NEO is a cryptocurrency that promises to bring together the best features of the two biggest blockchains right now – Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It has similarities with both, not least that it’s described as China’s answer to Ethereum (just like how Japan’s own cryptocurrency exchanges are referred to as the ‘Chinese ETH exchanges’), but there are some big differences between NEO and its rivals too.
NEO was launched in 2014 by group called ‘OnChain’, but it wasn’t until 2017 when the project started gathering momentum.
Historically, there were 100 million tokens created, but unlike Ethereum’s ether (the cryptocurrency that runs on the Ethereum blockchain), NEO’s coins are indivisible. This means that when you buy one NEO coin, you’re buying a share of the blockchain itself – not just a digital currency.
NEO tokens can’t be divided into decimals either, so 1 token will always equal 1 whole unit .
The other big difference between NEO and rivals is that instead of being a decentralised blockchain where all the computing is done by the miners, NEO is a centralised one.
NEO has developed an interesting strategy to make its platform more attractive to investors and developers alike: it’s allowing people to vote on what new coins will be added – like shareholders voting for annual board members .
Developers pay a fee to have their coins listed on the platform.
In theory, this is great news as it means there’s less for potential investors to worry about, but in reality it also means that NEO is no longer decentralised.
What is the story behind the name ‘NEO’?
The etymology of NEO is Greek – it stands for ‘new’ and also means ‘young’.
It’s a great name for a cryptocurrency, because it hints at being the latest iteration of blockchain technology.
But this calling card is about to get even better: NEO completed a strategic partnership with Chinese clearinghouse ” China National RPX “, which will see both companies work together to develop a smart economy.
What’s that? Well, it’s an economy built on blockchain technology – something that China have been focusing on for the past few years, especially in terms of developing financial services.
The plan is to build this smart economic network using NEO as the base platform, which could certainly give this cryptocurrency a very high market cap.