Sorry for the lame joke but come on, who wouldn't reference The Matrix when they had the perfect opportunity? The fact is, what is known as the upcoming "Ethereum competitor"; NEO is about to take off.
NEO, being developed by a team in China is touted as the first Chinese based open-source cryptocurrency. It has been around much longer than it seems as it was previously known as AntShares and fairly recently went under a rebranding to NEO, for the better in my opinion. It has also been called the "Ethereum of China."
It is very similar to Ethereum but it is fundamentally different in a few ways. The first major way is that the NEO token is not divisible. This means that there are no decimal places in NEO. If you want to buy NEO, you need to buy multiples of 1 NEO, which at the time of writing are priced at roughly $25 per NEO. When you hold NEO, you automatically are entitled to collect GAS. GAS is divisible and at time of writing is also worth roughly $25.
So NEO is just a Chinese Ethereum?
There are a couple of factors that really differentiate NEO from Ethereum in fundamental ways.
- Ethereum is capable of 15 transactions per second right now, NEO can do at least 1,000 per second right now and aims to optimise to attain 10,000 per second.
- Ethereum invented and only supports a proprietary programming language called Solidity. NEO will support Java, .NET, Go, Python and various other popular languages that people already know and love.
- Ethereum was built with a solid foundation of anonymity. This is great but it tends to run into issues when government regulation comes into play. NEO was built with the idea of having a digital identity rather than digital anonymity.
- NEO uses dBFT for transaction processing and securing the blockchain. This is as mentioned previously, far faster than PoW and in most cases thus far, PoS. It is also vastly more power efficient than PoW. You can read more about it here.
So I should just dump all my Ether and hold NEO?
Why does it have to be an us versus them kind of scenario? I'm still a huge fan of Ethereum while I'm a fan of NEO. I hold both currencies and I laughed along with everyone else when Vitalik fired shots at the NEO guy.
The smart investor does not become too invested in one idea and blind to all others. I have seen Bitcoiners completely miss out on Ethereum, even when it was blatantly obvious that Ethereum had some massive innovations on blockchain technology which couldn't be ignored. Calling it just another alt-scamcoin which is going to zero while Bitcoin rules the world.
If you act this way as an investor, you will lose. Don't join a team. Look at things objectively and hedge your bets. The masses act this way and the masses lose a ton of money to the 1% who are smart enough to look passed raw emotional attachment to any one cryptocurrency.
I believe Ethereum still has great things in its future. Vitalik is probably a genius. Just remember to avoid putting on rose tinted glasses.
Didn't China just ban ICOs and all Chinese exchanges are shutting down?
There has been a ton of negative news recently coming out of China with regards to cryptocurrencies and it has predictably caused some serious market volatility. First, China banned ICOs and then Chinese exchanges announced they were closing down. In spite of all this, there is reason to believe that this may actually be positive for NEO.
NEO's founder discussed the ICO ban with Chinese regulators before the ban happened. On top of this, the founder of NEO has stated that he believes collaboration with Chinese government and regulators will be possible in the future. This may seem a bit absurd but China has been very interested in blockchain recently and NEO being in contact with regulatory agencies is good news for them.
Should something astonishing like this happen, NEO will surely see huge price increases.
Alright, let's not get too ahead of ourselves
While collaboration with the government of China is a bit of a pipe dream at the moment, it still remains that NEO is an interesting cryptocurrency for all of the aforementioned reasons. There is however one more reason to believe that NEO is about to see a significant price increase in the near future.
Korean exchange CoinNest will list a NEO/KRW pair. Koreans love cryptocurrency. Did you know that ETH/KRW pairs account for roughly 20% of all of the daily trading volume of Ether? When Ether was added to the various Korean exchanges to trade against KRW, the value went up rather dramatically. There is no reason to think that NEO won't also experience a price increase once this pair is added.
NEO is currently trading at roughly half of its all time high at around $50. NEO being added to more exchanges in the form of fiat pairs may be what brings it back up to its previous all time high and beyond, as it gives more people easy access to the cryptocurrency.
NEO is "The One"
Well, okay maybe NEO is not "The One", but it is one to look out for and keep an eye on.