NXT is an open-source crypto-platform, with a decentralised, non-corporate structure. It shares many similarities with the Linux operating system, particularly in its support of the open-source ethos and organisational structures.
The NXT core code was written in Java by the developer 'BCNext', with the NXT system going live on the 24th November 2013, utilising its own native blockchain implementation based on the Proof of Stake paradigm, rather than Proof of Work.
NXT is completely new code from the ground up, and has been running securely for over a year.
NXT is a '2nd generation' cryptocurrency platform, which means that in addition to the basic features of '1st generation' systems such as Bitcoin, NXT has been designed to be a modular system with a group of core features that can be used as a foundation for 3rd party projects.
The current NXT core features include the following:
- Native blockchain implementation. Block time of 1 minute, based on the Curve 22519 algorithm.
- NXT cryptocurrency. 1 billion coins created and distributed, the blockchain is maintained by a validation process which rewards node operators with transaction fees: ‘forging’. NXT can be seen as the fuel for the more advanced NXT features, as well as a cryptocurrency in its own right.
- Messaging, both encrypted and unencrypted, from any NXT account to another.
- Account Authentication. Using a unique token that can be generated by the NXT client based on an encrypted version of the accounts passphrase, a NXT user can identify themselves with complete certainty and verifiability, as the holder of a particular account.
- Alias/DNS system. Allows the assignment of simple plain text labels to complex account numbers or URLs.
- Marketplace. A completely decentralised marketplace for all goods, trading works on the basis of NXT accounts as identifiers, rendering the marketplace relatively anonymous.
- Asset Exchange. Allows the issue and trading of Assets (essentially NXT-based tokens). This is a form of crypto-security issue, and has been been used for crowdfunding, a reputation system, and as a form of shares issue in businesses, both new and established.
- Monetary System. The Monetary System allows creation of subsidiary currencies on the NXT blockchain, utilising either PoS or PoW, with all parameters under the control of the currency issuer.