What is NEO? – Complete Guide on NEO

NEO is said to be China’s direct answer to Ethereum. NEO became the People’s Republic’s inaugural open-source blockchain, designed to create a smarter and more cohesive 21st-century economy by bridging the gap between offline and digital assets.

NEO is self-titled as a “distributed network for the smart economy”. The platform’s founders believe that a smart economy combines the following:

–  Digital assets-  Digital identity-  Smart contracts

The potential of NEO has already been recognised by crypto investors around the world, with the price of a NEO token reaching as high as £143 per token in early January 2018. Although the price retracted when the Chinese government prompted to ban all initial coin offerings (ICOs) it is back on the rise and investors are looking to exchanges and brokers to get the lowest possible price to buy NEO.

What is NEO?

In recent times, there has been significant confusion and uncertainty surrounding what is NEO about. This is hardly surprising when you consider NEO’s somewhat complex emergence to the cryptocurrency market.

In its purest form, NEO is a smart contracts ecosystem, akin to Ethereum. Its network’s users can automate the storage and exchange of digital assets; working towards the goal of China’s inaugural ‘smart economy’ which we’ve already discussed above.

What is NEO’s purpose?

The ultimate goal of China’s NEO platform is to create a truly digital, decentralised and distributed platform for offline assets through the exchange of smart contracts. Put simply, if you want to know how NEO works, it is seeking to become a digital alternative for the transfer of offline assets between individuals. For instance, NEO’s smart contract ecosystem could soon make it possible for buy-to-let landlords to receive their rent in the form of NEO tokens via a smart contract configured to transfer funds monthly.

The team behind how NEO works – which we will explore in greater detail shortly – has already sought to develop a string of high-profile partnerships with Bancor, Coindash and Agrello. Meanwhile, NEO’s parent company, OnChain, has also recently secured a partnership with Asia’s leading e-commerce platform, Alibaba.

The team behind NEO

If you are still somewhat sceptical about how NEO works, you’ll be reassured to know there is a significant team of people behind the development of NEO’s smart economy. Founder, Da Hongfei and co-founder and core developer, Zhang Zhengwen are joined by a host of other community-based developers, operators and testers.

The recently updated NEO website indicates that the team behind NEO and how NEO works is evolving fast. The platform now has four back-end developers, a front-end developer and an engineer tasked with working full-time on the project.

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How does NEO work?

The NEO platform has two native tokens – like the Ethereum platform – that serve different purposes on the network.

NEO tokens

NEO tokens are designed to represent ownership and control of the NEO blockchain. NEO coins can help to generate and authorise new blocks on the NEO blockchain and manage the network. Owners of NEO tokens are also rewarded with GAS tokens.

GAS tokens

GAS tokens operate in a similar way to that of Ether on the Ethereum network. GAS tokens are the fuel that powers the transfer of smart contracts between one another on the NEO network.

There are five key issues that the founders of the NEO platform wish to solve:


NEO utilises the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerant system in order to validate individual transactions. Consequently, the participating nodes in the NEO system ‘vote’ for bookkeepers that take part in the transaction validation process. It is hoped the NEO blockchain will be capable of validating 100,000 transactions per second, allowing for the implementation of industrial-scale dApps on the NEO network.

Restrictive programming languages

NEO is the second blockchain platform to empower software developers to design and build decentralised applications and smart contracts in a plethora of programming languages. Unlike the original platform to allow developers to build dApps, Ethereum, which uses a rather unfamiliar coding language called Solidarity, NEO has sought to simplify the development process by accepting even basic languages including C++ and Java.


So that NEO can become a truly smart economy, the NEO platform has sought to create verifiable digital identities for users, making them an integral part of its blockchain model. NEO is compliant with X509, a global standard for the creation of digital identities. It is hoped this will give governments and global institutions the peace of mind to link offline physical assets to the NEO blockchain and interact with other entities on the platform.


Another benefit of the Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerant system is that it is immune to general and Byzantine failures. All transactions made on the NEO blockchain are irrevocable, with at least two-thirds of all bookkeeper nodes requiring validation. It’s also worth noting that NEO’s founders incorporated an anti-quantum cryptography mechanism (NEOQS) which makes the platform quantum computer-resistant.

Cross-chain interaction

For the NEO project to be considered a true success, interoperability between multiple blockchains is essential. Therefore, the NEO X protocol is designed to execute cross-chain actions on the NEO platform. By allowing for the combination of smart contracts and atomic swaps, users operating on separate blockchains can still trade with one another instantly and securely via the NEO platform.

Real-life applications

Two of the most high-profile real-life applications of the NEO coin are centred around Alibaba and Microsoft. Alibaba, considered the Chinese version of Amazon, now accepts NEO tokens as a form of payment. Plans are afoot to create a Mail Certification Service to improve cross-border transactions.

Furthermore, NEO has partnered with Microsoft to provide swift and secure access to Microsoft’s full suite of digital products, paid for in NEO tokens. These are just two exciting examples of how NEO works and is being used to revolutionise the payment and money transfer industry.


How does NEO compare to Bitcoin?

There are some similarities regarding NEO and Bitcoin. While most people might still be wondering what is NEO about, the price of NEO experienced exponential growth in 2017, rising from a price of just a few cents to $100 by early 2018. Similarly, Bitcoin experienced a similar rise to almost $20,000 per Bitcoin at the beginning of 2018.

Both NEO and Bitcoin have a limited supply of coins. NEO has a limit of 100 million NEO tokens compared with 21 million Bitcoins, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Primarily, Bitcoin was designed to act as a form of “digital gold” – the leading cryptocurrency for the payment of goods and services. Meanwhile, NEO is designed to act as both a cryptocurrency and a platform for facilitating smart contracts and decentralised apps.

How can you get NEO?

Although NEO is still an emerging cryptocurrency and many crypto investors are still unclear as to how NEO works, there are many opportunities to buy and sell NEO tokens online:

You can buy it

If you are wondering to how to get NEO online, one of the easiest ways to make a transaction is via a cryptocurrency exchange or broker. Exchanges allow you to simply buy NEO tokens using fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies in exchange. Once the number of dApps on the NEO platform rises, it is highly likely that the price of NEO will rise in kind.

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eToro is our recommended crypto broker for buying and selling NEO

If you don’t want the hassle of setting up a cryptocurrency wallet to store your NEO tokens safely, you can still place ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ contracts for difference (CFD) orders with CFD brokers such as eToro. This allows you to simply trade the price action and make a profit if you feel that the price will rise over the long-term. If this kind of crypto investing appeals to you, take some time to read our eToro review.

You can trade it

If you are looking for alternatives on how to get NEO online, you can also trade NEO tokens using CFD brokers like eToro over the short term. When we say short term, we mean it. It can be a matter of hours or even minutes. This kind of day trading of cryptocurrencies is becoming very popular with those who’ve previously traded forex markets. Platforms such as eToro and Plus500 offer all the technical and fundamental indicators required to make informed trading moves on NEO and other emerging altcoins.

Get it for free!

Given that NEO is relatively new to the crypto space, NEO faucets are still somewhat rare. However, there are some websites that allow newcomers to cryptocurrency investing to earn free NEO tokens by taking part in surveys, downloading games and completing simple captchas.

How to store NEO

If you are thinking about how to get NEO and physically own your new tokens, you must set up and open a new cryptocurrency wallet. Coinbase is a popular mainstream crypto wallet but, as yet, supports only the leading crypto coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. MyEtherWallet would be a more flexible option due to its open-source nature.

However, if you don’t want the fuss of storing and protecting your digital assets, you can still make money trading NEO and other altcoins. Of all the leading exchanges and brokers, we’ve tested and reviewed, our review of eToro ranks it as the safest, most intuitive platform for buying and selling the price of NEO.


NEO price, market cap & supply

What is NEO’s price at the time of writing? The price of NEO tokens is just over £14, with a market cap of around £920 million. 65 million of the maximum 100 million NEO tokens are currently in circulation.

NEO advantages & disadvantages


√ Exciting platform for dApps √ Cross-chain integration √ Can validate up to 100,000 transactions per second √ A credible alternative to Ethereum


X Still largely untested platform X Limited supply of tokens

Should you invest in NEO or not?

In conclusion, we hope this in-depth review has made things clearer as to what is NEO about and how NEO works. There’s no doubt that NEO is one of several new platforms (EOS included) that can offer a decentralised digital world. More importantly, NEO’s platform is much more scalable than its closest rival, Ethereum, which means that a bright future beckons for this Asian-backed platform. If you want to jump on the NEO bandwagon, sign up to eToro and start trading the price action on one of the fastest-emerging crypto tokens in 2018.

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