True to form, the NXT Core Developers continue to deliver groundbreaking new features for Nxt.
Because of their uniqueness and many possible use cases, I am especially excited about these ones (expected to be released within the next few months): the Monetary System, Voting System, and 2-phased Transactions.
UPDATE: Nxt Monetary System is released
The Monetary System is the feature closest to being released and, at the time of writing, it will be brought to the mainnet at block 330000 (roughly Jan. 10th). This is a way for anyone with a few NXT to create a fully fledged digital currency. MS has a unique property: namely its ability to mint currencies. Minting is very similar to mining with the key distinction that it is used solely for the distribution of a currency and the MS currency doesn’t need to rely on its miners for blockchain stability unlike the typical alt-coin.
The minting property has four main advantages:
- It helps miners of other cryptocurrencies to feel at home on a PoS system like Nxt.
- There is a steady and ongoing distribution and therefore now a way for minters to create value on Nxt’s blockchain, thereby providing another powerful answer to the negative comments often made about Nxt’s initial distribution (to stand alongside this one: the supposedly unfair distribution was, in fact, a deliberate move to create a sustainable system).
- A mintable currency doesn’t depend on the minters for the blockchain’s security, a MS currency that no one mints being just as safe as one with a large hashrate. Every MS currency is backed by the stability of the Nxt network.
- With mintable currencies, there will be a way, in effect, to transfer electricity costs into the value of a MS currency which can be directly traded for NXT, allowing for NXT to be exchanged without having to deal with exchanges at all.
Also, MS currencies have the advantage of being controllable and, as such can be pegged, for example, to USD, or backed by gold or silver, thereby helping to ensure a degree of stability. This would bring us closer to solving the common cryptocurrency problem of volatility and allow for an MS currency to be used to purchase items without the fear of drastic price drops or rises.
Next we have the Voting System, scheduled to be released in Nxt version 1.5, once the MS has been fully integrated. The voting system allows for polls to be created, voted in, and counted, all from within the Nxt blockchain. You are also able to weigh the voting, either by the amount of NXT owned, or by the amount of a specific Nxt asset owned. The most interesting subset in my opinion is weighing a poll by the amount of an asset owned.
With this, a number of things are possible:
- Asset owners can seek a consensus from asset holders about a specific question.
- Assets can be created and distributed in order to create decentralized voting committees that are given polls to vote on created by any member in the community.
- Polls can be created without fear of a Sybil attack (one person pretending to be many people to vote more than once) because one person with, for example, a holding of 100 jl777hodl has the same voting weight as 100 people who each have a holding of 1 jl777hodl.
Also see: Nxt Voting System Teaser Video
Finally we have the most abstract of the soon-to-be-released features: 2-phased transactions. This doesn’t yet have a definite release date, but will hopefully be launched around the same time as the Voting System, as parts of it rely on VS.
2-phased transactions are Nxt’s implementation of multisig, but extend the definition of multisig to include many more functions and use cases. Basically, a user is able to define a transaction in two phases: the first phase being when the details of the transaction are defined (e.g. the amount of NXT to send and the recipient), and the second being when the transaction is released into the system. 2-phased transactions will also enable the account-holder to make a transaction dependent on the results of a poll. This greatly widens the range of possible use cases of 2-phased transactions:
- Asset holders can now vote to veto or accept payments made by the asset issuer or company on whose behalf the asset was issued.
- Trust-less escrow is possible by phasing two transactions in parallel.
- Joint accounts can be run with ease.
As these features become operational, thereby allowing people to have control over making their own currencies, polls, and phased transactions, the use cases of Nxt as a platform will start to increase exponentially and Nxt will have moved still closer to achieving its goal of being a viable decentralized economic platform.
Nxt is in the process of giving financial power back to the people. With this power in their hands, who knows what will be created next.