Most cryptocurrencies are not tied to any particular nation. Bitcoin is not an American cryptocurrency, nor is Ether, or any of the many other options on the market. However, NEO is a break with that non-nationalistic thinking when it comes to cryptocurrencies. NEO is tied very closely to China, although it is not specifically endorsed by the nation’s government.
What Is NEO?
NEO was originally called Antshares. According to NEO’s website, it “is a nonprofit, community-based blockchain project that utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to realize a smart economy with a distributed network.”
What Is NEO Built On?
NEO might be a relative newcomer to the cryptocurrency industry, but it’s not that dissimilar to what has come before. Rather than being built on the bitcoin base, something that China has had major issues with in the past, NEO is instead built on the Ethereum network, although it supposedly offers significant improvements over Ether, as well as other cryptocurrencies built on Ethereum.
What Are the Advantages of NEO?
You’ll find a range of advantages associated with NEO, many of which stem from the Ethereum network itself. However, in addition to what can be gained by using any Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, you will also find that NEO is ideally suited for supporting decentralized commerce/ecommerce. It’s also an excellent option for use as identification, and supports the digitization of several different assets. Several known loopholes that allowed the exploitation of transactions and contracts within Ethereum have also been closed with NEO.
Why Does NEO Matter?
There are quite a few reasons that NEO matters to China, as well as to the rest of the world. In just a short period of time, the cryptocoin has increased in value by over 300%. What’s really remarkable about that is that this growth occurred while other cryptocurrencies were shedding value. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons that NEO matters.
One of those is that the team behind the cryptocurrency, led by Da Hongfei, is accessible for questions and requests for information at just about any time. This is in stark contrast to how must ICOs work, where most of the hype and information is delivered before the offering is rolled out.
In addition, NEO already supports SegWit (Segregated Witness), the technology only now being adopted by other cryptocurrency platforms that reduces transaction time and costs, while improving security.
There is also the fact that China is one of the largest, mostly untapped crypto markets in the world. However, the government has long looked at bitcoin and other cryptocoins with a critical eye. NEO is a bit different, and there is significant truth to the notion that the government would support NEO. A large part of this comes from a tweet by the NEO team in the second half of 2017 that implied they would be working closely with Chinese financial institutions. While that tweet was ultimately removed, it hints at a growing acceptance of crypto technology by the Chinese government, as well as the implied backing of NEO by China.
What Does This Mean for Investors?
At the moment, the cryptocurrency market in China is undervalued, and that applies to NEO, as well. While NEO might have risen by 300% recently, it remains affordably priced, particularly when compared to more veteran currencies like bitcoin and Ether, both of which are priced out of reach for new investors. NEO could be an ideal entry point for those with limited funds looking for exciting growth potential.