Price: $7.51999
Volume(24h): $49,544,286
Market Cap: $487,438,953
NEO is China’s first cryptocurrency, launched in 2014 by Da Hong Fei under the name AntShares and later rebranded. The purpose of NEO is to digitize assets on the blockchain and implant smart contracts to create a "smart economy" network. NEO is widely referred as the Chinese Ethereum but the two projects have many differences. Neo is based on a technology called Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) and its coins are non-minable. The total NEO supply is 100 million tokens, with 65% currently in circulation.

Minable: No

Coin Prefix: NEO

Type: Coin


Latest Hight: $94.76

NEO Markets

# Source: Pair: Price:


NEO - Connecting The Traditional and Digital Economy


• Area to disrupt: Fast transactions, Smart Contracts, Fund Raising

• Competition: Ethereum, EOS, Cardano

• Founded by: Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang in 2014

• Based in: China

• Total supply: 100 000 000

NEO Smart Economy logo


NEO Price Development – a Journey from USD 0.032 to USD 196

The NEO project actually started under the name Antshares (ANT) in 2014. In July that year, the project launched a seed-funding round, raising USD 90 000 in exchange for 10% of the NEO tokens. Most of those money came from the company’s founders and team members.

The official release of NEO (Antshares) was in September 2015, when the 1.0 version of its whitepaper was published. This was the time when the team launched their first initial coin offering (ICO). NEO (Antshares) raised 2100 Bitcoin (BTC), (worth USD 700 000 at that time) and two months later it launched its Testnet. The ICO price for 1 NEO (ANT) was just USD 0.032.


NEO logo on a smartphone with NEO coins


The second NEO ICO took place between August 8 and September 7, 2016 and was one of the most successful ones for the year. The project raised 6069 BTC, worth USD 3.8 million at that time. One month after the ICO was completed, the team launched their Mainnet.

The price for 1 NEO (ANT) was hovering around USD 0.11 – 0.35 for eight months, until the end of May 2017, when it skyrocketed to USD 11.50 in just a month. During that time, the project started to gain popularity as the “Ethereum of China” in the Western world and many people who “missed the boat” when Ethereum was rising steeply, started to invest in the project, hoping that NEO will take them to the moon.


June 2017 was the month when the rebranding from Antshares to NEO happened and this gave an additional push to the price, boosting it to over USD 40 by August. Just a few days later, NEO suffered a sharp decline. On September 4, 2017, China announced an ICO ban, which brought a lot of FUD in the NEO community and the price plummeted to USD 13.

However, NEO recovered and on January 15, 2018, 1 NEO was changing hands at USD 196, reaching its all-time high (as of mid-May 2018). In April 2018, the coin faced another dip to the USD 40 level, following the BTC crash.



How Does the “Chinese Ethereum” Work?

NEO has started its life as the underdog – often called the Chinese Ethereum. On the first glance, there are a lot of similarities between Neo and Ethereum – most importantly both are cryptocurrencies, but they are also platforms for developing smart contracts and can serve as infrastructure for decentralized applications and most prominently – other crypto assets.


However, NEO is more than a knockoff of the first Smart Contracts platform; in the eyes of many, it is an improvement. NEO offers key technical upgrades as well as a different scaling strategy that is more open to regulatory interference.

NEO’s goal is to enable a smart economy, which means to connect the traditional economy with the digital economy and assets. The key to this connection is bringing a digital identity to match the physical assets and put them on the blockchain.


The only way for NEO to fulfill this goal is to be a regulatory compliant smart economy platform. And this is where NEO’s true value comes from - in its dedication towards complying with regulations.

NEO physical token with a Chinese flag on the background


The NEO blockchain utilizes two sets of separate tokens with specific utility: NEO, formerly known as Antshares (ANS), and GAS, formerly known as Antcoins (ANC). NEO is used for voting on the network and generates GAS. If you hold your NEO in a personal wallet you can claim your GAS and sell it after that. NEO’s Gas is freely traded on exchanges and can be stored in NEO wallets. Hence it is its own crypto asset.

GAS is used to keep the operations on the network running. For example, when a company registers or changes assets on the NEO blockchain, they pay in GAS. After that, this GAS is distributed to all NEO holders.



NEO’s Technology

NEO initially gained popularity in the West due to its rumored status as the Ethereum of China, but actually the projects have some major technological differences.

Ethereum uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol, set to evolve into Proof-of-Stake (PoS). NEO uses a Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) protocol, which is a modification of the standard PoS protocol. The main advantage of the dBFT technology is that the transactions on the blockchain happen through very quick verification process with minimal risks about the security.


NEO physical token

The process of validation may be described as this:


NEO token holders vote for delegates. These delegates (called bookkeepers) maintain the network for everyone. Thus, NEO can run faster, and more efficiently. There is no need for everyone to participate in the validating process.

However, this process has one major disadvantage – the lack of decentralization. In NEO, the governance is concentrated in a few dozens of validators and most of these nodes are under the control of the NEO team. It is a trade-off - less decentralized but much faster verification.


On paper, NEO can do 10 000 transactions per second (TpS), but only 1000 in reality. Compared to Ethereum’s 30 TpS in theory and 15 in reality, this sounds really good. However, these numbers are not final. With the development of the protocols they could become higher.

Another advantage on the technical side for NEO is that it supports almost all programming languages via a compiler, including those on, Java, Kotlin, Go, and Python. This reduces significantly the difficulty for developers to write smart contracts. On Enthereum, on the other hand, you can write code only in Solidity – a contract-oriented programming language created specifically for Ethereum.




NEO has some key technological advantages over the biggest Smart Contract player on the market, Ethereum, and they all serve one purpose – to achieve the goal of enabling smart economy. That’s why NEO will always be more “centralized” and less anonymous than Ethereum and many other competitors. This is the price you have to pay in order to be compliant with state regulators.

It is important to highlight that NEO is the first major Chinese blockchain project and China always plays by its own rules. Chinese people tend to use domestic products over those coming from the West. Some examples - Alibaba is closing in on Amazon’s market cap, WeChat doesn’t have any significant competitors in China’s social media space, Baidu is the biggest search engine in the country of some 1.4 billion.

NEO might be a great investment for anyone who believes that cryptocurrency projects should place particular emphasis on staying regulatory compliant. Furthermore, if NEO manages to tie together digital identities and physical assets on a blockchain in cooperation with the Chinese government, its price will skyrocket.

However, as of mid-May 2018, if we say that China is planning to join the blockchain world by integrating an already present platform, it will be pure speculation because there are no such indications.


Description text: Lyubo Zhechev
(The views and opinions expressed by the contributor in this text should not be considered financial advice, neither treated as expression of Coins.Online’s view.
Cryptocurrency trading and investing is risky and market participants are advised to always conduct a thorough research.)