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What is NEO?

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 18:26
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Darryn Pollock
NEO is so similar to the number two cryptocurrency that it’s been called the “Chinese Ethereum.” But NEO is perhaps even more ambitious than Ethereum.
What is NEO?
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NEO has taken aim at one of the biggest and most useful of all cryptocurrencies: Ethereum. NEO aims to use the power of the Blockchain, as well as digital identity, to digitize assets.

While many coins are out there trying to improve on Bitcoin, NEO is trying to improve on Ethereum and make advances in the world of smart contracts. NEO differs from Ethereum in that it is not using its smart contracts as a platform for development. Rather it wants to realize a ‘smart economy’ within a distributed network.

From Antshares to the moon

NEO is still heavily in development, having recently been rebranded from Antshare in June 2017. This name change, along with aggressive marketing, has helped it secure a position in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The smart economy NEO aims to develop, involving the digitalizing of assets and will involve proof of ownership. The Chinese government is even looking at NEO to establish its pre-eminence on the Blockchain and be a leader in the space.

NEO has exactly 100 mln tokens, and all of these tokens were created in the genesis block and then distributed according to a mechanism outlined in the NEO white paper. Unlike most cryptocurrencies which are infinitely divisible, NEO tokens cannot be divided and thus the smallest possible transaction size is one NEO.


Well regarded

NEO’s founder, who founded the coin under the name Antshares, is Da Hongfei. He is well respected in Asia as a cryptocurrency pioneer, and apart from founding NEO, he is also the founder and CEO of Onchain, a Blockchain development company for enterprise and institutions.

A boom in NEO

While Antshares was launched in 2014, it didn’t really begin to gain prominence until after the rebranding. Beginning June 16 last year, the coin started to rise, hitting its first peak at $9.75, it continued to spike to $47.58 in the middle of August before dropping away like many coins to the end of the year.

However, since that low, NEO has been one of the better performing cryptocurrencies through January, hitting a recent all-time high on Jan. 30 of $162.

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About the author

Darryn Pollock is an award winning  journalist from Durban, South Africa. He picked up Vodacom’s Regional Sports Journalist Award in 2017 while expanding his Blockchain and cryptocurrency reach.  He is a contributor to Forbes, Cointelegraph, Binary District, and of course, U.Today. Darryn’s belief is that Blockchain technology will be the driving force of the next technological wave and it is the obligation of journalists and writers to tell its emerging story with integrity and pride.