NEO is a digital coin that originated in China, thereby giving it the name ‘The Ethereum of China’. NEO was formerly also called as Ant shares.
Here I will guide you on a beginners guide to buy NEO. In this article I will be discussing the points listed below:
- Introduction to NEO
- Smart economy powered by NEO
- Introduction to NEO and GAS tokens
- Key differences between NEO and Ethereum
- A guide to choosing a good NEO wallet
- Steps to exchange a cryptocurrency for NEO
- Transferring NEO from the exchange into your wallet
- The future of NEO
Introduction to NEO
NEO is the first of open source blockchain project that is built and based out of China. NEO works as a non-profit and a community-based blockchain project.
NEO was created in 2014 and is part of the GitHub since June 2015. It was initially launched by Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang as founders. Antshares was upgraded to NEO in June 2017.
NEO clearly aims to be the distributed network for “smart economy.”
Digital economy + Digital Identity + Smart Contract = Smart Economy
Smart Economy powered by NEO
NEO was created with a different motive of digitizing assets from the traditional market. NEO wishes to integrate digital assets, digital identity and smart contract under its platform.
NEO’s blockchain platform allows users to register or trade multiple types of digital assets quickly.
Two forms of assets can be used in NEO:
- Global Assets
Global assets are assets that are recognized by a system in whole and can be recognized by all smart contracts and clients.
- Contract Assets
Contract assets are assets that cannot be used in other contracts and are only recognized in their specific contracts. These type of assets are recorded and stored in the private area of the smart contract.
For a business to become more reliable and build strong identity management, a digital identity is a must. NEO’s Digital identity feature is identity information of individuals, organizations and other such things that prevail in an electronic form or data.
NEO offers a safeguarded mode to store, transact and authenticate the digital identity which is efficient and quick.
NEO’s smart contract is a set of commitments that are illustrated in a digital format; these contracts contain agreements on how contract participants review these commitments.
In simple terms, a smart contract includes its protocols for negotiating the contract terms, it automatically verifies the contract and enforces the clauses.
NEO Smart Contract 2.0 includes a lightweight NEO VM(Virtual Machine) that has great features like high certainty, high concurrency and high scalability.
As we mentioned earlier, NEO was created with a different motive of digitizing assets from the traditional market. NEO wishes to integrate digital assets, digital identity and smart contract under its platform.
Introduction to NEO and GAS tokens
NEO offers two types of digital tokens – NEO(Antshares) and GAS(Antcoins). These tokens are elaborated as below:
NEO has 100 million tokens, with 50 million of those tokens were distributed through crowdfunding and the remaining were locked up for a year. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, NEO is not divisible and the minimum unit will always be 1.
The significant advantage of holding NEO tokens is that they get the voting rights as well as the right to dividends in the form of GAS.
GAS also has 100 million tokens which can be generated and is quite similar to NEO. Unlike NEO, GAS is divisible.
GAS is convenient for resource allocation and network charges. This is used for operations like running dApps( decentralized applications ), smart contracts and creating incentives for bookkeepers in maintaining the blockchain.
Key differences between NEO and Ethereum
Since NEO and Ethereum try to serve the same market and niche, it is worth studying their vital differences. This could also help to prefer one over the other.
Preference of developers in choosing between the two
NEO fares much higher than Ethereum in terms of language support and is much favored by advanced developers. NEO supports languages like C++, C#, GO and Java. So with knowledge of any of these applications can be built for NEO blockchain.
Ethereum has only one programming language, Solidity. Solidity is a language specifically built for Ethereum and does not have much reach with developers. It has to be first learnt to develop decentralized apps and smart contracts.
NEO can handle 10,000 transactions per second whereas Ethereum blockchain can handle approximately 15 transactions per second. This highlights the power of NEO over Ethereum or Bitcoin.
Whereas in Ethereum the smaller units are called ‘gas’, the key differentiator is that Ethereum has only one digital token and NEO has two – NEO and GAS.
As an intuition, consider NEO as the stocks of a company and GAS as the dividend.
Ethereum is divisible into smaller units whereas NEO cannot be further divided. You have to use the other token of NEO, GAS if you want to make fractional transactions.
You cannot, for example, make 7.5 or 12.2 units of NEO transaction since it has to be a whole number.
It has been widely accepted that NEO is China’s take on Ethereum. NEO is widely supported by the Chinese government whereas Ethereum is not supported by the government.
A guide to choosing a good NEO wallet
Finding a NEO wallet that is suitable for all your needs can be tedious. You can consider the following features before storing currencies into one:
- NEO and GAS compatibility: Before choosing a wallet, remember that not all wallets support every cryptocurrency. Select a wallet that conveniently stores NEO and GAS tokens.
- Ease of Use: The wallet you choose has to be elegant and provide a user-friendly experience.
- Security and Backup features: Storing funds either online or offline makes it necessary to look for a secure wallet. Look for features like advanced encryption, two-factor authentication and multi-signature functionality.
- Private Keys: Private keys are crucial to have access to your cryptocurrencies. Choose one where you have control of the keys at any moment.
NEO does not offer a wide selection of wallets, but the good ones are:
- Hardware Wallet- Ledger Nano S
- Desktop Wallet – NEON Wallet, NEO GUI, NEO CLI, O3 Wallet
- Web Wallet – NEO Tracker, NEO Wallet (.cn), NEO Wallet (.net)
- Paper Wallet – Ansy
Steps to exchange a cryptocurrency for NEO
There is the wide range of exchange services that allow you to exchange Ethereum to NEO. We have here used Coinbase, as this platform is completely user-friendly allowing coins to exchange instantly.
- Buy Ethereum first
- Enter Coinbase by visiting the relevant website.
- Click on the Sign Up button and enter your name, email ID and password.
- Verify your account by providing the phone number and uploading an image of your Identity Card and also before purchasing, verify your credit/debit card and bank account.
- Once your payment is verified, click buy/sell on the top menu.
- Now Select Ethereum at the bottom of the page and the amount you want to spend or the number of coins you want to buy. Click the ‘Buy’ button
- Confirm the purchase by clicking on the ‘Confirm Buy’ button. Now you can buy Ether but do not close Coinbase yet as setting up will take a few more minutes.
- Converting Ethereum to NEO using Binance
- Go to the relevant Binance website and click on ‘Register’.
- Enter your email and create a strong password. And now click ‘Register’.
- You will receive a link via an email to confirm the email address. Click on the link to confirm it.
- In Binance website press Login and enter the email and password you used to sign up.
- To save your cryptocurrencies from hacking, a message will pop-up to set up two-factor authentication. We recommend you to make use of this.
- Head over to FUNDS -> Deposit Withdrawals.
- This section will show all the coins that you own.
- To find Ethereum, type Ethereum in the search box.
- Press ‘Deposit’ and you will be provided with a series of numbers and letters in the Ethereum deposit address. Copy it and save it.
- Transfer Ethereum from Coinbase and convert it
- In the Coinbase website, under the Accounts locate your Ethereum wallet and click on ‘Send’.
- Paste the Ethereum Wallet address you copied earlier in the ‘Recipient Box’.
- Click on Continue’, after entering the amount you wish to send.
- Coinbase will ask you to confirm the account either with your phone number or password. It will take a while for the coins to appear in your Binance Account.
- Once you get to see your ‘available balance’ on Ethereum, trade them for NEO.
- Click on the ‘Buy NEO’ and choose the buying options you wish to go for.
- In the ‘Amount’ box, find in the amount of NEO you want to purchase.
- Head over to Funds-> Balances. You will find NEO in your NEO wallet.
Below is a list of established cryptocurrency exchanges listing NEO:
- Binance: Supported pairs are NEO/BTC, NEO/ETH, NEO/USDT, NEO/BNB
- Huobi: Supported pairs are NEO/BTC, NEO/USDT
- Bittrex: Supported pairs are NEO/BTC, NEO/ETH, NEO/USDT,
- Gate.io:Supported pairs are NEO/BTC, NEO/USDT,
- Bitfinex: Supported pairs are NEO/BTC, NEO/USDT, NEO/USD
- KuCoin: Supported pairs are NEO/BTC, NEO/ETH, NEO/USDT
Transferring NEO from the exchange into your wallet
Exchanges are not considered to be the safest and prone to attacks from hacking. Hence it is recommended to transfer funds from exchange to an off-exchange wallet.
To transfer, enter the wallet address you copied from Neotracker wallet. Put in the amount of NEO you want to withdraw. If you are a beginner, withdraw small amount at first before sending.
Once you have entered the information correctly, press ‘Submit.’ You will be asked for code from the phone if you have used two-factor authentication as a security feature. Enter and click ‘Submit.’
Now you will receive an email to confirm withdrawal. Click on the link post which you will see NEO balance in your wallet.
Also Read: Decoding the evolution of Blockchain 3.0
The future of NEO
NEO is a great project with prospects almost greater than Ethereum.
NEO runs on a specifically developed proof of stake consensus mechanism which is no doubt the best proof of stake mechanism available. NEO’s blockchain is also quantum computer proof which gives it a better advantage in comparison to other blockchain projects.
Also the recent price rally of NEO in which it rose from 6 U.S. dollars to 52 U.S. dollars almost overnight, reaching the top 5 market cap and bypassing NEM, DASH, STRAT, and LTC. Such an appreciation in value should evidently mark NEO’s strength.
The Chinese regulation is an area of concern for NEO. After Chinese trying to regulate cryptocurrency industry and banning ICO, the future of NEO is not bright. Once the ban on ICO is lifted, NEO could well defeat Ethereum in popularity.
To make NEO the next big thing in the cryptocurrency market, the developers are working beyond the Asian countries to make it successful in the western part of the world. As an open source platform, NEO is all set to take over the digital world and its economy.
NEO also has a considerable amount of backing from giants like the Chinese Government and Alibaba. These factors make NEO a worthy digital coin in crypto space.