’s seventh hard forkhistorically, roughly one every few hundred thousand blocks. The last hard fork occurred at blockheight 1,250,000 and represented a fee modification to the network. Harlock is expected to execute at blockheight 3,464,800. 

NEM (New Economy Movement) was an early crypto project, launched in Q1 of 2015. Its native cryptocurrency is XEM.  It has been prominent in Japan since 2016, seeing enterprise adoption and acceptance as payment in restaurants and hotels. According to NEM, it has also “inspired art exhibits and community-run cafes and even donation drives.” 

The project maintains that its most important contribution is its proof-of-importance consensus mechanism (rather than, say, proof-of-stake or proof-of-work), which seeks to “deter the concentration of wealth commonly associated with proof-of-stake.” It does this by rewarding on-chain activities, such as transfers, in addition to giving rewards based simply on the amount vested. 

NEM’s XEM is responding to the news. At the time of writing, it is up roughly 7% on the day, with trading volume up approximately 330%. 

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this piece held BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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