Nem is a blockchain built from scratch, learning some lessons from Bitcoin. If you need an introduction to the blockchain concept, here is a good visual introduction, which also propose an interactive part.
Nem is providing:
These can be leveraged to build products and tools, such as Apostille, a notarisation service; or Landstead, a land and property registry. The NEM features enable you to rapidly deliver working products
At time of writing in April 2017, the Catapult rewrite of NIS is well underway. It is said to provide a mostly compatible REST API with NIS, the server currently available. We will thus base this guide on the REST API. That API can be accessed from any language.
Before you run your code on the Nem blockchain, you might want to validate it in a test environment, without having to spend real XEMS to pay the fees of your operations. That’s the purpose of the test net, a version of the Nem blockchain used for testing not only your applications, but also newer versions of the Nem software itself.
If you run a NIS instance yourself, you can configure it with the key
nem.network. For you NIS to join the production Nem blockchain,
set its value to
mainnet, and for it to use the test blockchain, set its value to
testnet is also the way we will identify
in this document the two environments.
If you don’t run your own NIS instance, but still want to work in the testnet, you can find a list of NIS instance part of the testnet at http://bob.nem.ninja:8765/#/nodes/.