The Neo Token is one of the cryptocurrencies that did exceptionally well in 2017. It had its investors smiling to a whopping 21,000% return on investment. Some investors have listed Neo as one of the top 4 cryptocurrencies to invest in this 2018 amongst IOTA, DASH and BITCOIN CASH. This might be because Neo blockchain is the only blockchain that is comparable to Ethereum (Possibly better) hence it’s being referred to as the Chinese Ethereum or Ethereum Killer.
There are lots of well-written articles online on Neo. But, in this article, I am going to leave out all the techy details and present Neo to you in such a way that a 10-year old can understand. Enjoy
What is NEO?
NEO was founded as Antshares in 2014 by Da Hongfei and Zhang in China but later rebranded to NEO in 2017. NEO was created for the purpose of creating what is called a “smart economy”; this is a way of merging the traditional economy with the digital economy. To achieve these three things, have to come together 1. Digital Assets 2. Digital Identity 3. Smart Contract.
To better understand these let look at what a contract is:
A contract can be said to be an agreement between the parties involved to do or not to do a particular thing. For the contract to be binding on the parties involved, there is usually a lot of paperwork involving legal practitioners and a trusted system (Usually government Policies) to ensure the contract is adhered to and possibly punish defaulters. Smart contract put all this is digital form eliminating the need for third parties like a Legal practitioner of the government but ensures that contract cannot be faulted i.e there is no way to default or cheat the system.
For example, if I want to buy a house in the smart economy, the smart contract is programmed in such a way that once I pay for the house, the certificate of ownership is transferred to and tagged to me instantly. This transaction is open, can be verified by anyone and also irreversible. This transaction is irreversible so the previous owner of the house cannot lay claim to the house. However, for the smart contract to be actualized, the Asset (house) and the persons involved (identity) must be in digital form. NEO aim to achieve digital identity through Multi-factor authentication mechanism which includes; fingerprint, voice recognition, SMS and facial recognition. The good thing about the smart economy is that asset trading will global, location and intercountry barriers are removed.
NEO Currencies/Token: NEO and GAS.
There are two cryptocurrencies n NEO: the NEO token and GAS.
NEO: formerly Antshare (ANS)
The total supply of NEO token is 100 million tokens. If you own a NEO token, you can participate in Block creation, network management, changes and other requirements as regards consensus in the NEO blockchain. You will also earn GAS as a reward for holding the NEO token. However, you can only receive gas if you are holding NEO in the official wallet. You cannot also claim GAS when holding it in Exchanges. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, NEO is non-divisible, the smallest Unit is 1.
Another thing to take note of is NEO tokens are not mined. The 100 million tokens were created at the launch of the NEO blockchain, out of these 100 million tokens, 50 million of it is in circulation and was distributed through the NEO ICO.
The other 50 million NEO token is to be used for NEO development as follows
- 10 million NEO (10% total) go to NEO developers and Council members
- 10 million NEO (10% total) as incentives for developers in the NEO ecosystem
- 15 million NEO (15% total) invested in other auxiliary Blockchain projects used by NEO
- 15 million NEO (15% total) earmarked for “contingencies”
GAS: formerly known as Antcoins (ANC)
Just like the NEO token, the GAS token has a limit of 100 GAS token. However, unlike NEO, GAS is not all mined, The Block generates 8 GAS token every 15 to 20 seconds when its created. The number of GAS generated per block is reduced by 1 each consecutive year such that in 22 years all 100 million GAS tokens would have been generated. Also unlike NEO, GAS is divisible in fractions. The smallest unit of GAS is 0.00000001 i.e. 1/10^8.
NEO VS Ethereum
The major similarity between NEO and Ethereum is that they both created a platform for developers to build Dapp (Decentralized Application). However, the major advantage NEO has over Ethereum is in the Transaction Speed and programming language. It can handle as much as 10,000 transactions per second compared to Ethereum’s limit of 15 transactions per second. A developer can develop Apps on NEO using different programming languages like C#, C+, JAVA etc. while programming on the Ethereum network requires you first learn the Ethereum programming language ‘SOLIDITY’. Other differences can be seen in the table below.
|Creator||Da Hongfei and Zhang||Vitalik Buterin
|Coin Limit||100 million||Not defined yet
|Market Cap(23/01/2018)||Approx. 8 billion USD||Approx. 97 billion USD
|Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
|C# / VB.Net / F#, Visual Studio|
Java / Kotlin, Eclipse
C / C++ / GO
Python / Ruby
|Byzatine Fault Tolerant (Improved form of Proof of stake)||Proof of work (plans to move to proof of stake)
|Direction||Smart Economy ||World Super Computer
How to Store NEO and GAS.
NEO and GAS token are stored in their wallet, these wallets come in different categories: hardware, desktop, mobile, web and mobile. Most dedicated NEO wallet allows you to claim GAS while holding NEO but some do not especially wallets offered by exchanges.
The official wallet NEO Desktop Wallet is GUI desktop wallet but it is only available for windows. If you are using Mac or Linux, you will have to download the NEOM Wallet. Other wallet includes Ledger s, NEO Tracker ETC.
Also Read: Top 9 Neo Wallets.
Where to Buy NEO.
There are quite a number of exchange where you can buy NEO. Some of them allow you to buy directly with fiat, some require you buy bitcoin first and then convert to NEO while other have multiple purchase methods.
One of the top exchanges that where you can Buy NEO at the cheapest price is Changelly – they allow you to buy with your Debit/Credit card or exchange other cryptocurrencies for NEO. Changelly is fast easy to use and give the best price, it’s my favourite exchange for the purchase of most cryptos. Other reputable exchanges include CEX, Ngexchanger, Litebit etc.
Also Read: Top 5 NEO Exchanges.
My Conclusion/ What Does the Future Hold for NEO?
NEO is a great project. It used to be a Chinese thing but its now going global especially after the rebrand. NEO is the only strong Ethereum contender considering that developers do not need to learn a new programming language to develop apps on it. The Chinese government and some big shot companies are in supports it. The NEO blockchain can also handle more transaction than the Ethereum blockchain.
Logically speaking, NEO is meant to perform better than Ethereum this 2018. However, we can’t really tell what might happen since the NEO team and the Ethereum team are pursuing two different goals. If you want to invest in NEO or any other cryptocurrency invest with money you can afford to lose. Because it can make you a lot of money but it could also lose value. All the best.
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Also read: Ripple (XRP): The Basics – All you need to know