What Is NEO – The Newbie Guide to Rebranded AntShares
In this article, we’ll focus our attention on What Is NEO – The Newbie Guide to Rebranded AntShares, and how it compares to its main rival—Ethereum.
Cryptocurrencies are all the rage right now, thanks to their gravity-defying rise.
The total crypto market cap has already exceeded $157 Billion and shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. Among the popular cryptocurrencies, the one garnering quite a bit of attention is NEO.
NEO: Quick Facts
- NEO is popularly known as the Chinese answer to Ethereum
- NEO is one of the fastest growing cryptocurrencies at the moment and is the latest entrant to the converted top 10 cryptocurrencies list with a market cap of $2 billion USD
- It’s China’s first ever original public chain project and its source code is available in the Github repository
- The circulating supply of NEO is currently 50% of the total supply cap of 100 million NEO coins
- NEO is also capable of hosting Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) on its network
What is NEO?
In short, like almost any other major crypto, NEO is a decentralized blockchain protocol. It is the rebranded version of AntShares (ANS), which was formed in 2014.
NEO actually calls itself as the blockchain for the “Smart Economy” and want to integrate digital identity, digital assets, and smart contracts into its platform.
The Concept Behind NEO
NEO is a unique blockchain coding algorithm that supports decentralized commerce, identification, and digitization of several assets.
It is a clever amalgamation of blockchain technology as well as digital identity, aiming to digitize assets.
- NEO creates new ways for assets to be registered, issued and circulated. The assets and titles within the physical world (like money, real estate, company shares etc.) can be digitized and exchanged (traded) over the NEO network in a peer-to-peer manner
- The digital identity system is intended to help the integration of NEO with the real-world economy. NEO has a set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards which also supports Web of Trust point-to-point certificate issuance model. NEO includes the use of fingerprint, facial features, SMS, voice, and other multifactor authentication methods
- A smart contract is a contract that can be digitalized and converted into a program so that terms of the contract can be automatically executed by computers. NEO claims that its smart contracts perform better in terms of scalability and compatibility.
According to NEO whitepaper, “NEO is the use of blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, the use of smart contracts for digital assets to be self-managed, to achieve “smart economy” with a distributed network.”
What Makes NEO Stand Out From Other Coins?
There are certain aspects unique to NEO that makes them stand out from other cryptocurrencies.
The smart contracts at NEO can be written with almost all common programming languages:
Hence, you do not need to learn a new language to be part of the development. By contrast, Ethereum uses only the programming language Solidity
Some of the interesting features of NEO include quantum-resistant cryptography, cross-chain protocol, a distributed storage protocol, and a secure communication protocol
Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, which uses proof-of-work (POW) to validate transactions, NEO uses a delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus method.
dBFT offers lower electricity costs and also removes the possibility of a chain split. This makes it useful for NEO’s goal of digitizing real-world financial assets.
How Does NEO Work?
NEO aims to build a platform on which other Decentralized Applications (called DApps) could be built by letting users execute smart contracts on their blockchain.
Here are some of NEO’s features to make it stand out from other smart contract oriented chains:
- Lightweight stack called the NEO Virtual Machine (NeoVM) which provides shorter start-up times with efficient execution
- Use of dBFT consensus, superconducting transactions, and cross-chain interoperability to manage smart assets in an efficient, safe, and legally binding manner
- Incorporated sharding and concurrency in its computer science model by default, which solves scalability problems
- There are specific mechanisms in NEO that is already in place to protect the blockchain from futuristic computers called quantum computers that could threaten the cryptography of every blockchain in the world today
- Typically, when there is a need to alter or update the blockchain, nearly 95% of nodes must agree to it. If that doesn’t happen, the cryptocurrency will either fork or default back to its original incarnation
- But as per the dBFT model of NEO, specialized bookkeeping nodes reach consensus through delegated voting. For approval of a current copy of the blockchain, it just takes a two-thirds vote, meaning lesser transaction as well as approval time
- NEO maintains the records related to the digital asset transfers and facilitates registration of ownership, intellectual property, and actual contracts using e-contracts. The coin can also keep track of the information related to financial contracts, bills, credit points, equities, creditor’s claims, currencies, and securities
Where Can You Purchase NEO?
- Bittex allows the trade of NEO/BTC, NEO/USDT, and NEO/ETH
- Binance currently supports NEO/BTC
- Cryptopia supports NEO/BTC and NEO/LTC
- The other exchanges, Yunbi, Jubi, Yuanbao, 19800, 51szzc, and Yobtc supports only NEO/CNY presently
- Fiat gateways are also available for users, who live in those countries, where NEO cannot be accessible.
How to Buy NEO?
Here are the steps to buy NEO:
Create a new account or sign in to your account in Bittrex. Then deposit your BTC you purchased with CEX or Coinbase to your bitcoin wallet on Bittrex.
You can now buy NEO within Bittrex with BTC you have just transferred from CEX or Coinbase to your Bittrex wallet.
If you don’t want to keep your NEO coins on an exchange, you can download the Neon wallet from GitHub over here. Make sure you follow all the steps on how to install it as it requires you to type stuff in the console.
The Future of NEO
Experts refer to NEO as a sleeping giant. There are numerous reasons cited for an upcoming meteoric price rise for the cryptocurrency.
- NEO has one the top blockchain development teams in all of China, nearly $325 million available to support their funding need
- It’s backed by some high-profile supporters including Alibaba, Microsoft, WINGS and the Chinese government itself
- The coin has received a new patent for cross-chain distributed interoperability
- NEO is only available on a limited number of exchanges, giving it a sense of scarcity and driving up the demand
- CoinDash and NEO have announced their partnership — they are aiming to introduce portfolio management services and decision-making tools for the growing NEO token holders and supporters
Overall, NEO seems to be a future-proof blockchain, designed to accommodate the industry needs and interoperability.