Neo (NEO) is a smart contract platform and cryptocurrency project based in China. Neo plans to work closely with the Chinese government to create a decentralized smart economy through the use of digital assets and identities. Digital assets are programmable assets that exist in electronic form.
Although one of the most attractive features of cryptocurrency is privacy, Neo cannot have anonymity AND work alongside the Chinese government. This is one reason they are focusing on digital identities on the blockchain. Digital identities allow users to prove ownership of digital assets, allowing almost anything to be traded on the blockchain in a transparent and decentralized way.
What is Neo Gas?
Neo is seen more as a share than a cryptocurrency which means it is not exactly divisible. While it is possible to own fractions of Neo on an exchange, it is not possible to send non-whole amounts of Neo on the blockchain. Because Neo is not divisible, it is difficult to pay transactions fees in it. Transactions fees are necessary in order to incentivize miners and or stakers. This is where the second native coin on the platform comes into play: Neo Gas (GAS).
In order to send transactions on the Neo network, users pay transaction fees through Neo Gas.
Neo Gas is currently selling for $30~ and is given to Neo holders periodically in exchange for voting for delegates.
Neo’s consensus algorithm is a version of delegated proof of stake known as Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance Protocol (dBFT). dBFT is very similar to proof of stake, but instead of most users staking their coins, coin holders vote for certain delegates. Delegates are motivated to give the best rewards and be on their best behavior as they need to have enough votes in order to start confirming transactions. Proof of stake and its variants allow cryptocurrency platforms to scale larger and faster. Neo is capable of 10,000 transactions per second while Ethereum can do 30. Transactions on the Neo platform are extremely fast and occur in under 20 seconds.
This is one reason why we are seeing Ethereum, the number two cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization move away from its current proof of work consensus algorithm into a hybrid/proof of stake version.
Programming Language Interoperability
Neo is capable of working with several programming languages such as C# and Java. Ethereum currently only interacts with Solidity, a programming language designed by early Ethereum founders.
Neo’s ICO platform will ensure all ICO’s conducted are compliant with the Chinese government, saving contributors from annoying legal headaches. The Chinese government is extremely strict and has regulated or banned several technologies such as Facebook, VPN’s and even ICOs.
We have seen several ICOs and airdrops on the Neo platform already such as Red Pulse and Ontology.
The Neo Team
Neo’s co-founders are Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang. They started working on Antshares in 2014 and eventually rebranded to Neo in mid 2017. This rebranding caused a price increase from under a dollar to over $50!
Hongfei and Zhang also involved with OnChain – a Chinese business that designs and develops blockchain solutions for businesses. Hongfei founded Onchain in 2014 and works closely with the Chinese government to help bring blockchain technology to the country.
Neo was initially distributed under the name Antshares in 2014.
There is a total supply of 100 million Neo, with half of it being sold to early investors in their ICO. The ICO raised over 6000 Bitcoin, totaling over 20 million dollars. Interestingly enough, a majority of the ICO contributions came from outside of China. The other 50 million Neo is being managed by the NEO Council to help support Neo down the line. Here’s how the Neo Council coins are being used.
- 10% of the tokens are being used to motivate Neo developers and members of the Neo Council
- 10% of the tokens are being used to motivate developers in the NEO ecosystem
- 15% total will be used to cross-invest in other blockchain projects, which are owned by the NEO Council and are used only for NEO projects
- 15% will be retained as a contingency
A maximum of 15 million Neo can be moved from lock up every year. This is done to prevent the mass selling of Neo from the team.
Neo Price Movement
Neo is currently sitting at $84, down from it’s all-time high of almost $170. This drop was not unique to Neo as the entire cryptocurrency market saw extreme volatility in January and February when it fell from over $800 billion to $300 billion.
How to Buy Neo
Neo is a top #15 cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization so it is available on several exchanges. Binance, Bittrex, and Bitfinex are your best options as they have reasonable fees, and are available to a large variety of countries.
As stated earlier, Neo rewards its holders with Neo Gas every month. If you decide to leave your Neo on an exchange after purchasing, I would recommend leaving it on Binance as they distribute Neo Gas to their users monthly.
How to Store Neo
Neo can be stored on the Tezor or Ledger Nano S, one of the most secure wallets out there. Hardware wallets are extremely secure as it is possible to set them up without ever exposing private information to the outside world.
If you prefer software wallets, I would recommend the official Neon wallet. They are supported by the official Neo team and have a beautiful interface to go along with their wallet.
To keep up with Neo project, consider subscribing to their official subreddit, and following their twitter. The entire Neo project is open source and can be viewed on their GitHub. The Neo community is one of the most active out there.
Neo is often referred to as the Chinese Ethereum, and for good reason. It will be interesting to see which project ends up seeing mass adoption. Just like most cryptocurrency projects, the developer team is trying to bring blockchain technology to as many people as possible.
Neo plans to do this by working closely with the Chinese government ensuring all rules and regulations are followed. By allowing programming language interoperability, a larger amount of developers and applications can interact with each other creating a booming smart economy.