Date Launched: 2014
Amount Raised from ICO: $4.5M
Founders: Da HongFei, Erik Zhang
Neo is an open-source, community driven platform that is leveraging the intrinsic advantages of blockchain technology to realize the optimized digital world of the future.
NEO, formerly known as AntShares, is a decentralized smart contract (NeoContracts) platform with a similar idea to Ethereum. Founded by Da HongFei and Erik Zhang, the Shanghai based company is often known as “China’s Ethereum”. Unlike Ethereum, NEO plans to create the platform to be compatible with multiple coding languages.
Much of the interest in NEO comes from its association with Onchain. Onchain is the first Chinese company to join Hyperledger and has partnered with major companies such as Microsoft. NEO developed out of Onchain and its leaders remain the same, but they operate as separate entities. Onchain mainly helps businesses to integrate blockchain technology into their day-today operations. NEO’s relationship with Onchain helps to bring business ventures to the platform, aiding in its growth.
NEO rebranded from Antshares to NEO in June of 2017. A total of 100 million NEO was created in the Genesis Block and distributed. The total amount of NEO shares is fixed at 100 million and can not be increased. The smallest unit of the NEO is 1 NEO and cannot be divided. 50 million NEO was distributed to investors via a crowdfunding. Another 50 million NEO is managed by the NEO Council to support NEO’s long-term development, operations, maintenance and ecosystem.
NEO tokens generate dividends in Gas, which can be used to deploy and run NeoContracts.
NeoContracts are expected to have features such as timestamps, randomness and data storage.
Digital Assets, Smart Contracts, Digital Identity
NEO uses DBFT (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) instead of PoW or PoS. NEO supports coding of its smart contracts in generic languages like C# and Java, instead of Ethereum’s Solidity. NEO can process 1000 transactions per second versus Ethereum’s 20 (both platforms are working on scaling this).
NEO has a focus on digital assets (like putting an apartment on the blockchain), smart contracts, and digital identity. Their digital identity initiative is done through a company called Ontology which works with the NEO blockchain. Ontology allows for identity on the blockchain and ownership of user data.
For example, a user can authorize what data to let others use. The user can also decide what purpose and how much to get paid for that data. This opens many use cases for data on the blockchain, and ensures it is not accessed without permission. For example, a user can share their spending history with a bank to take out a loan, but not share data on the user’s assets.