After painful birth, NEM’s tokenization blockchain ‘Symbol’ is live

NEM has launched its tokenization chain, Symbol, despite pre-mainnet configuration issues pushing the launch back by two days.

Veteran crypto team NEM Group has announced the successful launch of its Symbol mainnet.

According to a March 17 announcement, NEM now comprises a “two chain ecosystem,” with NEM’s existing NEM NIS1 chain continuing to operate alongside Symbol.

Symbol’s launch wasn’t entirely smooth sailing, with the mainnet going live two days late.

Despite the team announcing the launch would be delayed due to the need to investigate unexpected node behavior amid its pre-mainnet rollout, sponsored posts celebrating Symbol’s launch were prematurely published by a number of crypto media outlets.

The issue preventing Symbol’s launch was identified within 24 hours, with NEM announcing on March 16 that a “network config issue” had resulted in its pre-mainnet forking on startup.

NEM describes Symbol as an interoperable Proof-of-Stake blockchain designed to support asset tokenization, including financial, physical, and intellectual assets. Assets created on Symbol are given unique identifiers — allowing conditional programming for tokens to be enforced at a protocol level. Symbol also supports both public and private deployments.

Symbol’s native XYM token is being airdropped to holders of NEM’s native token, XEM, at a one-to-one ratio according to balance snapshots as of March 12 — with 7.3 billion tokens from its almost 9 billion max supply being allocated to XEM holders.

While the deadline for pre-snapshot opt-ins for the airdrop expired on Jan. 9, XEM holders will be able to claim their tokens for up to six years after Symbol’s mainnet launch.

Opportunistic investors looking to cash-in on the airdrop appear to have driven a violent pump and dump in the XEM markets, with the token gaining 250% from $0.23 at the start of February to $0.8 on March 4.

However, most of the gains were short-lived, with XEM having retraced back to $0.6 by March 12, before tanking back down to $0.33 over the next three days. As of this writing, XEM last changed hands for $0.37.

NEM/USD, 90-day chart: CoinGecko

XYM is currently trading for $0.4, a roughly 8% premium over NEM, suggesting that Symbol is the 31st-largest crypto asset by market cap, ranking above FTX Token and below IOTA, according to CoinGecko/

The NEM NIS1 blockchain first launched in 2014, and was the first chain to support on-chain multi-signature wallets. Symbol expands on this functionality by allowing the signatory of multi-sig accounts to also comprise multi-signature accounts with unique co-signers.

“This allows users to simplify the creation of complex signature requirements, which streamlines business processes such as payroll,” NEM said in an announcement.

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