Article updated October 2, 2022
In this article, we will interview Yasunori Matsuoka, who is the Vice Chairman of a non-profit organization named NEMTUS to promote NEM/Symbol blockchain technology, and learn a lot of interesting things. We will also talk a little about the Japanese non-profit organization named NEMTUS.
What is NEMTUS?
NEMTUS is a non-profit organization in Japan that promotes the spread and development of Symbol technology in Japan. Having looked and studied their website, it became clear what kind of activity they are engaged in. Therefore, in fact, the range of their activities is extensive and this is impressive. I will list only the main activities here: This is training (including seminars), holding business events and hackathons, and the most important is development. We’ll talk more about development a bit later in this article.
Donation to NEMTUS
By the way, just recently you may have read that NEMTUS received a big donation at the end of April 2022, which is very cool. This is the first major donation this year from core developers.
Major developers of the NEM/Symbol core including Hatchet, Jaguar and Gimre have donated 1.5 m XYM and 1.5 m XEM to the Japanese non-profit organization NEMTUS, for a total of 3 million coins.
Symbol Node by NEMTUS:
Therefore, there are many interesting events ahead of us, so let’s follow it together. Now let’s move on to an interview with the wonderful Yasunori Matsuoka, who is the Vice Chairman of non-profit organization named NEMTUS to promote NEM/Symbol blockchain technology.
Interview with Yasunori Matsuoka
Hello Yasunori, thank you for agreeing to give an interview to the SymbolTimes information and news portal, this is a very significant event. We have prepared a series of questions because your activity is very important to the community and the Nem/Symbol ecosystem as a whole.
📢 SymbolTimes: Can you please tell us how you got involved in the NEM/Symbol community? Tell us a little about yourself, as it will be interesting and educational for SymbolTimes readers.
💬 Yasunori Matsuoka: I first touched NEM (XEM) due to speculative interest in 2017 when I was trying to buy a small amount of XEM on Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges CoinCheck and Zaif. Around this time, I worked under the pseudonym “Salaryman Investor”.
After that, in 2018, the private account key from the CoinCheck exchange was stolen, which managed the balance of all NEM client assets stored on the exchange. While investigating what happened, I was fascinated by the technical interest of the blockchain and wanted to try various initiatives myself. Below is an article that helped a lot to understand what blockchain is. This is one of the most influential articles in my life.
I was fascinated by the technical charms of the blockchain, but at the time I was only programming at the Excel development level using Visual Basic or trying to build a simple system on a small LAMP server.
While researching what kind of blockchain could be used with such a skill level, I learned that the NEM blockchain has a lot of REST API (= one of the common architectures in which servers and clients exchange information) nodes available for development, and that developers can freely use these nodes to use the blockchain in the same way as general web development.
Fascinated by the fact that so many nodes with REST APIs are publicly available on the blockchain network and anyone can immediately try out development using them, I started learning web development with the NEM blockchain.
In 2019, I got a bit tired of writing my own code, and I started going to training sessions, offline events, visiting stores that accept payments in cryptocurrencies, and also attending book fairs, as it is a great life experience. (Following articles have comments and code based on the immature knowledge and experience of the time, I hope you enjoy it.)
After spending 2019 like this, I thought it would be nice to be able to work in the world of web development related to NEM and blockchain. I started looking for a job around the summer of 2019, but my job search did not go well, partly because I had no work experience in web development and partly because I was strongly targeted at blockchain.
Meanwhile, at the end of 2019, LCNEM Co., Ltd., which develops the LCNEM wallet and provides Japanese yen prepaid stablecoin services, announced a recruitment program. I was sure that if I missed this opportunity, I would really regret it in the future, so I applied and was accepted.
So, in February 2020, I plunged into the world of web development.
In the world of web development, I was allowed to do different things. Especially in the Cosmos project (SDK). I think it was a good experience for me, both fun and challenging stuff.
At the same time, I wanted to take part as a member of a non-profit organization (NPO) that will work to promote NEM technologies. That’s why I was invited to take part in it.
Meanwhile, LCNEM Inc. changed its name to CauchyE Inc. and began to focus on the development of the Cosmos blockchain, but within the company, business trends changed and there was a tendency to focus less and less on work related to NEM/Symbol, which I originally wanted to practice.
The core developers (NEM/Symbol) made a relatively large donation to the non-profit organization NEMTUS, so it became possible to work on a fee-based basis on an ongoing basis rather than on a voluntary basis. I left CauchyE Co. , Ltd. at the end of July 2022 so that I can devote myself fully to the NEM/Symbol related tasks that I originally wanted to do.
If I didn’t know about the NEM/Symbol blockchain, then I wouldn’t have dived into this area and I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I think it’s different for each person, but I hope everyone can find something they like, are passionate about and cherish.
📢 SymbolTimes: Please tell us what are the strengths of the Symbol blockchain in terms of programming, in your opinion?
💬 Yasunori Matsuoka: I think we have the following strengths:
– Rapid development, using the advantages of the Symbol blockchain, such as reliability, verifiability, secure exchange, etc. Through various combinations of transactions, this allows you to implement different behaviors in the real world.
– The ability to easily incorporate features of the blockchain into existing web and application development.
📢 SymbolTimes: Are you planning to attend or host a crypto event in Japan to promote Symbol/NEM?
💬 Yasunori Matsuoka: Yes, I would really like to attend various events and act as a speaker to spread the NEM/Symbol technology. I also really hope that we will be able to promote not only NEM/Symbol, but also promote blockchain technology. Therefore, NEMTUS plans to hold various events.
- As an example, we have the weekly NEMTUS events where community members gather once a week in twitterspace or the metaverse for various discussions.
- We also have regular monthly events where community members gather at the metaverse to listen to Lightning Talks by community members.
- As one of the big events this fall, we are planning to hold the “Symbol Fall Festival” for the community.
- Another large-scale event we plan to hold this year is a hackathon from NEMTUS. Our previous gaming hackathon featured some amazing and unique games using the NEM/Symbol blockchain. This year NEMTUS has different ideas on this topic, so I think it’s very good.
📢 SymbolTimes: Will it become easier for programmers to program with the official Symbol and Nem SDKs when they are released?
💬 Yasunori Matsuoka: To answer that question, we first need to know what SDKs currently exist. Here I will discuss three types of SDKs: the old official SDKs (=1), the new official SDKs (=2), and the SDKs recently created by NEMTUS (=3).
- 1. symbol-sdk v 2
https://www.npmjs.com/package/symbol-sdk/v/2.0.0 <- It is full of features and the easiest to develop at this time, but it has been officially announced as deprecated and there are concerns about future maintenance. (Old official SDK)
- 2. symbol-sdk v 3
https://www.npmjs.com/package/symbol-sdk/v/3.0.0 <- While it is recommended to use this SDK in the future, I personally think that it requires a certain level of understanding of the Symbol blockchain to use, is difficult to use in a TypeScript environment, and does not have a REST API client. (New official SDK)
- 3.SDK NEMTUS
These are SDKs recently created by NEMTUS. They are improvement proposals to “2. symbol-sdk v 3” with some simple changes. If possible, we would like to propose similar changes to symbol-sdk v 3.
https://www.npmjs.com/package/@nemtus/symbol-sdk-openapi-generator-typescript-axios (REST API client with axios)
https://www.npmjs.com/package/@nemtus/symbol-sdk-openapi-generator-typescript-fetch (REST API client with fetch)
https://www.npmjs.com/package/@nemtus/symbol-sdk-typescript (A simple version of symbol-sdk v 3 for TypeScript that is easy to use in a TypeScript environment)
First, for a better understanding, it is helpful to know the general characteristics of the following SDKs.
Now let’s look at the features of each SDK:
1. symbol-sdk v 2
- Setting function for account processing, such as private key, public key, address.
- Signature and other features.
- Provides a set of functions for converting various data, such as transactions, from human-readable data formats into binary data that nodes can interpret.
- REST function as a REST API client… Functions for viewing information from the blockchain and sending transactions to the network.
- Function as a WebSocket client … Function to receive real-time blockchain information from a node.
2. symbol-sdk v 3
- Functions for handling accounts such as private keys, public keys, and addresses.
- A set of functions for converting various data, including transactions, from a human-readable data format to binary data that a node can interpret.
Features not included in this SDK:
- × Functions as a REST API client… Not included in this SDK
- × Functions as a WebSocket client… Not included in this SDK
- 3.SDK NEMTUS
- Function as a REST API client… Intended to temporarily augment the SDKs for axios and fitch, which seem to be relatively common tools, with NEMTUS.
- TypeScript environment support … @nemtus/symbol-sdk – Designed to temporarily augment typescript with NEMTUS.
Therefore, the transition from the old SDK to the new SDK will have a significant impact.
The transition seems to be based on the idea of “reworking the new SDK as a new first reference implementation as the organization and its members change, so that it can flexibly follow the evolution of the NEM/Symbol core protocols in the future.”Sorry if I’m comparing old and new SDKs, but since there are no significant changes in the core protocol on which the old SDK is still based, the development experience would be better using the old SDK at this time.
However, I don’t think that support and maintenance of the old SDK can be expected in the future, and I think it will probably be necessary to switch to the new SDK at some point.
An important development task for NEM/Symbol will be to improve the new SDK, including creating documentation for using the new SDK, as well as developing peripheral tools that can be used with the new SDK. This is one of the main missions that NEMTUS wants to support as much as possible and spends a lot of time on.
Developers are encouraged to experiment extensively with the old SDK and the new SDK and other SDKs being created by community developers to create a development plan that can handle future migrations.
For example, XEMBook explains how to use the Symbol blockchain based on the old SDK in a simple and understandable way:
And NEMTUS is beginning to show how to use the new SDK in the following tech blog post. (though it’s still a work in progress…)
I hope that not only NEM/Symbol core developers but also NEMTUS and other developers in the community will create an environment that makes it easier to use NEM/Symbol from various languages, and I will continue to do what I can do myself.
As a result, I dream that various services and solutions that take advantage of blockchain’s features will be created and a better society will be realized.
Thank you for the interview.