Dear KuCoin Users,
Please take note of the following schedule:
Deposits Effective Immediately
Trading: 18:00 May 30, 2019 (UTC+8)
Withdrawal: 18:00 June 01, 2019 (UTC+8)
Nimiq Company Summary
Nimiq is a frictionless peer-to-peer payment protocol for the World Wide Web. Their ultimate goal is to build the first complete, censorship-resistant and easy-to-use crypto payment system for the web. Furthermore, the project has cross-chain compatibility, where users are able to utilise smart contracts, as introduced by Ethereum and other turing-complete programmable platforms that support HTLC for atomic swaps. Simply put, Nimiq is a browser-first blockchain & ecosystem.
Nimiq has been built from the ground up to address and break the barriers to entry that inhibit the mainstream adoption of blockchain technologies. Nimiq will always remain open-source and community-driven, being built with future support for good causes into its genesis block. And as for the name, “Nimiq is an Inuit word used for an object or a force that binds things together.”
Nimiq is a browser-first Blockchain designed for simplicity. Nimiq’s reason for existence is to bring the benefits of blockchain technology to the mainstream.
The project deems itself to still be in an early phase where it is preparing to cater information and features to the laymen audience it ultimately aims for. Until this ‘promotional state’ is reached (possible transition to POS, non-custodial KYC-less crypto-fiat bridge, feature complete product, new version of informative website etc.), Nimiq’s marketing focuses on onboarding web developers, merchants and payment processors, thus ramping up and professionalizing marketing fundamentals while avoiding extensive spendings.
Besides more conventional forms of marketing, Nimiq aims to create awareness by substantial measures and native advertising, e.g open and branded API’s, scientific publications or a framework to implement NIM into developing communities. The team is currently evaluating suitable locations for a pilot project of cryptocurrency adoption for communities with difficulty to access the global fiat economy. Additionally, Nimiq is supported by an active and growing community and has loosely integrated international members as community managers for their respective countries.
The security is also high, and the whole system is built from scratch so it remains free of third-party libraries, open source and peer-reviewed. The blockchain network is decentralised; however, at the time of the analysis, the mining appeared quite centralised with three pools accounting for over 83% of the hashing distribution. Notably, inside Nimiq's team there are more than 10 experienced developers with relevant degrees, with several of the team members coming from Germany’s leading Institute for Information and Systems Security (CISPA).
NIM is the token of the Nimiq Mainnet Blockchain. A total of 2.52 billion NIM of the final total of 21 billion NIM were created in the Genesis Block during launch of the Mainnet. The minimum unit of NIM is called a Luna and 100,000 Luna equal 1 NIM. Since launch of the Mainnet in April 2018, NIM have been and continue to be rewarded to miners with a smooth curved fashion instead of halving, as described below in the technical section of this FAQ. For the live NIM supply see this community project: https://metrics.nimiqx.com/en/supply
Legal & Disclaimers Description
Nimiq has appointed Swiss MME and Costa Rican Lara Legal Corp as a legal advisors. Mauricio Lara, representative and counsel to Nimiq is a Costa Rican attorney and member of the American Bar Association. During the Activation of NIM from NET tokens, Swiss Intrum Justicia AG and US Jumio Netverify were responsible for the KYC procedure. ComplyAdvantage performed AML checks with full sanctions and PEP lists. As an open source project, only the intellectual property was copyrighted.
Team and Advisors Description
The team is presented with pictures, titles and short descriptions of their skills.
Roadmap & Milestones
The roadmap is presented in a lengthy Medium post. It describes the period between Q4 of 2018 to mid-2020. The milestones are easy to follow:
New Keyguard and Nimiq Hub
Release of new Nimiq Hub Open API (enabling third party apps to use the Nimiq Hub and Keyguard, expanding the Nimiq Ecosystem)
New Nimiq Safe with Cashlink integration
Widget to accept donations in NIM
Complete Nimiq node in Rust
Release of webshop plugin for payments with NIM
New nimiq.com website
Nimiq 2.0 Whitepaper
End of 2019
Beta testing NIM payments with selected web shop owners
Nimiq single-sign-on (Nimiq ID)
Synchronized contact book
Encrypted private key synchronization service
Testnet for Nimiq 2.0
Enabling easy NIM-crypto exchange
Full release of Nimiq OASIS, enabling easy NIM-fiat exchange
Innovative multisig features for Nimiq Safe:
Topic being currently researched and explored, concrete applications and features to be derived
Nimiq Checkout integration with larger online merchant
Nimiq 2.0 Mainnet including upgrade of all Nimiq apps
Team and Advisors
Pascal Berrang (Blockchain Developer, Board President) GitHub
PhD in computer science (focus on security and privacy) from the University of Saarland with over a dozen publications. Member of saarsec CTF team scoring top three at several international information security competitions.
Philipp von Styp-Rekowsky (Blockchain Developer, Board Member) GitHub
MSc in computer science, expert in Information Security and Cryptography and a former Research Assistant and PhD Student. Built award-winning software AppGuard (over 2 million downloads, German IT Security Award) and Boxify (CeBIT Innovation Award), and published numerous articles in several journals and technical reports.
Marvin Wissfeld (Blockchain Developer, Board Member) GitHub
Presenter at 2017 IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy in Silicon Valley. One of the youngest mentors at Google Summer of Code, Expert on Malware Analysis, Mobile and Web Security.
Jeffrey Esquivel S. (Blockchain Developer, Board Member) GitHub
Background in coding chip level. Former systems engineer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Deployed several BIND DNS Servers (with custom-compiled multithreading support) at a national scale for a major ISP before joining Nimiq.
Elion Chin (Operations, Board Member) LinkedIn
Cofounder, Investor and CFO of Silicon Valley-based MoodLogic Inc., sold in 2006. PhD in Economics from Swiss University of St. Gallen and visiting PhD at NYU. Built Silicon Paradise Tech movement in Costa Rica and SkyLoft as a secluded incubation base for ideas and early-stage startups (including Nimiq) with high social or ecological impact.
Mauricio Lara (Counsel, Board Member) LinkedIn
Janosh Gräf (Blockchain Developer) GitHub
Daniel Mohr (UI/UX Developer) GitHub
Sören Schwert (UI/UX Developer) GitHub
Max Harz (UI/UX Developer) GitHub
Sebastian Dietel (UI/UX Developer) GitHub
Richard Patel (UI/UX & Blockchain Developer) GitHub
Ricardo Barquero (Community Manager)
Tammo Mamedi (UI/UX Design, Marketing)
Julian Bauer (UI/UX Design, Marketing)
Sven Buschbeck (Technical Documentation, Communication)
Sui-Ju Chuang (Communication & Operations)
Atua and Chris Mo’e (Video Documentation & Social Media) YouTube
Team skills, Experience, and Structure
The team has blockchain, software engineering and marketing skills at its disposal. There are several PhD holders in relevant computer science fields, such as cryptography and engineering. It should be noted there have been differences between one of the founders and the rest of the team. This has been addressed according to this update. The team is international with a German majority and has been steadfast together since 2017
Reto Trinkler, former CTO of Melonport, is an advisor for Nimiq and Foundation Board Member. Arthur Gervais, founder of Liquidity Network, has also been reported to be an advisor to the Project.
There is no information on whether any VCs have invested in the project.
The project has partnered with the WEG Bank AG, Trade Telegraph (formerly Agora Trade), Trinker Software, Trust Wallet, and TotalCrypto.io.
Speed of Selling Out the ICO
The team is considering to invest in worthy community promotions delivery of NIM giveaways (“smart” airdrops).
Hard Cap Amount
60,000 ETH (1ETH at ~$226 on July 9, 2017, ~$13,500,000)
Tokens Sold on Public Sale
The ICO event was successful in raising 100% of the intended hard cap goal.
ICO Price (NET)
USD 0.014 (Equivalent for NIM)
At the time of the analysis, the mining appeared quite centralized with SushiPool, Skypool, and Nimpool.io accounting for over 83% of the hashing distribution. Hence, many feel that the system is vulnerable to 50%+1 attacks through pools, however, this risk is partially mitigated by the use of the Nimiq decentralized pool mining protocol (adopted by all major pools) that allows miners to detect malicious pool behavior.
Finally, it should be noted that at the time of the analysis, the talk on Bitcointalk about the project was mixed. However, these accusations were identified as attempts to spread FUD in the community in BitcoinTalk through fake profiles.
Type of Blockchain Technology
Nimiq is blockchain technology inspired by Bitcoin but designed for the browser. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, Nimiq does not require a third-party node to send transactions directly from the browser. This advantage allows for a new level of accessibility and user experience without the need to compromise on decentralization or censorship-resistance. It is a completely seamless cryptocurrency for the web (New Internet Money).
In addition to the whitepaper on their website, the project is described in an executive summary. Nimiq aims to introduce the blockchain technology through a browser, which will reduce the inconveniences for non-tech savvy users. It is unclear how the non-profit project plans to sustain itself after the ICO proceeds are used. However, the Nimiq Foundation holds 2.5% of total NIM supply which are meant to support the development in the long run. In general, the tokenomics could have been expanded and improved.
Further, the Nimiq team has posted the operating costs of running the project, amounting to about USD 210,000 per month, excluding one-time costs or such associated with travel or extra expenses. Another pro was the detailed fund allocation plan, which depicts and explains how gathered resources will be used.
Technology & Development
Product Development Progress
Nimiq plans to switch from PoW to PoS and has been researching a potential consensus Algorithm “Albatross” since the end of 2018. Albatross is a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm that is able to achieve a performance close to the theoretical maximum for single-chain protocols of over 1000 transactions per second. The security is also high, though the planned switch from PoW to PoS could make the system more vulnerable to 33% attacks. However, in the “Albatross” PoS implementation, such attacks only allow the halting of the network, not to do double spends or alike. The profit that can be done by halting the network is unlikely to exceed the costs of such an attack due to the reduced value of the 33% stake and possible network penalties. An experimental implementation of Albatross based on the new Nimiq Rust implementation has recently been published.
The user interface has been designed with ease-of-use in mind from the start but has been iterated on and rewritten to improve the overall user experience ever since. Entirely new interfaces to interact with keys have just recently been published. Cashlinks, a feature popular with the community, will be designed and implemented next, as well as authentication based on the Nimiq ecosystem
Blockchain Technology Usage and Innovation
The project uses Non-Interactive Proofs-of-Proof-of-Work to enable browser-based nano clients to sync the blockchain in seconds. Browser clients directly connect to the Nimiq network and to one another, fully verifying the blockchain state themselves without relying on trusted nodes. This also allows browser clients to directly send transactions to the network, improving censorship-resistance by eliminating another intermediary.
The team offers a free-to-use browser wallet. The creation of the account is not only free but also fast, and it does not require any download or personal data. Private keys are stored in the user's browser and are never sent to a server.
Dependencies to Third-Party Platform or Service
At first, the token sale was distributed on the Ethereum network, with the ERC-20 compatible token NET being later used to activate NIM at a 1:100 ratio. However, as Nimiq is a standalone blockchain and not a fork of any existing code, it is entirely independent of any third parties.
Decentralization of the System
The system is censorship-resistant and decentralized, as each node is able to connect with any other node on the system. This allows the information flow to be distributed throughout the network, rather than going through a single point. Also, the project is open source.
Given the nature of Nimiq, a decentralized structure has massive value. For example, being an open-source project, everybody can contribute or build on top of it. Having a smaller, more nimble team negates the need for complex structures that bureaucratically manage separate responsibilities; instead, areas of responsibilities belong to team members who can work exclusively on them.
In order to provide a truly decentralized payment system, a decentralized corporate structure is appropriate. The focus on one or a few key actors is considered to be contrary to this ideal. However, the team is open to recruiting talent in the areas of management and business development.
System Security Measures
The project releases its code publicly over their GitHub account to allow external developers to review it. They have also partnered with Hacker One to perform ongoing security peer reviewing through a bounty program.
The overall security of the system is high. First, Ed25519 Schnorr signatures secure transactions. Second, the system has used Proof-of-Work based on Argon2d, in the beginning, to protect the platform and resolve discussions/proposals. At the time of the analysis, the team is in the process of evaluating and implementing the Albatross PoS consensus mechanism for Nimiq 2.0, which puts the vulnerability of the system to 33%+1%, similar to the plans for the evolution to PoS for Ethereum 2.0. However, they have put certain safety features in place to reduce this threat.
We sincerely appreciate your support and understanding, we hope this information proves useful to all users and potential investors.
The KuCoin Team.