Before we dive deeper into NEO, it is important understand slightly its history. Formerly known as Antshares, it was founded by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang. These two are not nobodies, as they also founded Onchain, which distributes a growingly popular token, called Ontology. So, you probably might not have heard of them, but their projects you probably did.
NEO got its name in June 2017, and the rest is history. At its peak, it saw prices of each token rise into the hundreds (of dollars), and it was even dubbed the Ethereum of China. Well, the hype may have died down, however – even today, the community remains divided as to whether the token is indeed equivalent to Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum. Let’s have a look at some of the more important features which sets NEO as somehow, equivalent to Ethereum.
In the recent years, the need for interoperable systems has surged and we have seen many ICOs raising money on a mere notion of providing interoperability among an array of blockchains and that is exactly what NEO offers. Using the NeoX protocol, it is ensured that the assets are exchangeable across different blockchains. It has boosted up the NEO adoption rate since multiple users can now be involved to trade pairs with the token.
Since it is important for every transaction to fail or succeed at the same time across all blockchains (because network’s ledger state is to be maintained), NeoContract is in place to form a contract account for every transaction participant (even if the other party is not a part of the native NEO blockchain). However, here is the most interesting thing to notice: if a blockchain is not compatible with NeoContract, it still has the capability to trade the tokens on NeoX protocol as long as it offers support to the smart contracts.
In order to make these features more distributed and robust, NEO has added an extension to the already existing infrastructure and introduced a distributed transaction protocol. Its primary responsibility is to ensure that the steps involved in any given transaction are distributed across all participant blockchains and the consistency of every transaction is maintained. So basically, it makes use of several smart contracts placed across multiple blockchains, instead of a single one executing the entire transaction.
The extensive usage of cryptocurrencies and their inherently untraceable nature has raised many concerns for the banks and more importantly, for the security agencies. As a result, cryptocurrencies have now become a subject of interest to many “parties” who want to take a crack at it, even hackers and terror cells.
Technically, it is entirely possible to hack into any cryptocurrency infrastructure, by utilizing immense computational power, also known as quantum computers. That said, this has not yet shown to have happen – but it is entirely possible in a couple of years to come. However, NEO claims to be un-hackable by one or many of these quantum computers. It claims that its lattice-based cryptographic infrastructure shields it from being prone to attacks. Sounds too good to be true?
If you happen to be a keen follower of crypto and blockchain, you must already be aware that smart contracts WILL continue to serve as the heart of the blockchain industry and IF an organization wants to scale, it is crucial to make its development work more generic. This is exactly what NEO offers, and developers do not require to learn any new programming languages.
As a result, the availability of blockchain developers which by many estimates are already in short supply, can now just code in their preferred language, creating a contract and deploying it on the NEO blockchain. Such versatility sets NEO apart from many of its competitors, and hopefully for success.
Cover photo by: bitcoinmagazine