NEM Catapult: A New Server Release (Cow)

In blockchain technology, nodes are individual parts of the larger data structure. As owners of nodes willingly contribute their computing resources to store and validate transactions, they have the chance to collect transaction fees and earn rewards in the underlying cryptocurrency.

NEM Catapult Update

Like other platforms, the NEM blockchain is also built from a network of nodes. But unlike other nodes, the NEM blockchain provides a powerful, stable, and secure platform where Smart Asset transactions are conducted, searched, and immutably logged to the blockchain ledger.


Figure 1: Catapult’s Performance Advantage, A Four-Layered Architecture

As seen in Figure 1, the four-layered architecture allows developers to update any of these tiers without disrupting the others, which improves security.

Plausible as it may already be, NEM wants to develop this further. Just recently, NEM released  and made public a server milestone with a code name “Cow” that will bring new unique features and changes to the NEM Catapult.

What’s New?

Updated codebase

NEM is pleased to announce that the P2P server and the REST API gateway have been updated. Also, the bootstrap service (docker) will be followed soon, while changes to the docker files have been completed.

Updates can be accessed here.

As of 11th of February, the TS/JS SDK does not support Bison/Cow. Other SDK languages will follow at a later stage.


A Project Management Committee (PMC) has been formed to manage developer contributions  that are made to the NEM ecosystem.

There are also realignment and recalibration of communication channels due to the formation of the new PMC.

New proposed features are added as an issue to their corresponding milestone in the server repository. NEM improvement proposal can be added and discussed on Github in the NIP repository.

Server Milestones and features

The new Cow server has these new features:

1. Enhanced cross-chain swap functionality (

New hashing algorithms have been added to increase compatibility with other chains. Then, the default hash was SHA3–256. With the update, the following hash algorithms are now available.

  • Keccak-256 (ETH compatibility);
  • Op_Hash_160: first with SHA-256 and then with RIPEMD-160 (BTC compatibility); and
  • Op_Hash_256: input is hashed twice with SHA-256 (BTC compatibility)

2. Fee improvement (

Changes have also been made at the protocol level in preparation of the fee system. A preview to this can be accessed here: (  

3. State change receipt capabilities (
Receipts provide proof of “hidden changes” in transactions. In complex transactions which are enabled by conditional changes, there are instances that no additional transactions are recorded when deposits are returned. In these cases, returned deposits appear as “hidden changes” that increase the account balance. Receipts are useful to record all this.

4. Separation of mosaics from namespaces (
With the updates, it is now possible to configure the mosaic not to expire, which ensures the usage of mosaics even if the creator is out of business.

5. Enhance harvesting configuration (
This change allows the setting of a different mosaic than the primary chain currency for harvesting. This allows greater customisation of private networks and for new crypto-economic models.

6. New reputation handling (
Nodes basically keep track of successful communication in the past and use that list to reconnect. This plays a role to subvert Sybil attacks, where identities of nodes are forged to disturb the P2P system.

For a more detailed documentation of these features, you can visit

Reference: MEDIUM


NEM is an out-of-the-box enterprise-grade blockchain platform launched in March 2015. NEM has industry leading blockchain features that include multisignature account contracts, customizable assets, a naming system, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. Companies with legacy systems can “plug ‘n play” with NEM.

ABOUT THE NEM.IO FOUNDATION LTD Foundation is registered in Singapore and is operating globally. It was launched to promote NEM’s blockchain technology worldwide. It is one of the most well-funded and successful blockchain technology projects in the cryptocurrency industry.