In four words or less : Ethereum for China

NEO (NEO) is a smart contract platform and is often described as China’s Ethereum. NEO’s aim is to use blockchain technology and digital identity to digitise assets, automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to create a smart economy with a distributed network.The project is based in China and was originally launched in 2014 as AntShares. The project was founded by Da Hongfei.

What problem does NEO solve: NEO is trying to solve the same problems as Ethereum. Both want to be platforms for the new Internet: Dapps (Decentralised Applications) and smart contracts will create a future smart economy that is digitised, programmable and trustless.

Properties of NEO:

NEO uses a delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus mechanism and can support up to 10,000 transactions per second

  • NEO wants to help society transition from the traditional economy to the smart economy
  • Unlike Ethereum, NEO will support almost all programming languages via a compiler, including those on, Java, Kotlin, Go and Python, greatly lowering the difficulty for developers to write smart contracts
  • NEO tokens can be staked to produce GAS tokens which are used as the fuel of the platform, to pay for computation or deployment of smart contracts within the NEO network
  • In early 2018 NEO became the first crypto-coin to get an A-Tier rating from Weiss

 Adoption and penetration:

NEO is competing with Ethereum. Ethereum has a strong head start but there is no reason why there can’t be multiple smart contract platforms. NEO has a more specific purpose: to enable a smart economy, while Ethereum is simply a platform to enable entrepreneurship, innovation, and development . One of the paths to market adoption hinges on the Chinese Government. They will need their own blockchain services and it might make sense for them to enter into a partnership with NEO.

Management and governance:

NEO is managed by Da Hongfei, a team of developers and the NEO Council. Some have criticised NEO for not being a truly decentralised blockchain project. The council responded stating that theNEO Council values efficiency (quick response and protocol upgrade) over decentralisation at this early stage.

Risks and limitations:

Critics have argued that NEO’s network infrastructure is centralised and doesn’t have enough Nodes on its network which leads to a security risk. This risk will decrease as NEO grows.

Competition: Ethereum, EOS