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How to Buy NEM (XEM) – A Beginner’s Guide

By: Alexander Reed | Last updated: 1/6/24

NEM is a blockchain protocol developed in Singapore back in 2015 that aims to be a fast and robust payment system. In this post, I’ll explain what NEM is, review its differences from other cryptocurrencies, and also explain how you can buy its currency, XEM, online.

How to Buy NEM Summary

NEM uses XEM tokens as its peer-to-peer currency. In order to buy XEM tokens, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Get a NEM wallet (e.g., Coinomi, Exodus)
  2. Locate your NEM address
  3. Find an XEM exchange (Binance, Bittrex)
  4. Deposit BTC to the exchange and trade it for XEM
  5. Withdraw the XEM coins to your wallet

That’s how to buy NEM in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed explanation about NEM and how to buy it, keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. What is NEM in a Nutshell?
  2. How to Buy NEM in 3 Steps
  3. Conclusion – Is NEM a Good Investment?

1. What Is NEM in a Nutshell?

NEM, which stands for New Economy Movement, is a decentralized, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that launched in March 2015 in Singapore.

There are 9 billion XEM coins in circulation, all of which were created and distributed to 1,500 individuals before the launch.

NEM is written in Java, and it was built from the ground up, in order to address issues that are faced by many cryptocurrencies today (such as ease of use, speed, and scalability).

NEM can process 3000 transactions per second. Since all XEM coins have already been distributed, there’s no way to earn new XEM aside from buying it or earning it by becoming a harvester or supernode (explained below). 

Proof of Importance

NEM introduced a new consensus algorithm called Proof of Importance (POI). It is somewhat similar to Proof of Stake, but it includes more variables.

With NEM’s POI, the more coins a user has and the more transactions they make, the more importance they’re given. This impact encourages actively using XEM coins, rather than simply holding them.  


Instead of mining, NEM has a feature called harvesting. It doesn’t require any special hardware, but you do need to have at least 10,000 vested XEM coins to start harvesting.

The advantage of harvesting is that it uses a lot less electricity than the Bitcoin mining algorithm (aka proof of work). As such, NEM is a much more energy-efficient cryptocurrency than Bitcoin (BTC).  

Supernode Program

The Supernode program rewards people who are running active nodes. High-performance nodes help secure the network. Those meeting high-performance node requirements i.e. sufficient bandwidth, chain height, ping, and responsiveness, are randomly given awards.

However, in order to participate in the Supernode program, you must have more than 3 million XEM.

2. How to Buy NEM in 3 Steps

Step 1 – Get an NEM wallet

If you’ve decided that NEM is the right investment for you, you’ll almost certainly want an NEM wallet to keep your XEM coins safe. The alternative is keeping your coins on exchanges. Unless you’re planning on day trading, I strongly advise against storing your coins on exchanges for security reasons.

Unfortunately, when it comes to NEM wallets, you don’t have a great deal of options. The only official option is the NEM official wallet, a desktop wallet that’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

There is an official NEM wallet available on Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as a mobile version for Android and iOS.

A few alternatives also exist, including:

Raccoon Wallet – A community-developed NEM wallet available for iOS, available in English and Japanese.

Exodus – A great desktop and mobile wallet for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. Exodus is super simple to use and also allows you to store other types of cryptocurrencies aside from NEM. You can read my complete Exodus review here.

Coinomi – A popular mobile wallet for Android and iOS that can hold over 1770 different crypto assets. Coinomi has also launched a desktop version of its wallet, making it available for Windows, Mac, and Linux as well. You can read my complete Coinomi review here.

TREZOR – A popular hardware wallet that supports over 1000 crypto assets including NEM. You can read my complete TREZOR Model T review here.

Locating your NEM address

XEM addresses are very long strings of letters and numbers starting with an “N”. Here’s an example:


Step 2 – Find an XEM Exchange

Now that your NEM Wallet is all set up, it’s time to purchase your XEM coins. There aren’t many ways to purchase NEM directly with fiat currencies (i.e. Dollars, Euros etc.). However, there are still a few options available for buying NEM:  

Purchase XEM with fiat currency on Indacoin/Changelly.

You can purchase XEM directly with fiat currency on Indacoin, which is also available via Changelly. Simply visit Indacoin or Changelly and select XEM in the “I want to buy” dropdown menu.

Purchase BTC and exchange it for XEM on the same platform.

You can purchase Bitcoin on exchanges such as Binance, Bittrex, or HitBTC. Afterward you can exchange that BTC for XEM on the same exchange. In the case of Bittrex, you can also exchange Ethereum (ETH) for XEM. It’s probably the best option available at the moment.  

Purchase BTC, then exchange it for XEM via your wallet or Changelly.

One of the more creative options is buying BTC on an exchange that does not have XEM (such as Coinbase,, or Coinmama). Then transfer the BTC to your Exodus wallet and change it for XEM via the built-in exchange.

Finally, you have the option to purchase BTC at an exchange of your choice, then swap it for XEM on an exchange called Changelly. This exchange is unique, in the sense that almost no verification is required.

Just sign up with your email, and you can swap Bitcoin or any other crypto for NEM within 30 minutes. Be sure to check out my Changelly review, and directly compare the rates you get on Changelly with other cryptocurrency exchanges.  

Step 3 – Withdraw your XEM

Once you’ve bought your XEM, don’t forget to withdraw them from the exchange into your wallet. This is important so that you have full control over your coins. 

While this is a very simple step, many people tend to forget about it. The time it takes to receive a confirmation on NEM is pretty short – around one minute. So the whole process of moving the coins off the exchange shouldn’t take that long.

After the XEM coins show up on your wallet you’ve successfully completed the process of buying XEM.

3. Conclusion – Is NEM a Good Investment?

While not revolutionary, NEM seems to be a very functional coin. However, like many other projects, I have yet to see a real life use case for it that achieved widespread adoption. At the moment this currency still seems to be a solution looking for a problem.

Have you had an experience with NEM? I would love to hear about it, so just leave a comment below.


Having delved into futures trading in the past, my intrigue in financial, economic, and political affairs eventually led me to a striking realization: the current debt-based fiat system is fundamentally flawed. This revelation prompted me to explore alternative avenues, including investments in gold and, since early 2013, Bitcoin. While not extensively tech-savvy, I've immersed myself in Bitcoin through dedicated study, persistent questioning, hands-on experience with ecommerce and marketing ventures, and my stint as a journalist. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and presently, I'm focused on crafting informative guides to shed light on the myriad advantages of Bitcoin, aiming to empower others to navigate the dynamic realm of digital currencies.

View all Posts by Alexander Reed

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13 comments on “Buy NEM (XEM)”

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  1. Michelle Barkema

    I follow the the instructions & download “NanoWallet” to my Mac but it said “NanoWallet” can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. What steps should I do to make it works?

    1. Hey Michelle,

      I’m not a Mac guy so I’m just going to refer you to this guide to installing apps from unidentified developers:

      I’m pretty sure that’ll work for you. Just ensure that you downloaded the official software from

      I ran the Mac download link on that page through VirusTotal and it was totally clean, so it should be fine so long as it’s downloaded from there:

  2. I love your very much because you give something different every time in your blog. I want to introduce you about new crypto coin that is Abot Coin, it is different and secure than others and very secure.

    1. I see it’s temporarily absent from as well. It’s probably related to the recent major hack of NEM on that Japanese exchange. The NEW team is doing some kind of tagging / blacklisting of the stolen NEM (as you’d expect from a centralized coin with no respect for fungibility). Exchanges have probably suspended trading of NEM until that’s completed.

  3. This is a little off subject, this is in regards to new Tokens received.
    I recently received Tokens from a ICO.
    These Tokens are in Myetherwallet. How do I get these in a safer place? Or do I need to move them at all??

    1. Hi Dave,

      The best solution is to get a Trezor or Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. You can then generate a new MEW wallet whose private key is stored on the hardware wallet. You can use MEW as normal – including all token functionality – so long as you have the hardware wallet connected. Your tokens will thus be protected by the hardware wallet but you’ll get the same familiar MEW experience.

      See more on hardware wallets here, both support Ethereum + ERC-20 tokens:

  4. Christopher M Lahey

    Changelly is a TOTAL SCAM!!!! Please do not use !!!! I sent $400 worth of BTC for Ripple and all I got back was a message that my receipt of the Ripple coin has failed “Sorry” Meanwhile my BTC went through with no troubles…. Someone got my BTC and not I have no recourse and am out my Bitcoin!!! SCAMMERS I hope someone gets mad enough to take action!!!!! If you got ANYTHING out of an attempted transaction feel lucky!!!!
    Changelly why did I not receive the Ripple coin in TRANSACTION # E3186CB608BE???? Someone took my Bitcoin but I never received my Ripple coin. I did receive a nice “Sorry” but SORRY That wont cut it. I want either my Ripple Coin or my BTC back!!

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