What Is NEO Coin? Everything to Know About the “Chinese Ethereum”

neoWhat Is NEO Cryptocurrency?

NEO is a relatively new cryptocurrency, but one should not dismiss it as the new kid on the block (chain). NEO coin is regarded among industry gurus as China’s response to Ethereum. In this review, we’ll discuss everything from how NEO coin works to the NEO coin potential.

NEO is a blockchain platform as well as a cryptocurrency designed to create a smarter economy and easily facilitate the transfer of digital and traditional assets between users. The primary aim of NEO is to use smart contracts and become a digital, decentralized, and distributed representative of non-digital assets digital (e.g. Pay rent using a smart contract that triggers automatically once a month as opposed to writing a cheque every month and mailing it).

NEO is based in China and works on the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus mechanism, which offers quick verification of the transactions.

History of NEO Coin

The NEO coin history is an interesting one. The company originally launched in 2014 as “AntShares.” In its initial coin offering (ICO), the Shanghai-based open-source blockchain project raised over $4.5 billion and also developed the “OnChain” universal blockchain framework. Antshares soon gained a reputation among traders in the Chinese cryptocurrency market as a competitor to Ethereum.


However, in the global market, it did not have as good an impact. To address this, the AntShares development team decided to rebrand it as NEO. NEO is the first decentralized, open-source cryptocurrency and blockchain platform launched in China.

The rebranding worked wonders as some of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, including U.S.-based cryptocurrency trading platform Bittrex, integrated support for NEO traders. Within a few months after rebranding, NEO entered into the top 10 list of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world. It’s little wonder that search engines are being flooded with questions like “What is NEO coin?” and “What is NEO cryptocurrency?”

Who Is the Founder of NEO Coin? 

NEO was founded by Da HongFei in February 2013. The NEO coin founder is ably supported by co-founder and core developer Erik Zhang.

NEO Coin Total Supply

A total of 100 million NEO was created in the Genesis Block and were issued according to its distribution mechanism. The total amount of NEO shares is fixed and cannot be increased. In the beginning, the 100 million NEO were divided into two batches. 50 million NEO were sold via crowdfunding and given to early contributors. The remaining 50 million NEO were reserved to be “managed” by the NEO Council for a lockout period.

NEO Distribution

On October 16, 2017, the NEO coin supply was boosted as the lockout period ended and the 50 million NEO were released.  The released NEO coin distribution was as follows:

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

Currently, there are 65 million NEO coins in circulation. In principle, the use of NEO shall not exceed 15 million tokens annually.

How to Mine NEO Coin

People trying to find out how to mine NEO coin will be disappointed to know that NEO is non-mineable. However, the more NEO you own, the more GAS accumulates. GAS is the token needed to run the network (we will explain this later on).

Going by a decreasing rate of generation, it will take many years for the amount of GAS to grow to its full 100 million capacity. As NEO is fully pre-mined, NEO holders will only get a cut of the transaction fees.

How Does NEO Coin Work?

NEO takes a hybrid approach to blockchain technology. While NEO uses the blockchain, its way to transfer assets differs. NEO has two crypto tokens:

NEO – previously referred to as AntShares (ANS).
GAS – previously referred to as AntCoins (ANC).

The NEO token acts as a security and is like shares in the company. It doubles up as the investment token of the NEO blockchain. The coin will be used in block creation, network changes, network management, and other consensus requirements.

The GAS token acts as the fuel for the NEO blockchain. Unlike NEO, GAS is divisible by a factor of 1/108. GAS will be used for resource allocation, network charges, and for operations such as providing incentives for maintaining the blockchain and for running smart contracts and DApps.

NEO Coin Features

Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, which adopt the proof-of-work consensus algorithm—which is a limiting factor in that it is very energy-intensive—NEO uses a delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus mechanism, which ensures finality of transactions and supports more transactions at any given time.

Compared to Ethereum’s 15 transactions per second, NEO supports up to 10,000 transactions per second. The NEO coin features include “NeoFS” and “NeoQ.”

The NeoFS service allows decentralized storage. It acts like a peer-to-peer dropbox.

The lattice-based cryptographic mechanism of NeoQ creates problems that cannot be solved by quantum computers. That’s how NEO remains quantum-proof.

Another important feature of NEO coin is that unlike other cryptocurrencies, it is not divisible; the smallest unit will always be one.

Unlike Ethereum, which is supported by only one programming language, Solidity, NEO is supported by multiple programming languages such as Java, Python, and C#.

List of Neo Coin ICOs 

NEO’s upcoming projects are a force to be reckoned with. Please note that some of the ICOs on the NEO coin roadmap may now be on the NEO blockchain.

The finished NEO coin ICOs are Zeepin, Thecky, Qlink, Trinity, and Ontology.

The upcoming NEO coin ICOs are NEX, YouPayGo, PeerAtlas, Apex, Thor, and Narrative.

NEO Coin Roadmap: Future Potential 

As of this writing, the NEO coin value has gone past the $100.00 mark. But, as you can see from the ICO list above, there are a lot of upcoming ICOs, so one can expect the price to surge.

Although NEO is very ICO focused, the NEO roadmap shows other important milestones too. NEO is regularly forming corporate partnerships like OnChain. This private company has recently brought forward the “Ontology Network”—a  security mechanism that uses compliance and transparency to boost NEO’s smart economy and its existing platforms.

NEO might just bring about the paradigm shift that has been waiting to happen in the cryptocurrency market. So if you have NEO, hold on tight!