FAQs

About Symbol

What is Symbol?

Symbol is a next generation, open source decentralized blockchain platform from NEM that connects businesses to blockchain, helping them to reduce cost, complexity, and find new ways to create value. It has increased speed, usability, security and flexibility - making Symbol the smart, effective choice for both enterprise users and developers.

How is the Symbol technology different?

Symbol uses a layered architecture and plugin framework to allow preconfigured smart contract functionality with much higher performance and lower cost than alternatives. On-chain logic options are extensive, but not Turing complete. However, off-chain Turing-complete solutions can easily interact with Symbol.

When will Symbol launch?

The permissioned blockchain version is available now. The Symbol public chain is due to launch in December 2020.

Who owns Symbol?

Symbol assets are owned by NEM Group, but the code is open source and free for all to use.

Why a new platform from NEM?

We need a new platform to resonate with an enterprise audience, bringing our new commercial strategy to life. We believe our new platform and brand will help establish Symbol as a credible, reliable and trustworthy offer in the enterprise landscape and provide a platform for the community to continue to grow and evolve with us.

How does Symbol fit with NEM?

Symbol is from the same team that created NEM NIS1, and uses concepts developed and tested in NEM NIS1. We endorse the Symbol brand ‘from NEM’ in all communication to recognize this association. NEM continues to operate independently.

What is the difference between Symbol and NEM NIS1?

Symbol is an advanced evolution of blockchain from NEM. The new platform is more flexible, fast, easy to use and secure than the NEM NIS1 Platform. Symbol has been developed to specifically build the connection between business and blockchain.

What does the name “Symbol” mean?

A symbol is a visual image or sign that represents an idea, as an indicator of a universal truth. Symbols are used to facilitate understanding of the world around us and form the basis of communication. Symbols link concepts and experiences. Our brand and platform represents the next evolution of blockchain.

Has Symbol been trademarked?

All brand assets that identify Symbol (Symbol, the “connector” icon, Powering Possibility) are trademarks owned by NEM Group. We have trademarked these assets to legally protect our brand globally and to minimise or remove mistakes, deception or confusion in the market. Our trademark policy does not affect our open source approach to use of software.

What does the new brand icon stand for?

Our brand icon is the Connector. It represents openness, collaboration, working together. It represents value and strength of collaboration, and powering possibility. The Connector symbolises the role we play, bringing business and blockchain together to create value.

Developing on Symbol

When will Symbol launch?

Symbol is due to launch in December 2020.

How is Symbol different to other blockchains?

Our tiered architecture delivers increased network performance, lowering the total cost of ownership. Our Hybrid Chain and configurable contract plug-in framework makes Symbol more resilient to human error and network attack. Our plug-in approach provides flexibility and removes complexity, speeding up development and onboarding time Our Multi-Sig approach means that users will be able to create multi-level multi-sig accounts (max 3 levels) which allows more complex account set ups and to and an and/or logic to multi-sig transactions. Our APIs ensure seamless integration with existing enterprise systems and processes, as well as other networks and blockchains. Aggregate transactions merges multiple transactions into one by generating a single use, disposable smart contract. The merging of transactions allows for trustless swaps, escrowed transactions and other advanced logic. Metadata controls gives the ability to attach relevant information to accounts, mosaics or namespaces. It will enable further off chain actions that depend on metadata. Fungible fixed assets are represented with mosaics. A mosaic could be a token, or a collection of more specialised assets such as reward points, shares, signatures, status flags, votes or even currencies.

Will it be easy as API integration for the existing NIS1 projects to move into Symbol blockchain?

Symbol has an API approach similar to the approach of NIS1, with a separate server and "API node" in the new architecture.

Will there be any problems for exchanges to use Symbol?

We don’t foresee any problems with exchanges.

Once Symbol is rolled out, what will happen to NIS1?

NIS1 does not go away, programs will be put in place to keep the platform continuing. There will be two products maintained.

Are there Symbol brand guidelines I can use?

We have a brand toolkit to provide direction on how to bring the brand to life and provide example communications, as well as messaging examples, to use for inspiration. See Brand Toolkit.

How can I get support?

Head over to GitHub for all the documentation you need to get started on Symbol. Visit GitHub.

About XYM

How can I get XYM?

In advance of the Symbol public chain launch you can Opt-in to participate in XYM by holding NEM’s native coin XEM. In December 2020 a Snapshot of the NEM NIS1 blockchain will be taken and you will be allocated XYM based on how many XEM you own at that time. For each 1 XEM you own, you will receive 1 XYM when Symbol launches. After the Symbol public chain launch, you will also be able to buy XYM on exchanges.

Will exchanges support XYM?

Yes, we will publish a list of exchanges at a later date.

Can I mine XYM?

Symbol uses harvesting, which is similar to mining, but harvesting rewards depend on the transactions processed by the harvester’s node. For more details, see the Symbol ecosystem.

Migrating NEM NIS1 to Symbol

What data will be migrated?

The migration tool will allow you to claim XYM, root namespaces, and multisignature account configurations. Some other data, such as mosaics, can be manually replicated on Symbol with extra steps (see below).

What data will not be migrated?

For technical reasons, all other NEM public chain data will not be migrated to Symbol. This includes transaction history, messaging, notarizations, voting, and so forth. However, this data will continue on the NEM chain and anyone can use the snapshot as a reference if they wish to manually replicate NEM data on Symbol.

What will happen to custom tokens and assets (Mosaics)?

Mosaics will not be migrated directly. To replicate a NEM mosaic on Symbol, the first step is to claim the root namespace using the migration tool. Then the mosaic will be able to be replicated by choosing the same configurations and distributing it based on the snapshot data. We plan to release a more detailed guide prior to Symbol launch.

What will happen to XEM balances and the NEM chain?

All the data and balances on NEM will not be affected by the snapshot or migration process. Claiming XYM will not impact your XEM balance. The NEM blockchain will continue to operate as normal. The NEM team and community will continue to support the NEM chain and ecosystem. The team also plans to continue the NEM supernode rewards program.

What are the timeframes and key dates?

The date of the snapshot and other key dates have not yet been finalized. The team is planning to announce key dates several weeks ahead of time to make sure everyone in the community is prepared. We will announce them on all our social media platforms. Check back here for updates as they are announced. Symbol Public Chain Release Date: 17th December

What are the steps for claiming tokens and other data on Symbol?

The team plans to release a migration tool to make claiming straightforward without any coding. Check back here for a link to a step-by-step guide to the claiming process.

What Is changing about the core team reserves?

The NEM Core Team currently has about 3 billion XEM reserved to help fund development and community projects. However, the Core Team will not keep the same amount of tokens on Symbol. With the release of Symbol, these reserves will be reduced by about 1.2 billion XYM. These tokens will be used as inflationary harvesting rewards in a manner similar to bitcoin mining rewards. In fact, the inflationary rate of release on Symbol is closely mapped to the rate of bitcoin mining rewards. See Symbol Tokenomics for more details.