My Thoughts on NEO (ANS) and Its Future
For those of you who don't know NEO (formerly known as ANS) is China's response to Ethereum. It is a well established fact that the Chinese would trust a homegrown product rather than a foreign one. For that reason, you don't see adoption of Ethereum as widespread in China. Right now besides Bitcoin, the Chinese are very much supporting Litecoin, as well as this new player NEO.
What is NEO?
NEO is essentially a smart contract platform (very much like Ethereum) but has a number of improvements in regards to scalability. For example, NEO has sharding built into their blockchain in order to save space and lead to faster transactions. Secondly NEO does not use a Proof of Work (PoW) model. Short story PoW essentially requires mining to reach a consensus on a blockchain. NEO instead uses their homegrown delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) method in order to reach consensus. Short story, dBFT is essentially a way to reach consensus based on stakeholders not too different than Proof of Stake i.e. people get rewarded this thing called Gas for holding NEO in a NEO wallet. The way NEO goes about getting a consensus is by solving the Byzantine Generals' Problem.
The Great Wall of China
What's the whole drama with NEO?
So NEO was formally called Antshares. Last month they had this huge conference and people were excited that they were going to reveal something big so a ton of people pumped up NEO (Antshares at the time) to almost $15. Then when people found out that Antshares was going to rebrand to NEO they started dumping their money. Actually, before the news of the conference the western world just found out about Antshares (so they essentially bought the rumor for the event and sold on the news). Since then, most of the pumpers have been sifted out and NEO has settled around $7, but it dips when Bitcoin drops sometimes. When Bitcoin was around $1900, NEO was close to $4.50 (correlation? maybe, maybe not surely there is some effect though).
In July NEO (ANS) got a lot done in terms of progress. An ETH/ANS pair was added to Bittrex. NEO also held a website redesign competition where they offered NEO (ANS) as a prize for the winner. Within the last week they also rolled out their major rebranding.
What do I think about this
Personally I find the fact that one gets Gas for holding NEO to be very appealing, it's essentially another form of passive income. In this case if someone has a lot of NEO they can certainly gain a lot from just holding it. The second reason why I like NEO is because it can handle a lot more transactions per second (TPS) than a lot of coins because of its unique consensus mechanism.
What areas does NEO still lack in?
Is there room for growth?
I think NEO has a strong growth potential, it is currently listed as #14 by marketcap on Coinmarketcap.com and if it's adopted as a smart contract platform in China widely in 2018 it could see explosive growth. With companies like Alibaba backing NEO, if NEO were to be used as a payment option by Alibaba that would be huge. With the Chinese government supporting blockchain initiatives, NEO has positioned itself as a first to Chinese market solution for smart contracts.