What Is NEO?
NEO, formally known as Antshares, was founded in 2014 as a way to bring together smart contracts—a digital identity system—and the exchange of digital assets. With this novel vision, Antshares became China’s first open-source blockchain technology. During its exponential ascent in value in 2017, NEO offered investors an ROI of more than 21,000%, and it currently has a market cap of more than $1.45 billion.
The long-term vision of NEO is focused on completely reinventing commerce by merging the traditional economy with the digital economy into something coined the “Smart Economy.” NEO aims to utilize the blockchain to manage smart assets in a legal, safe, and efficient manner that no other company has been able to do thus far.
The main reasons for NEO’s entering the prestigious top 10 cryptocurrencies based on market capwere its active community and its large, sophisticated development team.
The NEO Smart Economy
The goal behind the new Smart Economy is to merge digital assets, a digital identity, and smart contracts into one. Through the Smart Economy, NEO is focused on the Internet of Value—i.e., allowing for the flow of assets with limited friction. This economic frontier is trustless and open to all, meaning that it isn’t governed by a central authority. As such, rules, policies, and the organization of society will be transparent and fair to all.
NEO can facilitate millions of transactions every day through its decentralized distributed ledger, forcing banks and companies to rethink the way they do business.
The NEO platform has two different tokens: NEO and NeoGas (GAS). The NEO network charges GAS as a service fee for using the blockchain (much like Ethereum). GAS funds operations on the blockchain, such as changing assets and registering smart contracts, thus creating economic incentive for bookkeepers. While this may seem confusing at first, it all works together in a sophisticated fashion that is beneficial to all involved in the project. For more information on how all of this works, read over the NEO white paper.
Buying NEO, Step 1: Get a NEO Wallet
The most logical place to get a NEO wallet is directly from the website, as it features desktop, web, and mobile versions. However, let’s discuss some other options as well. Note that there are a few scam NEO wallets you should absolutely avoid.
The Official NEO Wallet (desktop)
The NEO Project offers a GUI desktop wallet that is only available for Windows. This means that anyone using Mac or Linux will have to look elsewhere.
NEON Wallet (desktop)
One popular option is the NEON wallet, a desktop wallet available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This wallet has all the necessary features, as it can hold NEO assets—specifically NEO and GAS—while allowing users to send and receive them. This wallet also allows users to claim GAS if they’re holding NEO.
NEON is developed by City of Zion and not directly by NEO developers. However, many people prefer this wallet for its ease of use, functionality, and flexibility across all desktop operating systems. In addition, a user’s private keys are never stored on the NEON servers, offering the highest level of security.
For the most part, the NEON wallet is considered the best option by many who own and use NEO. However, City of Zion has been dealing with allegations regarding bugs in its wallets. One user claims his NEO were redirected to an unknown address during a transfer from Bittrex. At this point, it’s hard to put the blame on NEON, as there doesn’t appear to be any solid proof.
NEO Tracker Wallet (web)
Users looking for a web wallet often choose the NEO Tracker wallet, which is developed by NEO Tracker. This web wallet is open source, offering both ease and functionality. With this third-party web wallet, users can send, receive, and store both NEO and GAS without storing any data on the NEO Tracker servers (similar to Blockchain.info). It also allows users to claim GAS if they’re holding NEO.
NEO Wallet (web)
The NEO community has developed a lightweight web wallet, simply called the NEO Wallet, which makes it easy for users who are holding NEO to store, send, and receive NEO assets while claiming GAS.
The NEOWallet is another option created by Onchain developers for anyone who is looking for an open-source web wallet that doesn’t store private keys. Like the other wallets, NEOWallet allows users to earn GAS when holding NEO.
The Official NEO Wallet (mobile)
The NEO mobile wallet is the only mobile wallet listed on the company’s website, but it’s developed by a third party, PeterLinX. This mobile wallet is only available for Android.
NEO Paper Wallet
Ansy offers a paper wallet that can be used to store or send NEO and GAS. Using a paper wallet is a good option for anyone who wants to store their value offline and hang onto it for an extended period of time. However, users won’t be able to claim GAS tokens when they are holding NEO in this paper wallet.
WARNING: Scam NEO Wallets
According to City of Zion, a developer that offers a number of NEO wallets, myneowallet(.io) is a scam, as it saves private keys right in its database.
Another wallet that many believe to be a scam is the neopaperwallet(.org). The accusation came in September after many who used it allegedly lost their NEO. While at this point it’s impossible to say whether or not this is definitely a scam, users should avoid it just to be safe.
Ideally, only use NEO wallets that have created by NEO developers or are linked to the NEO.orgwebsite. Using any other wallet just isn’t worth the risk.
Buying NEO, Step 2: Find an Exchange
NEO can be purchased from a large number of exchanges and should be transferred to one of the secure NEO wallets discussed above upon purchase. Here’s a list of the main exchanges that offer NEO purchases:
Buying NEO, Step 3: Withdraw Your Funds
As always, we suggest that you withdraw your funds from the exchange once you’ve purchased your coins. It’s always considered best practice to have full ownership of your coins in a wallet that gives you control over your private keys. Once the coins are safely in your wallet, you’ll have successfully completed the process of buying NEO.
NEO was one of the best investments in 2017, as it went from $0.14 up to $22 a piece during that time. For most people, purchasing NEO on a reputable exchange and holding it in one of the secure wallets that allows them to claim GAS is a great way to take advantage of long-term price appreciation. Since NEO has the potential to revolutionize economic transactions through the Smart Economy concept, it really could shape the future and redefine the way the world interacts on a financial level.