What’s NEO? and is it going to keep up with its pace?


By the beginning of this week, NEO partially stole the show on some cryptocurrency exchanges from the hyped IOTA.

Up by 11% in the last 24 hours, after totaling a solid market cap of $2,7 Billion, NEO token rose beyond the $45 value after a month of swinging.

As of press time, the cryptocurrency’s price corrected at $40.27.

Formerly known as AntShares, NEO is often referred to as the “Chinese Ethereum” for many reasons we will be detailing in the following. The last months were pretty hectic for the currencies’ price trends, showing swings of up to 250 % in the span of just three months. Will this last prices surge last this time?

NEO 3 months price evolution until December 5th, as compared to USD (Green) and Bitcoin (Orange). Source: coinmarketcap

From AntShares to NEO

The project started in 2014, as AntShares, claiming to be the first China-based Open source Blockchain platform. In 2016, and in response to what was referred to as “a need for Blockchain solutions that meet the requirements of both government regulators and private companies”, AntShares founders, Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang founded OnChain. OnChain is a Blockchain development company that provides Blockchain-based financial services, as detailed by their website. Consequently, AntShares rebranded to NEO, as reported by bitcoinmagazine with plans to launch by the third quarter of 2017.

Now under the reign of a political party ruling the 1.4 billion populated country with an iron feast, NEO found itself caught between two realities. Well-positioned as the country’s bannerman in the midst of the Blockchain revolution, the digital currency is also in the frontline of an ideological battle with the People’s Bank of China (a.k.a., PBoC).

As a matter of fact, just in September of this year, China ruled crowdfunding, a.k.a., ICO, as illegal. The government ordered all the China-based startups to refund contributors, as reported by CNBCNEO prices plunged then by 50% following the ruling, hitting rock bottom, only to recover to pre-ban levels eight hours later, taking advantage of a recent Bitfinex listing.

What’s NEW with NEO?

Dealing with an unprecedented explosion of all kind of digital currencies, from dogs and cats, all the way to onion coins, one should thoroughly investigate before putting his money into a given asset. In fact, NEO’s whitepaper was the travel compass that helped us decipher the complicated technological fundamentals, underlying the project.

In a nutshell, and similar to Ethereum, NEO is a cryptocurrency, a decentralized application (a.k.a., DApps), and Smart Contracts ecosystem. Promoting transparency and openness of data, OnChain CEO Da Hongfei, claims NEO to introduce concepts of the “Smart Economy” and new Smart Contract vision. Da asserts that NEO is Ethereum’s direct competitor. Quite a few differences exist though between the two.

On the other hand, NEO is officially endorsed by the Chinese government and wants to revive national pride among Chinese, recalling back homeland seeded success stories that rose to global fame, like Alibaba‘s one, a solid partner of the latter.

Besides, NEO strongly benefits from a solid backup as well, coming from many signed partnerships with high profile companies like Microsoft, all engaged to help boost its consumers’ confidence and global exposure.

NEO Vs Ethereum

NEO has long been compared to Ethereum at many levels. To start with the comparison, it’s useful to pinpoint a couple of facts. First of all, NEO started its development upon the Ethereum Blockchain algorithm, in an attempt to optimize its model. The major axes of development were the scalability, compatibility, and the existing minor loopholes reported by investopidia, that made some Ethereum contracts to be vulnerable to hackers.

Let’s sum up the similarities/differences in the following table:

NEO Ethereum
Blockchain fuel NeoGAS (or simply GAS), minable asset, generated through a decay algorithm by 2040 Gas, Ether’s small units
Current consensus protocol Byzantine Fault Tolerant (a.k.a., dBFT), improved form of Proof of stake Proof of work

PS: Ongoing upgrade to Casper (Proof of stake)

Algorithm Programing C#, Java, python, Go Solidity
Current speed of transactions Up to 10,000 tps 15 tps
Token Unit
  • NEO: Indivisible
  • GAS: Divisible
Quantum-resistance cryptography Quantum computer proof Not quantum computer proof
Current circulating Supply
  • NEO:  65,000,000 premined
  • GAS: 100,000,000 requires cryptomining
96,150,441 ETH, requires cryptomining
Total supply 100,000,000 Uknown

Our verdict

It’s obvious that NEO is enjoying both a rising local notoriety and a strong partnership network. This gave it a great exposure to Asian exchanges, making it the Far East’s Ethereum. Besides, even though the Chinese cryptocurrency is positioning itself as a viable alternative to Ethereum, many challenges remain ahead of it. The attractive features offered by NEO will actually face a fierce resistance from similar and already existing projects. In fact, many similar platforms are working day and night to upgrade their ledger.

As a matter of fact, the anticipated hard fork of Ethereum’s Network to the proof of stake Casper platform, will undeniably consolidate Ethereum’s position in the crypto-market. This will probably make it harder for the younger NEO, to outweigh the world’s second Cryptocurrency in term of market cap, and first ever Smart Contract platform. The race between the two is yet to get more heated with many contenders lining up in order to take over the market.


Malek Mezni

A Crypto Market Analyst, and Bitcoin enthusiast, Malek is also a double Master's Degree holder, his most recent one being from a US Top College in Petroleum Engineering. Malek worked as an Engineer for a Major E&P, and started showing interest in cryptocurrencies just recently, impressed by the huge potential of both the concept and the technology underlying it.

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1 thought on “What’s NEO? and is it going to keep up with its pace?”

  1. Bob,I generally agree, especially about him “manning up” only after he was going to get caught. But I’d like to know how your stance would change under the following scenarios:1)Wash used during the off-season2)Firing Wash and making it public would have hindered a sale of the Rangers.

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