NEO, often coined the Ethereum of China, is a crytocurrency that serves to be an open network platform for a smart economy. You may be wondering, what does that entail and what separates NEO from Ethereum?
What is NEO?
NEO competes in the same space that Ethereum is in, decentralized applications (DApps), ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), and smart contracts. What separates NEO from Ethereum is that while Ethereum is focused on creating a more universal and trustworthy Internet focused on DApps, NEO is focused on the smart economy that will eventually transpire from the blockchain revolution. In other words, NEO is a platform made with the future smart economy in mind for when blockchain technology is more widely adopted. NEO is trying to be the leading platform that developers, big businesses, and organizations with government regulation and policies in mind.
What is unique about NEO is that it is among the first cryptocurrency to not be divisible meaning that you can only possess a whole number of NEO. There is no such thing as holding 1.2 NEO contrary to the nature of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. Additionally, NEO has implemented a reward system for shareholders to continue holding NEO in their wallets in the form of GAS. The more NEO you possess and the longer you hold, the more GAS you will accumulate for free. GAS will be the token used for the NEO network and various other services the platform may offer. To find out the current price of GAS and the potential dividends for holding, you can check out the NEO to GAS calculator.
How NEO works
NEO incorporates blockchain technology through the form of digital assets. With the help of blockchain technology, "the digitization of assets can be decentralized, trustful, traceable, highly transparent, and free of intermediaries (per neo.org)." Additionally, NEO incorporates the use of a digital identity in their platform because they recognize that anonymity may be limited by governance. Thus, NEO have embraced the idea of incorporating a digital certification in essence.
NEO uses a protocol called dBFT (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance), which is a more modified version of the standard proof of stake protocol that coins like Ethereum and Bitcoin use to offer NEO more control from attacks from "one bad apple" in the network. This enables the network to be more secure, reliable, and less prone to being vulnerable to malicious attacks.
NeoContract smart contract system is very impressive. NEO supports many existing programming languages like C#, VB.Net, F#, Java, Kotlin, which means easier implementation for developers. Ethereum on the other hand requires a developer to learn a whole new programming language in Solidity.
What does this all mean? A comprehensive, secure, and easy-to-integrate platform for decentralized applications for developers all over the world. NEO is positioning themselves to be the platform of the future and are working closely with financial institutions and government officials in China.
Recent major developments
The NEO foundation has partnered with OnChain, a company that works closely with big businesses and government in China in adopting their Decentralized Network Architecture (DNA). If OnChain is able to convince many of their prospects to incorporate blockchain technology, OnChain will be setting NEO up nicely to be the foundation or platform to seamlessly integrate existing technology.
How to buy NEO
NEO’s coin is mostly bought and sold on Binance. You can’t buy it with fiat currency yet (USD), so here is a quick guide on how to buy NEO starting with fiat:
1. Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum at an exchange that uses your fiat currency on Coinbase.
2. Transfer your BTC or ETH to an exchange that supports NEO. Currently, Binance is the best choice. (Tip: if you bought BTC/ETH on Coinbase, look into using GDAX to avoid transfer fees)
3. Buy NEO by trading your BTC/ETH for their coin, and you’re done!
NEO was once commonly known as AntShares, but have since done a re-branding effort under "NEO" to focus on their main pitch of preparing and positioning themselves for the smart economy.