The wild and ever-changing world of cryptocurrency comes with it its fair share of confusion. It isn’t always easy to keep track of the latest trends, new products, and marketplaces popping up constantly.
To better understand one unique type of crypto, we will take a dive into NEO to better understand the NEO blockchain, NEO tokens, and the process surrounding this unique type of crypto.
What Is NEO Cryptocurrency?
One of the first confusing steps in breaking down the crypto market is the unusual naming conventions that surround the industry. Names such as “NEO” can describe an entire blockchain network, a specific type of cryptocurrency, or even a community project.
To fully understand what NEO is, defining all aspects of the entity is required. Let’s take a deeper look at the different aspects of the NEO line of products and services.
In technical terms, there are three main facets of what NEO truly is. Those three tiers of the concept make up what NEO is intended to be.
NEO is first, a non-profit, community-based blockchain project. Its concept was developed to provide the marketplace with space for dApp creators to have an accessible platform for designing programs.
If you have some familiarity with the Ethereum blockchain technology, the NEO blockchain is similar. Ironically, the name “NEO” is one many views as being the “newer and more advanced” Ethereum. Meaning, by definition, young and new in Greek, the naming makes sense to many.
An Open-Source Blockchain
More specifically, the technology behind NEO is that of the blockchain. This open-sourced platform gives developers not only an easy-to-use interface but also a shared workload. By keeping the tech open, developers can “borrow” from one another, and continue to build and improve upon the dApps that came before them.
The company itself describes the function of the NEO blockchain to be “a distributed network for the smart economy.”
Most commonly discussed in the crypto space is the use of NEO as a cryptocurrency itself. Crypto was the first of its kind in China and was created by the Chinese company Onchain. Due to its company of origin, not to mention its strict laws, NEO has many features and facets not found in other forms of crypto.
Thus far, crypto, which was started in 2014, has become one of the world’s top 10 forms of unique investment opportunity. The market cap for NEO is in the billions, with growth steadily seen over the years.
The NEO Blockchain
Many involved with crypto market moves have a basic understanding of how blockchain technology works. A typical blockchain is a distributed, public ledger.
In the case of a platform like Ethereum, the blockchain is a transparent way in which all transactions are made. Each type of cryptocurrency derivative has its blockchain. Any user can view the comings and goings of the crypto on that blockchain.
The usual blockchain is a series of data pods (or blocks), strung together chronologically (chain). They not only keep a log of the transactions but also offer a form of security in that blocks are immutable. No one power or central authority can alter the information.
The distribution of a blockchain across a peer-to-peer network also eliminates the central authority, offering a shared sense of responsibility and freedom from centralized power.
A Unique NEO Blockchain
While the science behind the NEO blockchain is similar, there are some major differences between NEO and the typical blockchain, such as that of Ethereum’s network.
For starters, what is seen as a major cornerstone of the blockchain community is the pointed purpose of decentralization. Not storing data on a centralized server, but amongst the users of the network allows for the removal of that central power.
However, in the case of the NEO blockchain, there is the main difference. With NEO, the tech is not decentralized, and the network does not fork. In other words, the blockchain can be changed or upgraded without the consensus of the entire system.
Developer Da Hongfei built NEO to comply with the strict Chinese government. These strict regulations meant that the blockchain must be coded to have a centralized feature, allowing such changes without the “vote” of the users.
Another key feature of the NEO blockchain is that its units of currency (NEO) are not able to be split or broken down. For example, if you have one U.S. dollar, you can also have that same amount in your hand if you hold four quarters, 10 dimes, or 20 nickels.
In the case of the NEO, the smallest unit of currency is one NEO. This feature was aimed to add stability to the coin, and also lead to less latency. This, however, does not mean that the blockchain is immune to the inevitable volatility that most digital assets can face.
NEO Chinese Market
The creation and “homeland” of the NEO Marketplace have a great impact on its existence. NEO was China’s first blockchain project to “receive a nod of approval from regulators.”
In an ironic twist, the Chinese government has embraced the project, even after closing down its marketplace of exchanges in the country.
The NEO firm is one of only a select few cryptocurrencies allowed to operate in China at the time of publication. While this is subject to change, this support and “the nationalistic feeling behind the project” have led many to call the project “Chinese Ethereum.”
A Crackdown on Crypto
The Chinese government, by early 2018, was on the ball with regulating cryptocurrencies. At the time, most all transactions were occurring in China (around 75 percent of all Bitcoin for example).
To stay in line with these crackdowns, NEO was formed to stay well within Chinese regulations. This meant that, as other cryptocurrencies were axed in China, NEO stood to benefit.
A Nod to the Governance
As we will soon explain, another unique feature of the NEO marketplace is that there is a benefit for holders of NEO tokens. Not only do they stand to make a gain by holding the NEO token itself, but they also earn GAS. This set amount per month can be earned for governance participation.
Let’s take a look at how the currency within the NEO network works to understand more about that benefit. While it may have gained the nickname of the Chinese Ethereum, there are still many major differences between the two platforms.
The Tale of Two Tokens
As if a move away from decentralization was not enough to denote its differences, NEO also has a major change when it comes to its native currency. In its simplest terms, the platform operates with not one but two tokens.
NEO utilizes a two-tiered system when it comes to crypto. This is done to provide the network with more flexibility, for both its users and its developers.
The NEO ecosystem relies on both NEO and GAS tokens. In total, the firm will issue 100 million of each token. This means that the total supply of NEO will reach a limit. At the time of publication, there are currently 70,538,831 NEO in circulation.
NEO is the cryptocurrency of the NEO blockchain. If it were the only part of the system, it would more closely resemble Ethereum, which operates using Ether or ETH. However, NEO adds another layer to the mix.
The NEO crypto represents a share of ownership in the NEO blockchain. This crypto also plays a role in governance. While, like a typical blockchain, owning such crypto allows the community to create blocks and manage the network, there are some differences.
For one, NEO has indivisible units and cannot be divided like other coins (such as Ether in Ethereum). The reasoning behind this decision is that each coin is meant to act as a single share in the NEO blockchain. Just like stocks, these coins cannot break down into smaller units.
Because they not only represent funds but also ownership, NEO’s on-chain governance means a single NEO cannot be split up. It has one owner and that owner, as they would with a stock, owns a part of the network.
“GAS” is the utility token for the NEO network. This token hasn’t always gone by the same name, however. It was formerly known as ANC, which stood for “Antcoins.”
In the NEO marketplace’s ecosystem, GAS functions like Ether in the Ethereum network. Developers use GAS for transactions in the network. Additionally, users receive rewards in GAS tokens.
GAS generates at a rate of eight GAS per block. The network automatically reduces the number of rewards per block after two million confirmed blocks.
Users have options with GAS. You can trade GAS for other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum. You can also convert your GAS to NEO directly. In this way, GAS pricing remains decoupled.
The Role of the Smart Contract
In yet another effort to allow for accessibility and ease of use, the NEO network also shares features beloved by Ethereum users in that it allows for the use of smart contracts. With smart contracts, developers are not forced to “reinvent the wheel” so to speak.
Instead, NEO token holders, which are users and owners of the network, can build on the work of others. Instead of creating complex instruments from scratch, having the ability to write smart contracts gives the creators much more flexibility and freedom.
Additionally, NEO keeps its doors open to the globe, as it allows smart contracts in C#, Java, Python, plus a wide variety of other programming languages. In this way of multi-language support, the network can attract developers from across the industry, no matter their language.
Unique Bookkeeping Methods
Another interesting feature of the NEO Blockchain is its use of the “Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance” (abbreviated “dBFT”) consensus mechanism. This lengthy mouthful of words breaks down to mean that consensus nodes must be used and an agreement achieved for a block to be created and locked into place.
In the delegated Byzantine fault tolerance consensus mechanism, there are certain nodes known as “Bookkeepers.” These sort of digital accountants do the actual block verifications.
The data is created and then broadcasted onto the blockchain. Only when two-thirds of the nodes on the network agree with a bookkeeper’s version of the blockchain is consensus achieved. Again, the adoption of a smart contract keeps things moving in this way, allowing the transaction speed of the NEO coin to remain consistent.
This unique method of technical analysis provides a built-in checks and balances system among network users. And, while the blockchain may not be decentralized, it does allow for the cross-checking and transparency of transactions via this bookkeeping style.
To start trading on the NEO marketplace, it is important to understand where to obtain GAS or NEO tokens, how they are used, how GAS rewards are gained, and just where all of this takes place.
How to Buy
Some of the most robust marketplace platforms in the crypto world allow for the purchase of NEO. The crypto is currently offered on the following sites:
By simply creating an account on one of these marketplace sites, connecting your digital wallet, and adding funds, any user can purchase NEO and start trading on the platform.
It is important to note that, no matter the platform you choose, each investor has a high risk of losing money rapidly. A great deal of caution should be applied, no matter the bullish trend or current trend of a price gradually increasing. Anyone can lose money when trading, and any investor accounts lose money. Even retail investor accounts lose money, smart contract aside. Having such retail investor accounts lose shows, other users, that there is a risk to trading NEO.
With a hard limit of one hundred million NEOs, the amount of available crypto will soon run out. Once this limit is reached (i.e. the NEO tokens are all released to the public) no more will circulate, which is anticipated to drive up the value of the NEO price.
NEO held an initial coin offering in August of 2017 to raise funds for the project. During that time, 50 million tokens were given to ICO participants. The organization raised $28 million for the network.
The remaining 50 million NEO tokens were held by what is dubbed the NEO Council. The council is the group responsible for making strategic and technical decisions, not to mention implementing such changes for the entire network.
It is this council that makes the blockchain centralized, as opposed to most of its kind, which keeps a central power or authority out of the picture. Instead, NEO has opted for this style of control, beginning with its initial coin offerings procedure.
Store Your NEO
Digital wallets are not only your online digital identity but how you will buy and store your NEO token. The holding space for your online passcodes or “keys,” a digital wallet allows users to connect to the marketplace, as well as maintain a unique digital identity, inaccessible to others.
Much like any other identification facts, the codes for your unique and personal data or digital wallet should not be shared with others. From hard wallets (which allow the offline or “cold storage” of funds) to software, to pen and paper wallets, you have a variety to choose from, all of which come with pros and cons for safety features.
Take careful consideration when selecting a wallet by focusing on the features that best serve your unique needs. From the amount of time you travel or are on the road, to your ability to keep things safe and secure, you will want to weigh the options on the market before making a wallet choice.
The Future of NEO
Whether or not the future price of NEO tokens leads to a smart investment or a high risk remains to be seen. As with all digital assets, the volatility can be stressful and ever-changing in this unique market space.
An entire trade can make or break a millionaire in a matter of moments. No matter the process, all investments come with a risk warning. After all, playing a virtual game of chance comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly.
Investment advice should always be taken with a grain of salt, as the future of any product on the market can fluctuate at any time. The highest price NEO has seen may make it look like a good investment one day, and rapidly turn to bad the next.
All investment decisions come with a high risk of losing, and no amount of technical analysis can prevent that. However you choose to buy NEO, there will be a risk of NEO coins.
Already on the horizon for the coming year is an upgrade to a NEO3 version of the network. The NEO3 upgrade is set to be the company’s largest to date.
In addition to the introduction of the new governance models, the upgrade will bring more interoperability into the crypto space. Specifically, the platform will gain more cross-chain capabilities. The NEO Council already has been experimenting with these changes and has set up testing sequences with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ontology.
Neo Oracle Service is one example of the off-chain data access service built into “Neo N3.” It allows users to request the external data sources in smart contracts, and built-in Oracle nodes designated by the committee will access the specified data source, then pass the result in the callback function to continue using smart contract logic.
This advanced interoperability will lightly be a bright spot for the NEO marketplace and NEO developers.
Knowing your facts, watching trends, and staying informed are some of the best protection you can offer yourself in the digital marketplace. All trading involves risk, and any investor can lose money when trading, but by staying informed of the NEO ecosystem, investors can buy, sell, and trade NEO as a part of a robust and diversified portfolio.
The addition of NEO in such a smart economy has many investors anticipating a strengthening in the crypto marketplace. With a year-to-date high of 12.86, NEO holders are optimistic.
Not even the NEO Council can make a NEO price prediction to ensure the NEO price rises. Like all crypto, there is risk involved. No NEO price prediction can be spot on, and only time will tell where the NEO price is headed.
FLOLiO is here with well-researched and up-to-date development. NEO coin news will constantly change, as rapidly as the NEO price, but by watching the NEO prices, staying in tune with the trends, and monitoring the complex instruments of the trade, investors can keep their “NEO knowledge” in top shape.
There is a bright future for the world of cryptocurrency, and NEO works well in that outlook. Stay on top of its changes with trusted resources like FLOLiO.