New Economy Movement (NEM) is an enterprise-grade solution to power the impending blockchain economy. Originally intended to be a fork of NXT, the community decided to go with a completely new codebase with an alpha version released June 25, 2014, and the first stable release March 31, 2015. The platform is currently being rewritten in C++ and will be released as the “Catapult” update sometime in early 2018.
The Smart Asset System
The NEM blockchain powers what they call the Smart Asset System. This system is intended to be an open, customizable blockchain solution for any number of use cases built on top of simple, powerful API calls. The blockchain is secured and transactions are processed by a global network of nodes running the NEM core software, and the network is used as an API Gateway server.
This means developers looking to build blockchain powered apps don’t need to run any special NEM software as all of the NEM functionality is available by accessing API calls.
This allows for a lot of flexibility when it comes to system design and how various apps are making use of the NEM network. Apps can access the NEM API directly, access a separate server in addition to making NEM requests, or existing servers can be adapted to make use of NEM in the background.