NEO Cryptocurrency Review

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What is NEO Cryptocurrency? | A Beginners’ Guide

The term “neo” means new or modified. In a sense, you can think of NEO as the modified Antshares – NEO’s original name.

You can buy NEO on Binance with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Tether.

GAS is given to NEO holders with the generation of each NEO block. Similar to “ether” with Ethereum, you need it to use the NEO network and suite of services.

NEO is a next generation smart economy platform (formerly Antshares) and means new and young in Greek. NEO has had a monumental rise to fame and most know NEO for its explosive growth. However, when you look under the hood there is a lot to discuss.

Called the “Chinese Ethereum” NEO has a lot of hype but, does it live up to it?

Law as code

First, let’s discuss smart contracts. According to Black’s law dictionary, a contract is: “An agreement, upon sufficient consideration, to do or not to do a particular thing.” Sounds simple right? Contract law is a deep rabbit hole that spans a myriad of offshoots which many dedicate their lives to but there is one key shift in this digital age, the law is now programmed code.

In the US, the ESIGN act passed federally in 2000 which legalized the use of digital signatures as a legally binding construct. In China, a similar contract law and legal use of digital signatures were put on the books in 2007. This means the legal system now has a bridge with the digital realm and opens a plethora of new opportunities for digital contracts.

Meet Smart Contracts – a digital, borderless and trust-less new way for two or more parties to interface.

Contracts govern an agreement between two (or more) individuals and/or parties. If X occurs then Y is provided. If X does not occur, here is Z recourse. This ties in quite nicely with the conditional programming structure in computer science where “if-then-else” expressions can easily be built around traditional contract law in effect making law into code.

If-Then-Else Diagram

Digital keys and signatures are the new pens inking their presence on digital (used to be paper) contracts. Contracts that have now been coded and re-imagined in a new way for the digital age through platforms like NEO.

The NEO system includes:

  • Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (DBFT)algorithm – This is a consensus mechanism (instead of the traditional proof of work/stake) that allows the system to resist the Byzantine Generals problem and maintains consensus even if some nodes bare malicious intentions
  • NeoX – This system will create the ability to execute and operate across various Blockchains
  • NEO Contract – Is the mechanism for creating smart contracts seamlessly in scalable, high performance environments that integrates pre-existing codebases (e.g. C#, VB.Net, F#, Java, Kotlin)
  • NeoFS – This is a service which allows decentralized storage (like a peer to peer Dropbox)
  • NeoQ – A lattice-based cryptographic mechanism which creates problems that cannot be solved by quantum computers and ensuring being quantum-proof

NEO is often called the Ethereum of China, but why?

NEO is positioned as a “public cloud” and is part of a much bigger strategy by the Chinese government in establishing pre-eminence as a Blockchain platform industry leader. They want developers, in general, to use their tools and platform and develop the ecosystem. We are already seeing this with the City of Zion team.

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Privately funded OnChain seeks to lead the pack

Voted as a top 50 Fintech Chinese company by KPMG, OnChain is a sleeping giant. If NEO is a public cloud, OnChain is a private cloud being used by corporations and other large establishments. The goal is for OnChain to be the Microsoft or Apple of the Blockchain. They are the first Chinese team to create DNA (Distributed Networks Architecture). DNA supports applications, cross-chain interoperability, and can integrate with traditional business systems and networks.

“Our vision is to make Onchain a truly universal Blockchain framework. Utilizing different plug-in modules, our framework could be applied to a public chain, a consortium chain or even a private chain. Our cross-chain adaptor module, currently under development, creates interoperability among these different chains.”

Da HongFei, co-founder of NEO and OnChain

Other noteworthy partnerships include talks with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as well as providing enterprise-grade blockchain powered email for Alibaba’s Ali Cloud.

Why does this matter for NEO?

Eventually, there will interoperability between both NEO and the OnChain networks which will allow unprecedented reach and usage for both networks in tandem.

How is NEO different than Ethereum?

NEO supports many additional code bases (e.g. C#, VB.Net, F#, Java, Kotlin) while Ethereum has its own proprietary language called Solidity, which requires developers to learn that before any development can take place. This means a longer learning curve and barrier to entry which could hinder the number of developers that can enter the ecosystem.

Critiques concerns and weaknesses

NEO essentially has a 100% pre-mine as well as proof of stake model which allows users to derive additional coins (in the form of GAS) by holding them in a wallet. NEO “distributed” coins through a crowdfunding event which allowed people to invest but, NEO still made money from the sale. Since there was no mining and only issuance of tokens this greatly centralizes the distribution.

As mentioned in our previous article, NEO was divided into two batches: 50 million which were sold via crowdfunding (and given to early contributors) while 50 were reserved to be “managed” by the NEO Council.

The “lock out” period ended on October 16, 2020 releasing funds for use for development and other purposes:

  • 10 million NEO go to NEO developers and NEO Council members
  • 10 million NEO as incentives for developers in the NEO ecosystem
  • 15 million NEO invested in other auxiliary Blockchain projects used by NEO
  • 15 million NEO earmarked for “contingencies”

Some may feel that these multiple millions of NEO are in the hands of the developers could cause dumping on the market and other actions that might affect the price or morale of the economy.

Also, some of the areas mentioned above are a bit vague and could be hard to distinguish if funds are being used to those exact parameters. (Which may end up changing as the project evolves.)

In addition, as with all cryptocurrency initiatives, there must be a network effect of adoption for anything substantive to happen long term. This has not fully taken place yet on a developer use level with NEO despite all the hype and potential offered by this initiative.

Strengths and Opportunities for NEO

NEO has a sister company OnChain that’s already a “made man” in terms of the financial services industry. It is also currently working with the Chinese and Japanese government along with large corporations including Alibaba.

NEO is considered more of an open-source public cloud model which will be separate from OnChain but can also be interconnected in terms of the cross chain functionality as we will see more of with NeoX.

GAS rewards you for holding NEO

Similar to “ether” with Ethereum operating as fuel for using the ecosystem, GAS serves a similar function. The difference with NEO is that GAS was given its own special status as a token. (Similar to Steemit tokens, STEEM and Steem Dollars, SBD).

GAS is a Proof of Stake like incentive generated with each new NEO block. The release will entail 8 GAS per block reduce by 1 each year (So year 2 will be 7 GAS, year 3, 6 and so on). This will go until 100 million GAS are produced after which there will be no further GAS produced.

NEO produces GAS for holders which is needed to use the NEO network and suite of services. This would presumably create buying pressure (demand) as its used for the ecosystem which is good for holders. The more projects using the NEO network the more demand for GAS tokens.

So, is NEO a “next-generation smart economy”?

That has yet to be determined. We know that digital signatures and as a result, contracts are legit, legal and copacetic. Building on this legal basis is a great start. The key will be, do people actually use the system and is there demand?

Nonetheless, NEO and its team are making big moves to grow deep roots in the Asian continent and beyond (as seen in Western regions). The developer focused architecture will most definitely pay off as they onboard new developers faster than other projects which have steeper learning curves.

Current rapid technology adoption in Asia as a whole plus their critical role as manufacturers (including ASICs for mining) makes that region (where NEO is based) a hotbed of development. Asian markets like China, Japan, and many other nations are quietly becoming powerhouses in the Blockchain and FinTech industry.

For NEO to be aligned with that bodes well for their future growth and trajectory.

NEO Cryptocurrency – The Ultimate Guide

About this guide: Our NEO cryptocurrency guide will tell you everything you need to know. We’ll explain what it is, what NEO does and give our opinion on the project. We do urge caution before making any cryptocurrency investments and encourage you to do your own research.

What Is NEO Cryptocurrency?

Declared by many as ‘The Ethereum of China’ or ‘The Ethereum Killer’, NEO is a ‘Smart Economy’ platform. What on earth is the smart economy? It is the digitalization of assets through the use of smart contracts. These digital assets will then be self-managed and can be distributed or exchanged within the NEO network/ecosystem. The ecosystem will also be able to digitize identities which is crucial when it comes to transferring digital assets from one person to another and issuing digital asset certificates (as proof of ownership).

Digitalization of assets is done through apps built on the NEO blockchain and make smart contracts much more useful. This means that smart contracts can be used to transfer ownership of real-world items. Examples of items that can be digitized include: property, cars, gold, oil, food that you would buy in the supermarket and even things like Pokemon cards. Any item that can be digitized can then be traded within the NEO ecosystem in a trustless way. Transfers will be done at a significantly lower cost than previously possible (no need for expensive lawyers), can be done in seconds and across borders.

The Smart Economy can truly change the world. The best part is that NEO is ensuring that digital asset certificates are compliant from a regulatory standpoint. This is essential for the project’s smart economy to function properly.

Both NEO and Ethereum are offering developers the tools to build decentralized applications on their own blockchains, the ability to launch ICOs on their platforms and offer smart contracts. The difference is that Ethereum is reacting to the new demands of the blockchain economy, then making a solution. Neo is anticipating future demand and is building or partnering up with other crypto project teams that offer solutions using their blockchain.

What Is The Neo Council?

The NEO Council is a group made up of the founders of the project. They are responsible for making strategic decisions, technical decisions and driving the project forward. The power of the Council does have a check and balance, as NEO holders can vote on network issues. This means investors in the project can have a say.

The project’s ecosystem is managed by the Council; they help decide which projects can join the network and even fund crypto projects they think can add to their ecosystem. To achieve objectives like this, fund marketing and ensure the platform has the best developers, the NEO Council retained 50 million coins at ICO. Essentially, the Council has well over two billion dollars at their disposal, which will be used to create their version of the new ‘smart economy’.

The 50 million coins held by the NEO Council (out of a total of 100 million) were allocated as follows:

  • 15 million coins to invest in other crypto projects that use NEO.
  • 15 million coins are kept in reserve for contingency.
  • 10 million coins to be used to incentivize developers in the ecosystem.
  • 10 million coins to be used to incentivize Council members and project developers.

The Council essentially guarantees that the project has direction. The structure and leadership model does show that cryptocurrency projects are becoming more professional. We really do feel this is required for cryptocurrency to be taken seriously by outsiders.

The Ecosystem

There is no doubt that NEO has an impressive ecosystem and is already well on the way to creating the smart economy they envision. It includes everything from different types of exchanges, artificial intelligence, travel, trust on the blockchain, infrastructure, identity digitalisation, regulatory compliant checks, research, scaling solutions to content platforms.

As NEO powers all the applications in the ecosystem, application growth should be great news for the coins price through the creation of network effects. The way to think about NEO is that it is the backbone on which all these great applications are built on.

One important piece of the ecosystem that has not been mentioned on the graphic, is the ‘City of Zion’. They are a open source community of developers who work on improving NEO and have won many grants from the Council. The City of Zion have created things like the NEON Wallet, block scanner and have even developed the NEX exchange (one of the most anticipated ICOs in 2020). We have little doubt that this network of developers will play a big role in the future of the project and that they have already proved their worth.

It is important to remember is that the ecosystem is still in its infancy. The project does have a working product and therefore has an advantage over competitors such as EOS and Cardano. We have to accept that right now, Ethereum is the platform of choice for ICOs. We do expect NEO to start increasing its market share here throughout 2020.

The NEO Economy

There are two different coins:

  • NEO Coin: You can think of as similar to a typical share in the stock market.
    • The coin represents a right to manage the network and includes voting rights. In essence, this is ownership of the network.
    • The coin pays you dividends! For every 10 NEO coins you own, you will get roughly 1 GAS token per year. Some exchanges will give you GAS automatically, but if you store your coins in a NEON wallet then you will certainly get your dividend. You can checkout your expected GAS reward on this calculator.
    • The NEO coin cannot be divided by anything smaller than 1. The exception to this rule is if you are using a cryptocurrency exchange like Binance, where you can by fractions of a coin. Just be aware that you cannot withdraw fractions of a coin off the exchange. If you do this, you will lose your excess NEO.
    • Currently, there are no transaction fees.
  • GAS: Is the fuel for the NEO network. In the same way that you need to fill your car up with gas to make it work. App providers must use GAS to ensure their Apps run smoothly on the NEO blockchain.
    • GAS is divisible. The smallest unit is 0.00000001.
    • The GAS tokens divisibility could be a big deal. We say this because imagine if NEO was $1,000 per coin. Many investors wanting to invest a smaller amount, could not store this securely off exchange (smallest NEO unit is 1). This would mean the only way for smaller investors to get exposure to the project, would be through buying GAS.

Both tokens can also be used to take part in ICOs that use the NEO blockchain.

The Team

NEO have one of the biggest teams in the cryptocurrency space, with over 50 contributors and team members. The project has a wealth of talent, but we don’t want to bore you with details on the whole team. We’ll just focus on the founders.

  • Founder – Da Honfei: Graduated from South China University of Technology in 2001. He then went on to become CEO of IntPass for 9 years before founding NEO and Onchain in January 2020.
  • Founder & Core Developer – Erik Zhang: Graduated from Shanghai University and then also went on to found NEO and Onchain.

You might be wondering what on earth is this Onchain that these two guys have founded as well? Firstly, Onchain and NEO are two separate companies but the interests of these two companies do align and support each other.

Onchain provides private blockchain solutions to Chinese businesses and government whereas NEO has a public blockchain. With business and government, yes, they will be interested in private solutions but are exceptionally likely to want public blockchain solutions as well. This is where NEO comes in. You can think about the two companies as:

  • NEO = Public blockchain for applications.
  • Onchain = Private blockchain for government and Chinese business.

Onchain and their work with the Chinese government is actually a huge deal. This is because many see regulation as one of the biggest threats to cryptocurrency projects. The project should be less susceptible (than other crypto projects) to surprise regulation from national governments. NEO’s main market is China and the founders have pre-existing relationships with government officials, are actually building them solutions and are ensuring compliance solutions are being offered within the NEO ecosystem.

The Project’s Future

NEO seems to have all the foundations in place to be the Ethereum of the East. It’s been well documented that China does not like to use Western products e.g. Google or Amazon, instead preferring to make their own domestic products to serve the home market. Right now, the project is the biggest cryptocurrency to have come out of Asia and its ecosystem is expanding rapidly.

We don’t think it will be long before NEO is taking market share from Ethereum in the ICO market. Indeed, 2020 could see an exodus of applications migrating from Ethereum to Neo. The reason why we think this could be on the cards is:

  • Cryptokitties showed that the Ethereum network maximum of 15 transactions per second is not enough to run even a single application properly. NEO, on the other hand, can process 1,000 transactions per second and has a working product.
  • In the past, decentralized app developers really didn’t have any credible choices other than Ethereum. NEO has a working product and can compete with Ethereum for new ICOs and offer more transactions per second.
  • Ethereum app developers have to build apps in a new programming language called Solidity. This takes time to learn and there are significant shortages in Solidity developers right now. NEO, on the other hand, supports common programming languages, making it easier for applications to be built on its blockchain. This is obviously a big positive for adoption.
  • The project appears to have the support of the Chinese government, whereas Ethereum doesn’t seem to have any government backing. Therefore, Ethereum is perhaps more susceptible to negative regulatory changes.

We think that 2020 and beyond will see a battle between the Ethereum and NEO application platforms.


Firstly, you should know that NEO was formerly known as AntShares before the rebrand on 8th August 2020. The ICO also started on the August the 8th and priced coins at 3 cents each. The coin then first hit exchanges on 9th September priced at 18 cents a coin and hit an all time high of $196.85 on 15th January 2020.

Even with NEO losing around 75% of it’s all time high value, it still ranks as the third most profitable ICO for investors in cryptocurrency history. You can check out the current return since ICO at ICO Stats.

Should I Invest In NEO Coin?

It’s entirely up to you whether you invest in NEO coin or not. We can give our opinions on the project though:

  • It’s the first cryptocurrency to receive an A in the Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings.
  • It’s the closest competitor to Ethereum that has a working product.
  • The project allows application developers to build in common programing languages. This makes it significantly easier and cheaper to build crypto project teams.
  • Da Honfei & Erik Zhang are working closely with the Chinese government through Onchain.
  • It’s big focus is on creating a regulatory compliant smart economy.
  • History has shown that China likes to promote China made products over Western counterparts.
  • The NEO market cap is around 10% of Ethereum’s at the time of writing. We think there is better potential for larger gains, than with Ethereum.
  • The application developer platform space is crowded. There are many projects that will compete with NEO and launch working products soon, for example: EOS, Cardano and Lisk.
  • Ethereum has first mover advantage and are working on significantly increasing their transaction per second. If they succeed, then Ethereum may have a faster platform than NEO.

Image via

How To Buy NEO?

We have put together a separate step by step article with complete instructions on exactly how to buy and store NEO coin using different methods.


At TotalCrypto, we think that smart economies are the future and will become increasingly powerful over time. We imagine a future where:

  • We can buy a house or a car easily and quickly, without significant middleman fees.
  • Where ID checks are simple and we don’t have to scan our passports 10 times a year and hunt around for in date utility bills. Companies asking for these ID checks still don’t seem to grasp that most people get paperless bills these days.
  • Items can be traded quickly and easily across borders. If I want to sell my mint condition Charizard, I want this to be as easy as possible and avoid extortionate fees.
  • We don’t have to pay high commissions to travel companies when booking a holiday.
  • The sharing economy grows even larger.
  • The gig economy grows further and trustless work marketplaces are even more important.

We live in a digital age and we think it is time that the economy changes to reflect this. We must accept that the dream of this digital smart economy is still in its infancy and we need pioneers like NEO to make this a reality.

When it comes to projects like Ethereum and NEO, we do think there is enough space for a couple to co-exist. We don’t see it as a winner takes all scenario. However, we are aware that something bigger and better could be around the corner and that projects like Cardano and EOS could provide serious competition.

We are excited by the potential of the project and look forward to seeing it do battle with Ethereum, EOS and Cardano is 2020.

Disclosure: We do hold a position in this cryptocurrency and view it as a long term hold.

2) How To Store NEO & Claim You GAS Dividends Using NEON Wallet?


Below we’ve listed some key resources relevant to NEO.

? Safest NEO Wallets

Hardware wallets are the safest crypto storage solutions available. These wallets store your private keys and do not expose them to the outside world, making your crypto as safe as possible. Maybe you should treat your crypto like the million dollars it could well be worth one day?

? Best Free Wallets

We recommend you use the NEON wallet. Holding your coins in this wallet will ensure you automatically collect your GAS dividend.

NEO Cryptocurrency Review

CoinMarketCap and Binance have just announced an acquisition. �� Read the open letter from our founder and our CEO here.


NEO is an open source and decentralized cryptocurrency hailing from China. The network it runs on offers simplified coding of smart contracts and launching of initial coin offerings (ICOs), and is often called a next generation smart economy platform.

Market Cap Volume 24h Circulating Supply Maximum Supply
$ 561,029,100
70,538,831 NEO
$ 325,973,490
40,985,020 NEO
70,538,831 NEO 100,000,000 NEO

what Is NEO

The NEO platform allows developers to create smart contracts and build decentralized applications (dapps) on it, similar to its competitor Ethereum. The project was founded by Da Hongfei in 2020 under the name of “AntShares” which was changed to “NEO” three years later. The NEO network uses two different tokens: NEO and GAS. NEO coins cannot be divided (to 0.5 NEO for example) – a behavior that resembles a company’s stock, for example. At the same time, the use of the NEO network and transaction fees related to dapps are paid for with the GAS tokens which one receives for holding NEO. In this sense, GAS can be said to serve a similar purpose as the Ethereum’s ether, with the addition that NEO platform gave its GAS the status of a real token.

NEO claims to offer easier and more accessible coding of smart contracts, as its platform supports a range of popular programming languages such as C++, Python or Java. This is in contrast with Ethereum that uses only the Solidity programming language. NEO’s broadening of accepted programming languages is an attempt to attract and support more developers.

Aside from the digitization of currency and deployment of smart contracts, NEO is also striving to digitize various types of real assets, such as real estate, to be managed as part of its “smart economy” concept. In practice, this means that physical assets can be represented as digital ones on the NEO network, while their ownership can be distributed among various owners.

Although the Chinese government has often spoken out against cryptocurrencies, NEO seems to be an exception. The company has attended a government-sponsored industry conference last year and is supported by important companies such as Alibaba.

NEO Coins

As of November 2020, the coin market cap stands at USD 1 billion, down from its all-time high of USD 10 billion that it reached in early 2020. One hundred million NEO coins were created following the ICO which took place in 2020. Half of them were sold, while the NEO council manages the remaining 50 million coins from its pool. NEO coins are not mined but rather bought as the stake to be used with the system’s own Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism. This mechanism is, in turn, based on delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus algorithm. At the same time, GAS tokens are used as the incentive for NEO holders for the generation of each new block on the network.

NEO coins can be bought on many cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance or HitBTC.

NEO Crypto News

You can find the latest NEO coins news and developments by clicking here.

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