With the growing talks about NEO, the blockchain development platform which is being considered as an alternative to Ethereum, more and more users are inclining towards getting their hands on its native, eponymous cryptocurrency.
Whether you are new to the cryptocurrency industry or a firsthand witness to the rise of major blockchain networks, you would agree that the way NEO has made its mark on the industry especially recently is quite impressive.
Therefore, no matter if you are simply intrigued to learn more about NEO or actually want to go ahead and buy some of this cryptocurrency for yourself, we understand your approach.
Knowing this we went ahead to put together a comprehensive guide in order to give you an insight of what to expect in terms of NEO’s current offerings, its future development, and its plans for expansion.
This way, you will not only get to know more about NEO, but will know exactly what you are getting into when you spend your funds on it.
In addition to sharing key information about the NEO platform, this guide will also lead you through the process of buying NEO and keeping them safe in an effective manner.
So without letting any more time fly by, let’s start our interesting tour.
What is NEO?
Based out of China, NEO was originally launched by the name of Antshares in February 2014 by Da Hongfei, who is also the co-founder and CEO of Onchain, one of the first blockchain development firms in the country.
Through Onchain, Hongfei along with NEO’s CTO Erik Zhang provides blockchain development and consultation services for businesses who want to delve into blockchain technology.
This approach of enabling more and more businesses to join this new world of technological marvel is something that reflected in Antshares’ and now NEO’s end objective as well.
While associated with a business like Onchain, Antshares was kept completely open-source and remains so to this date.
The project’s branding saw a complete revamp in 2017 when Hongfei and Zhang announced on June 22, 2017, that Antshares will see a new name and brand image. This was in order to have a uniformed approach across the world with a name as simple yet as memorable as NEO.
The decision to rename the blockchain platform proved to be fruitful for the network, because while Antshares had struggled to gain traction with its original name, it shot significantly higher in value after being bestowed with its new moniker. Going from $9.79 in value on June 22, 2017 to $48.01 on August 14, 2017 – all in a timeframe of a little less than two months.
Data Provided here
The improvements in NEO’s value that came about in the fourth quarter of 2017 were no doubt due to the overall boom of the cryptocurrency industry, but it has been able to hold its own since then. At the time of writing, NEO is trading at a value of $54.14, which is still more than 5x higher than its value in June 2017.
The steady rise in value and the increasing interest is not only due to the hype that the community built around NEO has created for the cryptocurrency, but is also due to the solutions that it brings to the table for individuals and businesses alike.
Since NEO provides blockchain development solutions which it brings to life through smart contracts, its most natural competitor gets to be Ethereum which is currently the prime ground for launching new platforms and tokens as well as their subsequent initial coin offerings (ICOs).
However, while Ethereum seemed to be very effective for the first couple of years of usage, it has since fallen short of facilitating speedy transactions and smooth operations of its decentralized applications (DApps).
These issues are due to the scalability issues that it faces at the moment and which the Ethereum team is striving to resolve.
This provides a window to NEO to nab up-and-coming projects by enticing business owners and developers to choose its solutions.
NEO be able to do so by touting its features and its platform which promises to execute more than 1,000 transactions per second as compared to Ethereum’s 15 transactions per second.
That’s not all, because as NEO expands and gets more and more nodes for itself, it can reach the theoretical limit of 10,000 transactions per second. It sounds too optimistic to be true to the most cynical of users, but even the current rate of 1,000 transactions per second is pretty impressive.
NEO makes this fast transaction rate possible by the usage of its own consensus algorithm by the name of Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT), which is designed to prevent scalability issues of all kinds.
Furthermore, while developers in Ethereum mostly have to learn an all new programming language by the name of Solidity which is native to Ethereum, NEO allows hopeful developers to create programs using a language that they are comfortable with by providing options between popular and widely used programming languages such as Java, Python, Go and .NET (offered via different solutions).
One more thing that sets NEO and Ethereum apart is the slight difference in the approach of both platforms. While both of them allow the development of smart contracts and new platforms through different languages and creation of new tokens through different standards (NEP-5 for NEO, ERC20 for Ethereum).
Ethereum inclines more towards decentralized applications to be used by different businesses, whereas NEO intends to create a smart digital economy.
An economy in which its users cannot only develop disruptive solutions for everyday processes, but collectively work towards the creation of a global ecosystem.
This would eventually allow people from all over the world to use blockchain for their everyday needs in place of conventional internet websites.
NEO does not only talk the talk but it walks the walk as well, as, since its launch, the platform has given a home to fully-fledged services of decentralized exchanges such as Switcheo and identity verification solutions such as TheKey.
In addition to these solutions, the platform has many upcoming ICOs under its belt which is only going to add to the overall NEO ecosystem as time passes by.
Speaking of the NEO ecosystem, it is powered by two main native tokens, by the name of NEO and Gas (GAS).
While NEO is the main transaction token between different wallets, networks, and exchanges, GAS fuels network operations on the NEO blockchain and is used as the commodity to pay for utilizing development services on NEO.
Therefore, those who are interested in hodling cryptocurrencies go towards NEO, while those who wish to utilize NEO’s services for development need to purchase GAS to meet their needs.
To add to its functionalities, holders of NEO are entitled to earn GAS just by keeping the digital assets to their name. However, the rate of GAS generation is minimal where each NEO is able to generate 1 GAS in about 21 years.
Once again, NEO showed innovation in its approach by segregating its functions between two cryptocurrencies, since the action allowed users to determine the difference in demand for both tokens driven by contrasting needs and requirements.
Through its innovative solutions, NEO has so far proven to be a technological game changer and it seems that it will only grow further in terms of influence and demand in the future.
Therefore, if you have a few funds to set aside that you can safely spend on some crypto, then NEO proves to be a viable candidate for that.
Get a NEO Wallet
Now that you have honed your knowledge about NEO and its functionalities, the next logical step for you will be the decision of whether or not investing your funds into this cryptocurrency would be feasible for you.
If the answer is yes, then this next section which provides information on how to buy NEO would prove to be helpful for you.
Getting a NEO Wallet
As with any other cryptocurrency, we recommend that you first obtain a wallet to store the information for your NEO so that you can transfer your newly purchased NEO directly to it.
This way, you do not have to rely on third-party exchanges for the protection of your cryptocurrency in this day and age where hacking attempts come in abundance.
However, it should be noted that keeping your cryptocurrencies safe in a wallet does not mean that you take them off the blockchain. It only means that you restrict access to them by implementing security options that only favor you and prevent hacking attempts effectively.
All of the following wallets support the NEP-5 token standard on NEO, which means that you cannot only store NEO on these wallets but any other tokens that are created on the NEO blockchain following its NEP-5 standards.
NEO provides an official solution in the form of a graphic user interface (GUI) desktop client by the name of NEO-GUI, which allows users to store and see information pertaining to their NEO easily. However, NEO-GUI only provides support for Windows.
While this remains the official solution, there are securer and safer options that users can and should explore before settling on something which deems suitable to them.
- Neon Wallet
Developed by the proficient team of City of Zion, a renowned name in the NEO ecosystem, Neon Wallet is the go-to wallet for many NEO users due to its simple and easy to use interface. Neon Wallet users can log in by using their private key and transfer their digital assets through the accommodating design of the application.
Neon Wallet is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
- NEO Tracker
Despite being a web-based wallet, NEO Tracker ensures to provide top of the line security solutions by allowing users to login via a keystore file, which is a digital signature that users can keep safe offline on their local devices. The wallet also supports login through a private key and is officially termed as a “good NEO blockchain explorer”.
The Neo Tracker wallet best works through Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge web browsers.
- NEO Wallet
The NEO Wallet is yet another suitable option which allows users to access their NEO via a web browser. NEO Wallet stores the wallet file locally but allows users to log in through a password.
The NEO Wallet is accessible through Google Chrome.
The O3 wallet remains one of the best options to be used on mobile devices since it offers support of device-specific security options while allowing users to easily view and send digital assets.
O3 is available for Android 6.0 or higher as well as iOS 11.0 or higher.
The hardware wallet manufacturer that is known for providing the utmost security and usability for storing various cryptocurrencies, Ledger provides the same level of services for NEO through its Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
The device does not only offer state of the art encryption and safety capabilities but also allows users to send their digital assets through applications that are built to work with the hardware equipment efficiently.
Once you have settled on the best option to use as your primary wallet, you can go ahead and start browsing for exchanges through which you can purchase NEO.
How to Buy NEO
Since NEO started gaining traction only less than a year ago, it is yet to be championed by some of the biggest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken.
However, NEO has garnered support from the likes of Binance, Bittrex, and Bitfinex, which are some of the largest exchanges in the cryptocurrency industry at the moment. In addition to these names, it is also supported by various smaller-scale exchanges.
With that being said, if you are looking to buy NEO through fiat from a popular exchange, then you might run into a cul-de-sac due to the limitations of available options.
But there are still workarounds to this, and we are outlining such solutions below.
Purchase NEO through Fiat
Bittrex allows its users to deposit fiat without any glaring issues albeit through an extensive process.
However, if you can fulfill the requirements that are outlined here, then you may go ahead and exchange your fiat into Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) or Tether (USDT) and then purchase NEO accordingly.
Bitfinex remains another popular choice of cryptocurrency users for trading in the digital asset or fiat pairings. However, as with any other exchange, it requires verification to be completed before users can have access to fiat deposits and withdrawals.
Once you have completed the verification procedure and are able to deposit fiat into your Bitfinex account, you may complete your purchase of NEO.
While this gets to be an unconventional option, it is popular for users to first buy popular cryptocurrency such as BTC and ETH by using the credit card and fiat deposit options on Coinbase, and then transfer their purchased cryptocurrency to an exchange which trades in the cryptocurrency which they actually want to purchase – which in this case is NEO.
Purchase NEO through Cryptocurrencies
In addition to Bittrex and Bitfinex that allow the purchase of NEO through fiat and cryptocurrencies, Binance is another good option but with the restriction of only allowing cryptocurrency deposits.
One of the most reliable and renowned exchanges in the cryptocurrency world, Binance remains to be the primary choice of many when it comes to buying or selling their cryptocurrencies.
Therefore, if you already own cryptocurrency that you want to exchange on Binance, then you can simply create an account on the exchange, deposit the cryptocurrency there, and move forward with purchasing NEO.
After completing your purchase from the aforementioned exchanges, you can transfer your newly bought NEO to the wallet of your choice.
We would caution that you should always transfer your funds as soon as possible so you do not have to leave your funds at the mercy of the exchange wallet.
Exchanges don’t provide the primary service of being a wallet provider, they typically provide a primary service of facilitating exchange, thus many an exchange may always prone to hacking attempts no matter how secure the exchange gets to be.
Keep Your NEO Safe or Trade Them, Your Choice
While most people buy cryptocurrencies to hold, some of them choose to start trading with them every few days to obtain short-term profits.
Whatever your eventual approach gets to be, ensure that you are only spending money that you can afford to do without and never gamble with savings that are essential to your survival.