# Harlock, Cyprus, and the Great Space Saga
You might know us as 🤖 [Gimre](https://twitter.com/NEMofficial/status/1445951023919423490?s=20), 🪓 [Hatchet](https://twitter.com/NEMofficial/status/1445951360642404352?s=20), and 🐆 [Jaguar](https://twitter.com/NEMofficial/status/1445951151455686664?s=20). Along with the rest of the [Pirate crew](https://twitter.com/NEMofficial/status/1451134340306399244?s=20), we're the team behind Symbol & NEM. Some of us are old hats, and some of us are fresh recruits, but we've all banded together under a common flag to dedicate ourselves to the research and development of the Symbol protocol, and the maintenance of the NEM protocol.
In July of this year we announced the [shutdown of NEM Group](https://twitter.com/Jaguar0625/status/1414651936654114817?s=20), the previous operational entity that had taken Symbol to mainnet. Alongside this, we announced our [vision paper](https://docs.symbolplatform.com/handbook/en/vision.html) that outlined a new kind of transaction-specific sidechain (called subChains), our aspirations for Symbol, and the future of NEM.
While the last four months have felt like an ongoing battle for the future of Symbol & NEM, we're pleased to announce that it is coming to an end.
There's just one last thing to do before we set sail. But before that, a bit of context. 🏴☠️
## The B.S. [Before Space] Era 🚀
Symbol was launched on March 17th, 2021, with the messaging of a *'trusted and secure enterprise blockchain that smooths business friction, increasing the flow of data and innovation to supercharge the creation, exchange, and protection of assets'*.
While it was *a* vision, it wasn't *our* vision. And it definitely wasn't the vision the three of us developed together in June. More importantly, it wasn't a vision that the community had explicitly agreed to.
We took the mantle of 'space pirates' because, while space may seem like a lawless system, there is still honor among thieves. The way the pirates of Earth organized their crew was a structure we had hoped to adopt: **crews would elect their captains**, and at any time they **could be replaced by a majority vote** or mutiny.
Before setting sail, pirates would also write their articles together, and each crew member would sign off on the rules that governed the ship. For instance, how food and drink was distributed; how treasure was split; and the values and ethics that would govern each pirate. **All men gave consent to these articles and elected their leaders**. If at any time a man disagreed with the contract, or the crew, he was free to leave of his own volition.
How the pirates of Earth governed themselves models how decentralized systems work in real life. It also had the side effect of having a theme to rally around that we've seen not only reignite the energy of our team, but also the community. Any good technology needs *personality* behind it for users to engage, and in particular we know the community expresses themselves through art and music as well as code.
Our vision for Symbol, and our excitement for its potential impact on the landscape has grown. We think subChains will be a pinnacle of innovation: not just Symbol, but the broader blockchain space. We already have plans to collaborate with other chains on research and development, and we envision a future where other cryptocurrency projects are brought in as dedicated subChains of Symbol, supplying new logic and transaction types to the entire platform.
Decentralized networks like Symbol, however, are **only successful if the community has ownership**. As we presented in our vision paper, there is a flywheel of coordination between the nodes that power the chain, the developers who build the protocol, and the people who build and use the products on top of it. Both Symbol & NEM have historically struggled to create strong opportunities for the community to take the reigns of the project, and we intend to dedicate the next year to changing that.
We'd like to give the Symbol community the power to **signal their explicit support for this new direction** that drastically pivots from the original launch mandate; as well as give the NEM community the power to **signal their explicit support for integration as a subChain into Symbol.**
## Hardfork for Heroes 🍴
That is to say, we're about to set sail. It's time to sign our **Pirate Articles**.
We want the community to choose their Captains. Just like the pirates of Earth, should a man not agree to these Articles they can voluntarily leave. And should we depart from our Articles, at any time we can be replaced by a majority vote (fork).
Fork is not a dirty word: in fact, fork aversion creates weak chains that are locked into dictatorships and eventually fade (see: BSV, BCH, ETC). [The strongest networks are driven by fork democracy](https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/08/16/voting3.html) and make it easy for users to quickly coordinate and move away from decisions that they don’t agree with.
Taylor Pearson [says this best](https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2017/11/15/you-want-democracy-try-a-hard-fork/):
> *The increased ability to exit in the cryptocurrency community, and the increase in voice that accompanies it, may look like toxicity and confrontation on the outside. However, it is facilitating the expression and debate of the best ideas, leading to a more meritocratic outcome.*
We need to not be afraid of our community expressing themselves. As Captains, we must set the values and culture we want to see in the network and model them ourselves. We must provide the community strong paths to **voice and exit**, and, if at any time we need to be replaced (whether by majority vote, or mutiny), the community must have a way to quickly take back the project and treasury, and elect their own Captains.
We need to not repeat the mistakes of the past seven years. And we need to give the community a voice - after all, **without exit, there is no strength in voice**.
In both chains, a successful hard fork will burn all of the previous protocol funds, and mint new ones that are placed into a multisig account jointly operated by [Valkyrie Investments](https://valkyrieinvest.com/) and the core developers.
- For **Symbol**, the "[Cyprus](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_(1816_ship))" hardfork is intended to signal consent to this new vision and decentralized future that differs greatly from Symbol's original launch mandate, as well as to the core team. It does so by burning all of the current Symbol 'core funds', and minting new funds into a new, 4-of-7 multisig account, with four cosigners from [Valkyrie](https://valkyrieinvest.com/) and three Symbol core developers. The Cyprus hardfork will run for a period of 7 days, and execute at block height **689,761**.
- For **NEM**, the "[Harlock](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Harlock)" hardfork is intended for users to explicitly signal support for the integration of NEM as a dedicated subChain of Symbol, as proposed [here](https://docs.symbolplatform.com/handbook/en/vision.html). It does so by burning all of the current NEM 'core funds', and minting new funds into a new 5-of-7 multisig account, with four cosigners from [Valkyrie](https://valkyrieinvest.com/) and three Symbol core developers. The Harlock hardfork will run for a period of 14 days, and execute at block height **3,464,800**.
## Introducing Valkyrie ❤️
Meet [Valkyrie](https://valkyrieinvest.com/). With over $500M AUM, Valkyrie has quickly become the 'dark horse' of alternative assets. Their investors include [Charlie Lee](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Lee_(computer_scientist)_), [XBTO Group](https://www.xbto.com/), [10X Capital](https://www.10xcapital.com/), [Justin Sun](https://www.crunchbase.com/person/justin-sun-cbba) and [C. J. Wilson](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._J._Wilson), to name a few. They're one of the leading asset managers in the space, working with other protocols like [Dash](https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/valkyrie-launches-a-dash-trust-that-includes-staking-2021-08-04), [Ziliqia](https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/valkyrie-investments-announces-launch-of-the-valkyrie-zilliqa-trust-301392929.html) and [Polkadot](https://www.coindesk.com/business/2021/04/30/valkyrie-osprey-beat-grayscale-to-market-with-polkadot-dot-trust/) to provide institutional investors exposure to cryptocurrencies. They're lead by CEO Leah Wald (formerly of [World Bank Group](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Bank)), and CIO Steven McClurg (former MD of [Guggenheim Partners](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guggenheim_Partners)), and feature an [all-star crew](https://valkyrie-funds.com/about-us/) of leading equities and capital markets experts.
Should Harlock & Cyprus both pass, Valkyrie will be coming onboard as the asset manager for the NEM & Symbol protocol treasury. As part of their role, they'll be helping us with assistance on navigating the oncoming wave of cryptocurrency regulation in the U.S; helping us grow our custodian and exchange footprint in the West; and managing our liquidity providers, accounting, auditing, and compliance.
## New Structure
Should the Harlock and Cyprus hardforks pass, our new structure will be compromised of the following entities:
### The Symbol Syndicate ☠️
We intend to launch a [501c3](https://www.501c3.org) in Delaware, USA, dedicated to the research and development of Symbol, subChains, and its related technology. Our chosen attorneys are [Adler & Colvin](https://www.adlercolvin.com/) - a leading non-profit firm that has worked with other chains such as [Stellar](https://www.stellar.org/?locale=en), and our chosen tax consultants include [Cohen & Company](https://www.cohencpa.com/) and [Armanino](https://www.armaninollp.com/industries/crypto-digital-assets/) - the two leading digital asset firms that have helped shape the regulation in North America.
Should The Symbol Syndicate receive its 501c3 status, it will be one of the few US-based cryptocurrency NGOs.
### Lingua Franca ✍️
We intend to launch a Bermuda-based entity, focused on engaging with cryptocurrency exchanges, market makers, and liquidity providers. This entity will also be responsible for the operation of the [quadratic funding](https://www.radicalxchange.org/concepts/quadratic-funding/) platform and matching pool. Quadratic funding is a new type of [democratic funding model](https://www.radicalxchange.org/media/papers/liberal-radicalism.pdf) that has seen success at scale across the Ethereum ecosystem, and we're eager to bring this to Symbol & NEM to provide community-driven funding.
### The Fuschicho Foundation 🔥
Alongside The Symbol Syndicate, we intend to open a Switzerland Foundation. It is intended to operate similar to the Foundation's of [other protocols](https://ethereum.org/en/foundation/), initially providing custody of the Genesis Block funds of both NEM & Symbol, and operation of any voting nodes and testnet infrastructure. It's our intent to eventually bring on other board members from outside the NEM & Symbol ecosystem to provide both external viewpoints and subject matter expertise.
## Signing the Articles 📜
So, you want to join the crew?
Signalling your support is easy, you just need to **update your node to the latest version**.
NEM's latest version is **0.6.98**. Updating your node is actually extremely easy:
1. Stop the server by pressing ``Ctrl+C`` or killing the process.
2. Remove the old package. This means all files you [installed previously](https://nemproject.github.io/nem-docs/pages/Guides/node-operation/docs.en.html#installation) **except** the ``*.config`` files and the ``nis/data`` folder.
3. [Download binary version 0.6.98](https://bob.nem.ninja/nis-0.6.98.tgz) and extract it in the same folder.
4. Start the server again with [the same command you used in the deployment guide](https://nemproject.github.io/nem-docs/pages/Guides/node-operation/docs.en.html#launch).
Symbol's latest version is **22.214.171.124**. Updating your node depends on whether you used Symbol Bootstrap to create it, or if you did it manually.
In both cases, you can find detailed instructions in Symbol's [Node Maintenance](https://docs.symbolplatform.com/guides/network/maintaining-a-symbol-node.html#client-updates) guide.
## Closing words
### The NEM Group Trust 🏛️
As of this week, Hatchet has signed on as the Director of NEM Group, NEM Holdings, and NEM Trading, and as a Trustee of the NEM Group Trust.
Should the Harlock and Cyprus hardforks pass, the core team will work swiftly with the remaining NEM Group Trustees and Enforcers to wind up the companies with minimal expenditure.
### Thank You 🙏🏻
We’d like to thank Dave Hodgson, David Mansell, David Shaw and Iain Wilson for their help in launching Symbol, and most importantly, in bringing us three together. Without each of them, we would not be able to take the next step of this journey with you all. 🤖🪓🐆 = 🦾
Similarly, we want to thank the remaining Trustees of the NEM Group Trust. In the last few weeks, their confidence in us and their dedication to the community has been a source of motivation. Coming together to set a strong precedent for on-chain governance and community ownership of Symbol is not only a better outcome than we originally envisioned - it’s the best outcome.
And last (but definitely not least) a big thank you to the whole NEM and Symbol community: for being awesome, for being there come hell or high water, and for always showing us the way forward.
It's finally time. 🏴☠️
###### tags: `Releases - Symbol` `Releases - NEM` `HardFork`