publish2018-05-21 2:49 pm

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NEO: The New Kid on the Block

Background

In Greek, the word neos means new.   In the dictionary, it is defined as a combining form that means young, recent, novel and revived.  Hence, the name NEO Blockchain can not be more appropriate for the company since it is, in a way, a revived, more recent form of Antshares, the pioneer platform in open-source blockchain in China.  It is a total rebranding of the platform, its blockchain solution, and the many other developments that will determine the future direction of the company.

It was the blockchain R&D company “Onchain”, with its founders Da Hongfei, acting as CEO and Erik Zhang as CTO, that developed NEO. Onchain became widely popular because of this.  They started research in 2014, and a mere 2 years after, they landed a listing in KMPG Top 50 Fintech Companies in China.

The NEO Project got its funds through two engaging crowdsales, the first of which happened in October 2015, with impressive sales amounting to $550,000 dollars for 17.5 million NEO tokens, within its 10-day duration.  The second one is even more impressive, with sales of $4.5 million for 22.5 million NEO tokens, the remainder from the first crowdsale.

neo review

Review

According to its investors, NEO is undoubtedly among the cryptocurrency platforms in 2017 that show a lot of promise.  It generated a lot of buzz because it displayed an amazing growth of +21,000%.  It was priced at around $0.14 at the start of 2017 and is now stable at the price of around $37.

It has shown remarkable growth and is proving to be quite stable, but like everything else, the platform is not without challenges.  One of the main setbacks, is the stalled growth in project development.  This might be because the founders did not anticipate the company to grow at such a high velocity that the fail to prepare for it.  This inevitably delegated project development to a much slower pace that the company’s growth.  The most basic lag is in a structure as basic as a wallet.  There are still many wallets that does not support GAS cryptocurrency.  Also, there are a lot of scam wallets that trick investors, especially cryptocurrency neophytes.

Also, users or holders usually do not have an understanding on how to use their NEO wallets.  They have a hard time choosing which wallet to use, which among the choices generates or supports GAS, which among them allows sending and receiving NEO and GAS, and which wallets are real and which ones are fake.

All in all, despite the challenges attached to it, this new kid on the block shows a lot of good potentials and is expected to improve its services in the years to come.

What is Neo about?

NEO is defined as an non-profit blockchain project that is community-based.  It uses the powerful combination of digital identity and blockchain technology to fulfill various tasks such as digitizing your assets using “smart contracts” and to create a “smart economy”.

neo digita identy

Its action plan is simple, to be the distributed network of the said economy.  For NEO, the equation is equally simple: Digital Identity + Smart Contract + Digital Assets = Smart Economy.   A digital asset id one that exists in binary format, and which gives you the permission to use the system.  You can use your asset/s in a centralized environment, but at your own risk.  The arrival of NEO makes owning digital assets relatively safer than before.  They decentralize the assets making them credible, safe, and without the presence of a third party.  There are two kinds of digital assets, Global and Contract.  Global assets refer to those that are easily recognizable by all of the clients and smart contracts.  They are also easily identifiable by the entire system.  Contract assets, on the other hand, has exclusivity to specific contracts.

Like in real life, users have an identity.  In the blockchain world, digital identity means the information provided to an entity that is being utilized by the computer systems when they act as a representative of an external agent.  An agent could mean a person or a group.  It could even be an application, or device.  ISO/IEC 24760-1 describes identity as a set of values linked to an entity.

It is highly imperative to use credible digital identities.  This ensures that the assets will be digitized.  It is because of this that platforms use different identity standards; with NEO, it is X.509, a certificate issuance model that is widely accepted and takes inspiration with the Public Key Infrastructure, Together with the X.509, NEO utilizes another point-to-point certificate issuance mode.   There are different ways to identify the identity of an entity.   This could be through voice recognition, through SMS, through biometric or fingerprint scanning, through facial recognition, and many other methods. Smart Contracts are basically contracts that are automated.  They come with a set of instructions that are written in a code and is specific, which makes it possible for it be self-executing.  NEO uses the system Virtual Machines to run its smart contracts.

The trick to getting a reliable smart contract is to use a criteria to determine its credibility.  This is needed since all that runs in blockchain have the power to run through various nodes while protecting its integrity.  A smart contract must be all of three things:  Isolated, Deterministic and Terminable.   It needs to be isolated because if not, this may compromise the whole system.  The ease with how practically everyone can upload a smart contract makes it susceptible to viruses an bugs.  It is of utmost importance to isolate the contract in a sandbox, to prevent any adverse effects on the entire blockchain ecosystem.

A contract should also be deterministic.  This means it must be constant and consistent, meaning it will have the same output the the same set of inputs, even in various computers.

There are ways in knowing that a a program is not being deterministic.  One instance is when the function called by the programmer is not deterministic.  Another is when a program obtains data that is not deterministic or constant.  Example of this is data given by search engines to a particular search.  Since data produced by search engines are always changing, that data is not deterministic.  The third instance is dynamic calling, or when a program asks for a second program.

A contract should be terminable.  Alan Turing made a deduction in 1936, using the Cantor’s Diagonal Problem, that it is impossible to determine whether a particular program can be done in time or not.   In mathematics, this is called the “halting problem” and is considered an error.  It can get tricky because contracts my nature, have a predesignated time limit.  Therefore, you must think of ways to end the contract, saving you from having to go through an endless cycle that will dwindle your resources down.

Basically, NEO is an ecosystem for smart contracts.  You can use two tokens, NEO and GAS.  NEO tokens are the proof of ownership to a particular blockchain.  Having it in your wallet allow you to get GAS token as rewards.  GAS tokens, on the other hand, is your token to use the blockchain.  Metaphorically, GAS fuels the transactions in the system.  Having this set-up sets NEO apart from other platforms.  Also, there are three other attributes that sets the platform apart.  The first is NEO’s indivisible unit.  The minimum and smallest share is 1 and can nor be divided into fractions.  The second attribute is the power to generate GAS.  When you put your NEO in a NEO compatible wallet, it gives you the power to generate GAS.

what is neo

How Neo works

The first step is getting a NEO wallet.  This can be downloaded online, relative to the Operating system that you are using.  A lot of people suggests the wallet Neon, which was created by independent developers City of Zion.   When you have created your wallet, you will be asked to create your unique passphrase.  Think of it as the zipper to your wallet to prevent others from getting their hands to it.   When you click on the button “generate keys”, you will be given an encrypted and a private key that is exclusive to you, you must secure all the information regarding your wallet, as this is your only way of opening them.  Losing this information means losing your access to your wallet.  You will have a public address that you can share with others for the purpose of sending and receiving payments.  Always be vigilant with your passphrase, encrypted and private keys.

How to Mine Neo

Once you have a wallet, you may then acquire NEO from a cryptocurrency exchange.  Every time you acquire NEO, you earn an equivalent amount of GAS, and increases your investments.

Mining

NEO per se cannot be mined.  It’s either you trade it or you buy it.  The maximum amount of NEO shares is 100 million while the minimum amount is 1.  It is important to reiterate that NEO shares are not divisible.   NEO Shares are commonly used

How To Buy Neo

Some of the most popular sites to buy or trade NEO is Binance, KuCoin and Gate.io . Many recommend to buy Ethereum and trade it for NEO.   This is because Ethereum charges lower in exchange and conversion fee as compared to others like Bitcoin.    Then, you can deposit funds to your binance account by using the your Ethereum purchase.  Note that there will be a transfer fee involved, so you have you put that into equation when making a purchase.  After that, you’re ready to buy or trade in Binance.  You might be wondering why you have to go to Coinbase first and not go directly to Binance.  This is because Coinbase accepts currencies called FIAT, such as US Dollars, Euros, among others, This will be your starting point and avenue to translate your FIAT to Ethereum then, use this to purchase NEO in the Binance platform.

Wallets

There are many NEO wallets available.  You can choose which best fits you and your trading style.  Some of them are:

NEO wallet.  This was created and is being maintained by the same NEO community.  It is lightweight and safe to use since it gives you a wallet back-up for you to easily access and control your private keys to your funds.   This wallet allows you to store both NEO and GAS.  You can also claim GAS accumulated from your NEO tokens.  This wallet is available in English and Chinese and can be downloaded via Chrome/Edge browsers.

Binance Wallet.  This is also a web wallet that gives you access to GAS token every month.  This feature is not seen in other exchange wallets so far.

NEON Wallet.  There are a lot of users who agree that this is the best NEO wallet in the market, since it easily allows the storage, as well as the sending and receiving NEO and GAS.  Another cool and practical feature is that it generates GAS for every NEO that you hold in it.

Ledger NanoS.  This is for people who are interested to use it for long term.  This is a hardware wallet.  This kind is used to protect you from hackers, since it does not require you to key in your private key.  GAS earning can be claimed by using a combination of Ledger Nano S and NEON wallet.  Many believe that this is the most secure wallet available.

Where to buy

As stated earlier, Binance and Gate.io are sites to buy and trade for NEO.  You may also try Cryptopia.

Reddit

NEO Reddit is like a NEO’s version of a community forum, where you can get updated with the latest trends and update in the cryptocurrency scene.

NEO Review- Your Smart Crypto Partner

If you are a serious crypto trader, then you must be aware of Asia’s significant global influence on this market. Recent trends, however, show that Asia doesn’t only provide buyers.  The region is also becoming famous for nurturing some of the most significant and innovative blockchain projects such as china’s NEO.

Unlike the others that have mushroomed in the Asian community, Neo is a unique blockchain that allows for performance of trustless smart treaties.  This means that apart from handling financial transactions, the platform can also execute more complicated interactions and fully- featured distributed applications.  The blockchain has been given several alias names such as “Ethereum killer” and Antshares. The latter was also the name it went by before the 2017 rebrand.

What are the differences between Ethereum and NEO Blockchain

Primarily, while Ethereum can only be coded in its original programming language (Solidity), NEO’s dApp can be written in any language that the programmer is familiar with, such as Ruby, Java, Python and Kotlin among others.  This makes it easier for developers from other blockchains or new entrants to join and get started with a NEO project.

As an alternative to the power-hungry proof –of- work consensus algorithms such as Ethereum or Bitcoin, NEO utilizes a proof -of -stake protocol with Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance. This implies that the platform can achieve an agreement when 66% or more of the knobs on the NEO system to approve a transaction.  This function ensures that the network is protected since the voting power is influenced by a user’s stake (the quantity of NEO tokens he or she possesses). Any person with malicious intentions would have to maintain a majority of the World’s supply as to accumulate the voting power required to feed the duplicitous information into the system.

The NEO network requires two tokens from every user. The NEO token is the first and primary token to the system and is essential for determining the user’s stake and, thus voting capabilities. The other token is automatically produced when you hold an NEO token in your officially sanctioned wallet.  This token is referred to as GAS, and it is what you use to carry out transactions on the NEO Blockchain network.

This concept functions the same way as the stock dividend; in that, owning more NEO, automatically guarantees that you will have more GAS.  Chiefly, GAS is designed to function as a transactional tool on NEO. However, it is also traded in numerous crypto markets.

neo smart contract

Identity Proof for NEO Blockchain

With the numerous economic restrictions in China, the developers were aware of the challenge they would have to face to establish a technology that facilitates the exchange of currency across borders anonymously. To solve this problem, they created NEO with digital identity authentication elements centered on the X.509 standard.  Due to this, contract creators are at liberty to use biometrics such as fingerprints scans, facial scans, and voice scans.  Apart from that, one can also opt for the two-factor verification SMS to ascertain the true identity of users.

Despite being present, use of these features is not mandatory. Moreover, you can purchase and hold NEO without offering any personal details at all beyond the requirements of the person or exchange selling them to you.  Nonetheless, the accessibility of these client identification features adds another degree of security to the system for dApp developers who feel the need for it.  It also helps to protect NEO from possible threats.

What makes the NEO tokens special?

Holdings are in whole numbers

Unlike other tokens, the NEO has several unique characteristics that differentiate it from other blockchain tokens. For instance, the NEO token is indivisible. This means that you cannot own fractions of it. Your holding can only exist in whole numbers.  Several digital currencies allow you to buy NEO in portions. However, such holding will be worth network stake and rights to vote.

Free transfer

Transferring ownership of NEO is free of charge. Thus, any transaction between private wallets should be free. However, some exchanges tend to add a transaction fee to the activity.

Reserve token

In totality, there are over 100 million tokens of NEO blockchain in existence. However, only a staggering 65 million are in supply currently. The NEO team has reserved the rest for various futuristic purposes.

GAS’s divisibility

As mentioned earlier on, the NEO token is indivisible. The same does not apply to the GAS token, however. For purposes of facilitating all forms of transactions, GAS was made divisible. The number of GAS tokens is limited to 100 million. However, since these are generated over time with ownership of NEO tokens, the number of tokens in circulation is usually lower.

The NEO Network and its Ecosystem

For a smart contracts platform to be robust, its ecosystem is as important. The fact that NEO is programmer friendly has made it host to some promising projects and ICOs. Its approach to dApp development is notably credited for this success.  The following are the already funded NEO projects;

  1. Thekey (TKY); created general and decentralized identity authentication tools for KYC
  2. Red Pulse (ROX); designed a market intelligence gathering system for investors who have interests in the Chinese market.
  3. DeepBrain (DBC); a decentralized AI system for smart software gadgets and applications

The blockchain platform is now working on a broad niche of projects including the open-source medical encyclopedia and decentralized crypto exchange networks.

neo vision

What are the benefits of using NEO?

NEO integrates some highly advanced models of modern Blockchain and cryptography technology. This has enabled the platform to solve several problems associated with the traditional ecosystem and while at it provide their users with various benefits.

Quicker transactions

Network scaling was the central issue of concern last year. Bitcoin was overwhelmed with numerous unverified sales and ridiculous fees. The hard fork was proposed as a solution, but it did not do much in the form of help, either.  With the Ethereum blockchain being troubled by the same issues, the network was in total disarray.

The blockchain congested up the system and brought about major trepidation on the market. None of these issues can be said about NEO. By using superior concepts such as sharding and concurrency, NEO optimized the speed and efficiency of conducting transactions. With the capability to handle at least 10,000 operations per second, it would be fair to say that NEO is unparalleled on the crypto market.

Distinctive consensus system

With other popular blockchain networks, reaching a consensus was quite a hustle especially where more than one system is involved.  This is because they used inferior transaction processing tools such as proof-of-work mining as used by Bitcoin.

NEO uses a different approach to transaction processing. It uses a unique system referred to as Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance.  This system can avoid code forks as these are the primary cause of setups in the other systems. Code forks can be quite contentious at times and may influence the long-term projections of forked coins.

Protected from quantum mainframes

If you ask any technical cryptocurrency user about the threats that the industry faces, quantum computers is bound to be one of the things he or she mentions. The computing power in such devices is so massive that ignoring the threat they pose would be foolhardy. According to a Scientist at MIT who studied the influence of the phenomenon on Bitcoin, the threat is severe.

Nothing denies digital currency users a good night’s sleep like the thought of someone being able to steal their coins sometime shortly.  With the NEO hodler system, however, such a possibility poses no threat considering the network is highly secured even from such massive computing powers.

neo dapplist

Support for numerous programming languages

Unlike its competitors such as Ethereum that can only support its programming language solidity, NEO network can support several popular coding languages such as Java, Python, C#, and C++.

From a developer’s viewpoint, this is quite beneficial since it means that any developer can readily code the dApp in the language that he or she knows.  The NEO protocol can collect these languages into guidelines for the virtual devices.

Support for ICO platform

NEO can be utilized as an ICO to promote tokens from their blockchain. This feature can be used to raise funds for other crucial projects.  NEO has funded several projects several with the NEP 5 standard token. A few ICOs have also been able to grow capital by using this NEO element. As expected, the restriction on ICO activity by the Chinese government limits its impact, but it is likely to function better in other countries.

Stake ownership in the NEO Blockchain

NEO coins represent a possession stake in the whole network. Each NEO token holder has a stake in the 100 million coins in circulation. This means that he or she has the right to vote on issues affecting the blockchain.

Possessing these NEO coins generates GAS, which acts as the payment for token holders. The concept of GAS is similar to that of Ethereum as they can be used to pay for operations and processing power. This acts as an incentive to token owners to keep them until they generate interest other than selling them for proceeds.

NEO and the environ of China

Being a China-based project, the development of NEO is being handled by a Chinese firm commonly known as OnChain.  Da Hongfei, project head, and the OnChain team have worked hand in hand to ensure the success of this project. The two have also worked with several other high-profile technology companies such as Microsoft and Alibaba. The NEO scheme has particularly combined efforts with Microsoft China on several joint ventures.

Popular misconceptions about NEO

For being situated in China, NEO has received a lot of criticism from Western Investors. However, these sentiments have nothing to do with the firm or its business environs. It is instead a case of misinformation and misconceptions by these Western investors for their failures to decode the information they come across on the market.

The first misconception is that NEO is not officially recognized by the Chinese government and it faces the regulatory risks in the country. Its identity authentication tools cannot rescue it from a wholesale ban. On the contrary, NEO developers have on several occasions, been invited to Blockchain conferences sponsored by the government of China.  This should not be misunderstood for NEO’s approval, but it shows a certain level of cooperation. There is also the claim that the project OnChain handled with Alibaba was not connected to NEO.

Historically, China’s policies and regulations over time have been designed in a way that they favor domestic firms while putting their foreign rivals at a disadvantage. Typical examples include the abolishing of Facebook and Twitter as to nourish Renren and Weibo. Also by imposing heavy taxes on the international phone makes, they have boosted local makers of smartphones in the country.

All in all, NEO is China’s most developed domestic blockchain network. Thus, if a similar approach is to be taken on the crypto market, NEO would benefit greatly.

Message to investors

The success of NEO has attracted so many scammers and deceitful schemes who are seeking to seize NEO’s brand reputation and hoax investors.  You should beware of such plots and act with caution when transacting business with anyone claiming to be an NEO affiliate.

Electrifying plans for 2018

Given the momentum that NEO has built so early in the year, it is expected that so much more will be accomplished as 2018 climaxes. It is especially anticipated to increase its adoption rate significantly.  The NEO improvement team is quite vigilant in their engagements with the community. Also, they are marketing the tokens in other dominions.

As a leading platform for smart contracts in China, the future of NEO shines brightly. The NEO token has already achieved enormous growth and development in the past.  If it can sustain the current growth rate, and claim a significant smart contracts market share, greater things are yet to be accomplished in the future.

A renewed optimism has also been echoed in the price of NEO as it has reached a record high $100 for the very first time. It is difficult to determine whether the increase in rate is bound to continue in the short run.  However, if the NEO review is anything to go by, then the smart contract economy is destined for great tidings.

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